Society / Featured Parties

PaperCity Celebrates 25 Years With Lavish Dinner Full of Houston Notables

This Silver Anniversary is Reached in High Style

BY // 02.06.20
photography Johnny Than

PaperCity‘s glowing 25th anniversary fête at The Annie Cafe & Bar was as much a homecoming as a silver celebration, one attended by a posh clutch of notables who, through the years, have helped place the publication at the forefront of Houston’s luxury lifestyle reportage.

On this wintry night, ladies wrapping their cocktail attire in furs and gents bundled in cashmeres gathered beneath heaters on the restaurant terrace for rounds of watermelon margaritas and chef Robert del Grande‘s signature hors d’oeuvres. Among guests was Becca Cason Thrash, swathed in a lavish sable stole, who recalled the early days when she and PaperCity editor-in-chief Holly Moore transformed their special events company into a luxury media juggernaut.

Later in remarks at the seated dinner, Thrash noted, “It was Holly’s baby and she is the one who made it great.”

From broadsheet, borne at a table in La Madeleine in 1995, to bound (and website vitalized) in 2016 to the joys of 2020, PaperCity has regaled readers with the sumptuousness of Houston life. Thus, the gathering befitted the magazine’s illustrious history.

Following cocktails, the 50-plus guests adjourned to the Post Oak Room where John Friedman of his namesake floral business dressed two lengthy tables in azalea topiaries and bouquets of roses, hydrangeas and altamira. Chef del Grande exceeded the high culinary expectations with a three course feast that had diners swooning and those who couldn’t finish their meal boldly asking for doggie bags. (Beef for The Annie is sourced through B&B Butchers & Restaurant, thus those who ordered the filet were over the moon.)

There were toasts all around on the festive evening with Moore thanking all of those present. “Everyone in this room has supported PaperCity and me through the years,” she said. “You are all part of the tapestry that has made PaperCity what it is.”

She specifically thanked the three original advertisers who joined PaperCity with that very first issue, which was then labeled The Paper. Cafe Annie was one of those and Benjamin Berg, head of Berg Hospitality Group which now owns The Annie, enjoyed primo seating across from Moore and next to Cason Thrash. Tootsies was an original advertiser and owners Donna and Norman Lewis were there along with Tootsies creative director Fady Armanious and sales associate Craig Lidji. Greg Fourticq was the third, advertising in those early days his now-closed design shop.

PaperCity president Jim Kastleman joined in thanking guests and raising a glass to the magazine’s quarter century and to its success.

As is the case with most happenings at The Annie, the party continued on in the bar after dinner with a number of the bon vivants remaining well past bedtime.

PC Seen: Lynn Wyatt, interior decorator Randy Powers and Bill Caudell, Caudell Restoration Renovation Design principal; Cartier manager Keri Gonzales; Harry Winston manager Petra Martinez; gallerist Nancy and Erick Littlejohn; developer Carol Isaak Barden; uber hair stylist Ceron; philanthropist and community activist Phoebe Tudor; art collectors Leigh and Reggie Smith; Wells Abbott owner Lauren Hudson; Public Content’s Amy Johnston and Mark Sullivan,  Robert Sakowitz; Neiman Marcus vice president and general manager Stephen Brunelle; John Thrash; public relations guru Dancie and Jim Ware; PaperCity group publisher Monica Bickers; PaperCity digital president Chad Miller; PaperCity contributing editor Laurann Claridge; and PaperCity account manager Kara Smith.

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