Great Gatsby Gala 2013Pat Kusek Financial Group presents the 3rd Annual Great Gatsby Gala hosted by Jess James at The City Club inspired by the Great American Novel and the joie de vivre of the Jazz Age glamourized by Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Get ready for some Roaring 20’s reverie! As the City Club’s only event open to the public, The City Club will offer an exclusive discount (80% discount!) for membership sign-up the night of the event only.

“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate.” – Jordan Baker


*  Delicious food, Prohibition era cocktails, 1920‘s music and Great Gatsby viewing in the garden.

*  Gatsby models in 1920‘s finery with hair by Emily Rodriguez and Monica Kelly of Steven Ward Hair, Makeup by Amy Kennison and enchanted deco decor by Kickstand Events

*  Jazz Age inspired shopping with aMuse, A Second Time Around, Front Street Optometric Care, Lumina Gem + more! Por Cel Ain

*  Speakeasy: Members Only (code word will be provided) Burlesque show with nationally renowned Burlesque dancer Por Cel Ain. Sign up that night to enter!

*  Portraits in the Garden with Artist Kat Christian and Photo Booth with Bella Rose Photography.

*  Coveted charity raffle prizes to benefit Kids Making It, “The Bee’s Knees” wardrobe contest and Roaring Twenties reverie.

THE MAGIC HOUR: Thursday, September 19th 7pm-10pm

WHERE: The City Club of Wilmington – 23 South 2nd Street

TICKETS: $50 in advance and include heavy hors d’eoeuvres and two complimentary drinks.  Tickets on sale NOW at www.stylegirljessjames.com. $60 at the door.

DRESS CODE: 1920’s, “old sport!”

“Can’t repeat the past?…Why of course you can!” – Jay Gatsby

Become a City Club Preferred Partner and expose your business to Wilmington’s premier private club and their members!  Just a few of the benefits include:

  1. Listing for your business on club’s website with short description, phone number and link to your website
  2. Mention on club’s social media (facebook & twitter)
  3. Window decal/signage for your business
  4. Preferred partner of the month receives feature in club newsletter and “special offer” email to member base
  5. Receive 15% off at all other Preferred Partners

If you are already a City Club member and would like to become a Preferred Partner, please follow this link to fill in and submit the application –  http://cityclubofwilmington.wordpress.com/city-club-preferred-partners/

To request information on club membership, please contact Member Services at 910-343-1880 ext206 or MemberServices@cityclubatderosset.com


It was an honor for City Club of Wilmington to be selected as one of the 13 gardens to be included in the Azalea Festival Garden Tour!, and to be able to showcase our beautiful terraced garden!


The City Club of Wilmington, located in Historic Downtown Wilmington, NC, is a grand home with beautiful terraced gardens that is the perfect environment for the ultimate southern wedding. City Club has the feeling of a historic mansion but with the amenities of a professional kitchen, an amazing culinary team, 2 full bars with top bartenders, an efficient staff, plus 6 beautiful bedroom suites that reflect the gracious age of the mansion but are equipped with all the modern comforts.

For information on how to book a wedding or special event, call Poppy Tugwell at (910) 343-1880 Ext. 210

In the South, we have a long tradition combining business and pleasure.  Social events have long been a venue in which commercial activities could be discussed, negotiated, and sealed with a couple of glasses of top-shelf bourbon.  City Club’s classic location in the historic De Rosset house is the perfect setting for this blend of relaxation and occupation, with a luxurious yet informal setting and world-class bar.

Toward that end, we’d like to invite you to join us for City Club Connections, a networking social set in the club’s upstairs Tidewater Bar.  This is the perfect chance to enjoy the club’s trademark cocktails while rubbing elbows with other key business personalities from the area.  Despite the prevalence of online social networking and long-distance communication, in-person networking has never been more important.  According to BNI, an international networking association, 81% of business executives consider networking to be an important part of their work week.  Closer to home, Neal Whittington, a serial entrepreneur, expert in sales & marketing, and long-time club member, emphasized the importance of both networking and the proper approach thereunto in a recent exclusive interview:

“Networking and making connections has been the most profitable thing by far that I have done to further my business career.  Most people say “it’s not what you know but who you know,” and I agree—but more importantly, it’s who knows you!”

“One of the biggest mistakes rookie networkers make is going into it with the approach of what can I get out of this when in fact they should shift their thinking to who can I help.  If you do enough of that, everything else seems to take care of itself.”

These are words of wisdom, and a fine example of the kind of connection you can make at City Club.  We are happy to invite you to join us on the 3rd of April for City Club Connections—an excellent chance to network and to introduce your spouse or significant other to all the club has to offer. Reservations are required, so please call 343.1880, extension 210, to secure your spot.  As always, we look forward to seeing you and discussing the affairs of the day—over a cocktail, of course.

Valentine’s Day in the Old South

Love and romance are eternal—or at least one would hope. While the tender passions of the heart are a constant in the human condition, the trappings of romance are a product of their time. Wilmington is a city steeped in history, and for many of us City Club’s De Rosset House is a portal into an earlier time. A time when love and courtship were imbued with the genteel flavor of the Old South, when desire was counterbalanced by the sophisticated rules that governed social interaction, particularly between the sexes.

Marriages in the 19th century were carefully negotiated affairs, often conducted by the parents of the young couple. The financial and business affairs of both families were discussed carefully, to ensure that the young lady was marrying a man with a promising future and that the gentleman would receive an appropriate dowry along with his bride. Social class played a role, as women were expected to marry someone of the same social standing or to move up in class. Gentlemen were permitted to marry beneath them if the circumstances were right, but this brought additional complications.

Weddings, too, were formalized. Engagements lasted up to two years, and weddings—particularly for the upper classes—were arranged to the last detail. The goal was to host the “social event of the season”, outdoing one’s neighbors in their own efforts. Weddings were typically held at the church attended by the bride’s family, with a reception to follow in the family home.

To a contemporary 21st century audience, this approach to love and marriage must sound overly formal and restrictive. It was intended as such, with the social conventions and rules designed to maintain propriety in an era of greatly enhanced morality. However, just a love is a universal part of the human experience, so is the inclination of young people to defy the rules. Young couples in love found clever ways to defy the Victorian conventions of their day. Just as we look back on their era with some nostalgia, they in turn looked back to the Middle Ages as a more romantic time. Young lovers in the 19th century employed many of the romantic conventions of that earlier time. A volume of poetry, containing a coded message arranging a clandestine meeting, might be given as a gift. In full medieval tradition, the language of the flowers was another means of surreptitious communication. Each kind of flower was assigned a meaning, and a bouquet arranged in such a way as to convey a specific message. As flowers were common courtship gifts, a young couple could carry on sophisticated conversation under the watchful eyes of their parents.

A few clever tricks, and 19th century courtship takes on an intimacy that might surprise us now. Meetings in secret under the full moon, stealing a kiss during a walk in the garden, confessing love via every medium available–all gave Old South romances a thrill of anticipation lacking in a contemporary world of immediate gratification. Sadly, we cannot experience this ourselves—that part of history has come and gone. However, some hint of its grace remains in the beauty of a Victorian garden or a graceful evening in a candlelight filled dining room. What better way to set the mood than with the trappings of history?

At City Club, we strive to capture the grace and elegance of the South, creating an atmosphere of relaxed luxury. Cocktails at the bar, fine dining, or perhaps just a reflective moment on our porch—an air of civility pervades this place.

This month, however, we’re going to cut loose a bit and embrace another wonderful Southern tradition. Mardi Gras—“Fat Tuesday”—marks the end of carnival season and the beginning of Lent. Historically, as communities on the Gulf Coast marked this passage from a time of celebration to a period of spiritual reflection, they elected to have one last riotous party. The trappings of Mardi Gras have become part of the popular imagination—parades, masked balls, elaborate costumes, food, drink and merriment.

Not to be left out, City Club is throwing its own Mardi Gras celebration on Friday, February 8th. And there are big things in the works. Greg Matheson, our Bartender-in-Chief, will be serving up some classic—and rarely seen—New Orleans cocktails, including the Sazarac and the famous Hurricane. Abita Brewery’s Mardi Gras Bach will also be on draft for those preferring a classic Louisiana beer. From the kitchen, we learn that our culinary magicians will be cooking up some New Orleans favorites: Alligator Etouffee, Crawfish Beignets, Jambalaya, Gumbo, Muffalettas. And as always, no Mardi Gras celebration would be complete without music. Wilmington’s own Benny Hill Trio will be performing some classic Jazz standards guaranteed to keep you in the moment.

We’re encouraging all guests to dress the part—beads, masks, costumes, the sky is the limit. Reservations are required, so please call 343-1880, extension 210 to make them. We’ll look forward to seeing you there.

Now, if you’ll excuse me. I’ve developed the profound craving for a Sazarac.


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