café society

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café society

The collective term for socialites and movie celebrities who frequented fashionable restaurants and nightclubs. From the end of World War I through the 1960s, the media covered the comings and goings of members of Society (with a capital S, the word referred to people of “good family,” which in turn meant old money), and glamorous movie stars much as celebrity-chroniclers now report on Paris Hilton, Brad/Angelina, TV reality show personalities, and other boldface celebrities. Among the more popular haunts were Manhattan's Stork Club and El Morocco nightclubs. Then as now, a substantial portion of the population was interested in the lives of their social betters, and newspaper gossip columnists reported on party- and club-goers in the next day's editions. It was one such scribe, Maury Paul (pen-name: Cholly Knickerbocker) who coined the phrase “café society.”
See also: society