Bar tab at party is reportedly $15,000. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Hard to believe, but details get worse every few days about the governor’s “outside” inside dinner with more than 12 people and no masks in sight.

Looks like we need to increase the estimated cost for the meal.

A reporter for California Globe reports on 11/23/20: Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “Dinnergate” Apology Grows From Little White Lie to Whopper.

Last tidbit at the bottom of this post:  some of the people at the party are laughing at you and me.

New info on size of dinner party and bar tab

The article pulls together a variety of information from other reporters.

One reporter, who lives in the town where the French Laundry is located, did some digging. He is hearing stories that the bar tab was $15,000 for the party.

His sources say there were 22 people at the dinner, not the 12 previous claimed by the governor nor the 12 visible in the photo that’s been circulating.

Other reports say there were 20 people at the party. Those reports say the bar tab ranged somewhere between $12,000 and $15,000.

Let’s go with the reports of $15,000 and 22 people. If they split the tab evenly that would be $682 a person.

I’m not a drinker, so I can’t imagine spending $682 on booze in one evening. Back out an assumed 20% service charge ($114) and 8% tax ($42) and that leaves $526 per person.

Even at the outer atmosphere prices of a premier restaurant, how do you stay on your feet after chugging $526 of booze per person?

Guess on cost of the meal

Let’s revisit my previous estimate on the per-person cost of the dinner, shall we?

Base price in 2017 was $310 a person. Let’s add tax at 8% and assume low that the service charge was 20%. Then let’s add on the $682 average bar tab per person, which presumably includes tax and service charge. So the meal costs are:

  • $310 – basic price, per person, assuming no upcharges for fancier items or extra goodies
  • $25 – tax at 8%
  • $67 – low assumption that the service charge, or tip, was merely 20%
  • $402 – estimate on the cost of the meal
  • $682 – reported bar tab split 22 ways, assuming the bill was split evenly
  • $1,084 – estimated cost per person
  • X 2 – Mr. and Mrs. Newsom
  • $2,168 – estimated cost of one dinner plus booze for the first couple

So, about $1,100 each, or about $2,200 per couple.

Just another average date night for you and your sweatheart, right?


Article gets into more of the inside baseball details of the lobbying tidbits.

Purpose of the dinner was reported to celebrate the birthday of one particular lobbyist. Article says one of his clients is the California Medical Association. Since the CEO and senior lobbyist of the CMA were also at the meal, this is shaping up to be a lobbying effort of the CMA.

Deeper inside baseball, the article says reports from around Sacramento are this particular lobbyist is in and out of the governor’s office all the time. Frequency mentioned in the article is the number of his visits would otherwise suggest he might even be the Chief of Staff – that is how often he sees the governor.

Dinner attendees are laughing at us

In a tweet quoted in the article this other reporter said, and I will quote the tweet so there’s no misunderstanding:

“I’m also told some of those there are now privately laughing at the controversy.”

As you have Thanksgiving dinner without your relatives and friends, as you eat at your favorite restaurant outside in the cold, as you wait for your next unemployment check to arrive, as you wonder when you will again worship at your church, be comforted knowing some of the 22 people at that $2,200 a couple dinner are laughing at you.


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *