Whether it’s a Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah, Cocktail Reception, Gala Dinner or Wedding in New York, there are certain elements that ensure that your event will stand out from the rest. Herbert Rose has over 40 years of experience as Director of Catering at New York’s finest venues, and is now Director Emeritus at GUASTAVINO’S and 583 Park Avenue. Over the next few weeks the patriarch of The Rose Family will share his commentary on the factors that make an event stand out from the crowd. This week: Temperature

To paraphrase Ellsworth Statler’s famous dictum concerning what is most important in real estate, “Location, location, location.” The things that can really impair an event are: temperature, temperature, temperature. Nothing will ruin a party more effectively than a venue that is too hot or too cold.

It sounds so basic but be forewarned, it’s not. Most older venues in New York, particularly hotels, have antiquated HVAC systems, often employing only a one pipe system. That means a venue can have heat or it can have AC, but not both. This is true of the hotel I spent much of my career with. When the season changed we would go through hell until it was freezing cold enough for heat or swelteringly hot enough for air conditioning. At 583 Park Avenue and Guastavino’s, we employ state of the art two pipe systems that allow us to provide both heat and cold air on any given day. We carefully monitor the temperature of the venues leading up to an event and, of course, throughout the event itself.

Some years ago, when I was at the aforementioned hotel, a popular New York couple booked their daughter’s wedding for the following June. Exactly six months before the event, they cancelled as they had instead decided to have the wedding in an outdoor tent at their Southampton home. It was extremely hot and humid the night of the wedding, but the hosts chose not to air condition the tent in an effort to economize. The night was so uncomfortable that the elaborate Sylvia Weinstock wedding cake collapsed from the humidity. The party was a disaster because of the temperature.

If you are planning a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, wedding or any elaborate event during the potentially high temperature months, be sure that your venue has first rate air conditioning and that it will be fully operative. Just as important, make sure that someone competent will be there the day of and during the event to continuously monitor the temperature. You never know when a warm day could turn hot-and-sticky due to a faulty HVAC system.

Herbert Rose is Director Emeritus at GUASTAVINO’S and 583 Park Avenue. He has over 40 years of experience as Director of Catering at New York’s finest venues. 

Have a question for Herbert? CONTACT US today and he will be happy to address it in a future post.