HILARIOUS DINERS HAIL THE NEW YEAR. ~ Thousands at the Hotels and Cafes Watch Passing of 1909.

January 1, 1910

Thousands at the Hotels and
Cafes Watch Passing
of 1909.

"It's 12 o'clock," said "Billy" Campbell, electrician at the Hotel Baltimore.

Frank J. Dean, manager of the hostelry, whose hand was on one of the big switch levers, gave it a pull, and in an instant the lights in the five dining rooms, the Pompeiian room, the grill room and the lobbies were extinguished. Bands in the dining rooms struck up "Auld Lang Syne," 1,200 diners blew souvenir horns, congratulated one another, and the new year was on.

Capacity crowds filled the dining rooms and cafes of the hotels and restaurants of Kansas City last night. At the hotels the lights were extinguished for a minute at midnight to indicate to the diners that the new year had been born. Special orchestras furnished the music and at most of the hotels the old Scotch refrain was sung.

The crowds this year were larger than last. The hotels began making reservations for last night over two weeks ago. A week ago practically all of the lists had been filled. Even at that, last night found hundreds at the big hotels, who waited in lobbies for an opportunity to get into the dining rooms before midnight.

A check system similar to that used in theaters, in which the tables were numbered and the diners held numbered checks, was inaugurated at the Hotel Baltimore this year. This avoided confusion. After dinner scores of men were put to work on the dining rooms. The tables were arranged for their guests and the decorations were put in place. The favors or souvenirs consisted of horns, in the base of which were bits of confections. The color scheme was red, roses and carnations being used in the decorations.


The doors to the dining room were opened at 10:30, but dinner was not served until 11:30. The dinner was timed to last half an hour, with the service of coffee on the tables just at midnight. Orchestras were hidden behind banks of palms and ferns in the dining rooms.

The largest crowd was in the Pompeiian room. It was also apparently the jolliest. Long before midnight hundreds of would-be diners thronged the lobby and pleaded vainly for room in one of the dining rooms. As the midnight hour approached the doorways were crowded by those who would look in, even though they could not cross the portals. The balconies above the marble room and the main banquet hall were crowded early in the evening by those who could only watch the revelers.


At the Savoy hotel the dining rooms were thrown together and the orchestra was placed in the hall so that the grill room, with its quota of stags, could be entertained. Dinner was served here at 11 o'clock. At 12 o'clock the lights were extinguished and the familiar Scotch melody was sung.

The Hotel Kupper dining room was crowded an hour before midnight and those who could not gain entrance filled the lobby and joined in the chorus of "Auld Lang Syne" when the lights were turned up after midnight.

At the Sexton hotel the crowds overflowed the dining rooms and were taken care of in the grill room in the basement.

The actors and actresses about the city had their celebration at the Century hotel. Immediately after the curtains were rung down at the various show houses a rush was made for street costumes and the members of the "profession" gathered at the Century hotel. The tables had all been reserved, and an orchestra greeted the crowd from each theater as they appeared.

The cafe of the Coates house held a capacity crowd. It was quieter than those at the other hotels.

At the Densmore, the tables in the dining room had been reserved for several weeks. Scores were turned away last night. Special music was the rule here also.