Stand back Palm Springs: the entertainment and culinary landscape is about to be trans-formed. AsiaSF/Palm Springs (www.asiasf.com), the storied San Francisco dinner theatre and cabaret featuring the world-famous transgender Ladies of AsiaSF, is set to welcome its first paying customers on Saturday, February 8 on Palm Springs’ main thoroughfare: 1555 South Palm Canyon Drive. Leading up to its first open-to-the-general public evening, AsiaSF/Palm Springs will be hosting a series of private / invite-only “Friends and Family” events for its nonprofit partners: The Transgender Community Coalition; The LGBT Community Center of the Desert, Sanctuary Palm Springs and Dezart Performs. A special invite-only Grand Opening preview celebration and ribbon cutting will be held this Friday, January 24. In the coming days, their new menu, specific to the Palm Springs location, will be available online. All prices are inclusive of dinner and the shows, with cocktails priced separately. For individual reservations, groups and special events go to asiasf.com or call (760) 249-2766.
“Palm Springs is rightly known as one of the world’s top destinations for celebrating fun, fashion, food and family,” said Larry Hashbarger, Chairman and CEO of AsiaSF. “AsiaSF is all about all of that. We’re a perfect fit for the Desert: an oasis that not only entertains but also educates and enlightens people about the transgender experience and human diversity.”
With Vegas commercial style choreography by Ronnie Reddick and award-winning Cal-Asian cuisine from Chef Jen Solomon, AsiaSF/Palm Springs is a unique interactive, cabaret and dinner entertainment experience. From the moment one enters, the internationally acclaimed “Ladies of AsiaSF” will entertain and enlighten you, complete with stand-out-performances featuring original creations by Julian Mendez Coutureand Prime Kreations of Los Angeles who has designed for Beyoncé and Kendall Jenner. AsiaSF’s spectacular interiors, calling to mind a “1930s Shanghai” aesthetic are by Joshua Rowland Interiors. In addition, taking advantage of the Coachella Valley’s indoor/outdoor lifestyle, the new location will also feature a special outdoor pool club event space with cabanas, bar and luxurious lawn known as The Sonoran.
Founded by Hashbarger and Skip Young, AsiaSF has been packing in sell-out crowds at its original location for over 22 years, with legions of fans traveling to San Francisco from all over the world. Millions more have had the “AsiaSF experience” via the Fuse TV show featuring the AsiaSF cast, Transcendent. Voted “One of America’s Top 100 Restaurants” by Opentable, AsiaSF has hosted over 1 million patrons since it opened its doors in 1998.
“AsiaSF is a complete entertainment and food/cocktail experience,” says Hashbarger, the creator/producer of Passport – America’s premier fashion show and HIV/AIDS fundraiser – during his three decades as Director of Special Productions for Macy’s. “Our beautiful and talented transgender cast bring our guests into their world from the first second they enter the space. They serve drinks. They serve food. They dish up a stand-on-the-table and applaud-‘til-your-hands-are-sore song and dance experience that is, literally, transformative. I couldn’t be prouder of these inspiring women.“
Aaron Nelson, President, COO of AsiaSF and also an ownership partner, is spearheading the Palm Springs expansion. “We’re thrilled and excited that our first expansion outside of San Francisco will be to Palm Springs and the greater Coachella Valley,” said Nelson. “The AsiaSF experience not only brings world class entertainment but also a totally new cuisine to the Desert.”
“I like to call the food for AsiaSF/Palm Springs ‘Chef-Curated Bento-Style dining,” says Solomon, who has created award-winning menus in San Francisco, and is now bringing a unique culinary palette for AsiaSF/Palm Springs. “Palm Springs deserves something special, and we’re looking forward to delivering just that.”
AsiaSF has been a visionary pioneer in supporting the transgender community through empowerment by creating a safe space and unique employment opportunities that showcase its beautiful and multi-talented transgender stars, the Ladies of AsiaSF, who not only entertain but also educate and enlighten people about the transgender experience and human diversity.
“One of our missions of AsiaSF/Palm Springs is to create a trans-positive environment that educates and raises awareness about living your truth and being your authentic self,” Hashbarger sums up, “while at the same time providing our guests with a ‘time of your life’ experience.”