AsiaSF / Palm Springs To Open to Public Saturday February 8 Cal-Asian Restaurant, Cabaret, Dinner Theater and Night Club is Joined by Sonoran Outdoor Luxury Event Space
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AsiaSF / Palm Springs To Open to Public Saturday February 8
Cal-Asian Restaurant, Cabaret, Dinner Theater and Night Club is
Joined by Sonoran Outdoor Luxury Event Space
Transgender Performers Bring Iconic Entertainment Brand to Southern California While Celebrating 22nd Years of Sell-Out Crowds in San Francisco
Voted “One of America’s Top 100 Restaurants”
22 January 2020 – Palm Springs, CA:Stand back Palm Springs: the entertainment and culinary landscape is about to be trans-formed. AsiaSF/Palm Springs (www.asiasf.com), the storied San Francisco dinner theatre and cabaret featuring the world-famous transgender Ladies of AsiaSF, is set to welcome its first paying customers on Saturday, February 8 on Palm Springs’ main thoroughfare: 1555 South Palm Canyon Drive. Leading up to its first open-to-the-general public evening, AsiaSF/Palm Springs will be hosting a series of private / invite-only “Friends and Family” events for its nonprofit partners: The Transgender Community Coalition; The LGBT Community Center of the Desert, Sanctuary Palm Springs and Dezart Performs. A special invite-only Grand Opening preview celebration and ribbon cutting will be held this Friday, January 24. In the coming days, their new menu, specific to the Palm Springs location, will be available online. All prices are inclusive of dinner and the shows, with cocktails priced separately. For individual reservations, groups and special events go to asiasf.com or call (760) 249-2766.
“Palm Springs is rightly known as one of the world’s top destinations for celebrating fun, fashion, food and family,” said Larry Hashbarger, Chairman and CEO of AsiaSF. “AsiaSF is all about all of that. We’re a perfect fit for the Desert: an oasis that not only entertains but also educates and enlightens people about the transgender experience and human diversity.”
With Vegas commercial style choreography by Ronnie Reddick and award-winning Cal-Asian cuisine from Chef Jen Solomon, AsiaSF/Palm Springs is a unique interactive, cabaret and dinner entertainment experience. From the moment one enters, the internationally acclaimed “Ladies of AsiaSF” will entertain and enlighten you, complete with stand-out-performances featuring original creations by Julian Mendez Couture and Prime Kreations of Los Angeles who has designed for Beyoncé and Kendall Jenner. AsiaSF’s spectacular interiors, calling to mind a “1930s Shanghai” aesthetic are by Joshua Rowland Interiors. In addition, taking advantage of the Coachella Valley’s indoor/outdoor lifestyle, the new location will also feature a special outdoor pool club event space with cabanas, bar and luxurious lawn known as The Sonoran.
Founded by Hashbarger and Skip Young, AsiaSF has been packing in sell-out crowds at its original location for over 22 years, with legions of fans traveling to San Francisco from all over the world. Millions more have had the “AsiaSF experience” via the Fuse TV show featuring the AsiaSF cast, Transcendent. Voted “One of America’s Top 100 Restaurants” by Opentable, AsiaSF has hosted over 1 million patrons since it opened its doors in 1998.
“AsiaSF is a complete entertainment and food/cocktail experience,” says Hashbarger, the creator/producer of Passport – America’s premier fashion show and HIV/AIDS fundraiser – during his three decades as Director of Special Productions for Macy’s. “Our beautiful and talented transgender cast bring our guests into their world from the first second they enter the space. They serve drinks. They serve food. They dish up a stand-on-the-table and applaud-‘til-your-hands-are-sore song and dance experience that is, literally, transformative. I couldn’t be prouder of these inspiring women.“
Aaron Nelson, President, COO of AsiaSF and also an ownership partner, is spearheading the Palm Springs expansion. “We’re thrilled and excited that our first expansion outside of San Francisco will be to Palm Springs and the greater Coachella Valley,” said Nelson. “The AsiaSF experience not only brings world class entertainment but also a totally new cuisine to the Desert.”
“I like to call the food for AsiaSF/Palm Springs ‘Chef-Curated Bento-Style dining,” says Solomon, who has created award-winning menus in San Francisco, and is now bringing a unique culinary palette for AsiaSF/Palm Springs. “Palm Springs deserves something special, and we’re looking forward to delivering just that.”
AsiaSF has been a visionary pioneer in supporting the transgender community through empowerment by creating a safe space and unique employment opportunities that showcase its beautiful and multi-talented transgender stars, the Ladies of AsiaSF, who not only entertain but also educate and enlighten people about the transgender experience and human diversity.
“One of our missions of AsiaSF/Palm Springs is to create a trans-positive environment that educates and raises awareness about living your truth and being your authentic self,” Hashbarger sums up, “while at the same time providing our guests with a ‘time of your life’ experience.”
About The AsiaSF/Palm Springs Management Team:
Larry Hashbarger — Founder, Chairman & CEO: In addition to being a founder and creative force behind AsiaSF, Larry was the Director of Special Productions for the Macy’s Parade & Entertainment Group. In that role, he created and produced the iconic Macy’s Passport – America’s premier fashion show and HIV/AIDS fundraiser, as well as other iconic annual events such as the Junior League Fashion Show, Macy’s Flower Show and Tree Lighting events. He has been in the San Francisco nightlife scene for over 25 years and in 1995 founded Asia – a mega late night Asian gay dance club, which became one of the most successful clubs in the City. He has been involved with and supported many non profit organizations and served on the Board of Directors of the Academy of Friends and was the organization’s Chairman for two years.
Skip Young — Co-Founder: Skip was an investment advisor for ten years and for seven years Vice President, Creative Development for RTC, a subsidiary of WPP Group plc – the world’s largest advertising conglomerate. For almost 30 years he has been President of the Choo-San Goh – H. Robert Magee Foundation, awarding choreographic grants to dance companies worldwide. Mr. Young is also an Eagle Scout.
Aaron Nelson — President & Chief Operating Officer: Aaron joined AsiaSF shortly after its inception in 2000, and became an ownership partner in 2010. A previous small business owner, his passion for the hospitality industry and attention to detail lends itself perfectly to AsiaSF’s unique offerings of nightlife, dining, and entertainment. When he has some time to get away, he still enjoys returning home to his native city of Chico, CA.
Ronnie Reddick — show director/choreographer: Ronnie is one of California’s most dynamic and multi-talented choreographers with an edge of what’s happening in the world of dance and fashion today. This multifaceted San Francisco based choreographer/dancer made his mark by combining hip hop, jazz, fashion and theatrics to create an explosive and dynamic new style, making him one of the most sought-after choreographers in the Bay Area and beyond. In the entertainment world, Ronnie has worked with such artists as Michael and Janet Jackson, Deborah Cox, Paula Abdul, Kristine W., Tony, Toni, Tone, Jody Watley, Liza Minelli, Santana, Ultra Nate, Kelly Price, Vicky Shepard, RuPaul, Jeanie Tracy, Abigail and M.C. Hammer along with many corporations like Gap, Macy’s, MAC Viva Glam Cosmetics, Nordstrom, Starbucks, API, Apple Computer, Google, Sun Microsystems, BEBE, Univision Television, E*Trade, Coca Cola, Microsoft, Bill Graham Presents and recently a video for Hillary Clinton, just to name a few. Mr. Reddick has also choreographed and worked with many designers and fashion brands, including Kenneth Cole, Puma, Barcelino, Tommy Bahama, BeBe,West Coast Leather, YB Timepieces and Diesel. He has also had the privilege and honor to be invited to teach master classes for the cast of the prestigious Las Vegas show A New Day featuring Celine Dion at Caesars Palace. Mr. Reddick also teaches at Stanford University, University of Santa Clara and just recently started teaching a few master classes at Princeton University. “Technique is only the beginning of what makes a memorable dancer, and we don’t start dancing to end up doing chorus”, says Reddick. “You have got to have that extra something.” It is through his experience and selfless devotion that Ronnie Reddick is inspiring a new generation of talent.
Jen Solomon / Executive Chef: Chef Jen Solomon’s deep appreciation for world cuisine was developed at a young age growing up on the East Coast to a family of wonderful cooks where she was exposed to a variety of foods that would fuel her lifelong passion for cooking. She began her culinary career at the age of 21 working as a prep cook and later became prep manager for Napi’s Restaurant in Provincetown MA. After a few years of experience cooking around Provincetown, Jen attended the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park to attain a full culinary education. For her internship she was fortunate to work under the classically trained Chef Cal Stamenov at the Highland’s Inn in Carmel CA and there got a chance to cook with and learn from all her culinary idols at 5 Masters of Food and Wine events. After graduation, Chef Solomon went on to work for Chef Loretta Keller at Bizou in SF. In 1997, she was approached by Chef Matthew Metcalf who she had gone to the CIA with about opening the now famous AsiaSF as co-chefs. Chef Jen was here able to create the newly emerging Cal-Asian cuisine that was to explode in the Bay Area and beyond. Chef Jen went on to open more successful restaurants in the Bay Area and was eventually called back in to the AsiaSF family to help upgrade the menus in the SF location. She is now thrilled to have accepted the position of Executive Chef of the Palm Springs location bringing her full circle in her love and evolution of modern Cal-Asian cuisine.
Russ Paul: General Manager, AsiaSF Palm Springs
Russ comes to AsiaSF from 21 years as manager of San Francisco’s legendary Beach Blanket Babylon, the longest running musical in history. Russ oversaw the operations of a 400-seat live theater, that included box office, bar, cast, and crew. Prior to Beach Blanket Babylon, for three years Russ was the general manager of San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall: an 800-seat live music venue with three bars and full restaurant. Russ started out in San Francisco working with Julie Ring at her eponymous restaurant and supper club, Julie Ring’s Heart and Soul, working as general manager and talent booker for the 200- seat 1950s style super club and live music venue. Russ obviously has a love for music and people and prides himself in making sure that everyone always has an amazing experience at any venue that he is a part of.
Interior Design: Joshua Rowland Interiors
Be it extravagant or subdued, sophisticated or subversive, Joshua Rowland Interior’s intent is the same: Make it beautiful, make it exciting and keep it engaging. His obsessions with haute couture fashion, art history, science, and an overactive imagination, create a combination of spectacularly potent influences. Joshua Rowland Interiors experience spans almost two decades as a practicing designer. Expertise includes creating luxury hospitality, residential, boutique retail, furniture and textile design. Commissions are executed with charm, luxury and bespoke details. Collaborations span treasured residences, destination wineries, boutique hotels, nightlife venues, restaurants and luxury retail hospitality located at domestic and international addresses.