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NYC Hospitality Alliance Celebrates “Bash for the Boros”

Last night, 800 hospitality industry leaders were joined by civic, government, and business leaders at the New York City Hospitality Alliance’s Bash for the Boros, held this year at TAO Downtown in Manhattan. At the gala, New Yorkers celebrated the vitality of the restaurant and nightlife community and all its important contributions to the City of New York.

Among the event’s entertainment, The Alliance showcased its recently released District Dining Guide that highlights NYC Council Members, Borough Presidents, and citywide elected leaders’ “go-to” restaurants and dishes in their districts, such as Mayor Adams’ choice of Uptown Veg in Harlem and Bash attendee City Council Speaker Adrienne E. Adams’ pick, The Door restaurant in Jamaica, Queens.

The Alliance’s Executive Director Andrew Rigie made a major announcement that after serving as President of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, Melba Wilson of Melba’s Restaurant in Harlem, has completed her impactful term, and the organization’s Board of Directors elected hospitality industry veteran Bill Bonbrest to serve as the next President. Melba will become President Emeritus and continue to serve on the NYC Hospitality Alliance’s Board of Directors.

“We’re deeply grateful to Melba Wilson for her incredible contributions serving as President of the NYC Hospitality Alliance over the past five years. Melba’s powerful commitment to our organization, the hospitality industry, and New York at-large cannot be overstated, especially her unwavering service throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. We are forever appreciative for Melba’s leadership, friendship and dedication to the hospitality industry,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director, NYC Hospitality Alliance.” We’re beyond fortunate to have restaurant and nightlife veteran Bill Bonbrest elected as our next President to carry on Melba’s traditions, while leading our organization in his own vision and further uniting our industry. This is an occasion to say, ‘Cheers!’” 

The Bash is an interactive celebration with no formal seating like most galas. Instead, top NYC restaurant, bar, and nightclub owners, operators, and workers, leading hospitality industry product and service providers, government officials, and civic and business leaders freely mingle as they enjoy savory bites, libations, sweet treats, music, and unique entertainment experiences with the New York City twist. 

"It has been a tremendous privilege to serve as President of the NYC Hospitality Alliance, a role that I am deeply grateful for," expressed Melba Wilson, the proud owner of Melba's restaurants. "When I was elected in 2019, none of us could have foreseen the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic and social unrest would bring in the following year, thrusting our restaurant and nightlife industry into the heart of the crisis. Despite the struggles we faced, we stood together and remained steadfast in our commitment to supporting New York during these difficult times. I am immensely proud of the essential role we have played at the NYC Hospitality Alliance throughout it all. While it is bittersweet to complete my term as President, I am thrilled to continue serving alongside my longtime and dear friend Bill Bonbrest, our incoming President, and pass on the ‘fork’ to him."

“The NYC Hospitality Alliance plays an essential role in ensuring our restaurant and nightlife industry has its voice heard in the halls of government and has an organization to serve it with important information, education, and events,” said incoming Alliance President Bill Bonbrest. “As a 40-year veteran of our city’s hospitality industry, I’m fortunate to have been the beneficiary of incredible mentorship over the years. So, a priority of my presidency of The Alliance will be to “pay it forward” to the hospitality sector at- large, but especially to the next generation of industry leaders, so they have the building blocks for inspired and rewarding careers.”