Grandmas supper club this isnt
- Christina Melander
- Portland Tribune - Features
Tracey Miller wants you to come to her themed dinner-and-music extravaganzas at A Supper Club with no expectations.
This seems like a somewhat radical notion in a culture that mines the Web for boundless data before deciding where to eat, what to see and whose personal ad to answer Ñ all in an attempt to divine what the experience will deliver.
But then, the concept is borrowed from progressive Switzerland and the Netherlands, where Miller resided for four years.
Last September, the 24-year-old Portland native returned for a visit. Enamored with her pal Brian Williamson's smooth hotspot, B Complex, and perhaps other stirrings in Portland's nightlife, Miller began to explore opportunities to bring home a bit of the supper club panache she'd witnessed abroad.
After putting on several well-received events, she decided to remain in Bridgetown and see just how far she could drive this thing.
The Euro supper clubs that Miller frequented are similar to raves in that they are often located in out-of-the-way spaces and not advertised except by flier and word of mouth.
'With no idea of what's in store, you pay money at the door in faith that you're going to have a fun night,' Miller says.
In Portland, Miller is striving to create an entertainment that, while not clandestine, is still avant-garde.
'I'm trying to bring a combination of really good music and food É a whole evening of fun where people have cocktails, eat, dance, talk and hear music,' she explains.
Adding an element of performance art are cleverly costumed servers who sometimes are wearing little more than strategic body paint.
Underscoring this is a vibe of exclusivity: A Supper Club isn't something you can go to every weekend. Instead, its events occur just once or twice a month. Employing caterers, Miller already has staged sushi, tapas and Cuban dinners in a storefront next to Mint in North Portland.
Next up, on Jan. 18, is a night of Northwest cuisine and music by DJ Joel School, Halou and Area 54. Dinner and music are $30, drinks and gratuity not included.
Miller is planning a 'Moulin Rouge' affair with a French meal for late February. Also in the works is a possible gourmet club, which would require Miller to install a full kitchen at A Supper Club.
The brainchild of her boyfriend, Kevin McGovney, a chef at Wildwood, the club would consist of monthly wine dinners replete with discussions of the featured fare and recipes for guests to take home.
A Supper Club is located at 820 N. Russell St. For reservations for its Jan. 18 Northwest cuisine dinner, call 503-381-6331, or purchase tickets at Lit, 214 S.W. Eighth Ave.