On Saturday evening walking into the historic Canfield Casino, people were transported to New Orleans’ Bourbon Street. It were as if a Mardi Gras parade with people tossing beads from floats had just passed through with street lamps strung with beads and the lingering sounds of the jazz being heard in the distance. The 16th Annual Hattie’s Mardi Gras Soiree this year benefitted Hattie’s restaurant long-time neighbor, Caffe Lena. The funds raised will benefit the endowment fund, which augments the Caffe’s earned revenue to support initiatives to bring exciting new artists, concerts for families and musicians from non-English speaking cultures.
Honorary Co-Chairs of the event Beth Alexander, owner of Hattie’s Restaurant, and Heather Straughter graciously greeted guests as they arrived as did Sarah Craig, Executive Director of Caffe Lena, and Dianne Winter, Associate Director. Sal and others from Hattie’s crew served drinks at the bar to many decked out in beads and masks, including Katya London and Bob Carlton, Teddy Foster of Universal Preservation Hall, Gayle LaSalle, and Monica and Mike Bracken.
The first hour of the event guests were treated to Old Fashions made with Maker’s 46 served by the always charming Dan Russell. Seen checking out silent auction items and listening to the music of the Dylan Perrillo Orchestra were Charlie Usas of Barrelhouse and his wife, Jamie, and their friends Meredith and Jim Woolford and many otehrs. Among the many silent auction items were dinner for two from Osteria danny, a fox fur and wool scarf and $100 gift certificate from Violet’s, a SPAC New York City Ballet Basket, a $250 gift card and necklace from Piper, an autographed copy “The Hattie’s Restaurant Cookbook” by Chef Jasper Alexander, Michael Kors watch from N. Fox Jewelers, tickets to the White Party, and a signed Dave Matthews Band print.
The party kicked up another notch when the doors to the main room of the grand Casino were thrown open to the lively music of Garland Nelson and Soul Session. Within minutes people were dancing, including Kevin Cushing and his wife Sue Hensley-Cushing and their good friend Andrea Spungen as well as Sarah Buck and Tristan Reimann. Others savored the delicious Louisiana style food that makes Hattie’s Restaurant so famous.
Those spotted getting their tarot cards being read were Susan Halstead while her husband Jeff looked on and Meghan Del Prete of Reform Pilates. Throughout the evening many took advantage of Heather Bohm-Tallman's Crazy Photo Booth (to check out all of Heather's photos, click here!) . Others spotted in the crowd were Dee Sarno, Leslie DiCarlo, Donna Martin and her daughter Michele Martin, Judy Harrigan, Laura Chodos, Catherine and Mark Hover, Michele and Dieter Funiciello, Kelly and Chris Armer, Sonja and Ryan McFadden, John Franck, Victoria and Seth Dunn, Jennifer Ricupero, Dave Morgan, Kyle Jewell, Maddie Hogan, Jessica Moore, Adam Favro, and Ryen VanHall of Upstate Distilling Company. Many members of Caffe Lena’s Board of Directors were seen taking in the festive occasion including Kira Karbocus, Peter Martin, Jim Mastrianni, Stanley McGaughey, as well as Jonathan Greene, who for part of the night lent his talents to the Dylan Perrillo Orchestra. The night didn’t end for some at the Casino, but continued on at Hattie’s Restaurant, with its fun speakeasy feel.
Check out the full photo gallery right here!
All these gorgeous moment were captured by photographer Dev Dinon