In 2014, Katie Smith-Adair and Hagan Blount, two travel and food enthusiasts, combined their love of these two things to launch this unique project. Their first takeover was in a small, but stunning taxidermy-filled apartment in New York City’s burgeoning, Lower East Side.
Berkshires dinner party.
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 in 12 cities, and they aren’t stopping anytime soon.
Their 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 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 under one roof… or fabulous chandelier for that matter.
Dinner party at Bushwick in Brooklyn, NY.
Keys to Gramercy Park event.
And if you’re wondering how these two make their secret residential selections, there’s no real science.
“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.
Table setting at the Berkshires event.
Dinner invasion in Los Angeles.
LA dinner event.
Katie and Hagan bring on board well-known, or even up-and-coming chefs, to share their culinary creations with the very unassuming guests. Since they usually take over the residence for an entire weekend, they can host multiple chefs throughout those days.
Fig and ricotta on toasted baguette.
During a recent weekend event, 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. For Sunday’s brunch, Chef Pete Lipson formerly of the East Village’s Northern Spy Food Co, served 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.
In addition to ticketed events full of strangers, PlaceInvaders also offer private events. They 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.
PlaceInvaders hosts events in private residences across the US.
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 minuscule 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!