Welcome to Cafe Society
Cafe Society is Maxwell Social’s weekly magazine on the intersection of community and society — an anthropological look at the underpinnings of what makes the world tick, written by David Litwak (@dlitwak) and the Maxwell team
Cafe Society is Vanity Fair meets Ben Thompson of Stratechery, real in-depth sociological & business analysis about our culture.
Subscribe to read longer form Dinner Discussion pieces, deep dives into community concepts, like Community Doesn’t Scale, the Future of Social Clubs are Miniclubs, how COVID & Takeaway Drinks called our Bluff, Gatekeepers & The Wing, Inclusive Exclusivity, Sofar Sounds & Self-Cancelling Greek Life, Nostalgia Marketing & Blockbuster Video and the Anarchist Collective that launched the first ever Bikesharing collective in Amsterdam.
Or subscribe to read our weekly Quick Bites update, our community concepts in the wild, 500 word analyses of a business, cultural institution or person applying a particularly interesting cultural concept.
Why Cafe Society? Well, Cafe Society referred to the men and women in the 30s and 40s who gathered in fashionable cafés and restaurants in New York, Paris and London beginning in the late 19th century, often attending each other’s private dinners & balls. In the 60s the phrase came to be associated to the congregation of artists and intellectuals and coffee house talk, sociability and intellectual exchange. The first integrated nightclub in America, launched in 1938 by Barney Josephson, was called Cafe Society, and sought to provide an antidote to the stuffy norm of upper crust nightlife.
But perhaps most importantly, Cafe Society was the name of a one edition publication by our very own namesake, Elsa Maxwell, which was once described as a “foreshadowing of Vanity Fair.”