Melvyn’s Speaker Series

Melvyn’s Restaurant has a yearly event during the winter months called the “Dinner With” Speaker Series where well known celebrities have a venue to talk about their book, life and answer questions from those attending their event. There is a 3 Course Gourmet Dinner included and the price has stayed the same for 5 years. My job starts with the announcement of the event.

My favorite event was for “Dinner With” Linda Gray. (tips hat to Ron Oliver) Here is the News Release for Linda’s event.


Palm Springs, Ca – Hollywood actress Linda Gray, who, as Sue Ellen Ewing went toe to
toe with the infamous “J.R.” for 11 years on “Dallas,” will be at Melvyn’s restaurant in Palm Springs for an evening of Dining & Dialogue, 6pm, Tuesday, April 26th, it was announced by Mel Haber, owner of Melvyn’s & The Ingleside Inn.

Haber was ecstatic about the event. “On top of being a great actress, Linda has written a marvelous book,” said Haber. “And she’ll be discussing it and signing copies at the dinner. We’re delighted to have her at Melvyn’s, it will be a truly exciting evening!” Gray’s book is entitled, “The Road to Happiness is Always Under Construction,” and in it she details deeply personal stories of her life, both in front of and off camera. With humor and candor she recounts the good, the painful and the tragic events that she endured, including how it took her two decades to finally leave her emotionally abusive husband.

The 3 course, gourmet dinner begins at 6pm. Cost is $65 per person, including tax and tip. For reservations call (760) 325-2323. Melvyn’s is located in The Ingleside Inn at 200 W. Ramon Road in Palm Springs.

The Press release is sent to the Desert Sun’s entertainment editor and used for the copy on the Events sites like Eventbrite and the Desert Sun’s calendar. Here are the other items I need to create for every event.

Newspaper Ad

I designed a new background for the ads that showed the front of Melvyn’s tall entrance columns. The Boss would run a minimum of 6 Ads for each Speaker Event. This was done to notify the “snowbirds” in town of events they would not normally hear about. Sometimes the celebrity will go on a local radio or TV talk show to tell others about their event at Melvyn’s

Custom Menu

I am the interface to the celebrity once the Boss hands me the text news release. First I send various previous menus and they usually pick and choose their favorites for their event, chef approval, of course. I then search on Google for images that are the most flattering and in context for their menu.

Email Blast

An email blast is created for the Event and sent to the “entire” Ingleside Inn email list. Why limit the audience? Many have flown in from 1,000’s miles away just for the chance to see and talk with their favorite celebrity.


For the in-house advertising, Melvyn’s Happenings are placed on every table in the restaurant. Speaker Events are the most popular. There is also a rack of Happenings inside the entrance of Melvyn’s, free for the guest.

Thanks for the Memories

The celebrity speakers are not paid, but they sell their personalized and autographed books at their event and have a complimentary overnight stay at the Ingleside Inn and meals at Melvyn’s. I make proof copies of their Event’s newspaper ad, Menu, and Happenings and place them in sheet protectors and give them to the celebrity speaker as a memento. I was in the right place at the right time and also presented Linda Gray and Ron Oliver with this photo as a token of thanks from me.