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TCH to toast local foodies with a ‘SIP’

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published February 23, 2016

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BIRMINGHAM — It’s been just about two months since many people resolved to stick to those skimpy diet plans to shrink down in 2016.

Are you bored yet? Good, because The Community House in downtown Birmingham is cooking up a brand-new event that will satisfy the appetites of even the most discerning food and drink aficionados.

The fundraiser, called SIP, begins at 6 p.m. March 12 with a private champagne and hors d’oeuvre reception for patron-level attendees. From there, general admission guests will join in for an evening of small-plate stations created by some of the area’s best restaurants, including Local Kitchen & Bar, The Bird and the Bread, Social Kitchen & Bar, Au Cochon, The Stand Gastro Bistro, Streetside Seafood and Prime 29 Steakhouse.

The event is a first for TCH, which is already known for epicurean celebrations like the annual Farm to Table local food festival. John Kelly, owner of The Stand Gastro Bistro, is excited to dive into yet another one of their culinary efforts.

“(The Stand) is not just a restaurant for the community. We are a restaurant that participates with the community,” said Kelly. “TCH does many great things, and we are glad to partner up with them when we have the chance.”

While the crowd mingles and enjoys entertainment by Detroit’s famed jazz crooner Ben Sharkey, something special will be happening in the kitchen. Ron Edwards, master sommelier and SIP’s official food and beverage consultant, will pair the small-plate selections with craft cocktails to create a unique, expertly curated dining experience.

“The Community House is excited to bring back some old-fashion fun and excitement to the community via its first annual SIP strolling small plates and craft cocktails event. The purpose of SIP is to create a world-class signature fundraising event that will bring together aficionados of fine cuisine and extraordinary cocktails, all for the benefit of children and adults served by TCH,” William Seklar, president and CEO of TCH, said in an email.

Seklar noted that he is thankful to Bank of Birmingham and the other event sponsors — which include Children’s Hospital of Michigan-Troy, among others — for ensuring that the proceeds from the evening can go straight back into the work TCH does to support at-risk children around metro Detroit.

Patron tickets cost $350, general admission tickets cost $250, and young adult tickets for guests ages 21-30 cost $125. For reservations, call TCH at (248) 644-5832 or visit

The Community House is located at 380 S. Bates St. in downtown Birmingham.