In its golden age from the ’40s to ’60s, the supper club was a destination whose holy trinity was drinks, dinner and dancing. It was a languorous, evening-long experience where nothing was hurried and everything was good.
Today, the proper supper club is enjoying a renaissance. Yes, the original wood-clad versions still exist, often dotting lakeshores in Wisconsin and the upper Midwest. According to The New York Times, these clubs “still seduce with an iceberg salad, steak, a well-mixed cocktail and a ready table.” But these days, there are new kids in town.
Born of nostalgia, devotees are opening a new generation of the approachable, fabulously leisurely supper club. And as before, the clubs are becoming destinations.
If you’re planning a summer dinner party, why not delight your guests with a supper club experience? Set the scene with candles, lanterns and twinkling mini lights. For a bit of retro kitsch, add a neon sign or vintage-inspired wall decor.
Arrange your tables – folding tables that seat four are perfect for this – cozily across the patio to create the dinner club vibe.
Music is a must. Today’s high-definition portable speakers come close to replicating the live-music experience wherever and whenever you want it. Or, for pure over-the-top fun, you can hire a local band.
Start the evening with classic cocktails, such as the brandy old-fashioned (a supper club specialty) and gin martini. Put out a lazy Susan appetizer tray to temper the appetite (and the alcohol) until you’re ready to serve. Keep the meal true to its comfort food roots: sizzling prime rib, fluffy baked potatoes, farm-fresh corn, spinach or beans. And for dessert, thick-as-milkshakes ice cream cocktails.
At the end of the evening, your guests will go home relaxed, fully sated and filled with fond memories. Just like they’ve been at a supper club.