two very famous Black Cat Cafes …

possibly the first real nightclub ever, there was Le Chat Noir in Paris

in the bohemian Montmartre district. It was opened in November 1881  by the artist Rodolphe Salis, and closed in 1897 (much to the disappointment of Picasso and others who looked for it when they came to Paris for the Exposition in 1900).  Today it is perhaps best known now by its iconic Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen poster:

Then there was San Francisco’s Black Cat Café. It opened in 1906 and closed in 1921. It re-opened in 1933 and operated for another 30 years. During its second run of operation, it was a hangout for Beats and bohemians but over time began attracting more and more of a gay clientele. Because it catered to gays, the bar became a flashpoint for the nascent homophile movement. The Black Cat was at the center of a legal fight that was one of the earliest court cases to establish legal protections for gay people in the United States.  The varied crowds mixed and gay Beat poet Allen Ginsberg who described the Black Cat as “the best gay bar in America. It was totally open, bohemian, San Francisco…and everybody went there, heterosexual and homosexual….All the gay screaming queens would come, the heterosexual gray flannel suit types, longshoremen. All the poets went there.”

the fascinating story behind our wall-hanging upstairs

Our gorgeous wallpaper has a fascinating story behind it!

The pattern  is a specially colored version of Spiral Willow French ca 1920

It is from Adelphi’s Early-Twentieth Century Collection, it draws on the work and influence of the Wiener Werkstätte in Vienna and the French Moderne movement–later known as Art Deco–two of the most influential design schools of the century. Designers in Vienna and in Paris inspired and influenced a generation of designers throughout Europe and the United States, who created a huge variety of patterns that combine fantastic organic and geometric forms with a vibrant color palette.

Spiral Willow’s bold, flowing design is a typically whimsical Art Deco take on natural forms, but with a striking color combination. It was designed by Rene Crevel and originally machine-printed, although the printing process used rollers fitted with felt strips, to which paint was applied, in an effort to approximate high-quality block printing.

This pattern is licensed to Adelphi Paper Hangings by the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Repeat: 19¾ inches   Width: 18¾ inches Straight Match

The historic colorway (A) shown below is double width; alternative colorways are single width.

some of our most popular cooking classes

One-pot Meal Inspired by Jacques Pepin:

  • Roast Veal with Artichokes
  • Jacques’  New One-pot Bread
  • Cucumber and Watercress Salad
  • Broiled Grapefruit with Meringue

Spa Cooking inspired by Martha Stewart Living & Canyon Ranch

  • Shiitake and Bok Choi Soup with Noodles
  • Marinated Cucumber Salad
  • Fish in Parchment with Bok Choi
  • Jasmine Rice, Shiitakes and Scallions
  • Vanilla-Ginger Asian Pears

Provencal Dinner

  • Five Herb Leaf Salad
  • Braised Chicken with Tomato and Olives
  • Garbanzo and French Lentil Salad with Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette
  • Pistachio and Strawberry Floating Island

and many more … all available in our Cookbook