Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
The invitation read: "Attire: Designer Chic . . . Club Dedication: 8 pm" to "Welcome a new era of intriguing international sociability with cosmopolitan people who fully understand as well as enjoy a stylish evening on the town."
It was Monday night's "celebrity inception" of Tiffanne, a club billed as "Washington's first designer bistro." With its flashing red and green lights, revolving mirrored globe, dance floor, and funky music, Tiffanne - which is pronouced like the luxury New York store, "Tiffanne's" - bore more than a passing resemblance to your standard discothque.
Surveying the scene and the crowd of 300, one guest noted that, "Designer chic looks pretty much like your regular chic."
Nonetheless, the gathering seemed to be having a good time. D.C. Council member Douglas Moore was gladhanding members of the crowd. And Susan Truitt, a former television news woman who is running as an at-large candidate for City Council, was introducing herself to potential voters.
"I don't miss being on the tube at all," she told one listener. "I'm into a whole different thing now."
Over the blare of the music, Moore explained his presence thus: "A buddy of mine gave me a ticket. I'd never been here before, but I know a lot of the guys who are involved in the enterprise, and they've been nice. Besides it gives me the opportunity to see some of my constituency and campaign for Barbara Sizemore."
Though the club has been opened for six weeks, one of the owners, William Lindsay, explained that they were "just getting around to a grand opening because of all the changes that had to be made." Tiffanne's occupies the space of a now defunct disco called the Zanzibar.
Lindsay, who with another partner, Malcolm Beech, is also a partner in two other clubs, Foxtrappe and Raphael's also spent some of his time explaining that the club's name didn't rhyme with "van."
No one was dwelling on the club's name for too long, however. Too much else was going on in the room. Women swept through in voluminous dresses, some bare-shouldered, others in revealing wrapped dresses and head gear. There was a champagne fountain spewing forth bubbly and quite a few spiffily dressed men talking about consulting and lawyering while their eyes flicked back and forth across the crowd at different women.
At about 8, the gyrating people on the dance floor were interrupted while the evening's guests of honor were presented, and here, for the first time, came the international flavor.
Besides Moore, honorees included former D.C. Superior Court Judge Harry T. Alexander; Petey Green; Joseph Yeldell; Michael Hadid, a Palestinian fashion designer who just opened a croupier school and owns Georgetown's Classic Motors and classic limousine service; and Jean Pierre Sarfati, who runs Hair, Inc.
When pressed for more international flavor points, Lindsay gestured at the bartender and said, "He's Persian and one of our hostesses is Hawaiian, though she looks more Chinese."
Hadid added that one of the people in his group was a German model.
Lindsay said that the group decided to open another club because other two were private. "This is a public place and everyone can come."
Making his way through the thick crowd, past the fountain, past the women, past the Hawaiian-Chinese hostess, one man said as he faded out of sight down the stairs, "This is a regular club, a regular joint, a place where you stop in after work. It's nice, but I don't know about chic."