The legendary Top of the Mark nightclub in the Mark Hopkins hotel celebrated its 75th birthday with a society soiree that harkened back to its soigne origins. The cream of San Francisco channeled Cole Porter in the lobby lounge, nattily turning out in high style for what promised to be a marvelous party to welcome new hotel owners and send off the Top before renovation. White-gloved waiters proffered tiers of pink champagne and Gary Danko canapés, while legendary jazz chanteuse Paula West crooned Gershwin tunes, all very comme il faut. Or rather comme il Fulk, the mastermind whose invitations are as coveted as a World Series ring, and nearly as elusive. But this was the pre-party; the real deal was about to happen nineteen floors above Nob Hill, where the Top of the Mark was hosting one last luxe bash before closing for a complete refurbishment, bottom to top, by the magical Mr. Fulk. An Egyptian theme foreshadowed the decor, which will be unveiled in early 2016. Guests got an inkling of exotica in the porte-cochere when they were welcomed by a camel named Humphry; selfies were snapped by all, and posted onto social media faster than you could pour water down a mail chute. Up Top, a phalanx of fit pharaohs flashmobbed and flashed their flat abs, while the queens and kings of industry and leisure floated in denial of the wrecking ball to come. Solange Knowles womanned the DJ booth to great acclaim, her enthusiastic acolytes steaming up the windows on San Francisco's twinkling skyline and giving the dance floor one last set of stomps and shimmys before turning the tables over to DJ Kiss. Reigning divas Honey Mahogany and Juanita More appeared in elaborate evening attire, as did most of the self-impressed guests, who were happy to be enshrined in this particular pyramid scheme. If you scored an invite for this night, you knew you had made it to the Top.
Pink champagne on ice: Hotel Intercontinental hosts and investors John Brady and Lisa Brady, Michael Rosenfeld, Peter Koehler, GM Martin Dreenth, a whole slew of SF shakers, including Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White, Supervisors Scott Weiner and London Breed, State Senator Mark Leno, Fabiola and George Gascon, Sonya Molodetskaya and Willie Brown, the Ballet's Glenn McCoy, Rose Pak, Dede Wilsey, Katie and Todd Traina, Alexis and Trevor Traina, neighborly Fairmont GM Tom Klein and Barbara Klein, devastating illustrator David Downton and his muse Denise Hale, Christina de Limur, Kurt Wooton, Greg Lopez, Jillian Manus and Rob Chestnut, restauranteur Anna Weinberg, Jenn Wick, Gary Friedman, Lindsay Bolton, Michael Purdy, Kimberly Miller and Michael Polenske, Vanessa Getty, Melissa and Patrick Barber, author Amy Tan and Lou de Mattei, Michael Murphy and Michael Bauer, Jack Calhoun, Claudia Ross, Tiffany Cummins, Ricky Serbin and Mitchell Benjamin, Wilkes Bashford, Benjamin Dhong, Jason Goldman and Matthew Goldman, Matthew Kimball, Pam and Dick Kramlich, Jeff Ubben, Stephanie and Tyler Mitchell, Nancy Oakes, Dorothy and Kenneth Paige, Lori Puccinelli Stern, Gabriella Sarlo, Claudia Ross, Zahid Sardar, Elisa Stephens, Leslie Thieriot, Pasha Thornton, Pam Baer, Susan Magley, Maria Miguels, Sukey Forbes, Joel Goodrich, Mark Calvano, Marta Benson, Monica Pauli, Marybeth Shimmon, Olga and Ed Dubrovsky, Joy Venturini Bianchi, Jennifer and Stephen Flowers, and plenty more who sent their camels to bed sometime on the top of the next morning.