You that would judge me. . . come to this hallowed place where my friends' portraits hang and look thereon. . .think where man's glory most begins and ends and say my glory was I had such friends.
-William Butler Yeats
Upper East Side institution Dorrian's Red Hand is celebrating its 50-year Anniversary, and festivities begin tonight with famed karaoke night and continue through the week. It's almost impossible to track Jimmy Dorrian, who admits, "Phones have been ringing off the hook. It's overwhelming." And here it goes again, you think - another obsequious homage to the Preppy Pantheon where ribbon-belts, Republicans, and Nantucket Reds reign. Where the Trinity and Dartmouth grads and the Buckley-cum-Deerfield boys go to consecrate, well. . . themselves (and hit on blondes drowning in a potpourri of Lilly Pulitzer and pearls). Or, perhaps, a desecration of an institution because an E! True Hollywood Story sniffed out a scandal in an island where nothing bad has ever happened anywhere else, like, ever.
You think you know, but you don't know. Come again style.
James, Keith, & Jimmy celebrating St. P's Day
Yeah, there's some of that, but anyone still tossing out the "underage preppies" line can park their car on the corner of Clueless Court and Stupid Street and let their journalism degree R.I.P. if you know what we mean. There'll be a lot of hype this week and every eager beaver and curious George will be sniffing around pestering regulars for the "scoop," the "real deal," the "scandals" and whatever it will take to be hot of the presses style tomorrow morning.
Tuesday night karaoke!
Callum = Monday Night Madness
Alex, Kevin, James, Jimmy, Mike, Kenny
Kerry C. and Dorrian's alum
Jimmy's best friend Harold
And then there's Jimmy's refreshingly simple response when we ask, "What does Dorrian's represent to you? What do these fifty years mean?"
He's shy - more soft-spoken and well-mannered by day than the typical, intimidating bar owner and manager an institution such as Dorrian's Red Hand may conjure (he'd also much rather hand you a beer than discuss his feelings).
"My father Jack had eight mouths to feed," he admits openly. "We're eight brothers and sisters. To our family it represented a means for a man to provide everything a father hopes for his children. . .a home, education. That sort of thing. My father envisioned a place where good food, good friends, good music, and great times all came together under one roof."
And now, as he continues in his father's footsteps, what does Dorrian's mean to Jimmy?
"Friendship," he responds immediately.
There's a frankness and an honesty which disarms. A pride in work ethic and an almost dogmatic (yet impressive) dedication to the old school standards of dress - yes, Dorrian's has a dress code - collared shirts only, please. "It's a melting pot. Downtowners, old-timers, UES regulars. . . you name it. Here we all know your name. And if you're new, we'll know it by the end of the night. I think it's welcoming. I like that."
JBCStyle Creative Director Anisha catches up with Maggie
Ray, a gentleman of the old school
That's exactly why for some of us a celebration is indeed worthy - in a town overridden with velvet ropes and guest lists and plus-ones and who's-who, Dorrian's represents. . . fun. Old school, simple, kick-back, zero pretensions fun.
Sounds pretty basic, but if you think about it, an increasingly rare commodity.
And since we're JBCStyle we gotta end by getting the ultimate inside scoop - the one question even the big bad wolves at Conde Nast tremble to ask. . . hey Jimmy, how will you be spicing up your fall wardrobe this season?
This one spells now-you're-pushing-it, but a little bratty style never did a body harm and we hold steady 'cause frankly, now we really wanna know.
"I did buy a pair of jeans recently," Jimmy declares gruffly, then warming up to it, adds, "They're Diesal."
We think Dorrian's is diesal, Jimmy. As for the festivity line-up? Here's what a little bird told us:
Tonight is alumni karaoke night; tomorrow 80s night; Thursday 90s night; Friday 00s night. We have a professional film crew to do interviews of patrons as well as a photographer. Expect pictures of people from the past decades to be on a slide show on the televisions. Also, returning bartenders will do some guest shifts including Wally Tomenson, Nick Aquavella, Kieran McKay, Jimmy McNally, and others.
Kevin is still missing a sweatshirt
Russo thinks YOU should try the chicken suit
Here's to 50 more of good times and great success, with love and respect to you and your family for providing the real life Cheers. . .