Matt Dowgwillo, Thrifty Hipster, botches 'Shanghaied': Comment of the day

New Year's Eve revelers told us they got screwed by Thrifty Hipster owner Matthew Dowgwillo.

He sold them on party at downtown's OM restaurant called "Shanghaied," complete with contortionists, gambling and geisha girls. But at the last minute, the party shifted to the Graves Hotel, and the guests got the shaft.

Dowgwillo has been very communicative with City Pages since we splashed the story yesterday. Here's a verbatim e-mail we received from him this morning:

I feel this article will make you look extemely foolish when we post what the true events that occurred were.

Its actually a complete misrepresentation of us to the extreme. You make it look like none of the performers were there. In fact, all performers were there. We had everything with the exception of the casino, which the Graves cancelled during friday's setup, not us.

But we'll post the true story with the star tribune.

And here's Dowgwillo waxing on at greater length in the comments section below our original post:

This is Matt from ThriftyHipster. I can assure you we're working on this issue. As far as the negative press on this, we've already offered all guests that were unhappy a full refund of the money we recieved from their ticket. If guests want to wait a couple of days in order for us to meet with all parties, we will hopefully be able to do better. We are fighting for them. IT would be easier, and I feel better for ThriftyHipster to just release all details of what happened and issue our refund part, however, we feel doing this would compromise our ability to issue larger refunds, and is the reason we are not doing that until we've had a chance to meet with all involved parties.

We accept blame where the blame is due, however to suggest we moved the event to make money is completely false. To suggest we were responsible for anything, other than continuing to host the event after a mandatory venue switch is preposterous. Just by switching venues we lost money, a loss we accepted so we didn't have to tell 1000 guests and fans that they had no where to party on NYE.

We will be releasing a statement on our blog soon, as well as all the details to those that are interested as we feel this will make City Pages look completely uniformed and slanderous in this post. They are just trying to vilify a competitor because they know ThriftyHipster

I can also assure you we'll be hosting a make up event, leveraging what little money we have left in our coffers and all our contacts to make sure guests at least get some kind of good time. Although we know we cannot make up a lost New Years Eve, we only ask, once all information is known, that we get blamed for our faults, and other parties for theirs, now including City Pages.

Again, to any guests that did not have a good time, we are very sorry about this. This is not indicative of a ThriftyHipster event as I'm sure you'll agree. We'll be publishing a response, but only after we've started to issue refunds. The best thing you can do right now is send an email with an explanation of why you were upset to If you do this, we'll be contacting you by the end of the week.



Do you forgive Matt? Let us know in the comments.

Additional coverage

* Thrifty Hipster botches Shanghaied New Year's Eve party

* More complaints from unsatisfied "Shanghaied" attendees

* Thrifty Hipster responds to complaints

* OM out of business, owner Vik Uppal mum on "Shanghaied"

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