The Most Creative and Simultaneously Self-Deprecating Birthday Bash Award Goes to …

Rockit Ranch’s Arturo Gomez. Upon entering his party last Wednesday at The Underground, every guest was handed a pair of thick, black-plastic eyeglass frames and instructed to wear them throughout the evening, so that everyone resembled the guest of honor, whose ubiquitous Prada specs never leave his face. A roomful of pretty people sporting nerdy glasses? Priceless. Even celebrity spinner DJ Cassidy got into the act.

Cocktail waitresses sport Gomez’s signature look.

Will the real Arturo Gomez please stand up? That’s he (right) with DJ Cassidy.

Quotes and Notes:

“That guy stole your drink!”
–My friend Jennifer, after witnessing The Drink Snatcher reach over and grab my Effen Black Cherry and 7-Up off our table at The Underground. The staff offered to kick him out, but I decided to let him have it. Hey, it was Thanksgiving weekend.

“He’s only the best manager in the history of professional baseball. He should’ve managed the Sox.”
–My brother, in an effort to explain to me who former Cubs manager and all-around-loveable guy Don Zimmer is, while we dined next to him at La Scarola. (My brother, if you couldn’t tell, is a diehard Sox fan.)

Zimmer—a.k.a. Popeye—with my brother

“We have a VIP approaching; [Mr. Popular] is heading in with his crew right now.”
–The doorman at Manor into his ear mic, 10 minutes after my pal Mr. Popular texted that he was on his way into the club. We were swiftly tucked into an elevated VIP booth by club host Kwesi Dei and treated like royalty by doting cocktail waitresses. Money talks, people.

Membership has its privileges at Manor.

“I just taped three episodes of Entourage; I play E’s friend from Queens.”
–On-the-rise actor Jordan Elliot, at The Underground on Friday night, referring to the fifth season of my favorite show. He was in town for Thanksgiving; his parents live in the Gold Coast.

“We don’t carry Effen Vodka.”
–A Japonais waitress—to my girlfriends and me, all Effen drinkers—at dinner over the weekend. I settled on a potent cucumber vodka martini (or two).

“It’s hard to shop in this environment. I prefer to buy Prada without food and drinks and DJs distracting me.”
–A guest at Prada’s private benefit (and who’s who of the social set) for the Ounce of Prevention Fund on Tuesday.

Most Interesting Press Release of the Week:

“For the third straight year, Schoolyard Tavern has hosted the biggest mustache party. During the weeks leading up to the event, guys grow amazing mustaches to earn their free beer. If a girl allows the Schoolyard staff to draw a mustache on her or wear a fake mustache, she gets a free bottle of Mad Dog, which comes in the delightful flavors of grape, strawberry-kiwi, and orange.”
–On the bar’s Merry Mustachmas III party, December 21 at 9 p.m.

Mustaches are the new black.

Things to Do Tonight (Thursday) …

• Lose your shirt at Aces UP!, a benefit for Urban Prep Academies. Your fellow players will include Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, Richard Roeper, and former Chicago Bear Christopher Zorich. Cocktail hour starts at 5 p.m., and the tourney runs from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Westin Chicago River North. Sign up here.

• Relive the nineties. Vanilla Ice stops by McFadden’s Saloon tonight from 10 p.m. to midnight, in support of his latest album, Platinum Underground. Rumor has it the last time he made an appearance at McFadden’s, he busted out an impromptu “Ice, Ice, Baby,” so you definitely don’t want to miss this—or maybe you do. Specials include $5 martinis, $3 Blue Moon drafts, $3 Coors Light bottles, and scantily clad girls.

• Redo your man’s wardrobe. TK Men, Haberdash, and Halo for Men host a fashion show and silent auction at Crimson Lounge benefiting the lesbian, gay, and bisexual health organization Howard Brown. Gain entry and access to a hosted cocktail reception from 9 to 11 p.m. with an e-mail to

… And Tomorrow:

• New club alert! All you 4 a.m. nightlifers have another reason to stay out late: Mannequin—the new bar from the folks who brought us the venue’s former tenant, Rive Gauche (1999-2004)—opens Friday. The 10,000-square-foot space now features display cases stocked with (you guessed it) mannequins, plus a lighter, fresher décor scheme.

Photography: (Images 1 through 4) Courtesy of Sarah Preston; (Image 5) Courtesy of Four Corners Tavern Group