From Soho Club to Café Hadrien in Paris, a Four-Hour Christmas

The tables were set, the trays of leftover turkey, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes were mopped up, and the bowl of cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes were open for business. The Soho SoHo dating…

From Soho Club to Café Hadrien in Paris, a Four-Hour Christmas

The tables were set, the trays of leftover turkey, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes were mopped up, and the bowl of cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes were open for business.

The Soho SoHo dating agency was a full house. There were three tables set up at either end of the hall. There were no empty tables, and for the first time since a tuxedoed Mr. Lord took over the bar in 1997, the club was packed to capacity. If, as the night’s emcee said, the memory of a Thanksgiving was what would be remembered for the next two decades, there was something else afoot.

There had been an open bar, but no music, so the bar’s soundtrack consisted mostly of Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville” and Styx’s “Renegade,” and when his microphone was handed over to me and my colleagues, I could tell it was because Mr. Lord had made the decision to get booze for people who wanted to dance. “These people wanna drink,” he said when we left. “I have no way of denying that.”

He got down on his knees, and someone sang the Beatles “In My Life.” At one point he removed his tie and made a little dance-around-the-room number with my colleagues. You could see them walk him to the bathroom as they watched, happy. All around us, people were standing up and dancing, swaying from side to side. We went back to my table and settled down for dinner, but we took turns texting with our friends and laughing our heads off until we got up and danced with one another around the table. I was friends with the valet at First Avenue Jewelers — I’m not supposed to say anything about the shoes he was wearing. “Is it $300?” one of them asked me. “Probably,” I said. “But do you think I should be posting this?” “Just put your phone on silent,” he said. I didn’t do that.

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