Club Confidential: February 2018
By Niree Noel
In the speakeasy tradition, every so often, we host a clandestine affair we call Club Confidential. You’ll know you’re at one of our Club Confidentials if you pass by a seemingly unassuming spot with a long line of stylishly dressed guests chattering with excitement out front, as would have been the case if you’d been walking down Broadway right around the corner from Union Square on a balmy evening in mid-February.
To say this particular Club Confidential had been two years in the making would not be an exaggeration; two years ago, Amy witnessed beloved actor and lead vocalist Ronald Peet channel the actual essence of soulful singer-songwriter Sam Cooke with his cover band, Cooke. Since that low-lit and smoky basement performance so many moons ago, we’d been inspired to recreate the feeling of being flung back into a time of vintage microphones and old-school band posters, cocktail in hand.
And what better place is there to host a mildly anachronistic shindig than a beautiful loft in a beautiful pre-war building, right in the middle of Manhattan? None. We led guests to an architectural wonder of a space, with a marble-facade fireplace, soaring ceilings, a claw-foot tub, stained-wood frescoes, and so many other fantastic features that are not usually present when we host events in raw spaces.
Between grabbing drinks at the bar and making diy boutonnieres behind French doors, guests mingled until Ronald and his dapper band (including the ever sultry vocalist Barrie McLain, trumpeteer Tyler Kaneshiro, upright bassist Ian Jesse, drummer Dave Palazola, and guitarist Mike Harlen) took the stage and played for an hour straight. They covered all the good songs to get down to, including “(What A) Wonderful World,” “Bring It On Home To Me,” “Twistin’ the Night Away,” and “That’s Where It’s At.”
Because this was, indeed, where it was at. We were all together in this glamorous moment, united by the universal language of music, dancing the night away as a gentle breeze rolled in through the open windows. As the wee hours rolled around, the last dancers standing included our staff and a trio of delightful Italians, who shimmied to Robyn until we had to say ciao bellos, buona notte.