Blast From the Past

Supper club venues make a comeback with cool vibes and hot shows

Michelle Roe Restaurants 0 Comments


The swanky supper club scene in Greater Palm Springs owes much of its success to the fashionable establishments of yesteryear, when Hollywood’s well-heeled stepped out in the desert to eat, play, and celebrate. Channeling this old-school chic, trendy hot spots across the Coachella Valley are building on tradition with hotter-than-ever menus and shows.

Melvyn’s Restaurant & Lounge has maintained its timeless elegance and upbeat atmosphere for more than half a century, catering to patrons seeking authentic Hollywood glamour and gourmet dining. Legendary for its famous guests — Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr., to name a few — the restaurant’s current menu is exceptional. Each night, the piano bar lounge features fresh jam sessions, singers and other musicians, and dancing.

Offering a sophisticated menu and live entertainment in an upscale, warm environment, Vicky’s of Santa Fe is the perfect spot to catch up with friends over cocktails and fine fare. This treasured landmark is known for its world-class Jazz Supper Club series and well-produced mix of musical masterpieces, including song, cabaret, jazz bands, and piano performances.

Classic clubs that focused on social dining inspired neighborhood favorite Bernie’s Lounge and Supper Club. Sparking memories of a bygone era, the polished atmosphere and old-fashioned attention to customer service make this lounge hum with character. The specially chosen menu provides a layer of culinary depth to the equally smooth entertainment. When you sip a martini and listen to a tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes, you’ll feel right at home.

If you’re seeking a blast from the past with an air of fun and flair, The Nest is the place to party. Established in 1965, this nostalgic lair has been attracting locals, snowbirds, jet-setters, and stars ever since. During season, fans line up to enter this go-to supper club and sample the diverse menu, dance to disco grooves and classic rock, sing karaoke, or drink in the lively piano bar.

As one of the valley’s newer contemporary dinner houses, The New York Company Restaurant and Bar brings a cosmopolitan air to the desert. An ode to East meets West, this cultured eatery pairs wine and cuisine from both coasts with a vibrant bar where guests can listen to live piano.

Another up-to-date variation is Woody’s Burgers, where you can order at the counter and grab a table to enjoy live music — and no need for posh attire or reservations to get your fix of stellar jazz. Just bring your appetite and desire for great music to this gourmet burger joint/kitsch diner featuring seasoned talent and open mic performances that draw locals from across the Coachella Valley.

Smoke Tree BBQ Bar and Grill puts its own spin on the supper club concept with grill-your-own-food fun and prepared items from the restaurant’s smoker. An outdoor community barbecue and family-style tables give way to a rustic interior with private dining and a friendly bar. Bands perform onstage Thursday through Saturday.

The Tropicale — one of the hippest spots in town to mingle with a star-studded crowd — embraces the Palm Springs retro vibe. The energy is as delicious as the zesty cuisine, with the hustle and bustle of live entertainment, jazz, piano, and surprise guest singers. Next door to the Tropicale, the Copa Palm Springs (managed by the same owners and delivering the same personal touch) offers great live stage perfomances, music, comedy, and a dance and nightclub.

Following this successful trend, the famed Purple Room Restaurant & Stage reopened in 2013 with updated décor as well as state-of-the-art sound systems and lighting to welcome a talented lineup of top musical and comedy performers. A new take on the historic supper club pedigree of the original, this former Rat Pack roost offers revelers a fabulous dinner menu, late-night bites, and vintage and crafted cocktails.

Where to Go

Bernie’s Lounge and Supper Club
292 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.

Copa Palm Springs
244 E. Amado Rd., Palm Springs.

Melvyn’s Restaurant & Lounge
Ingleside Inn
200 W. Ramon Rd., Palm Springs.

Purple Room Restaurant & Stage
1900 E. Palm Canyon Dr.,
Palm Springs. 760-322-4422;

Smoke Tree BBQ Bar and Grill
1775 E. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.

The Nest
75188 Hwy. 111, Indian Wells.

The New York Company Restaurant
1260 S. Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.

The Tropicale
330 E. Amado Rd., Palm Springs.

Vicky’s of Santa Fe
45100 Club Dr., Indian Wells.

Woody’s Burgers
317 N. Indian Canyon Dr., Palm Springs.

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