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Henry A. Davidsen: Master Tailors & Image Consultants, Philadelphia’s leader in custom men’s clothing, is thrilled to announce the return of Suits & Sazeracs, the spirited cocktail competition and charitable fundraiser benefiting local nonprofit The Wardrobe (formerly The Career Wardrobe). Suits & Sazeracs, presented in collaboration with award-winning local distillery Bluebird Distilling, takes place inside the Burnham Ballroom at the Hotel Palomar on Monday, April 8 from 6 – 9 pm. Guests are invited to get gussied up for the storied soiree that sees Philly’s top bar talent go head-to-head – with $1.5k on the line in cash prizes – for an exciting cocktail competition judged by industry experts AND attendees. Tickets for Suits & Sazeracs are available online now for $75/person, with a portion of ticket proceeds benefiting The Wardrobe.   

During Suits & Sazeracs, the New Orleans-inspired evening designed by acclaimed local event architects Lucky Dog Studio, guests will sample Sazeracs crafted by nine of Philadelphia’s top bartenders, all made using Bluebird Distilling’s Straight Rye Whiskey, and nosh on fare provided by Square 1682’s Executive Chef Patrick Czerniak (think: duck breast, tuna sashimi, olive oil cake) while a live NOLA-style jazz band keeps things swinging! Additional highlights of the evening include a Silent Auction, live oversized check presentation to The Wardrobe, and even a Best Dressed Guest Award.  

“We are thrilled to bring this much-anticipated event back for its 4th iteration after last year’s success!” said Henry A. Davidsen President and Founder, Brian Lipstein. “At last year’s competition, event we raised $7,500 — this year, our goal is to raise over $10,000, and to garner over 10,000 gently used professional wear items for The Wardrobe.”   

The panel of cocktail judges, which includes world-renowned spirits and travel writer Brian Freedman and other industry experts, will honor one bartender with $1,000 for the superior Sazerac; while attendees will vote for the People’s Choice winner (who will be awarded $500). Plus, attendees will have the opportunity to “buy” additional votes, with 100% of those proceeds benefiting The Wardrobe.   

Bartenders competing in the 4th Annual Suits & Sazeracs include:    

  • Starbolt: Bree Ceglia, Assistant General Manager 
  • Red Owl Tavern: Chris Devern, Lead Bartender    
  • Stratus Rooftop Lounge: Patrick Banko, Beverage Manager 
  • Square 1682: Alex Clark, Lead Bartender   
  • Butcher Bar: Tom Foy, Mixologist   
  • Sassafras/48 Record Bar: Matt Hubsher, Lead Bartender  
  • Two Fourteen: Jeremy Winkler, Lead Bar/Beverage Director  
  • Post Haste: Fred Beebe, Chief Beverage Enthusiast   
  • At The Table: Lynn Finkbiner, Lead Bartender    

“We’re thrilled to be back in the Burnham Ballroom at Hotel Palomar celebrating Philadelphia’s top cocktail talent with this competition,” said Jared Adkins, Founder of Bluebird Distilling. “We can’t wait to see the creative cocktail creations the bartenders whip up using our Straight Rye Whiskey and how much money we can raise for such a worthy cause. Let the good times roll!”   

Guests can also get in on the prizes, with the Best Dressed Guest Award judged by Columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Elizabeth Wellington, and an additional honored guest to be announced. Guests are encouraged to dress to the glitzy New Orleans theme, wearing Southern ensembles boasting bright colors, pastels or bold stripes. Fedoras, bow ties, suspenders, pocket squares, or Southern Belle-esque gowns!   

In addition to a bevy of Sazeracs, there will be zero-proof premium beverages courtesy of Fever-Tree, as well as low-ABV beer courtesy of custom contract brewing company My Local Brew Works. Dubbed Leave Your Tie At The Door (4.9% ABV), the beer is a multigrain spiced treat brewed from Pilsner, Wheat, and Rye malts with oats; spiced with bitter and sweet orange, coriander, chamomile, grains of paradise and orange flowers. Hops are Nugget and Tradition.  

Tickets for Suits & Sazeracs are available online now for $75/person, with a portion of ticket proceeds benefiting The Wardrobe. Suits & Sazeracs marks the start of Henry A. Davidsen’s 6th annual Suit Drive, in which donations of professional clothing will be accepted at drop-off points across the Greater Philadelphia Area, running from April 8 to May 10. Philadelphians interested in donating gently-used suits, ties, jackets, shirts, pants, belts, shoes, and other professional and semi-professional attire in support of local individuals in need can find more information here.   

Suit Drive drop-off locations include American Executive Centers, Spikes Trophies, RJM Management, Joseph Anthony Retreat Spa & Salon, First Trust Bank, 12th Street Catering, and many more. For a full list of participants and addresses please see the full list online here.  

Throughout the evening of Sazerac sampling, NOLA-influenced passed appetizers will be prepared by Executive Chef Patrick Czerniak of Square 1682. See menu offerings below:  


Courtesy of Square 1682’s Executive Chef Patrick Czerniak  

Passed Fare  

  • Olives & Blue – Castelventrano olives, Point Reyes blue cheese  
  • Tuna Sashimi – Asian pears, jalapeno, wrapped in cucumber  
  • Dry-Aged Strip Steak  — Anchovy cured egg yolk  
  • Salmon & Everything nice – Everything spiced focaccia cracker, herbed cream cheese  
  • Olive Oil Cake – Chocolate salt 
  • Charcuterie & Cheese Cups  
  • Duck Breast – Miso caramel, smoked salt  
  • Cauliflower esquites tostada  

In the weeks leading up to the event, cocktail lovers can stop by the following participating bars and restaurants to enjoy a unique Sazerac special, with $1/Sazerac also donated to The Wardrobe.  

  • Butcher Bar (2034 Chestnut St, Philadelphia PA)  
  • Post Haste (2519 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia PA) 
  • Sassafras/48 Record Bar (48 S 2nd St, Philadelphia PA)  
  • Starbolt (1936 N Front St, Philadelphia PA)