So what if the party was on private property, say, a retiree having a wine tasting with a handful of friends at his home and charging them $5 per glass of Cabernet?

"The board only regulates the sale and service of alcohol at businesses," Hill says. "If you were having a party at home and selling it at your house, we wouldn't do anything about that."

Not even if, say, there are a couple hundred people partying at a house every weekend, paying cover charges, dancing on stripper poles, and making donations for liquor? "We don't regulate private residences," Hill says.

And as long as house parties don't spiral out of control, local police don't seem to care, either. "Having a house party is perfectly okay, if you're doing it responsibly," says Sergeant Joe Favazzo, a spokesman for the Chandler Police Department. "Our concerns would be things like noise complaints from neighbors, illegal parking and drugs, underage drinking.

"The key is keeping it under control," Favazzo says. "As long as the neighbors aren't being disturbed and there are no beer bottles in the streets or nobody's standing on the lawn urinating, we don't care. You should have a party. We want you to have a party. If people are having fun, they're not fighting. We want you to have a good time."

But how big is too big for a house party? "There's no such thing as too big," says Phoenix Police Detective James Holmes. "There's no law that says how many people you can have in your home. You can stack them head-to-toe, if you'd like."

While not quite stacked "head-to-toe," the revelers at Rasputin's on a Saturday night in early November number around 50 by midnight.

On the patio, a group of people gathers around a hookah to smoke and chat. A short guy with close-cropped dark hair stumbles out of the glass doors and collapses into a chair.

He doesn't move until Tap and several other people walk by, carrying cases of beer and bags of booze from the local Fry's grocery store.

And everybody applauds.

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7 comments
Morgan J
Morgan J

This group of guys has gone their separate ways over a disagreement regarding how this situation ended. Those that cared about their relationship with their own community and with the owner of the home contacted the owner and began taking measures to help with repairs and mend relationships. The New Times has also written an article about this taking place, If you search for it you should be able to find it.. This reformed group went on to create The Chateau, also covered by the New Times.

Vicky
Vicky

Don't rent to these guys! They TRASHED the place. Holes in the walls, garbage everywhere. TRASHED it. Ripped up carpet and vandalized it. Broke every light bulb there and ripped out the thermostats and really they are just losers.

They need to grow up and take responsibility for their actions.

bill sterling
bill sterling

our paths may have crossed due to the fact that i am researching separete article on the owner of the home in question and did, in fact, conduct a previously scheduled personal interview with the owner at a time right after this article appeared.

needless to say the interview was suspended at that time while the owner made several phone calls to engage this situation to which they were previously unaware. of that there can be no doubt. i was there and i saw the initial reactions and also the subsequent actions. all of which were both swift and legal.

just between you and i - as i conducted the interview (2 hours at one point) the dialog between us was smooth with very few anyone saying 'pardon me' as though they didn't hear or paying attention.

the point is that while this smooth dialog was taking place i was actually watching her computer screen as the owner carried on email conversations always no less than 5 at a time and as many as 7 and always the emails were regarding this incident. i'm actually trying to figure out a way i can work this into the piece i'm doing because i'll tell you - this was 'damage control' live and in color. they are in FRONT of this situation instead of going thru some of the petty excuses we hear in our particular field. in this complete case recently filed legal eviction notices have been issued and served. as for the money that the owner alledgedly went nuts over - this was money that was RENT and RENT that in fact should have already been paid but the owner gave these guys a break and said okay i'll come back for the money later. only to be met with problems.

incidently, it's also my understanding that the original owners are, in fact, after putting these guys out, planning another of the parties that this house has actually become "The" place to be. and a look at the parking lot doesn't show any pick up trucks with gun racks in the back - rather they are mercedes, lexus, and you get the picture fast of the clientele before you open the door.

i think if you ever got around to seeing the 'real deal' and stop at one of the places noted on their website - you'd write an article that would have some of the old facts in it - but the entire piece would be "skewed" 180 degrees into the positive direction.

my best to you and your writing. hope you know this wasn't criticism - just noting two ships passing in the wind.

Zac
Zac

I enjoyed this article. I though that the author repeated herself a few times about the private/public law distinction, and hinted at it prior to actually explaining the issue, but it was still a good article. The references to other similar instances shows a good background knowledge, and helps round out the article: I was afraid it would be about some private party I couldn't get into, not about a whole cultural phenom and legal issue. Good stuff, keep up the interesting writing New Times!

Icedd
Icedd

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Smitty
Smitty

Nice article but this whole "house party" thing will come crashing down on the heads of these four guys. Some underage girl will get by their crack security with a fake ID and become the victim of a sexual assault or a rape. Her mommy and daddy will sue, of course. Or some thugs from Mesa or Maryvale will decide that the house is an easy score and try to rob it for the ahem "donations" for food and drink. But more likely, and seriously haven't you people learned by now that running an article like this about an establishment like this is like waving a red flag at the proverbial bull? Does this article accomplish much of anything other than to let the Alcoholic Beverage Commission know that a house like this exists and are probably worth a look see? Perhaps even old Sheriff Joe will pry some of his boys off of "immigration enforcement" to have a look at what occurs at these house parties.

Best of luck to you fellas, sounds like it was a good run and maybe you'll learn from your mistakes when this house gets shut down and you have to move elsewhere.

 
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