Midtown Cocktail Week is upon us, but the celebration is not limited to Midtowners alone. Embracing their Downtown location, Blackbird Kitchen + Bar will host Welcome to the West End during MCW Saturday evening.
Blackbird General Manager Daniel Senecka explained, “Welcome to the West End introduces the fact that there is a cultural history behind the whole ‘K’ branding campaign.”
According to historian William Burg, West End refers to a geographical area spanning west of 10th Street from the Southern Pacific shops of the old railyards to R Street.
“It was a series of immigrants’ neighborhoods,” Burg said, including China Town, Japan Town and Sacramento’s original barrio. “None of these neighborhoods were large enough to be completely separate. They were intermingled and densely populated – twice as dense as anything in Sacramento now.”
Once considered one of the largest slum areas of California, the West End underwent redevelopment in the late 1950s. Controversy surrounded the transformation as many of the area’s residents considered it a thriving cultural feature of Sacramento.
Senecka described the West End of the 1950s: “It contained a lot of the blue-collar workers … a lot of their living and working and obviously their playing, too.”
This grand finale party for MCW is three parts art demonstration, two parts live music and one part flashback to the 1950s. Photography and art from the era will be on display, and guests will get a visual history lesson of the iconic section of Sacramento.
Exhibit S will showcase an installation along with features on two of their resident artists. First, step into Maron Conrad’s “studio” as she performs painting demonstrations that illustrate her remarkable style. Matt Brown will also install an interactive projection installation for the event’s VIP room.
Local band Paper Pistols is the brainchild of two Sacramento natives – “sound wizard” Ira Skinner and songwriter Juliana Lydell. Their electronic style will contrast with the historical elements of the art show in an unordinary exhibition of Sacramento flaire. The Sac Storytellers will also perform their mix of reggae, jazz and blues.
Keeping with the theme of Midtown Cocktail Week, Brad Peters of Churchkey is partnering with Blackbird and will have a bar set up outside. Reyka Vodka will sponsor the event, serving an exclusive “herbal martini bar”.
As part of MCW, this event is for the 21+ crowd, and is free to attend. Suggested donations of $10 go entirely to Exhibit S. Join the party on Saturday, August 24 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
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