Café society

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Le Dôme Café in Paris.

Café society was the description of the "Beautiful People" and "Bright Young Things" who gathered in fashionable cafes and restaurants in New York, Paris, and London beginning in the late 19th century. Maury Henry Biddle Paul is credited with coining the phrase "cafe society" in 1915. Lucius Beebe created the term "chromium mist" for the cafe society lifestyle he chronicled in his weekly column, "This New York," for the New York Herald Tribune during the 1920s and 1930s.

They attended each other's private dinners and balls and took holidays in exotic locations or at elegant resorts. In the United States, café society came to the fore with the end of Prohibition in December 1933 and the rise of photojournalism, to describe the set of people who tended to do their entertaining semi-publicly, in restaurants and night clubs and who would include among them movie stars and sports celebrities. Some of the American night clubs and New York City restaurants frequented by the denizens of café society included El Morocco, the Stork Club, Restaurant Larue, and the 21 Club. A complete history of New York café society, illustrated with photographs by Jerome Zerbe, was published by McFarland Publishing in 2015.

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