Fancy Fitness Fete

Michael Strahan returns to Houston for swank dinner party launching health club

Strahan returns to H-Town for dinner party launching new health club

News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, Michael Strahan, Harvey Spevak, Brian Cushing, Chester Pitts
Headliners at The Equinox opening dinner — Michael Strahan, Harvey Spevak, Brian Cushing, Chester Pitts. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, Nick Florescu, Dominique Sachse
Nick Florescu, Dominique Sachse. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, Lee Majors, Faith Majors, Laurie Krohn, Tracy Krogn
Lee Majors, Faith Majors, Laurie Krohn and Tracy Krohn. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, Janet Shamlian, Sarah Robb O'Hagan, Becca Cason Thrash
Janet Shamlian, Sarah Robb O'Hagan, Becca Cason Thrash. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, Harvey Spevak, Mo Campo, Ric Campo
Harvey Spevak, Mo Campo, Ric Campo. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, Sallie Sargent, Tom Ajamie
Sallie Sargent, Tom Ajamie. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, monogramed napkins
Monogrammed napkins welcomed each guest. Photo by Shelby Hodge
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, Pierce Bush, Carolyn Farb
Pierce Bush, Carolyn Farb. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, chandeliers
The Dunlavy was packed with partygoers and chandeliers. Photo by Shelby Hodge
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, Austin Alvis, Holly Alvis
Austin Alvis, Holly Alvis. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, Tracy Faulkner, Harry Faulkner
Tracy Faulkner, Harry Faulkner. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, cute couple
Ali Katz, Mark Katz.  Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, The Dunlavy
Chandeliers sparkle in the Dunlavy before guests arrive. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, The Dunlavy
The Dunlavy's magical view. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, Shelby Hodge, Shafik Rifaat, Ellie Francisco
Shelby Hodge, Shafik Rifaat, Ellie Francisco. Photo by Priscilla Dickson
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, Michael Strahan, Harvey Spevak, Brian Cushing, Chester Pitts
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, Nick Florescu, Dominique Sachse
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, Lee Majors, Faith Majors, Laurie Krohn, Tracy Krogn
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, Janet Shamlian, Sarah Robb O'Hagan, Becca Cason Thrash
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, Harvey Spevak, Mo Campo, Ric Campo
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, Sallie Sargent, Tom Ajamie
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, monogramed napkins
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, Pierce Bush, Carolyn Farb
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, chandeliers
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, Austin Alvis, Holly Alvis
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, Tracy Faulkner, Harry Faulkner
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, cute couple
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, The Dunlavy
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, The Dunlavy
News, Equinox Opening Dinner, Dec. 2015, Shelby Hodge, Shafik Rifaat, Ellie Francisco

Of course, Equinox founder Harvey Spevak was only kidding when he said that Michael Strahan, the strapping former NFL star, was in town "to kick your butt if you don't join us."

But the New York-based founder of the nationwide system of sleek health clubs was intent on impressing the chic crowd of influencers that filled The Dunlavy on Wednesday night.

And impress he did, even with the discerning party crowd that included not only Houston Texans Brian Cushing and Jonathan Weeks and Houston Super Bowl Host Committee chairman Ric Campo and president Sallie Sargent, but also KPRC Channel 2 news anchor Dominique Sachse and NBC news national correspondent Janet Shamlian.

Guests gathered first on the party pavilion balcony overlooking Buffalo Bayou Park for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, prepared by Clark Cooper Concepts which also handled the four-course seated dinner inside. 

More than three dozen chandeliers shimmered overhead as guests made their way to the elegant dinner tables set with flowers and linens, the napkins embroidered with each guest's initials. With chef Charles Clark making a pass through the kitchen and Grant Cooper in the house, the dinner was on point even if the service was surprising slow.

Spevak welcomed guests on the eve of the opening of his River Oaks District club, the 77th in the group's stable of upscale fitness clubs that include London and Toronto. In a slight dig at The Houstonian, Spevak noted, "There is old school and there's new school. That's all that I'm saying."

Strahan told CultureMap that he and Spevak have been friends for two decades. That friendship included Strahan's appearance in Houston (his second in less than a month) and gifts, to all guests, of signed copies of his new book Wake Up Happy. Strahan left midway through the evening to hop a private jet to New York, where he had an early morning appearance on Good Morning America, where he is a regular guest.

The impressive turnout included NFL veterans Chester Pitts and Wade Smith, plus Nick Florescu, Becca Cason Thrash, Le Melcher, Faith and Lee Majors, Gracie and Bob Cavnar, Sarabeth Melton, Pierce Bush, Holly and Austin Alvis, Jay Zeidman, Laurie and Tracy Krohn, Carolyn Farb, Gabe Canales, Page Parkes and Equinox president Sarah Robb O'Hagan.