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A Golden Grand Reopening for an Iconic D.C. Venue

Ridgewells Catering took its annual Erin Go Glam party to the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium.

Ridgewells Catering hosted the 6th Erin Go Glam at Mellon Auditorium.
Ridgewells Catering hosted the 6th Erin Go Glam at Mellon Auditorium.
Photo: Ronald Flores Photography

Nestled among the museums and stately buildings lining Washington D.C.'s Constitution Avenue sits one of the region's most sought-after event venues. The Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium has been a destination for grand events since its opening in 1935, and has played host to some of our nation's most historic gatherings (such as the 1949 signing of the treaty that established NATO)—not to mention thousands of epic galas and glittering balls, corporate events, and stunning weddings throughout the decades.

After a recent renovation, Mellon Auditorium was awarded a new manager in fall 2023. Ridgewells Catering, a leader in the catering industry with over 95 years of its own history, took control of the keys last October. They immediately set to work to bring their annual glamorous St. Patrick's Day event, named Erin Go Glam, inside the venue's gilded walls.

"For this year's Erin Go Glam, we knew we wanted to focus on gold," says Susan Lacz, Ridgewells Catering's CEO. "Mellon Auditorium is brimming with gold adornments on the walls and ceilings, plus massive stone columns with gilded scrollwork, and the elevator doors, the grand staircase, and front iron gates are dipped in metallics. And everywhere in fashion right now, we're also seeing gold! So, we took this one element of St. Patrick's Day—a pot of gold, really—brought it into this breathtaking venue space, and then spun it into something totally glamorous and unexpected to create a vibe that felt very Met Gala."

Ridgewells co-hosted this year's event with Design Foundry, who created custom gold mirror-topped tables in an almond shape, and laser-cut gold lotus leaves the size of large trees. They also custom-cut ivory rugs to be placed under the tables to create a spectacular aerial view inside the four-story-tall auditorium, a nod to a manicured garden or parterre found on a grand castle estate.

Ridgewells' culinary team and event designers curated an Irish-inspired menu featuring a Smoked Salmon and Boxty first course, a Sous Vide Lamb Loin with Irish Cheddar Potatoes and Mint entree, and Citrus and Honey Milsean with Candied Kumquats and Honeycomb Gems for dessert. Guests were also treated to a proper "High Tea"-style tea station after lunch, and plenty of opportunities for their Instagram-worthy selfies.

A talented team of vendors helped to bring Erin Go Glam to life in 2024. Something Vintage, Table Manners, and Perfect Settings provided furniture rentals, walls, and additional decor to maximize the design impact within the space. Love Life Images designed a photo salon that gave guests a glamorous Oscars-style moment, and Cocktail Curations created an interactive Champagne bar with branded ice and smoke bubbles. Stunning florals were provided by Helen Olivia Flowers, and an interactive pop-up invitation was sent by Sugar Taylor Creative Co. Other activations included a permanent jewelry station, a bar for custom hair bows, and a live artist for sketch portraits.

You can see all of this year's details by following #ErinGoGlam, @ridgewellsdc, and @eventsatmellon on Instagram.