William Lanier, the gay founder of Bar 10, says a great party is more than shirtless bartenders — although they never hurt
With the holiday season looming, the parties are becoming inevitable. Every weekend from here on out may be busy with some celebration complete with fab decorations and delectable nosh — and not just the ones you plan to attend. You may be expected to throw one.
But if you’re afraid of venturing out with your own little bash and little wallet, William Lanier has some answers.
"Dallas likes to party but the last thing you want is to have a party that sucks," says Lanier, the founder of Bar 10. Lanier began Bar 10 as a source for hunky shirtless bartenders. But in just three years, Lanier has built the company into a full-service resource that includes planning, staffing and catering parties.
And along the way, he’s figured out a thing or two about hosting a trouble-free party.
Bar 10 began as a way for Lanier, a budding model and actor, to earn income between acting gigs. He booked extra work bartending parties until the idea hit him that most of these places were hiring sexy service more than just a guy doling out drinks. With Dallas’s big social scene, Lanier launched Bar 10, filling a niche to provide a taste of sexy with every party.
"Dallas is very image based and most people are willing to pay someone to pour drinks and even entertain guests. We try to bring a bit of an edge to parties and so we’ll have shirtless guys bartending or women in sexy outfits hosting the event and even being flirty with the guests," he says.
Even with a troubled economy, Bar 10 has been able to thrive. The holiday season heats up right after Thanksgiving and Lanier is prepared for an onslaught of bookings. His calendar will fill up with both home and office party gigs.
"Business has been better this year. Our corporate clients have been growing because they want a certain image for themselves. Plus, we do charity functions for free. But gay men are our primary customers," he says.
Who can blame them? Lanier gets his hunky male employees from local model and talent agencies. In turn, his female staff is a gorgeous bevy who can fill sexy Mrs. Santa outfits and mix up Cosmopolitans. And they can come in handy for any easily overwhelmed host.
"We’ve done a 15-person party with a woman simply serving champagne. The host’s time is always worth the $200 for him to spend with the guests," he says.
In the current economic climate, the obvious place to start in considering a party is with a budget. Lanier says though that even those with small budgets can have a fabulous party; it’s all about focus … although there are some limitations.
"Don’t think you can have a party for 100 people for a $100 — be realistic. But if you can’t afford much, do one thing — a food item, great drinks, a bartender — and do it great. It’s at least one thing that people can remember about the party," he says.
Despite the gift buying and grocery shopping requirements of the season, a party is feasible, even for the frugal. However, Lanier’s second step is almost as important as the first. Money may dictate the type of party you’re having but it doesn’t lay it out for you.
"You can’t just say ‘I wanna have a party’ and send a Facebook invite. There has to be a plan that includes a guest list, theme, location and alcohol. People don’t think about the drinks, but Bar 10 can help with all of that," he says. (Or they could just do it for you.)
And to avoid any party pitfalls, Lanier offers his final words.
"Do not forget the ice. Everyone does. Tip the staff if there is any. Have good music to set the ambience. Oh, and please don’t do any sort of chocolate fountain. Those are way too messy."
For more information, visit Bar10Events.com.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 27, 2009.