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Vesper Club

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ChitChat: Brooke Shields, hope chest on the move, Lê, K’Far

Happy Memorial Day Weekend. I hope you have a wonderful time with friends, family, sunshine and making memories, good memories. Also be good to yourself, we’re all vulnerable to FOMO, and loneliness. If you’re having a BBQ, or you want to connect with people have a party, get together, call that person you promised to get together with, invite someone over you know is alone this weekend…and best of all I’m going to give you some chit chat for discuss this weekend.

Happy 5th Wedding Anniversary to this guy, and Happy 25 Years since our first date!!
It was a long engagement!! I always forget Mike is 5 years younger than me, cause he’s a lot more grown up. Without him there would be no PhillyChitChat. I’d still be working as a paralegal for some lucky law firm.
If you thought you saw Brooke Shields at the Radnor Hunt Races on Saturday, you did. Several people told me they saw her and after a little digging I was able to find this photo of Brooke having dinner with friends Lisa Natalizio Booth and Maria at Limoncello in West Chester Monday night. There’s a good chance that was her at the Radnor Hunt Races on Saturday. Brooke also appeared on QVC on Tuesday.

As I reported last week actor Jason Segal is in town to prepare for the AMC TV Series shooting a 10-episode, hour-long series called “Dispatches from Elsewhere” here in Philadelphia. Production starts in July and will continue through November. Like all of us he appreciates that Philly is a foodie town and has been spotted at a lot of eateries: Destination Dogs, Whole Foods on South Street, a.kitchen, The Dandelion, Butcher & Singer. Thanks for the shout out Nick Vadala from Philly.com

This week there have been quite a few news women in the news. Biggest story Monica Malpass leaving 6ABC, and Alicia Vitarelli is back on set.

Cook & Solo

Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook’s upcoming all-day cafe in the Harper now has a name on the wall and a beautiful courtyard being built. James Beard Award winner Camille Cogswell will head up K’Far, an all-day bakery and cafe located within the luxe new development in Rittenhouse ~ @pearlpropertiesphilly The Harper . The refurbished large beam you see here is art, it used to hold up ceiling in Boyd’s Theater auditorium, which formerly was on this site. Thank you @pearlpropertiesphilly for preserving it!! The Harper opens on June 1

Last month the dress shop ellelauri, located next to The Harper moved to Mount Airy. Moving in it’s space is hope chest, another “clothing store” that likes to use small letters as the name of their store. Currently located at 1937 Chestnut St. they’ll be moving to 114 S 19th St this summer.

Starbucks at Dilworth Park has opened. They offer all the products you’d find at any of their stores including sandwiches, cake pops and coffee of every flavor. Check out the Center City District calendar for all the great events happening at Dilworth Park this summer.

This was from my Instagram Post Wednesday Night:
Congrats on 7 years @hopsinglaundromat on the 7th Anniversary Of @hopsinglaundry . Le announced at party the sandwich shop is opening soon AND he’s taking over Vesper Bar @RittenhouseRow ‬. I noticed that the bartenders all wore black gloves, I’m told that it keeps their hands clean, protected and sticky free while they mix and make cocktails. Michael Klein reports that DiBruno Brothers on Chestnut Street have a wine bar and cafe in the works.
Philly’s best outdoor venue for drinking, dining
and entertainment . The Deck on the Moshulu is open Now thru September.
#SaveTheDatePHL June 2 – Sundae w. Questlove
4:18 PM
We’re rolling right into our sweet 16 with another summer of family friendly dance parties 🙂 As always we kick off the season with Questlove of The legendary Roots Crew!  Please note* No cell phones, or social media! Phones will be placed in a sealed envelope that you keep with you, just like we did last year! ALL AGES x KIDS ARE FREE X RAIN OR SHINE! Buy Tickets Here
This past weekend I headed to Jersey to check out Palmyra Cove Nature Center.

It’s about a 25 minutes drive from Center City, where you can have a picnic, fish or walk about on trails exploring nature. There’s free parking, and a great visitor center with restrooms and nature exhibits. Have a great weekend…. Follow me on Social Media for the latest news you can use… I don’t always cross promote so you might need to follow me on all three: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook

Enjoy your sunrises and sunsets this weekend!!!
Philadelphia

The Vesper Club Opens and Yes, I’m going to say it’s a Game Changer. Super nice, supper club, lounge

It seems that the City is going through a club cultural change the past few years. A decade ago the focus was on the Delaware Ave clubs, then nightlife was wild and out of control in Old City, the Rittenhouse Square area opened dance clubs and the crowd shifted above Broad to dance the night away at G Lounge, Whisper and Rumor. This year folks are still dancing, but not at as many clubs. G lounge has closed and become 1925 Lounge, a laid back speakeasy like club that serves delicious food from Davio’s; the setting is swanky, velvety seats, bottle service, nooks and a young to early 30s crowd. A scene not to be seen, but to chill with friends and enjoy the hourly “dance” shows.  Private without a secret password, except to get into the Vault where late last year Nikki Minaj and Meek Mills canoodled.

Whisper is now CODA, a live music entertainment spot. It’s an interesting concept, early evening rock and roll bands rule the stage, then towards the midnight hour it’s back to local and famous DJ’s playing  pumping music to keep the kids on the dance floor til the after hours club closes at 3AM. Rumor is still the place the millennials, bridge and tunnel crowd goes, filling the multiple dance floors til the lights go on at 2AM. Then there’s the more social/drinking establishments, the Irish Pubs, Rouge, D’Angelo’s, and the “speakeasies” Franklin Mortgage, Holts and even though it’s not in the Rittenhouse area but just an Uber ride away Hop Sing Laundromat.

 Last night I attended a new drinking establishment that encapsulated many of those aspects all under one very classy, fashionable roof. The Vesper Club, (223 S Sydenham St. – the alley that runs between Walnut and Locust just above 15th Street) founded in 1941 as one of the premier private supper clubs until it closed last year, has re-opened under new ownership, a similar but more polished concept capturing the essence of it’s heyday in the 40’s and 50’s as it was meant to be, a place to be seen, to see, enjoy and relax.

I had been to the Vesper Club a dozen times over the past decade or so, as I had friends who were members. I was always fascinated by this mural on the wall which was in one of the main dining rooms. I was excited to see that it was still there in what is now a lounge, seating area where live music plays from a small stage tucked in the corner. There will be dancing I’m told, and last night there was dancing.

 The staff is friendly and I like their uniforms, grey shirts, tie and a vest, but I the club doesn’t seem restricted to any serious dress code, but I would suggest cocktail, after work, night out on the town fashionable is the vibe humming through the place. Drinks were tasty and plentiful at last nights friends, family and industry night. Service was with a smile by Pat Bader, Stefany Stuber and Juan Sosa, who were at the main bar as you walked into the Vesper Club.

 Jordan Walls and Russ Bryant
There were passed Hors d’oeuvres consisting of pork belly smoked gooseberry, traditional Jumbo Gulf Shrimp, seared tuna, lamb loin, asparagus shooters, creme brulee, and other delicious treats.
The main dining room 
 The seafood bar can be seen as you first walk into the establishment

 Behind this “bookshelf”
 
 is a staircase that leads to the “speakeasy”
and you must know the password, which will be changed every day. There’s a phone at the top of the steps which rings to the phone on the bar downstairs. Say the password and you’re in like Flynn. 
 

 The owners of the new Vesper Club restored the building, and really did a great job at retaining many of the elements from the original concept including the downstairs bar.  

Aaron, Jon Leahy and Tony McReynolds, Bar Manager.
 There’s three areas in the speakeasy, the main room
 and two lounge areas on either end of the main bar
 Chris Donatello, Tom Vandenberg, John Barry and Karen Towsey.
 Kristin Detterline, Philly Style Magazine and Evan Solomon.

 

 Back upstairs, this is the main bar on the first floor and this floor has many of the same elements as the speakeasy, but it’s more of the supper club style, with a dance floor, although toe tapping is encouraged too. There are seats at the well stocked bar, TV’s to watch sports, and along the wall stools and wall table.

 The original floor from the Vesper Club looks brand spanking new

 Chef Ken Wallace prepares some of the Hors d’oeuvre. This is a new kitchen for the Vesper Club. The former kitchen is now part of  new section of Miscounduct , the popular bar located around the corner. The two establishments are owned by the same people.

 Derm Farrell, musical director of Vesper with the Mark Forchic Trio. Every night there will be live music or DJ music. There will be dancing, did I mention that?

Derm tells me “We have live music every night. Jazz/blues/piano instrumental during dinner service. Then there is a small transition just before dinner service ends where it changes over, depending what day of the wk it is, to a two piece, trio or full band performing crowed pleasers from past and present to get the people moving. We have a stage extension which lets us host up to 8 musicians on stage at the one time. I’ve got a massive mix of some of Philadelphia best bands on our books so you won’t be seeing the same this over and over. We are trying to cover as many sounds as possible. On Fridays and Saturdays I will have a DJ down stairs in the hideaway dressed in a smart suit spinning the best of lounge beats.”

There’s a nice lounge seating area too where Aida Sparta, Julie Lav, and Sharon Kaplan enjoyed the view under the velvety wall paper.
 Congrats on your engagement Wendy Wilhelm and Peter Caperonis
 Julia Tackett, Julie Faulkner and Caitlin Rotaiski
 Chris Cucchi and Michelle Conron
 There are a lot of bathrooms, single rooms with leather walls and your own sink.
 Tony and Amanda Pettinelli
 Caroline Farrell and Kristen Billiris

Did I mention that there would be dancing?
Drink, Dine & Dance starting on April 13