On Saturday January 9th close to 200 guests of Mr. Rick’s Martini Club arrived at Oakland’s Lake Merritt Hotel ready to ring in the New Year all over again. The question was – what year? The stylish crowd, donning their vintage finest, had entered a time warp and every year from 1930 to 1950 was up for celebration.
Since 1990 Laurie Gordon and Richard Fishman of Mr. Rick’s Martini Club have specialized in presenting 1930s to 1950s swing dance supper club events at various venues around the Bay Area. With themed events such as Casablanca and the Rat Pack in Las Vegas, Mr. Rick's offers attendees a chance to experience true glamour only seen in movies today.
(Photo Credit: Michele Smith)
Mr. Rick’s Martini Club has been hosting the New Years Gala for 15 years. “Each year we have carried on the tradition of holding a black tie New Year’s Gala NOT on New Year’s Eve, but on the following weekend,” says Laurie Gordon. The Lake Merritt Hotel, a beautiful Art Deco building built in 1927, is the setting of choice for the post New Years Gala, offering the perfect retro ambiance suitable for Fred and Ginger. Diners and dancers mix and mingle in the hotel’s split level Terrace Room, which overlooks Oakland’s spectacular Lake Merritt.
This year's post New Years evening included dancing to the tunes of the Mood Swing Orchestra with Jonathan Poretz and Connie Champagne, elegant dining options from the Lake Merritt Hotel Terrace Room, dance presentations by the Deco Belle Dancers and a parade of vintage cars parked outside the hotel. “This is a unique opportunity to feel as if you are stepping into a swinging nightclub of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s,” says Ms. Gordon. “You can really get lost in the era and festivities.”
Want to enter the time warp yourself? Get on the mailing list for the next Mr. Rick’s Martini Club event coming up this spring. E-mail Decobelle@aol.com, or call 415-566-2545.
In the meantime, consider dining at Terrace Room Restaurant at the Lake Merritt Hotel. They are open Monday through Friday for breakfast, lunch and dinner and on the weekends for brunch. Think Valentine’s Day!