Inside Noah Tepperberg’s All-White Birthday Bash at Lavo

I was told to dress in white for Noah Tepperberg’s birthday bash at Lavo last night. I normally don’t do costumes but there’s something about Noah that is undeniable. I complied, wearing white pants, a white shirt and matching sports jacket. Even my hush puppies had white shoelaces. Someone said if I had worn a black tie and was traveling with a little person I could easily be mistaken for Ricardo Montalban from the last season of Fantasy Island.

I was worried about that. I approached Lavo with trepidation. The phone was screaming that it was a madhouse and I was in such a mellow mood dreaming about Culebra, Puerto Rico, while walking around Midtown in my resort gear. I was whisked inside and kissed a thousand cheeks and shook a hundred hands. I stopped to chat with Jayma Cardoso and Alexis Clemente before superstar Andrew Goldberg navigated me to Noah’s table.

I was greeted by all the unusual suspects, met a celeb or two, and congratulated Noah. He is 36 years old, if my fingers and toes and other body parts serve me correctly. He is already a legend. As co-founder of Strategic Group and Strategic Hospitality Group he has accomplished more than any of his competitors and all without burning bridges—not a small feat. For my loyal readers living in Kansas, Noah co-owns and operates Tao (Las Vegas and NY), Avenue, Lavo (Las Vegas and NY), Marquee (Las Vegas and NY), is a partner at Artichoke Pizza and is upfront and personal at the Dream Downtown’s food and beverage program.

I’m sure there are things I don’t know about rushing up the pipeline. Lavo was a blast last night with the “in crowd” really getting into each other and music from stadium DJ Kaskade. Noah told me that one of the conditions of Kaskade’s performance was that a hundred of his loyal fans needed to get in to the uber exclusive party. Noah complied and the fanatics hung by the stage cheering and pumping their arms in the air. They added mega volts to the soiree’s energy. Once again Noah did the right thing and it worked out for the best. I left happy for him and all his success. He defies the adage that nice guys finish last, as he sits squarely on top of a world where it is always a celebration.

Then I was off to SL to another birthday bash. My dear friend Marc Henry was banging it last night. I rarely go to SL and I texted owner Eugene Remm, another young empire builder, wondering who was at his door these days. The debonair, Matt Oliver, was manning the post. I adore this guy. Hip, fun, sharp and humble, he has developed into one of the best doormen in town. His work was evident inside. The crowd was beautiful and mixed. I had more fun there than ever before and need to go back again and again. I promised myself. I might be going through yet another mid-life crisis but don’t have enough fingers, toes and other body parts to do the math.

I headed into the night but stopped at the door to chat with Matt. Adam Spoont was also celebrating his birthday. He introduced me to Vinny Guadagnino (of Jersey Shore fame). I had just seen him on some talk show just a few days before, where the interviewer was being sort of a dick. I told Vinny that he handled himself well and we talked for a minute. He’s alright in my book. Someone from the peanut gallery made a comment about him not being a celebrity. I responded that he was one in every sense of the word. If he does something it appears online and in the gossip rags, because the public wants to know about him. If he doesn’t act like an asshole then he should be treated as a star. He was very respectful in an old school way I understand well and I was pleased to meet him until I told Amanda. She said he was “the handsome one and the nice one too.”

I have to look up what month it was 9 months ago as I attended 2 more birthdays, albeit the night before. The bash celebrating man about town Michael James and wonder woman Caron Bernstein’s entry into our universe was at Macao. Outside players, Gary James (in from Miami) and Patrick Fahey, greeted me. Macao was crowded with that rare adult fun crowd that I always pine for. We hung outside with the cigarette smokers and caught up. Caron talked endlessly and showed us her baby pictures and talked endlessly again. She recalled the time when she found herself possessing a few too many birthdays to continue modeling as she knew it and without a beau to help pay the rent. She had been riding private jets and chasing the parties, dating rock stars, blowing through the money until the bubble burst and she needed…dare I say it…a job. She turned to me, her loving friend, for advice. I asked her if she knew how to do anything except show off her belly button (rated the best in New York)?

She said she couldn’t waitress or cocktail or any of that. I asked her if she knew how to bartend and she replied “Steven.” It wasn’t a yes but it wasn’t a no, so I put her behind the bar. I asked Patty and Marcus, my top barkeeps, to keep an eye on her and help her out. The first customer came up to her and asked her for a vodka-cranberry and she asked him what was in it. Marcus ran to get me. “She’ll learn,” I said, chuckling under my breath. She spent about half her time making bad drinks and the rest out in the crowded room laughing and hosting. Some of her colleagues complained. That was until they counted her tip money. Her box was full of twenties and fifties and up as she raked in more than the rest. She has always been a royal pain in my ass but that’s okay, as she has always been royalty in my book. I am happier than I can ever say about her child and that she has found her loving and supporting husband Andrew. Inside, Michael James was doing what he does best, chatting up beauties while sipping a cocktail. I was going to ask him how old he was but realized it doesn’t matter for the young at heart.

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