Philly bar Bleu Martini scammed me!

I was cheated out of payment by Bleu Martini on 02/05/11, after I agreed to promote the bar as the official afterparty venue to my organization's conference in exchange for a percentage of the bar revenue. I'm a New Yorker that travels to Philly for a business leadership conference every February. Last February I had arranged a similar agreement to host a party at the bar during their regular Saturday club night. There ended up being a huge snowstorm that night and the club was literally EMPTY. Luckily my organization's regional conference brings in over 500 members from all over the Northeast, and we just wanted to have a good time so we trekked out there anyway and PACKED the entire venue. Even though I noted some things I found sketchy with the management, we made enough money that we decided it would be worth it to host it there again this year and avoid the stress of finding a new spot from afar. A few months ago I reached out and let them know that I wanted to work with them again and the private party planner contacted me back. She was sketchy from the beginning, and when I would ask her specifics about how we can arrange the payment deal she could never give me an answer and would say she would get back to me. They didn't offer to give me anything in writing, and I even offered to bring my own wristbands so they could distinguish which guests were actually mine and she declined. Finally after lots of calls and texts, on 01/25/11 she confirmed with me over the phone that her boss agreed to give us 10% of the bar in excess of what they normally receive on a Saturday night, and I agreed and told her I would see her next week. My biggest concern was that she would never disclose how much they typically make on a Saturday. I expressed my concern that I would never know if I was being cheated if she could easily make up a higher figure and say that's how much they typically make they didn't have to pay us anything. Whenever I would ask her she would say that's what the owner said and we'd at least "probably make around the same as last year". She also kept asking me how much we made the year before and who the check was written out to so the owner could look it up and see how much we made, then said that's around how much we'd probably make. What was made last year was a percentage of bar sales from that SPECIFIC night, how would it matter this year when it would be a whole new crowd that could either buy more or less that night? I'm a very organized, detailed person and I asked kept pressing her for explanations which I would never get clear answers to but the date was nearing and I just gave up and thought it would be fine as long as we break even with last year. The night of 02/05 the venue was FULL and many guests were my organization's members. In addition to the $10 a person they made off of the people we invited and the money guests spent per drink, my friends bought a VIP table downstairs and purchased SIX bottles at $150-200 each. At the end of the night I called the planner 3 times in a row to work out the payment and she wouldn't answer the phone. I had never seen her in person so the general manager directed me to her, and she had been the lady standing directly across from me the whole time watching me attempt to get in contact with her! She reluctantly came over and at first pretended like she didn't even know who I was. When I pulled up her phone number and mentioned I had texts from her she suddenly switched up her story and instead denied phone confirmation. She angrily disappeared and never came back. The general manager (who had no idea what was planned that night) sat with us as I explained to him every detail of my conversation with the planner and let him read our very detailed text exchange. The more I explained to him, the more I could tell he believed what I had to say and he seemed very apologetic and willing to help. He brought over the owner, with whom I had been communicating with through her. The owner nonchalantly said he didn't owe me anything because she claimed she never agreed, even though I had texts proving otherwise. When started refuting his claims with my own facts, he couldn't even give me a straight answer or look me in the face. He did not look at the text message exchange, nor did he go get her so we could resolve it face-to-face. He smugly said he would think about it and return, but he never came back even though I saw him pass by a few times! After over an hour of waiting (it was after 3am!), the general manager returned and apologized again and said that the owner wouldn't pay us, and all he could manage to give us was 10% of the bottles we bought…which amounted to a measly $120. I was tired and angry by that time and had already come to the conclusion that we weren't getting what was owed to us because the owner knew that we couldn't do anything about it. I'm looking into what actions I can take, but in the meantime I wanted to spread the word about their shady business practices!
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1 comment
#251064

First off I'm the owner and I never met with a promoter or do I allow promoters to promote in my establishment.In all the years that I have been in business I have never given a percentage of my bar to anyone or would I do so now. This is the Bleu Martini which is well established already and everyone already knows our saturday nights are already at capacity it wouldn't make sense to have any kind of promotions on a saturday night.

This is now set straight for the record.

By any chance did you get the name of the person who claims they are the owner? If your a business professional I am assuming that you do know the name of the person you spoke with well I would double check next time that who your talking to is really that person.

ID
#220230 Review #220230 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Location
Dallas, Texas
Loss
$600

About

Summary

Bleu Martini is a restaurant and lounge café that combines in its menu three popular cuisines: traditional American, French and Asian. Besides that, this place specializes in martinis, offering about thirty different kinds of this drink. This feature has created Bleu Martily the fame of being one of the best martini bars in the city.
Conveniently located in the centre of old city Philadelphia, PA, it has large two-room space for parties of all kinds. Bleu Martini offers not only delicious dishes and liquors but also excellent musical programs from the best DJs. Every Sunday there are Afro Beats, Coupe Decale, Hiplife, Naija HipHop and Funky House dance parties.

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