Who: Friends and fans of the St. Paul Hotel
What: The St. Paul Hotel Centennial Celebration
Where: Where do you think?
When: Saturday, April 17, 2010
Why: To commemorate the classy dame’s 100th birthday.
On April 17, around 400 people showed up to toast the elegant St. Paul Hotel’s centennial celebration at a rollicking, decades-themed gala that spread throughout the first and lower levels of the building. As is the rule during almost all my forays to St. Paul, I often find myself suddenly lost; luckily, the hotel provided a handy map to guide me on my journey through the last century. And by “the hotel,” I mean “a little kid dressed in a newsie costume.”
Upon entering the bash, partygoers met a sassy flapper guarding a dimly lit 1920s speakeasy. Luckily, I knew the password (“centennial”), so I was allowed in to grab a drink and hobnob with a gun-toting mobster. To wash down the forbidden beverage, guests proceeded to the 1930s and stood in a Depression-themed soup line. The 1940s lounge was lushly furnished and decorated with blown-up photos of glamour icons past, and the five-piece jazz band Vanguard serenaded folks looking to take a load off. Disco hits, a smorgasbord of goodies, and a photo booth awaited revelers who ventured to the lower level. And for late night munchies: a Happy Days diner, complete with well-stocked jukebox and Americana eats. Noticeably absent but definitely not missed: the 80s and 90s.
The dress code was a mixed bag, to say the least; scattered amidst the dark suits and LBDs were vintage gowns, disco pants, zoot suits, and jauntily cocked fedoras. The party was pure fun; guests mingled and took pictures of one another’s getups, while gratis libations kept the conversation flowing.
The main ballroom provided a dose of modern day sleekness to complement the time traveling fun. The band Synergy served up a swinging set of covers, vintage and new. Also served: no lie, the most ridiculously delicious tenderloin sandwich ever. And while I had hopped into my DeLorean and Marty McFlown to 2010 by the time this happened, I hear that Mayor Chris Coleman took the stage to deliver a late night toast to the St. Paul Hotel’s past and future century. Cheers!