Fabulous 100

Clover Club

Who enters here leaves care behind, leaves sorrow behind, leaves petty envies and jealousies behind?

So went the motto of the original Clover Club, a select group of Philadelphia journalists who, from 1882 until the 1920s met once a month at the Bellevue Hotel to eat and drink and talk.

The only people the above words did not necessarily apply to were their guests, celebrities of the day, who were invited to address the club and were heckled relentlessly once they did. The more pretentious or self-important they were, the worse they got it, but they came anyway. Maybe it was because “Major” Moses P. Handy, the club’s president, knew everyone who was anyone and was liked by them all.

Or maybe it was the challenge. If you could get over the Clover Club, you could get over anywhere. Probably, though, they came and took their lumps because of George Bold.  Bold, you see, was the Bellevue’s manager, and – in all matters pertaining to food and drink, anyway – he was a perfectionist.