Once upon a time in the mid-century heyday of Palm Springs, The Purple Room was the place to be for Hollywood’s elite. The likes of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin traded the fervor of Los Angeles for this Palm Springs nightclub. Today, The Purple Room is back and bringing the Old Hollywood spirit back to the desert.
The Purple Room — Photo courtesy of The Purple Room
Tony Marchese and Mark Van Laanen, owners of nearby Trio restaurant, are bringing the nostalgic vibe back to this 50-year-old establishment. Billing itself as "where Palm Springs plays," The Purple Room features nightly entertainment and a full dinner menu six nights a week, a nod to The Purple Room’s supper club roots.
The continental, comfort food menu ranges from gumbo and angel hair pasta to blonde mac and cheese with bleu, goat and parmesan cheeses, as well as duck leg quarter confit and shrimp and goat cheese grits. Late-night nibbles on weekends and happy hour bites six nights a week also keep patrons satisfied, as they enjoy the live entertainment at The Purple Room.
Fittingly, purple walls and retro decor define this intimate space, where pictures of Hollywood legends like Dean Martin, Bob Hope and Sammy Davis, Jr. greet visitors. A state of the art sound system gets diners in the mood to groove and swing with the night’s entertainment, which can range from soothing jazz vocals to over-the-top drag shows on any given night.
Ongoing events at The Purple Room include The Judy Show on Sundays, a comedic drag show featuring the many faces of Judy Garland by entertainer Michael Holmes; the Spanish jive of Machin’ on Thursdays; and the vintage blues and jazz of The Gand Band on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Visitors are also likely to catch show tunes and the best of legends like Sinatra, Martin and Tony Bennett by lounge singers who take to The Purple Room’s stage throughout the week.
From February 14-23, 2014, The Purple Room will host a Mid Mod Music Festival with surf rock, rat pack tunes, jazz, Motown and even rockabilly tunes every night.
The Purple Room takes pride in being one of only two original Rat Pack hangouts left in the desert, the other being Melvyn’s restaurant and piano bar in Palm Springs. With the recent renovation, reopening and new concept, Marchese and Van Laanen hope to draw on the venue’s Old Hollywood roots to create the desert’s hottest new retro-inspired nightlife venue.