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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Notes before I go...

I'm leaving...on a jet plane...Actually, I'm getting ready to get out of town for a few days. No, not legal trouble, vacation in the Jerz and New York if you must know. Anywho, isn't it always the busiest EVER just before you leave town? Wowza.

Thus, I shall regale you with several tales before I depart.

1. Fish is launching our new, late Automne menu (French spelling, people) tonight. Main course highlights include cassoulet, coq au vin (Keegan Filion Farms chicken) and triggerfish. Personally, I am all about some cassoulet.

2. Election Day at Fish goes a little something like this. All of you good citizens get out there and vote (sidenote: have you seen this?). Upon exiting the polls, enter Fish. The bar has two T.V.s for your viewing pleasure. Plus, $5 politically-inspired cocktails (Ask Evan.), $6 - $8 small plates, and of course, our new dinner menu. Bring your posse and belly up to the bar I say.

3. For the upcoming Ralph Lauren photo shoot at Lowndes Grove, they're looking for a circa 1970s Cadillac convertible and/or a 2002 TTI BMW. If anyone has either of these, could you drop a line? Thanks.

4. Happy Halloween, since I won't be seeing you. Remember, pennies do not treats make.

Friends in need

I wrote the other day about the torrential rains last Friday, and how our event staff and planning team weathered the storm. Yesterday I heard how the rain resulted in severe damage to some of our farms. I'm the first to admit that when bad weather comes, it takes me a few moments to realize the impact it will have on oh, say ALL THE THINGS THAT GROW and the people who nurture and tend that growth. But it's the reality, and some of our friends (Rita Bachmann of Rita's Roots) were devastated by last week's storm. I share this as a point of a community understanding, a call for empathy. And though we understand that plants and crops do grow again, we also understand that a lost crop is lost money to folks who rely upon it. I guess what I'm talking about is compassion for each other, in good weather and in bad. It's certainly time.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Neither rain nor downpour nor torrents of water...

How about that rain on Friday, people? We are talking buckets of rain, n'est-ce pas? The event staff at The William Aiken House (Kris, Rachel, Shannon, Richard et al) certainly earned their stripes at Friday's wedding. Despite a record rainfall, our pal Luke Wilson and his team of superstars , photographer Squire Fox and the entire event staff made what could have sincerely become a washout (pun intended) a truly fabulous event. That's what we call grace and professionalism, folks. Congratulations to all. You have done your wellies proud.

Yesterday, Nico cooked for a small group of about, ohhhhh, 200 for the Aquarium's Sustainable Seafood Festival. And he still had time to create a new, late Autumn menu to be launched this week.

Oh, and breaking news: we just confirmed a photo shoot at Lowndes Grove for Ralph Lauren. They'll be shooting photos and video for their Rugby line. Preppy co-eds on the river, y'all!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Design Walk Highlights!

Last night's Upper King Design Walk was a smashing success. Did you see? Were you there? The streets were packed; every shop had a great crowd and the energy was just phenomenal. Check out the funny write up from City Paper's Erica Jackson here. And, check out TheDigitel's cool video too.

We here at PP had a thoughtful strategy for the evening and it worked out even better than planned.

1. Meet at Fish for pre-walk cocktail. (I had the Upper King Design Walk signature cocktail, the High Fashion.) Got to see pals from Blue Ion and MUSC.

2. Said hi to super songstress Elise Testone and pianoman Gerald Gregory. Sipped our drinks.

3. Said hey to Margaret from Skirt! and fabulous photographer Marni Rothschild Durlach who popped in to shoot Elise for perhaps an upcoming edition? Finished drinks.

4. Walked in and out of neighborhood shops, ate some delicious snacks, had a yummy snowcone (thanks, Elizabeth!), saw innumerable friends and colleagues (you know you who are!) and shopped (a supersweet fedora and amazing green bag were among the purchases. Thanks, Gus and Andrea!)

5. Returned to the Fish bar, now packed, to listen to Elise and Gerald. P.S. "Boogie On Reggae Woman," "Walking After Midnight" and "Virtual Insanity" were a few of the highlights. I KNOW!

To sum up, the Upper King Design Walk was incredible. Personally, it was especially moving to watch our neighbors and friends who have gutted it out these past few months, amid much uncertainty, revel in their respective businesses, the thing they love to do most and just shine brightly.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Upper King Design Walk Tonight

Starting...now! Come visit all of your favorite Upper King haunts, like B'Zar, Lesesne, Blue Bicycle Books, Max Jerome...and, of course, Fish! Remember, Elise Testone and Gerald Gregory begin at 6 pm. See you soonest.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

All manner of good stuff

About to head over to Whole Foods in Mt. Pleasant to watch Nico prepare some fabulous slow cooked triggerfish. If you're out and about in Mt. P around 6 pm, plan on stopping by. You too could have a recipe card and a Q&A with our dear Frenchman!

As I've mentioned before, all manner of interesting things happen here at PP. Recently, Ginny Deerin, CEO/founder of wings contacted Managing Partner about our use of social media (blog, Twitter, Flickr). So, yesterday Randall and I met with Ginny to talk about what's worked for us, and, more importantly, we got to take a peek at wings in progress. In a nutshell, wings is an after school program for kids at Memminger Elementary and Chicora Elementary. But it's much much more. Wings is about nurturing social and emotional intelligence in children in a dynamic, fun and safe environment. At one point, Program Director Ericka Parker asked the children to recite the wings creed, and let me just tell you, more than 50 voices, ages 5 through 12, spoke those words (and it's NOT short) with unbelievable exuberance. It was impossible not to feel hopeful and wonderful after a moment like that. What's happening in that classroom is something we can all feel hopeful about, no matter what the news tells us.

Tomorrow is the Upper King Design Walk and, of course, it's also the day that Elise Testone and Gerald Gregory perform, so it's sure to be big fun. All of our neighborhood shops will be staying open late, and you know Fish will be jumping, too.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Naked moo shu, the death of Zima & Whole Foods

In office news, today our staff accountant Elena ordered her moo shu NAKED. I know, it's darn near illegal, but she did and said it was quite delicious.

If you haven't been outside yet today, you need to stop reading this blog immediately and get out there. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Lovely, right?

While you're feeling good, please brace yourself for this rather upsetting bit of news. The malt-liquor magic that was Zima is coming to an end. (Moment of silence.) When I shared this news earlier with a few PP staffers, I was regaled with no less than three stories of the Jolly-Rancher-in-the-Zima phenomenon. Class? Anyone? Rite of passage or just unfortunate common first-time drinking story? You decide. At any rate, don't fret, there's still Boone's Farm.

In tastier news, tomorrow at 6 pm, Nico will be doing a fabulous cooking demonstration at Whole Foods in Mt. Pleasant. Our main Frenchman will be preparing slow cooked triggerfish, which is just ridiculously good. Stop by for fun and fantastic prizes, including a recipe card, Q&A time with Nico and, the best part, a sample of the dish. Several PP staffers will be on hand to heckle, I mean, cheer Nico on. We'll save you a seat.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Lowndes Grove Super Trooper

Super trooper, and I mean that in the goes-above-and-beyond-the-call-of-duty as opposed to the ABBA way. That's Laurel Prasch, one of our illustrious Lowndes Grove event managers, helping set up plates for Saturday's wedding while she's nursing a broken foot. How's that for dedication, folks?

In other Lowndes Grove news, check out some wonderful shots taken by photographer Jill Higgins. While I'm at it, don't miss our pal Leigh Webber's finely tuned vision in these lovely moments from The William Aiken House.

And, take some first glances at The American Theater Grand Ballroom. Thanks to Clara from Tiger Lily florist for the beautiful centerpieces, our expert shooter Brennan Wesley and The William Aiken House event staff who put the room together with lightning speed TWICE!

Friday, October 17, 2008

So, about that economy...

I haven't spoken much about the economic brouhaha everyone's experiencing, but if you've been in downtown Charleston lately, you know that the streets and cash registers have been awfully quiet. That being said, I believe tough times often inspire people to come together and get creative. Read a New York Times article about NYC restaurants extending their hours in an effort to bring in more patrons and revenue, or in some cases, trimming their prices. (P.S. At the other end of the spectrum are flagrant displays of wealth like this.)

Our neighbors at B'Zar are profiled in today's Charleston Regional Business Journal for their talent in marketing themselves via social media sites like Facebook. As you know, we here at PP are big fans of social media. Oh yeah, we Twitter. And the results are often near instantaneous and nearly always inspiring. Check out the supercool visual examples our friends at Blue Ion did. And did I mention it's free? In this economy we all need to find ways to reach each other...and it usually starts right in our own neighborhood.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

For our next trick, pumpkin carving!

I work with the coolest people. Josh Moore, one of the Fish line cooks, created this fabulous jack-o-lantern for no other reason than he wanted to. He also makes some mean moo shu. And, he and Pastry Chef Susie Ieronemo made me laugh out loud, all before 11 am. See? Good people.

P.S. Should you be out and about tonight, don't forget: Elise Testone and Matt Chase play from 6 until 9 pm. If you're lucky, she might play her kazoo. And, she takes requests.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fish loves a good debate: join us tonight at the bar!

As you may know, tonight is the final Presidential debate (is that a nationwide collective sigh of relief I hear?). Rather than sit at home and play drinking games (during the VP debate, "maverick" did all but do a girl in), why not join us at the bar at Fish? Why? Because from 6 until 9 pm, you can relax to the sounds of the Charlton Singleton Trio, have a bite to eat and just generally center yourself. Which, when you think about, is the perfect way to prepare for how fired up you'll be during the debate. (No slinging dim sum in anger at the t.v. screen.) And, our resident mixologist and favorite cherub, Evan Powell has created a signature political cocktail: The Obiden. What's that you ask? Take the cocktail classic that is a sidecar. This is a new twist on the classic, much like Obama has a new way of looking at old politics. The bitters and sugar in the Obiden symbolize both good times and the bad…the things both men have overcome/survived and the sweet times ahead when get elected! Oh, and the blue curacao symbolizes the Democratic party…and one more thing: the brandy has its roots in ancient Greece and Rome, the birthplace of democracy! See, you think you're just getting a great cocktail, but you're also getting a great story. See you at the bar, friends.

The American photo shoot

Our pal, photographer Brennan Wesley took some fantastic photos of The American Theater yesterday for some upcoming promotion/spreading of the gospel. Let me just tell you how good that Grand Ballroom looks all dolled up for an event! Many thanks to General Manager Kris Rowe and Rachel, Shannon and Sarah from the event staff who flipped the room in mere moments so we could shoot the room in different "outfits!" Photos to come soon.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The secret life of Elizabeth Kitchin

Director of Human Resources by day, back up singer with The Drifters by night. You heard it here.

Friday, October 10, 2008

It's random Friday at Patrick Properties!

What a week it's been, kids. Just to let you in on a taste of what goes on behind the scenes in Charleston's finest hospitality company, I offer you the following array of randomness.

At left: our pals and neighborhood quality beef producers at Cordray's apparently dabble in other forms of...um, game? GATOR!

Below are Hanz & Franz, former residents of the Lowndes Grove Main House, now adding "character" and not just a little levity to the Lowndes Grove sales office.

And finally this is Hitachino, a lovely Japanese beer with one of the best designed labels (you know what a sucker I am for design) I have seen in a while. It's served at Fish. I highly recommend it. Especially after a week like this. Hanz and Franz haven't tried it yet, but they are more into Prosecco anyway.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Class is in session

The other night, Managing Partner Randall Goldman and I got to hang out with College of Charleston Professor Robert Stockton and his architecture class at The William Aiken House. The house encompasses four different architectural styles which makes it a bit of an enigma in Charleston. It also makes for a very concise tour: 4 styles in one house, so it lends itself to class tours. Professor Stockton has nearly encyclopediac knowledge of The House. In fact, back when Glenn Keyes Architects tackled the renovation of the house, Glenn and Professor Stockton spent much researching its history together. It's always interesting to walk through any of our properties with someone who can illuminate elements you might not have noticed or thought about from that particular perspective. Of course, that's one of the wonderful things about historic properties, the abundance of details and compelling stories.

For me personally, the whole experience was enhanced by Professor Stockton himself. He speaks slowly with a smooth Biloxi accent. And, (I hope he doesn't mind me saying this) he sort of resembles Donald Sutherland, which lends him an authoritative yet approachable, charming vibe. What can I say? Guess I'm a sucker for smooth talking architectural historians.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Instant moo shu, like instant karma, but tastier.

No sooner did I send out the alert on the Fish $10 lunch via email, Twitter, etc etc. did some folks over at TheDigitel waltz on over, eat some moo shu, then write and post a snazzy write-up. Poof, instant review!

Okay, new topic. If you happen to be the person at your company who is responsible for the holiday party, may I offer a couple of suggestions. (Not that there is, in theory, anything wrong with pigs in blanket and Swiss Miss, but you know, just in case.)

We here at PP have a lovely array of historic properties just perfect for your holiday shindig. For instance, go holiday-Deco at The American Theater Grand Ballroom. Or, live the estate life for a hot minute at the Lowndes Grove Main House. Better yet, go downhome at the Lowndes Grove River House. Perhaps a Lowcountry supper at The William Aiken House? A seated dinner at Fish. You think about it. Let us know.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The $10 lunch. Yes, really.

Here's the thing: we think lunch should fill you up not clean you out.

Hence, the $10 lunch at Fish.

Starting today, lunch at Fish is $10. That includes your entrĂ©e, fountain drink and tax. That’s right: ONE Alexander Hamilton. (Or TWO Lincolns or TEN Washingtons, etc.)

So, say you come in and order shrimp moo shu with the local tomato salad and a coke. $10.

Or maybe you fancy the seared tuna salad with the cilantro yuzu dressing and a sweet tea. Oh, just $10.

Actually, what you really want is a bowl full of steamy pho noodle soup with chicken and a seltzer. That will be $10, thanks.


Why are we doing this, you ask?

Because...multi-billion bailout, anyone?

Because we want to be your regular lunch spot.

Because we now have a great big bar and why don’t you come by?

Because food is a comfort, and we'd like comfort to stay affordable.
We look forward to seeing you soon.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Did someone say speakeasy?

Not only is Jessica Kafer a fine Corporate Sales Manager here at PP, she is also someone near and dear to my heart. And, she's one of the funniest people I know. Sometimes I think we shared the same childhood. So, I want you to know her and love her like I do, hence I've asked her to be today's guest blogger. Please make her feel right at home!

Can we talk about the American Theater? Of course we can because I’m in charge and the new ballroom is freakin’ fantastic! (Can I say freakin’?) I know, I’m the sales manager and you think I’m supposed to say that, but my job is great. I get to see the look on lots of faces that are seeing the ballroom for the first time, and let me just say that it is rewarding.

You see, we (me + clients) talk about the old theater and how it is hard to imagine that this new space exists, and we need to sing about it from the rooftops. We admire those ridiculously cool new chandeliers. We talk about making custom posters for the marquees. We have this great idea about pre-dinner cocktails in the lobby with parmesan truffle popcorn and old fashioned cocktails. We talk about cigarette girls and speakeasies, we become like family or at least old friends then we hug it out, grinning ear to ear. It is good times, and I love every minute of it.

I know it’s not up to me what you type of event you plan at the theater, but I love that space and it deserves a good party. If you care about my happiness at all, then here are my wishes.

1. Speakeasy! Secret knock or password at the street front ticket booth. Bathtub gin and moonshine. Oysters Rockefeller. Live music and guests dancing the Charleston. Debauchery!

2. A holiday party with a fake fireplace projected on the 9x12 screen on the stage. The Beach Boys and the Partridge Family Christmas albums piped in through the sound system. Turtlenecks, gaudy cardigans, lots of laughs, corny gifts. Don’t judge.

3. A realistic holiday party with a fun-loving group of folks. Hot cider, secret Santas, cranberry, pumpkin, roasted game, red wine. A trio of musicians in the background.

4. Ryan & Grayson’s wedding. Theme is The Notebook (one of their favorite movies & so happens the big date scene was filmed here). Okay, so it’s not a theme per se, it is art deco elegance and style. Dapper. Candlelit, creams, gold. Tuxes, gowns.

5. Corporate meeting that uses every inch of new technology in our projection booth. Now that the presidential debates are over, I guess I’ll settle for the State of the Union Address. Does it have to take place in DC or is location optional?

Call me. (843) 737.9225
Email me. jessica@patpropevents.com

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Good and good for you.

This edition of the PP blog is fortified with 9 essential vitamins!

What a day here at PP. Busy, busy. Executive Chef Nico Romo and Chef de Cuisine Charron Henry will be cooking tonight at the 13th Annual Charleston Stage Gala at the Gaillard. The fundraiser will feature 15 chefs and Greg Tavares from the HaveNots! is master of ceremonies who will lead the party in a Musical Salute to Hollywood Musicals. THAT should be priceless. Sneek peek of Nico's menu:

amuse bouche
Local Shrimp Lollipop
Sweet Soy Ginger Ice Cream with Spicy Crushed Cashew

first course
Grouper, Clams, Mussels, Fingerling Potatoes, Bok Choy,
Fennel, Mushrooms, Thai Coconut Broth

second course
Chocolate, Ginger Braised Short Ribs
Nori Rice Cake, Candied Haricot Vert


A Trio Mini Cheesecakes
Hot Chocolate, Raspberry and Peach

In other news, our pals Elise Testone and Matt Chase are playing at Fish tonight from 6 to 9. Don't miss it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Divine American Theater

The team at Glenn Keyes Architects was at it again this summer, turning The American Theater’s concession area and back theater into 2,300 square feet of elegant and glamorous Grand Ballroom space (accommodates 140 seated, 250 theater or 160 classroom style guests). I know, you were wondering what all that banging was about, right?

I use the word DIVINE on purpose and believe you me, I don't throw Miss M's image around lightly. But I am just saying this Grand Ballroom is just that. Details include two, handmade milk glass chandeliers and a warm, stylish Art-Deco palette (think creams and celestial gold). Very gorgeous, very elegant, very retro. And also, so very modern with all the hot tech/A/V equipment one needs for a truly fabulous celebration. (a 9 x 12 screen with ceiling mounted projector, state-of-the-art AMX A/V system, multiple handheld, lapel and headset microphones and a 340-square-foot stage for presentations/performances)

I'll tell you a secret: Corporate Sales Manager Jessica Kafer and I are both dying for someone, somewhere to have a Prohibition-themed party in the Grand Ballroom. Wouldn't that just be the most fun? Do it. Who isn't crying out for a Prohibition-themed company holiday party? Call Jessica, she has special packages and pricing too. 843.737.9225