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The Butler Did It: A Helping Hand (or Two or Three)
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Twenty years ago, John R. Sullivan left behind a high-powered career in event planning for both Revlon and Estee Lauder. Sensing a need, he decided to hang out a shingle to provide top-drawer party help. Today, his well-trained staff is totally at your service -- whether you need a coat-check person or a highly skilled chef. "We have everything, from soup to nuts," he tells us, although he adds jokingly, "We try to not send out too many nuts." Coat checkers are $20/hour, waiters $25/hour, and maitre d's are $40/hour (with a five-hour minimum). Tips, he confides, are at the pleasure and satisfaction of the host, but "taxi fare after midnight is much appreciated." Sullivan notes that even for a dinner party of 30 or cocktails for 50, you need to have a maitre d'. His clients range from simple folk who just need a few extra hands to boldface names and Social Registry -- including one doting hostess who tells him her "living room looks empty without 100 people in it." Staff will come attired as you request -- but he observes that the "current thing is for black and black and more black." Although for the holidays, "a lot of clients prefer white dinner jackets and colorful ties." By reservation only. 212-255-7596; www.thebutlerdiditnyc.com (This article originally published in the 10/05 issue of Manhattan Living.)

Posted on November 26, 2007 - by

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About the Author: About the Author: Ruth J. Katz is a well-known shopping and service writer based in New York City. She has written about shopping for 25 years for New York magazine; covered the topic on-air at Fox-TV for several years as the Home Services expert; and had her own show on both the USA and Lifetime Cable networks. Katz wrote extensively for The New York Times as well, and contributed periodically to the New York Daily News. She is a passionate shopper, always looking for not merely a good buy, but the best buy, ferreting out a "steal" or discovering up-and-coming designers. She has written five books and is a former contributing editor to Hearst's Redbook, Classic Home, and Colonial Homes; she is currently a Contributing Editor of New York Home, Golf Connoisseur, The Modern Estate, and Promenade magazines. She is also the former Shopping Director for Davler Media's Manhattan Living.

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