NORTH SHORE Beach Club just got itself into hot water. The Northern Liberties members-only swimming pool canceled all of its private parties for the rest of the summer, giving some party promoters as little as two weeks' notice to find another venue. I hear it was 14 parties.
Steve McCann, the director of PhillyGayCalendar.com, was told on July 22 that his "Boys of Summer: Boys on the Boat" fundraising party, scheduled for Aug. 9, could no longer be held at North Shore. McCann had to scramble for a new venue but could not find another pool in the city - private or municipal - that hosts parties. He was forced to change the venue to the pool-less Moshulu, prompting some ticket holders to ask for a refund. (For more info, check out PhillyGayCalendar. com/bos.)
McCann was refunded his deposit money, but he had already started promoting the party weeks before.
North Shore Beach Club confirmed that all private nighttime events for the year had been canceled, save for small early-evening parties, such as birthdays with only 20 or so expected guests.
"We had some promoters who overstepped and invited way too many people," said Brian Nagele, owner of the North Shore Beach Club. "Some promoters were using the venue as a nightclub. We're not a nightclub. We can't handle that."
The private events were canceled, Nagele said, because of noise complaints, although they did not receive official police citations.
"It's tough for us because we would like to have events but we want to make sure we're respectful of our neighbors as well," he said. "But . . . the job of the promoter [is] to bring in as many people as they can."
Nagele said that he offered to move the parties indoors to the Boardwalk Club, the adjoining restaurant, but the promoters weren't interested.
The cancellations seem to stem from a July 19 party for QFest, the LGBTQ film festival. Sources close to QFest said that 100 to 125 people attended the party, but North Shore did not hire nearly enough support staff to handle a crowd that size, leading to problems. According to sources, this is not the first time the venue has been unprepared for such an event.
Nagele said that the comfortable capacity for North Shore is 300 to 400 people, and they hire support staff - including bartenders and security - to cover that capacity. He did not know how many people attended the QFest party but reiterated that they were not a nightclub and could not handle more than that number.
That doesn't satisfy McCann, who said that Nagele never gave him a capacity limit.
"They've been doing events for a while. [Promoter] 'The Stimulus' had a party last year with [North Shore]," McCann said. "If there's a problem, you stop taking new events. You don't cancel the events you have."
OUT AND ABOUT
* Cuba Gooding Jr., Yaya Alafia and Wynnefield-born director Lee Daniels weren't the only celebs at Monday's premiere of "Lee Daniels' The Butler," starring Forest Whitaker, Lafayette Hill's Terrence Howard and Oprah Winfrey.
Mayor Nutter; former Gov. Ed Rendell; state Sen. Anthony Williams; Flyers Sam Morin, Scott Laughton and Ian Laperriere; the Philadelphia Film Society's Andrew Greenblatt; the Greater Philadelphia Film Office's Sharon Pinkenson; state Sen. Vincent Hughes and his wife, Broadway vet Sheryl Lee Ralph, all caught the buzz-worthy flick.
And, of course, the biggest celeb of all: Daniels' mom, Clara Mae Daniels.
House of Hughes
Speaking of Hughes and Ralph, yesterday the high-powered couple, who just celebrated their eighth wedding anniversary, were at the rededication, along with state Sen. Leanna M. Washington, of the Sojourner House, a shelter housing victims of domestic abuse.
Katherine Gajewski, the director of the Mayor's Office of Sustainability, and Benjamin Warrington, a teacher at the Philadelphia School, are engaged. The couple co-proposed to each other and will exchange rings in a small ceremony next month. They'll officially tie the knot come June 2014. Congrats, kiddos!