The celebs we stalked (and more!) at Virgin America's Chicago launch party
The bigwigs of Virgin America landed in Chicago last night to throw a blowout in honor of new direct flights out of O'Hare. We boil the bash down to its essential details.
What it’s like partying with Richard Branson: Few people know, since the buzz at theWit Hotel last night was that the billionaire airline, music and outer space tourism mogul left his own party at ROOF, the hotel’s 27th-floor lounge, around 8:30pm to catch a flight. Hopefully to Los Angeles or San Francisco, since the point of the hurrah was to celebrate Virgin America’s new direct service from O’Hare to both Cali cities.
What it’s like partying with Billy Joel: Couldn’t tell you this either, since the man who looked enough like him to cause my date to ask, “Are you Billy Joel?” was not, in fact, the famed singer-songwriter. But we did see The Office’s Creed Bratton in the lobby, accepting one of the hotel’s complimentary yellow umbrellas to weather the long walk from the revolving door to a taxi; and Adrian Grenier upstairs, chatting with several attractive women under the tent set up on ROOF’s outdoor patio to block the rain. Celebrities there but not spotted: Johnny Galecki, Tim Meadows, Jenna Dewan, Virginia Madsen, Jesse Williams and Jonathan Sadowski.
What Virgin’s real beverage service entails: Lots of Champagne and liberal pours from just about any liquor bottle requested. Sure beats the in-flight plastic cup of Diet Coke. On the food front, we sampled an array of dolled-up pizzas from ROOF’s wood-burning oven and desserts aplenty, including brownie skewers in a fudge sauce, red velvet cheesecake spheres on a stick and strawberries bathed in white chocolate.
Who else parties hard on a Wednesday: A dance floor of pretty twentysomethings gyrating to the Black Eyed Peas; two dad-type guys in Hawaiian shirts; Wim, a man from Minneapolis who owns a company that aids avid video gamers in placing wagers on Halo and the like; Mark Konkol, the Sun-Times reporter who just won the Pulitzer Prize.
Why I’m nursing water and a bagel right now: Someone allegedly had the keycard to Sir Richard’s suite, but by 2am there was still no after-party in sight. Primarily because the actual party showed no signs of ending, with guests still clinking glasses, tearing up the dance floor and ordering tequila shots. I couldn’t help but think: Do United employees rage like this?