“Stranger Things'” jerky boyfriend Joe Keery was not hitting the Emmy party circuit this time last year.
Catch LA, which opened in on Melrose Ave in West Hollywood with Audi’s annual prelude to Emmys weekend bash, was not even on the social circuit last weekend.
Both made debuts on Thursday night.
The rooftop was a social sea of Emmy nominees (Constance Zimmer and Rami Malek, pictured at top), returning veterans (Cuba Gooding Jr., Tony Hale and “Modern Family” boss Steven Levitan), a sprinkling of music industry crossovers (Mary J. Blige and Father John Misty), and a shooting star from celebrity gossip, Justin Bieber‘s rumored girlfriend Sofia Richie at the first real Emmy weekend event.
Just a few steps east down Melrose from where Audi has celebrated the Emmys for the past six years at Cecconi’s, we passed a 2017 R8 before boarding branded elevators to ride to the rooftop restaurant, opening its doors for the first time.
The event permit came in just the day before.
Inside the open air rooftop, Michael “Benjamin Linus” Emerson grabbed drinks at the island bar as Ariel Winter smoked cigarettes on the Melrose side of the wraparound patio.
“Transparent” star Melora Hardin tucked into a mint condition booth, as champagne and mouth-burning arancini passed through the indoor-outdoor space, with guests wandering in search of bathrooms in a restaurant and nightlife venue yet-to-be colonized by the social savvy crowd.
The pristine playground, from NYC based restaurant and nightlife guys Mark Birnbaum and Eugene Remm, amped up the spirit of the TV Academy’s auto partner’s party. It was a proverbial upshift from an event which had become formulaic recently. The place was packed well after the 10 p.m. planned curtain with an industry-heavy crowd letting loose before the big weekend and a fresh energy.
The guest list included a healthy dose of celebrity lifestyle marketers (Dino Magis, Laurie Ziegler, EFG’s Joyce Sevilla, Brandlink’s Greg Link, Ricky Abramson and Tara Ink’s Tayo Otiti), reps and execs (The Weinstein Company’s Katie Doyle, TV agent Jeff Greenberg, manager Alex Sherkarchian) and media personalities like “Entertainment Tonight”s” Carly Steel and Joe Siyam, Elaine “Fashionlane” Daneshrad, Time Inc.’s INSTANT chief Kirstin Benson, Access Hollywood’s Diana Dasrath, and Mashable’s Entertainment Editor Josh Dickey, a Wrap alum.
WME is next up in the space, celebrating its Emmy nominees with a party there tonight (Sept. 16) before the venue’s own “Grand Opening” party on Saturday night.
Future guests should have their phones out upon arrival. They will be greeted by a generation-spanning celebrity photo montage in the lobby, which is destined to be an Instagram photo stop.
It features JFK at the head of a class photo that includes Drake, E.T., Mike Tyson, Mr. Clean, Abe Lincoln, Gene Simmons, Michelle Obama, Mickey Mouse, Marilyn Monroe, and Britney Spears amongst pop culture icons and a front row spot for what appears to be Catch LA owners Mark Birnbaum and Eugene Remm.