14 West Hamilton Street Club
Club lunches offer an innovative and tasty international menu, drawing on local growers and artisans. A typical lunch includes a first course, entrée, cheese course, and dessert, along with the Chef’s famous popovers or another home-baked bread. With notice to the Chef, dietary restrictions can be accommodated.
The Club maintains a full bar, featuring small family-owned estate wineries and distillers. Wine for takeout is available by the bottle (or case for the thirsty or sociable).
NECESSITY CREATES OPPORTUNITY
When the pandemic forced the closure of public spaces in March 2020, the Club’s Board and staff moved quickly to maintain a vibrant program for members and protect the viability of the organization. The Club is now reopened and a combination of hybrid, online, and in house programs are proving extremely popular. We believe these continuing improvements will make the Club stronger in the years to come.
The “Single Conversation”
The heart of the Club is its member table lunches. There is generally “one conversation” at lunch which is likely to touch on a broad range of topics. Guests are welcomed and encouraged at all Club lunches and events.
Guests are often asked to comment informally on something they find of interest, which can lead to spirited though pleasant conversation. As one member recently said, “I’ve rarely left the table without being informed or entertained, generally both.”
Members and guests gather at around 12:30 for drinks and conversation, lunch is served at 1:00, all done by 2:00. Spouses and partners of members have the privilege of attending Club meals and events on their own.
Dinners and some lunches include more formal talks by invited speakers, sometimes preceded by behind-the-scene cultural and curatorial tours in the Mt. Vernon district.
Subjects are wide-ranging: Baltimore history, current events and areas of civic interest and concern, new books, the arts, law, higher education, and scientific or academic subjects—all geared toward a non-specialist, but informed Club member.
Programs are generally held on the second and fourth Wednesday evenings or at brunch on the third Saturday of each month.
Members are encouraged to suggest speakers or themes for the formal programs, including members themselves in our “Members Speak” series. While the formal evening speakers list is often settled several months in advance, Announced Guests at lunch are welcome at any time.
Weekly emails and the club calendar provide information on all upcoming club events.
The Club quickly enlisted state-of-the-art technology that enables hybrid gatherings, combining on-site participants with off-site colleagues joining from various locations. In addition, Noon Zoom, a virtual version of the “single-conversation” luncheon table, enables conversation among those not able to be at the club in person.
We have gradually increased our lunchtime offerings in the Clubhouse. "Hybrid Events" are now the major activity for boosting lunch attendance and Club revenue. These currently include Book and Short Story Discussions, Current Events Discussion and Luckiest Generation, and now "Brainstorming for an Even Better Club.
Parties & Special Events
The Club is open eleven months a year, from Labor Day Wednesday through the end of July.
Annual parties include a New Members celebration in September, the Holiday Party in December, the Mint Julep Party in Spring, and a Summertime Garden Party.
Recent cocktail parties at members’ homes have supplemented the Club’s programming.