A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 14, 2013
“The party always ends up in the kitchen”

"The party always ends up in the kitchen” is an old adage that suggests that good entertaining often involves food and drink. “I wonder why good parties always end up in the kitchen?” was cited in print in 1936. “Nowadays, they (parties—ed.) start in the living room, drift to the dining room and invariably end up in the kitchen” was cited in print in 1937.

The authorship of the adage is unknown.


11 September 1936, Centralia (WA) Chronicle Advertiser, “Informal Sunday Night Suppers Entertaining” by Deborah Ames, pg. 7-B, col. 6::
I wonder why good parties always end up in the kitchen?

17 January 1937, Charleston (WV) Gazette, “Kitchens Now Home Feature: Hostesses Making Culinary Division as Attractive as Living Rooms,” Second Section, pg. 7, col. 8:
Parties used to be given in the parlor and at the dining room table. Nowadays, they start in the living room, drift to the dining room and invariably end up in the kitchen.

16 June 1940, Seattle (WA) Times, “Kitchen Parties for Sophisticates: Clara Edwards, noted song writer, is a fine cook and entertains in her chic kitchen” by Grace Turner, This Week Magazine, pg. 18, col. 3:
It’s easy to understand why all Mrs. Edwards’s parties end up in the kitchen. “No matter how elegantly I start out,” she says, “my parties always gravitate kitchenwards.”
(From an apartment on Riverside Drive, New York City—ed.)

1 February 1942, San Diego (CA) Union, “Kitchen Takes Social Spotlight” by Eileen Jackson, pg. 6D, col. 1:
They say that a good party always ends in the kitchen when the guests feel enough at home to “take over” even the ice box.

Google Books
Mrs. Candy Strikes It Rich
By Robert Tallant
Garden City, NY: Doubleday
1954
Pg. 17:
“Everybody ends up in the kitchen.”
“We used to always start ours in the kitchen and end them there, too,” Henry told Mrs. Wycliff.

23 July 1954, Lethbridge (Alberta) Herald, “Toronto Decorator Plans Dual-Purpose ‘In-Law’ House” by Pauline Kennedy, pg. 14, col. 1:
‘The party always ends up in the kitchen anyway,” Mrs. Morley said, “so you might as well have one with lots of space for hungry guests.”

23 February 1958, Trenton (NJ) Evening Times, “Informality Plus: The Kitchen Buffet,” pg. 18, col. 3:
“No matter how carefully I plan them, my parties always end up in the kitchen.” That oft-heard comment (it’s never a complaint; nobody seems to mind) is the clue to an important fact. The kitchen is really a place where everyone, be he “family” or guest, likes to be.

31 October 1959, Lima (OH) News, Entertainment Section, pg. 2, col. 4:
Good Party Winds Up In Kitchen
“A good party always ends up in the kitchen.”

This is the theory which set designer Gary Smith is following for the CBS Television Network’s “Big Party” Thursday in which hostess Irene Dunne has invited Pearl Bailey, Jack Carter, Gypsy Rose Lee and Les Charlivels, among other celebrities.

“I’ve always found the adage about parties ending up in the kitchen to be true,” says designer Smith, “so we’re following it on television.”

Google Books
The Modern House, U.S.A.:
Its Design and Decoration

By Kate Ellen Rogers
New York, NY: Harper
1962
Pg. 153:
More likely than not, the adult party ends up in the kitchen, no matter where it may have started.

30 April 1977, Chicago (IL) Tribune, “The Dunwood fits,” pg. W-B8:
This idea appeals to people who say “the party always ends up in the kitchen.”

Google Books
Country Magazine
Volume 5, Issues 1-6
1984
Pg. 50:
A well-worn adage maintains that “the party always ends up in the kitchen.”

Google Books
The Fearless Home Buyer:
Razzi’s Rules for Staying in Control of the Deal

By Elizabeth Razzi
New York, NY: STC Paperbacks
2006
Pg. 144:
Our entertaining space is near the hearth — the kitchen and family room — because everybody knows a good party always ends up in the kitchen.

San Diego (CA) Union-Tribune
Mix, don’t match
Spice up the kitchen by tossing old notions

By Elaine Markoutsas
June 8, 2008
(...)
In a recent ad for Lowe’s, which focuses on the entertainment nature of kitchens (“remember, the party always ends up in the kitchen”), a slate tile floor is set off with dark cabinets with stainless handles, a bar-height counter made of a transparent material, stainless appliances and garage-door-style cabinets with glass panes.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Monday, January 14, 2013 • Permalink