Invading Places – When Dashing Dinners Meet Ridiculous Real Estate

DSC_1050What do you get when you mix a remarkable meal with a stranger’s magical maison? PlaceInvaders of course!

PlaceInvaders is a one-of-a-kind secret supper club popping up in random residences across America.

In 2014, Katie Smith-Adair and Hagan Blount, two travel and food enthusiasts, combined their love of these two things launching this special project. Their first takeover was in a small, but stunning taxidermy-filled apartment in New York City’s burgeoning, Lower East Side.

With some trials and tribulations along the way, there was much to be learned, but also many friends and memories to be made. Katie and Hagan have now hosted 111 individual events throughout 12 cities, since, and they aren’t stopping any time soon.

TDSC_0008heir most recent venture in a beautifully designed, yet secret loft on New York City’s swanky Park Avenue, is the home a fashion photographer and lifestyle curator/retailer. The open, split level landscape was easy a decorator’s dream come true, and the 30 person dining table at the center of the room, was the masterpiece bringing strangers from all walks of life together under one roof… or fabulous chandelier for that matter.

mesipAs guests began to arrive, Katie greeted them with a signature cocktail made of Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Maple syrup, Aperol, lemon, mint and a splash of soda water. Guests gathered, mixed and mingle as they gawked at the gorgeously designed space they would’ve never assumed was hidden behind that staircase.

And if you’re wondering how these two make their secret residential selections, there’s no real science –

“Basically, what we’re looking for is a trusting owner who is intrigued by the concept and willing to hand over the keys. There isn’t an exact science to our property selection, as we like to keep our guests on their toes and would hate to become formulaic. We look for a variety of interesting elements: history, architecture, an unexpected location, a celebrity angle, a strange design – you name it,” said Katie.

(Picture courtesy of PlaceInvaders)

Katie and Hagan bring on board well-known, or even up-and-coming chefs, to share their culinary creations with the very unassuming guests. Because Katie and Hagan usually take over the residence for an entire weekend, they are usually able to host multiple chefs throughout those days.

For Friday night’s dinner, Chef Danny Brown, formerly of Danny Brown Wine Bar & Kitchen, the first restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star in Queens, presented us with a delectably exquisite menu consisting of Salad Lyonnaise, Spiced Rohan Duck Breast, and Meyer Lemon Tart.


DSC_0070For Sunday’s brunch, Chef Pete Lipson formerly of the East Village’s Northern Spy Food Co, chefed up some Blue Point Oysters, Deviled Egg Toast, Smoked Bluefish, and an Apple Bread Pudding to top us off. And let’s not forget to mention the endless signature cocktails and free flowing wine that kept us coming back for more.eggs smokedfish toast
(pictures Courtesy of PlaceInvaders)

Their next adventure is set to take place in the Hudson Valley July 8-10 and there will even be an Airstream involved. Katie and Hagan are mum on many of the details including the menu and exact location of their events, only sharing them the day of, so as to keep the suspense and excitement alive.

In addition to ticketed events full of strangers, PlaceInvaders also offer private events and have worked with major brands and popped up at annual festivals like SXSW, bringing their unique style of intimate dinner parties to help partners connect with customers, press and influencers

Oh, and don’t ever expect ordinary when dealing with these two. Prior “Invasions” have popped up in an abandoned 1950’s-era New York penthouse, a miniscule graffiti-covered studio, and a Shanghai opium den-inspired condo that once hosted rapper Notorious B.I.G.’s video shoot. Yes, the fun has only just begun!

To participate in one of Katie and Hagan’s place invasions, check out their website


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