Leesa Richards and Samantha Natalie brought CAFE SOCIETY to life last September 24th at Mojo Restaurant and Launge, and VAS will never be the same! Anthony DeMaio and Domenick Falcione, owners and artists, wined and dined us in high style and these two ladies fed our souls. The perfect chic and artsy atmosphere…impeccable food and service… and world class performances…who could ask for anything more!
We want to thank Domenick and Anthony for aligning with our vision and helping make it a reality. This was the perfect place to debut this series, not only because of the rave reviews it’s menu has received from restaurant critics, but also the inviting and elegant space and the owner’s fantastic works of art decorating the walls.
We are delighted that Café Society was so well received by our members and guests, as yet another of the innovative 21st century concepts of experiencing the arts in, socializing, and challenging our intellect…all simultaneously and in a more complete fashion!
Taking once again from history, we reach this time into late-19th century and draw from a culture characterized by continual socializing in bistros, coffee shops, and night clubs. These were sometimes extravagantly frivolous and sometimes intensely intellectual in nature, but always high spirited and exhilarating! The socialites who regularly frequented these fashionable night spots became known as Café Society.
In 1938, a brilliant cultural visionary named Barney Josephson opened a restaurant/night club at 1 Sheridan Square in New York City’s Greenwich Village that he called Café Society. It was to be an American version of the political cabarets he had seen in Europe earlier, as well as the first racially integrated night club in the United States. Josephson also intended the club to defy the pretensions of the rich; he chose the name to mock Clare Boothe Luce and what she referred to as “café society,” the habitués of more upscale nightclubs, and the wry satirical note was carried through in murals painted on all the interior spaces by the most prominent artists of the day. Josephson not only trademarked the name, which had not been trademarked by the gossip columnist for the New York Journal American M, who wrote as the first “Cholly Knickerbocker,” but advertised the club as “The Wrong Place for the Right People.”
The club also prided itself on treating black and white customers equally, unlike many venues, such as the Cotton Club, that featured black performers but barred black customers except for prominent blacks in the entertainment industry. The club featured many of the greatest black musicians of the day, from a wide range of backgrounds, often presented with a strongly political bent.
Venetian Art Café Society is based upon all of this and more! We continue to strive to fulfill our mission of highlighting the multi-cultural diversity of our community in order that we may bring people of all these wonderfully rich and diverse cultures together as One… to look at our world from the same perspective as opposed to having the restrictions of ethnic and cultural barriers…and have fun at the same time!
Special thanks to Andrew Epstein for the artistic photo.