A downtown Grand Rapids eatery has teamed up with a local lingerie boutique to take dinner theater to a new level.
Social Misfits, a restaurant known for its sweet and savory waffles and a myriad of unconventional cocktails, will hold an inaugural Naughty Misfits Brunch Saturday, July 23, at 43 W. Fulton St. in Grand Rapids.
The event gives guests a chance to indulge in the venue’s atypical cuisine while viewing a burlesque show featuring performers sporting the newest looks from Naughty Bettie, an intimate apparel shop that specializes in European designs.
“It’s a new take on the drag brunch with a view to furthering burlesque as an art form in West Michigan,” said Elise Kutt, owner of Naughty Betty, the shop that draws its namesake from 1950s pinup girl, Bettie Page.
Kutt, a boudoir photographer, opened the lingerie shop in 2018 after finding many of her photography clients struggled to find quality lingerie that wasn’t designed with the skinny model prototype in mind.
Kutt said her aim was to serve all women of all shapes and sizes and to be inclusive of trans women, nonbinary people and others who are comfortable in female spaces, she said. Social Misfits’ progenitors describe their restaurant as “a welcoming refuge for all that respects and celebrates the diverse” and emphasizes a “come-as-you-are” protocol. With similar missions, it was a natural collaboration.
The idea for the brunch began when Megan Seeley, who is involved in brand marketing for Social Misfits, reached out to Kutt about burlesque classes offered at her boutique to see if she was in need of a food and beverage provider for an upcoming performer’s showcase. The idea for a burlesque brunch snowballed from there.
“I had been to Social Misfits a ton,” Kutt said. “They have one of my favorite bloody marys in the city, and we are both involved in welcoming all bodies, all genders. Social Misfits is trying to find the rule breakers among us, as well. So it was a good fit.”
In honor of the event, Social Misfits Executive Chef Jameson Ewigleben created a new Bettie Page-inspired dish for the event: The Queen of Pinups Waffle, with fried chicken, vanilla ice cream, housemade tomato basil jam, arugula piled on top of the establishment’s signature waffle, topped with sea salt and balsamic drizzle. Dairy-free and vegetarian options are available, as well as other waffle creations regularly featured on the Social Misfits menu.
Included in the price of the $50-55 ticket for this 21-and-over event is a burlesque show performed by the the Squad Bettie Gang: Raven Blu, Elfie Odette and Miss Silver Belle, as well as a waffle and choice of mimosa, bloody mary or other themed cocktail, and gratuity for the staff. There will be a cash bar for other purchases.
The two-hour event will be hosted by Molly Green. The first seating is at 11 a.m. The second starts at 2 p.m.
“The morning show is fairly well-booked, but we have plenty of openings for the afternoon show,” Kutt said.
Last-minute tickets are still available here.
“After every single event we have of this sort, women walk out the door feeling empowered and proud of their bodies,” Kutt said. “It’s affirmation that our bodies are meant to look however our bodies are meant to look.”
The Naughty Misfits Brunch is the one of two Naughte Bettie/Social Misfits collaborations that will take place this summer. The next will be National Couples Day, Aug. 18.