Call Sheet #149: Holiday Party Tracking, Cowie Launches Destination Weddings, Reaching Gay Professionals

BIZBASH CALL SHEET — #149 — Tuesday, 11.22.11

Compiled today by Chad Kaydo and Jana Schiowitz in New York
Feed the Sheet: [email protected]


1. HOLIDAY PARTY TRACKING: Venues around the U.S. aren't seeing a rise in corporate party bookings, but New York restaurants and event spaces are enjoying an uptick. From November 28 through December 21, New York venues Gotham Hall, Bryant Park Grill, and Robert at the Museum of Art and Design are booked for events celebrating the holiday season. According to a survey by firm Amrop Battalia Winston of 120 U.S.-based companies, those hosting parties aren't going over the top and are hosting lunchtime affairs rather than nightly events. Crain's New York (subscribers only):

2. COWIE'S DESTINATION WEDDINGS: Colin Cowie announced Monday that he is launching a destination wedding business, with packages starting at $1,500 at Mexican and Dominican resort properties. They include a supervising planner, ceremony site, seating, chair covers, flowers, cake, champagne, and other elements. Reception packages are also available. USA Today:

3. L.G.B.T. NETWORKING SITE:, a multi-platform site connecting gay business professionals, is attracting marketers and brands like David Yurman, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Wells Fargo. The Web site features hosts networking events; General Motors sponsored a series of brunches in Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Bill Stewart, chairman of the board and marketing adviser to the company: "There’s a very high concentration of trend-setter and trend influencers in the LGBT community, and I think advertisers have realized that." The New York Times:

4. BRANDS' FACEBOOK WISH LIST: Ad Age has a list of five changes brand marketers would like to see on Facebook. Those include more control over brand status updates, third-party tracking within social ads, and competitive separation.

5. VICTORIA'S SECRET FAN REACH: The company is one of the leading brands in social media, with 15.7 million fans on Facebook and 254,000 Twitter followers. The brand posts advertising, news on store openings, holiday lingerie line info, and promotions for its fashion show, airing November 29 on CBS. Dan Clifford, vice president of marketing: "[W]e don't look at one medium vs. another. Social is incorporated across all our campaigns and leveraged as an integrated tool alongside other mediums." Investor's Business Daily:


COAST TO COAST: National event series Cochon announced that its 10-city U.S. culinary competition tour will kickoff January 22 in New York with tastings and other happenings promoting heritage breed pigs and breed diversity.

BOSTON: The Hawthorne, a craft cocktail lounge from Jackson Cannon, opened Monday in Hotel Commonwealth. The space is available for buyout, and has a private room with its own bar. Menu items include curry and garlic popcorn, deviled eggs, and sticky toffee pudding.

Towne Stove and Spirits will host a Boston party for Esquire magazine's "Best New Restaurants in America" issue December 5. Sponsors include Buick, Heineken, and Basil Hayden's.

CHICAGO: M Burger has a new, 50-seat location at Water Tower Place. The Lettuce Entertain You restaurant is available for buyout and serves burgers, fries, milkshakes, and draft beers.
Urban Union, a new restaurant, will open on Taylor Street next month. The menu will focus on small plates and raw bar selections, and a 10-seat chef's table will accommodate semiprivate groups.

LeakyCon, a convention for Harry Potter fans, takes place at the Hilton Chicago August 9-12. The event's Web site promises "Wizard Rock" and more.

LAS VEGAS: MarketWatch: "The Las Vegas tourism industry continues to show signs of a steady recovery, with officials forecasting 39 million visitors to the destination in 2011, only the second time in history they will reach that mark."

LOS ANGELES: The Recording Academy announced Monday the newest inductees to its Grammy Hall of Fame. The 25 recordings include Bruce Springsteen's “Born in the U.S.A.” album and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech. The Grammy Museum displays the collection.

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA: The InterContinental Miami will debut its arts program with photographer David Siqueiros, who will showcase black and white photographs featuring Andy Warhol.

Brio Tuscan Grille opened a new location at the Shops at Boca Center in Boca Raton, serving northern Italian cuisine.

Chef Allen Susser recently opened the Burger Bar by Chef Allen, which has industrial-style interiors and an expansive outdoor bar area. It serves burgers topped with edible 23-carat gold.
NEW YORK: Betsey Johnson is designing a Christmas tree for the Plaza Hotel's foyer, inspired by book character Eloise. Johnson will also have a holiday pop-up shop in the hotel. CBS News:

Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare, Daniel, Eleven Madison Park, Jean Georges, Le Bernardin, Masa, and Per Se all earned three stars in the Michelin Guide New York City 2012. International Business Times:

ORLANDO: The space that housed Samba Room on Sand Lake Road will become Rocco's Tacos and Tequila Bar next spring. This is the first Orlando location for the South Florida chain. The 8,200-square-foot restaurant will have a large patio and bar overlooking Big Sand Lake and several private dining rooms.

TORONTO: The fifth annual Winter Magic began yesterday and will continue through December 31, displaying a 40-foot light tree, 3D polar bears, 3D sleigh and reindeer, and events such as Illuminite, Window Wonderland, Kidzfest, Buskertainment and Ice, and Wine & Dine.

WASHINGTON: The Reston Town Center will hold its annual Reston holiday parade Friday with large balloons, musicians, dancers, and antique cars.

“Top Chef” alum Spike Mendelsohn announced Monday that he is opening another location of his burger joint Good Stuff Eatery in Crystal City in spring 2012.

YOUR NEWS: What are you doing? Tell us: [email protected]. 

With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, Carla Warrilow in Toronto, and Matthew Mogavero, Jana Schiowitz, Anna Sekula, Courtney Thompson, and Katherine Zoeller in New York.

BizBash Call Sheet is the must-read daily digest of event industry news from 

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