Yes, we were concerned that the invitation to The Centurion Lounge swank pre-opening party at Bush Intercontinental Airport would require shoes off, jackets off and a run through the metal detector. But not so. American Express had devised entry to the club not yet officially connected to Terminal D.
That was last week. This week, the $7 million, 8,5000 square foot lap of luxury is up and running for Plantinum and Centurion American Express card holders.
And what a party it was. Black SUVs and Town Cars picked up a number of partygoers and unloaded them at Terminal D where they were greeted by fetching young women in black, ready with guest lists and neck lanyards bearing AmEx passes.
It was largely a media crowd that was invited to sample the luxuries of the seventh Centurion Lounge in the U.S. But a few celebrities made the scene including City Controller Chris Brown and wife Divya, uber stylist Ceron and shoe designer Joyce Echols.
James Beard Award-winning chef Justin Yu was in the full-service kitchen working with executive chef Arist Bishop and Yu's special menu created for the Centurion's discriminating guests. On this night, the offerings included a sampling of the international fare available in the lounge including miso soup, panzanella salad, chickpea stew, zucchini bread and johnny cakes.
A good bit of the furniture had been removed to make way for cocktail tables and for a performance space for The Tontons, who ramped up the already pulsating energy of the night with their rock sounds.
The welcoming committee was comprised of Chris Cracchiolo, Membership Rewards and Loyalty Benefits vice president, Danielle Shriber, Centurion Lounge GM, and Betsy Cole, assistant general manager.
The night included a generous open bar, bountiful food from the Oxheart chef's airport kitchen and fun with the GIF digital photo machine. Tripping this night fantastic were Mark Sullivan, Amy Johnston, Neal Hamil, Asli Omar, Yvonne Guidry, Ashley Areche, Erica Henley, and Sydney Brookes.