Shelby About Town
La Griglia rocks, Strip House rolls as party action covers the social spectrum
Year-round, La Griglia holds its own as a popular midday watering hole for the city cognoscenti. But on Wednesday, it was positively ground zero for socializing.
Packed to the rafters with high-profile types, La Griglia action turned practically nuclear when the KTRK Channel 13 camera man arrived lights glaring and with an entourage of a dozen well-dressed men and women in tow. Their target was an unsuspecting Kristi Schiller, swamped with attention and presented with a mammoth load of flowers for having been named a 2011 Woman of Distinction.
(Not to worry WOD wannabees.The official "surprise day" anointing comes next week. Hope is not lost.)
Winter Ball chairs Jan Carson and Virginia Reisman and honorary chair Mary Ann McKeithan were part of the group offering congratulations. Schiller's husband, oilman John Schiller, had invited his wife to lunch for the surprise. Their 3-year-old daughter, Sinclair, was among those delivering kisses. The Schillers best pal Jack Rains was also in the adoring entourage.
At a neighboring table, Cathy Brock hosted a celebration lunch for birthday girls Sharon Adams, Nancy Kinder and Frances Marzio, a personalized cake with sparkler for each one and individual petite flower arrangements for all. Rounding out this power table were Roxann Neumann and Peggy Menchaca.
Across the dining room, Society for the Performing Arts executive director June Christensen and development director Priscilla Larson lunched with Maria Bush, who chairs SPA's Yelloween bash, and honorary chair Laura Spalding.
At her regular corner table, marketing whiz Cindy Clifford lunched with City Councilwoman Brenda Stardig and with Republic Services Rusty Waldrup and Bob Boucher, the firm's new area president. On their lunch card — city issues.
And at random tables around the room we spotted Silver Eagle Distributors exec John Nau, Nick Florescu and Philip Meyer. Needless to say, La Griglia Brandon Bush was loving every minute of it.
Liz and Tom Glanville rolled out the red carpet for supporters of next month's Society for the Performing Arts luncheon with a swell cocktail reception at DeVille Fine Jewelry. Among the femmes trying on the tantalizing gems in amazing settings were luncheon chairs Arvia Few and Soraya McClelland.
Also in the well-dressed throng were Judith Oudt, Katherine Treistman, Betsy Stukalin, Theresa Bright, Kathleen Woods, Dana Davis, Andrea Odom and Denise Janowski.
Big Apple business
Bullet Girl designer Jessica Meyer is in New York this week, courtesy of her Mexico City grandparents and their private jet, for a bit of Fashion Week fun and a look at an exciting business opportunity. She's meeting with party planner extraordinaire Colin Cowie and jewelry designer Nicholas Varney. After celebrating the Jewish new year, they discussed future collaborations.
Meyer's best friend, Mary Smith, is in New York treating Meyer to a belated 40th birthday celebration — a night on the town.
Strip House partying
Let's hear it for the Strip House for one of the most innovative party excuses we've heard in a while — free valet parking. Just imagine, downtown parking without a hefty fee.
Matthew Glazier, who's family owns the successful Strip House chain, welcomed a slew of downtown regulars who turned out to celebrate not only the free parking but also a new bar menu.
Sampling the bar bites and sipping on blackberry martinis as well as less potent libations were Randall Davis, Sarah Bray, Libby Cagle, James Glassman, David Thomas, James Sivco, Joshua Espinedo, Gail Rubin, Nick Espinosa, Stuart Rosenberg, Nic Phillips, Gloria Luna and Carla and Alex Martinez.
LA Dodgers manager Joe Torre, in town for the Astros/Dodgers romp, having dinner with his cousin, song man Steve Tyrell at Damian's where they were joined by restaurant owners Bubba Butera and Frankie B. Mandola, also cousins . . .
Jim Ware celebrating his birthday on fried chicken night at Pesce with wife Dancie Ware and friends Ruth Meric and Bob Pagan. Chef Mark Holley dropped by their table to offer best wishes . . .
Shara Fryer and Barry Silverman dining in the bar at Tony's with Joan Schnitzer-Levy and Irvin Levy.