On Thursday May 12th Doubles marked its 40th Anniversary. As the creme-de-la-creme of New York Society and the New York Charitable circles Muffie Potter Aston and Ashley McDermott, Claudia Overstrom, and Barbara Taylor Bradford came down the infamous red staircase (known as “deep throat” when it opened in ’76) and were welcomed to the black tie gala by Club Chairman Wendy Carduner.
Guests including Elaine and Ken Langone, Geoffrey Bradfield, Kathy and Othon Prounis, and Mark Gilbertson enjoyed cocktails under the pearl pink balloon-decorated ceiling and arches before heading to the dining room for a three-course dinner of Crabmeat and Mousse of Avocado, Horse Radish Crust Salmon or Filet Mignon and a delicious Dark Chocolate and Vanilla Chocolate Chip Gelato Torte prepared by Chef Steve Mellina on tables festooned with silver star confetti and pink roses. At the beginning of the event Wendy thanked the members for their friendship and support and also thanked the staff for their many years of dedication. Wendy surprised everyone present when she said that over 400 members have maintained their memberships for over 25 years… many of whom were present that evening. Muffie Potter Aston then toasted Wendy for being the devoted ‘guiding light’ of the Club. Following dinner, guests filled the dance floor to the amazing sounds of Bob Hardwick and his Orchestra.
Additional guests included: John Andreu, Chris Breck, Janna Bullock, Claudia and Umberto Carvalho, Loni and Gerry Casey, Bonnie Comley, Kenneth Cohen, Gerrianne and Victor Costa, R. Couri Hay, Michael Darling, Ada and Daniel De Maurier, Kate Earls, Emanuele Fiore, Maria and Ken Fishel, Hugh Freund, Ted and Helen Gamble, Shana Gary, Jean-Marc and Diana Harfouche, Amy Hoadley, Melanie Holland, Gary Hunter, Andrew Kepler, Kamie Lightburn, Stewart Lane, Christine and George Ledes, Elizabeth Meigher, Jennifer Oken, Anka Palitz, Sabrina and Walter Racquet, Bash Reardon, Helen Rebel, Christina Rose, Stan Ponte, Georgina Schaeffer, Paul and June Schorr, Suzette Smith, Anika Palitz, Tatiana and Thorne Perkin, Randy and Margo Takian, Jane and Phil Told, Katie Tozer, Marisa and Robin van Bokhorst and Sandra Wijnberg.
When Ms. Carduner’s father Joe Norban along with Earl Blackwell founded Doubles in 1974 it was meant to be a Backgammon Club… ergo the name DOUBLES… but when it opened in 1976 Backgammon had become less popular and it instead became a Luncheon-Dinner and Dancing Club. Members including Pat Buckley, Pat Patterson, Nan Kempner, Mica Ertigun and guests including the Kennedy Clan, Frank Sinatra and Kirk Douglas all dined and danced surrounded by the Club’s warm and magical red decor created by inventive designer Valerian Rybar.
The torch was handed to Mrs. Carduner who has run the Club in her position as Chairman since 1982. Throughout the Clubs 40 year history the Clubs warm and welcoming ambiance, excellent food and superb hospitality remains unchanged. The decor has had several updates by Tom Britt and Valentino Samsonadze and has been updated over the years to vibrant shades of Claret. The membership roster continues to reflect the sophisticated New Yorker with homes in the city, the Hamptons, Palm Beach, Palm Springs, Bermuda and other warm climates.
Doubles continues to be a classic institution rooted in civilized traditions of the past. A welcoming atmosphere supports Mrs. Carduner’s mission of creating a safe, family-friendly space where friends can meet and entertain and where their children can enjoy the many events and dances that are organized throughout the year.