January 12, 2011 - Clarkston returns to the days when business meant cocktails, ladies in flowery dresses, fedoras and three-piece suits for the men.
Hosted by the Clarkston Retailers Group, downtown Main Street will be transformed into a Retro Cocktail Party, Saturday, Jan. 22, from 6-9 p.m.
"Our Retro Cocktail Party and wine tasting is going to be a blast," said Shari Schultz, owner of Clarkston Flower Shoppe, 7150 N. Main Street. "We're making the end of January something to look forward to. Stop in to your favorite place to shop, or one you've never been in, and enjoy a little flair of the 1960's."
The event is free – donations will support Lighthouse North. Downtown business people invite folks into their establishments, for free refreshments and snacks.
"We're transforming our 1901 building into a club straight out of the TV show, 'Mad Men,'" said Liz Andre-Stolz of Parsonage Events, 6 East Church Street. "We're serving up the Rowdy Redhead cocktails and fried corn cakes, fresh potato chips and braised shortribs with red raspberry barbecue sauce. While you're there, Church Street Studios will be snapping outta' sight retro pix of all our guests. It's going to be a gas!"
Union General, 50 S. Main Street, offers buckwheat blinis topped with smoked salmon and creme fraiche, Pigs-In-A-Blanket house-made beef and pork smoked links wrapped in crisp puff pastry and served with South Carolina mayo, and Bloody Mary martinis.
"We're calling our selections for the evening, 'Blinis, Weinies and 'tinis,'" said Ann Stevenson, owner.
At the north end of downtown, Clarkston Flower Shoppe and the Birdfeeder offer Bellinis and Manhattans, serving fondue and shrimp cocktail.
"We will have a blackjack table and feature live entertainment from singer Tom Mazzaro, bringing a little Vegas flair to Clarkston," Schultz said. "He will entertain our guests with music from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, etc. He even takes requests!"
Rudy's Market, 9 S. Main Street, and Clarkston Mills Mall host a wine tasting. Artichoke Interiors, 2 E. Washington behind the Masonic building, offers artichoke themed appetizers and non-alcoholic champagne.
"Discover your design personality by taking a fun home decor style quiz," said Dawn Jacobs, owner. "There will be a raffle for 'e-designed' rooms based on quiz results."
Meeting monthly, the retailers group organized the party to promote downtown Clarkston.
"The Clarkston Retailer's Group has really tried to bring a unified presence of My Clarkston Buy Clarkston to this community," Schultz said. "We join each other to promote each other's businesses and to discuss ways we can continue to create local events in our town. The suggestions generated from a meeting are terrific. Each retailer brings their own talent and ideas, we inspire each other."
"The timing is perfect for this event," Jacobs said. "Just when the hustle and bustle of the holidays are over, people will be able to get out and leisurely stroll through our quaint village and enjoy a no pressure, unique shopping and entertainment experience."
The event is on Artichoke Interiors' first day of business, she said.
"I can't wait to meet everyone," she said. "I am thrilled to work and live in a town that gives back."
Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.