The Women Behind The Dalloway On Their Lesbian Prom
The Dalloway is a bi-level restaurant cocktail lounge located at 525 Broome Street in Soho. From their release: "Owners Amanda Leigh Dunn and Kim Stolz have had a strong influence on New York’s lesbian scene and The Dalloway, their first collaboration, was born out of a desire to create a venue with a strong female team that is open to everyone."
Co-owner Amanda Leigh Dunn was previously the owner of Cross Street Productions, directly across the street from the restaurant. She designed The .Dalloway. She is best known, however, for her starring role in Showtime’s The L Word. Co-owner Kim Stolx is a former MTV News correspondent who became further known as an America’s Next Top Model contestant. She worked at MTV as a news anchor, wrote a book (Can’t Stop) and worked on Wall Street. They grabbed Noche’s Vanessa Miller as executive chef who famously started working restaurants as a teenager.
They’re having a Lesbian Prom on Valentine’s day and "The Biggest Singles Night Yet" on Tuesday, February 12th to ensure romance on the big day. I asked them to tell me all about it.
The Dalloway…tell me about the name.
Amanda Leigh Dunn: Kim came up with the name (as mine were absolutely terrible). We felt that it was important to be both subtle but still hold meaning. Virginia Woolf is known through her writings to be a closeted lesbian whose death attributed to not being able to come out and find herself. Mrs. Dalloway was our favorite book of hers, so The Dalloway came to be. We want everyone to feel welcome, comfortable, and safe, and we think the name holds a nice significance to those who know its meaning.
The restaurant is lesbian-owned. Is that newsworthy… important to mention? Important to the brand?
ALD: I think it’s more that when someone looks up to you for being comfortable being out to the public, it makes them more comfortable. And Kim and I are very publicly gay. It was much easier for us to get the word out quickly. I think it is important to the brand, because Kim and I are extremely involved, and always make sure one of us is always there. We want everyone to know that they are as important to us as we are to them.
Tell me about the lesbian prom.
ALD: The prom is on Valentine’s Day. It’s going to be amazing. We have a photo booth, and are decorating the whole place to look like high school prom. A lot of girls weren’t out in high school, or didn’t feel comfortable bringing someone of the same sex, so it’s going to be really fun. I’ll definitely be there in a full tux. Everyone is welcome – they just need to RSVP to BeMine@thedallowaynyc.com. There is no cover or fee. We just want everyone to have a good time.
Is this an exportable brand? Will Dalloway pop up in Vegas? LA? Miami?
ALD: I guess time will tell, but it’s definitely not out of the question.
Tell me about the menu and what a patron might expect
ALD: We are new-American small plates, so it’s perfect for the indecisive foodie. Everything on the menu is priced around $10 – so we recommend 2-3 items per person. People really love to share various plates. Vanessa Miller is our chef. She is absolutely amazing. She is the youngest female exec chef in the nation, and is always coming up with amazing specials and innovative takes on traditional dishes. Her food has been getting rave reviews and she definitely doesn’t disappoint.