For six years now, the Standard Club, 320 S. Plymouth Ct., has thrown an annual When Harry Met Sally event-a singles mixer with great food, good music, expensive drinks and, if you grew up on the North Shore or attended Latin or Parker, very familiar faces. Although I grew up in Rogers Park, I attended Highland Park High School, so the party felt like a reunion of sorts-even though my 30-plus age group seems to be in the minority these days.Founded in 1869, the SC is a private club with a 2,000-member cap (the roster is currently at about 1,900 members). I’m not a member myself-that $90 monthly fee is a bit steep for my pocketbook-but for some, the perks are worth it. As my friend Mr. Popular, a member since 2000, puts it: “The Standard Club is a place for young professionals to mingle with the most important business people in the community, entertain clients and, most importantly, meet other like-minded young people in a social setting outside of the bar and club scene.”
Almost 300 people attended Friday’s event; members paid a $35 entrance fee, non-members $45. A hefty cover charge, I thought-although I’m told prices may be lower for future events-but a fun night, nonetheless. It’s an oddly nostalgic scene, filled with mostly 20-somethings dressed in hip-casual attire (denim is discouraged, but that didn’t stop me and most of my friends). Many even liken these parties to a grown-up bar mitzvah due to the large Jewish contingency, but instead of finding someone to share that champagne snowball dance with, many women attend looking for life partners.
“Girls are looking to find a husband; guys are looking to hook up,” Mr. Popular says. “If the girls were open to hooking up and the guys were open to being in a relationship, everyone could be happy!”
That’s a big if. Others simply use the night to catch up with old friends over potent $9 cocktails. Hey, Harry and Sally started off as friends, and look how they ended up. As for me, most of the men I’ve dated in the past were friends first, so who knows which of the room’s familiar faces could end up as my Harry? I bumped into a couple of old friendly flings-but only one who might still have potential.
The party lasted until midnight, at which time most of the attendees jetted over to Reserve, for the official after-party, or to The Underground. As my posse exited, we saw one very pooped party-goer passed out on a bench in a common area of the club. One too many of those pricey cocktails, I guess.