Hawthorne ‘hospitality businesses’ throw grand party for neighboring people

See what happens when 35 restaurants lay out their best food, great bands play and offer items to bid …

Nancy Chapin checks in some of the 150 party goers to “Hawthorne: Party On” at Chelsea Ballroom.

There was no shortage of great food at the Hawthorne Business Association’s May 12 event.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The second-story Chelsea Ballroom started filling up promptly as the doors opened for the first-ever at “Hawthorne: Party On” event on May 12.

“We love our neighborhood and wanted to say ‘thank you’ to them,” is how organizer Reese Prouty, chair of the Hawthorne Boulevard Business Association explained it to us. “This is about thanking our neighbors, and at the same time, helps business owners get to know more people in the boulevard.

Greeting neighbors at “Hawthorne: Party On” are organizer Reese Prouty and Michele’s Chirgwin of Michelle’s Chocolate Truffles on SE Hawthorne at 22nd Ave.

Prouty, the owner of Eight Women, a clothing boutique at SE 36th Ave and Hawthorne, told us four bands played, the headliner being Robbie Laws, of PDX Blues Festival fame. “He’s opened up a shop on Hawthorne and teaches guitar lessons ‚Äì and we got him to play!”

Lining the walls of the ballroom were all kinds of food, prepared and presented by 35 restaurants along the boulevard.

Proprietor Steve Brown of Madison’s Grill, and his catering manager, Kelly Walsh (order?) show off their espresso brownies. They shooed away young children, and remarked, “Their parents would never forgive us if we let the kids eat that much caffeine!”For example, Steve Brown, proprietor of Madison’s Grill at SE 11th and Madison delighted diners with Dungeness crab cakes, cheese, espresso brownies and a wasabi cocktail. “We’re a part of the Hawthorne area, and want to introduce more people to our menu to people who are here.”

The Blueprints lay down some great blues music tunes early in the evening. They made way later in the evening for headliner Robbie Laws, who established a studio on Hawthorne and teaches guitar lessons.

To raise additional funds for their organization, the group conducted a silent auction, featuring donated services and merchandise. Nearly 100 items were up for bid. There was a lot of action on two Oregon coast vacation home rentals.

As people continued to pour in, we asked Prouty if the event was worth the work. “Indeed it was. We love to party!”

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

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