The Scene: The opening Thursday of the $4-million, two-level, 12,500-square-foot Stringfellows restaurant/club in Beverly Hills’ new Two Rodeo Drive complex. The club is the creation of Peter Stringfellow, who owns similar establishments in London, New York and Miami. “This is the jewel in the crown,” Stringfellow said .
Who Was There: About 850 guests flowed through, including Rod Stewart, Dolph Lundgren, Brigitte Nielsen, Wilt Chamberlain, ex-Monkey Mickey Dolenz, real estate broker Fred Silverman, Nina Blackwood, Gabe Kaplan, Alan Thicke and Vanna White.
Who Wasn’t There: In the wishful-thinking department, the guest-list advertised Kevin Costner, Eddie Murphy, Richard Gere, Tom Cruise, Roseanne Barr and Arsenio Hall (who was being honored that night at the Brotherhood Crusade dinner at the Beverly Hilton).
The Setting: The restaurant is on the first floor. There are two bars and seating for 100 inside and 50 on the patio. The floor is white oak, the walls are either mirrored or covered with gray carpet. The upstairs club is carpeted in black, the walls lined with the same engraved mirrors seen in the dining area. Seating is in pink leather banquettes--a Stringfellow trademark. The dance floor is glass with a neon butterfly set in the center. “It’s sooooooo ‘70s disco,” was the oft-repeated remark.
Fashion Statement: An on-duty Beverly Hills cop, wearing his police uniform, aviator glasses, motorcycle boots and a black turtleneck, wandered through the Armani-clad crowd. He’d accessorized with gun, Mace, handcuffs and radio gear and looked for all the world like one of the Village People.
Chow: Chef Margaret Fischlein presented an excellent buffet of what she calls “California cuisine with a Mediterranean twist.” There was grilled squab salad, roulade of chicken filled with mashed potatoes and olives, pepper beef with Guinness Stout sauce and steamed prawns with English mustard and miso.
Quoted: “I’m not here to be the flavor of the month,” said Peter Stringfellow. “I want to be a part of the Los Angeles/Beverly Hills scene. I’d like to be the Wolfgang Puck of clubs. There’s a tradition in Los Angeles that this is a city of dreamers. I’m one of them.”
Charm School: Peter Stringfellow, 50, is the personification of British charm. He’s a wellspring of charm, a fountainhead of charm. Charm bubbles within him, then oozes with such regularity that one half expects little droplets of the stuff to form at the ends of his earlobes, falling off to form puddles of charm at his feet. However, he is taking his charm back to England soon.
The Buzz: The betting was the club would survive, perhaps even prosper. “It’ll do a good Westside business,” said one jaded night-life veteran.