Wednesday was a big day for Ginny’s Supper Club. The day started at 7am for a photo shoot (more on that later) and went late into the night as we were humbly graced with an incredible performance by the one and only, Ms. Roberta Flack.
I know what it takes to make a restaurant run great night after night, but I was struck by what it took to perfect one musical performance. The roadie crew and the band had been setting up at Ginny’s since the day before and they were all there at 9am, doing sound checks, fixing the lights, and even hauling in a grand piano for the occasion.
What struck me was everyone’s search for excellence. From the drummer Brandon Mollen to sax player Arturo Tappin to that cool-looking piano mover-these guys were there to do a job and they were so focused on the tasks at hand. In the kitchen you quickly learn there’s no room for error-you have a job and you do it well. And that’s what I loved about the mood of the morning. No one had to be told what to do and everyone was there with a purpose-to make the night as perfect as it could be.
And wow, was it memorable. I can’t even begin to tell you how magical the night was. The sold out crowd lined up at 6pm and the place was filled by 7:30pm when dinner service started. I was so happy to see all my friends sharing food, drinking and laughing-the standing-room-only crowd at the bar didn’t mind being shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers. In fact by the end of the night, everyone had pretty much made a new friend.
Ms. Flack requested that absolutely no photos be taken of the performance. In an age when we are constantly on Twitter or Facebook, not being able to capture the moment meant that we could actually be present. But even if you saw a photo of last night you wouldn’t be able to feel the intimacy this legendary performer created. She is my ideal of old school meets new school and she brought an almost spiritual mood to Ginny’s. Her voice is soft and silky and the crowd was transfixed. When she needed it to be quiet, we got quiet. When she wanted us to sing along to “Killing Me Softly” we obliged. We created Ginny’s Supper Club because we wanted people to take in the experience, be in the moment. And last night was just that.
Check out our behind the scenes photos below of Roberta Flack’s performance at Ginny’s Supper Club.
Photos: Jeannette Park
For more photos of my events at Red Rooster Harlem or Ginny’s Supper Club, follow me on Twitter (@MarcusCooks)