Great Gatsby Dinner: One Roaring Night | Laci’s Tapas Bar

NoExcuses held its Great Gatsby dinner party event at Laci’s Tapas Bar on Wednesday, May 8, 2013.  Michael Heagerty, founder of NoExcuses, which is essentially a promotional and tourism site for the City of Syracuse, sent out the invites to the world and encouraged anyone and everyone to attend.  The $50 and themed dinner party would be the first of future events down the road. For a nice venue and service, you’ll definitely be paying as much if you were to go out on a date.  Since there is no price tag on experience and fun, cost should not deter you away from attending.

A few days ago and prior to the event, Katrina Tulloch of The Post-Standard wrote an article to promote the event, deeming Heagerty as Syracuse’s very own Jay Gatsby.  When I first met Heagerty, he was a name to me.  Call me Nick Carraway, let’s say.  Similarly to everyone else, his stage name, ToTs!!!, highlighting his quintessential rapping about potatoes, sticks out amongst the Syracuse and Central New York music scene.  It was a year ago when we first shook hands over a pint.  The rest is history.  However, it’s funny to think–in your group or niche of friends and associates–others tell you that they think you know a lot of people.  It’s a great feeling when you are the one saying so, admiring someone for who they are and how many people know him or her.  It’s astonishing.  Especially when that said individual remembers the majority of names and faces of everyone met. 

Heagerty is humble, but he’s confident.  He knows what he wants, and he develops ideas on how to do it.  Similarly to many Central New York locally-based and promotional organizations, for instance Syracuse First, one of the objectives is to make people, residents and visitors, conscious of locally-based… well, everything.  We love Syracuse, and stimulating the local economy is the desire.  I do not work directly with these local agencies; however, I attend events due to sharing the same beliefs, which makes me feel grateful. 

I still am facinated by his lifestyle.

There isn’t any reason to go to these national chains despite to simply say you have been there.  The chains open and people are excited; however, the hype for these places die as quickly as December’s holidays come and abruptly go.  You aren’t helping the locally-based restaurants and shops flourish by paying for overpriced processed food, which is loaded with salt.  

That’s enough about that.  If I don’t stop myself, the tangent will balloon. 


Laci’s Tapas Bar was definitely the perfect venue for the NoExcuses Great Gatsby dinner.  The restaurant, which is located in the historic Hawley Green section of Syracuse, resides in a beautiful brick house.  The decor is definitely original, which has to be applauded.  The bar wraps slightly, and it’s poignant.  The location of the wooden staple is in the first room of the dining area, and its placement allows a creation of a nook.  You’re still a part of the atmosphere at its end, but you are cozy and can carry on a great conversation with another or a couple others.  This is where I met Cheyenne and Nick (my apologies for the misspelling of names).   They were decked out in 1920’s garb, respectively, and it made sense to walk over and start conversation.  I’m getting better with that–talking to strangers; it was evident they were there for the party, so it wouldn’t have made sense not to.  We hung out, talked, and clinked glasses before heading upstairs.

Laci’s makes one tasty gin and tonic.

Getting Started

Couple-by-couple the venue began to fill.  We hung out by the fireplace, featured above, taking a few minutes before the arrival of others.  Everyone looked elegant and handsome, and the Laci’s setting seemed perfect detail-by-detail.  The bar is situated in the corner of the room, to the right as you go up the stairs.  To the left is another sitting area, a dining area, and the bathroom(s).  The decor appeared rustic, and it appealed relevant to the time.  I am no expert of decor in the 1920’s, but everything felt comfortable.  I would definitely use the upstairs of Laci’s Tapas Bar for a private party.

The Wine

The food was excellent and flavorful, taking the tapas concept and tweaking it.  We had fried macaroni and cheese, meatballs, flatbread, Brussel sprouts, sliders, and other tasty treats to tantalize our taste buds.  I am not a fan of Brussel sprouts, because they need to be cooked to taste.  The tiny Brussel sprouts were fantastic.  They are not featured in the picture, but we all know what they look like. 

I had the opportunity to sit and eat with Nick, but Chris and Quinton (Syracuse University students) with the Connective Corridor.  I was one of three Chrises at the event; this other Chris rocked a bow tie.

The Food

With my Sidecar in hand, we milled around the party, listening to the soundtrack from the upcoming The Great Gatsby film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and others.  When I first heard about the soundtrack, I was nervous.  Similar to the soundtrack of the late Heath Ledger film A Knight’s Tale, the music was not of that century.  The latter film of the two mentioned had a classic rock soundtrack, which still generates mixed feelings.  I love the film, however.  But the Jay-Z production could be over the top.

It isn’t.

I am now very curious as to how these songs fit into the movie.  It’s a fusion of genres and styles, blossoming vividly as the aesthetic movie trailer boasts.  I have my hands on a copy of the soundtrack, and I cannot wait to listen to it over and over.

The party was also blessed to have a musical cabaret by Jess and Chris, whose chemistry is distinctive while playing music and while they are hanging out.  They played two three-song sets.  The rhythm-and- blues/jazz/soul fusion was so distinct and smooth with Jess’ elegant vocals and Chris’ incredible guitar playing.  If they have a show, I highly suggest seeing/listening/enjoying to them.  The music they play matches their personalities, so introducing yourself and having a few words are appropriate.

The Entertainment

Chris on guitar

Mr. Heagerty, thank you.  We cannot wait for the next party.

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