Karen McBurnie and Jon Hammer are the creators of Grade “A” Fancy, an entertainment for bon viveurs. Grade “A” Fancy stops long enough from sipping its cocktail to say “BAH!” to newfangled slight-of-hand ballyhoo, and dispenses hints on spots to savor classic New York City from high hats to low life. Past editions have uncovered rare nuggets of pre-Disney Times Square still extant, ranted against canned music, and dabbled in the heady realm of celebrity gossip with exclusive interviews with the world’s two most famous cocktails.
Jon and Karen favor creaky old joints with character over hotspots and never met a Martini they didn’t like. Oh, wait, of course they have and they can get mighty exasperated about it.
Karen is a founder of the Dames of Beef eating club. She is the official Radio Bartender for the Fool’s Paradise program on WFMU. Annually, she mixes a new cocktail of her own design live, on-air, as a part of that show’s much beloved holiday special. Favorites from years past include Tiny Tim’s Crutch, Tight Before Christmas, and The Shoplifter.
Jon Hammer does all the art work for Grade “A” Fancy, and splits the writing duties with Karen. He is a painter and illustrator. He plays guitar and sings with hillbilly boogie sensations Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co., performing monthly at The Rodeo Bar and Otto’s Shrunken Head. Sit and Die Co. are featured entertainers of the Brooklyn Beefsteak.
NOTE FROM KARA: Usually I jazz up the bios a little bit. This one required no embellishment whatsoever. And if this is what this zany duo sounds like in writing, I can’t wait to hear them in person. You too? Be there: June 15 at Lolita. I’ll wait while you mark it on your calendar…