New 490 capacity venue opens in Homestead to serve the growing wedding and banquet industry
Persistence pays off. Olga Eby finally opened her banquet hall on Friday August 30.
Eby first leased the old retail space along Campbell Drive in 2016.
“We were missing something in town,” she said at the opening. “Space was needed for different social events, not just weddings.
You hear people say they want to do a lunch or a small awards banquet and there was no place to go. That’s how this came about.”
The vacant property next to the old Sears building can hold 490 people and comes with plenty of parking. Eby is able to host several events simultaneously in the space.
She installed a commercial kitchen and built a bar. She acquired electronic equipment for functions. She designed a clean white space as a canvas for colorful party decorations.
And then she waited for her City permit. It turned into a two and a half year wait.
The problem was the City’s lack of sewage capacity for new businesses. The
contractor for Homestead’s sewage renovations was unable to meet the original contract deadline further delaying development along the City’s commercial corridors.
Eby is philosophical about the ordeal. “My family urged me to quit, that I was wasting money,” she explained. “I was paying five figures in rent per month and unable to earn the money back. But this is a great space for Homestead and it’s what I want to do.”
Eby’s talents were on full display at her grand opening. Eye-catching trays of culinary treats showcasing color, texture and taste were spread along the banquet tables. Sample displays offered distinctive presentations from Greek vases to bowls of flowers to columns of swimming goldfish to amuse the many guests. Martha Stewart has nothing on the elegant Mrs. Olga Eby!
Eby also designed a catering menu adaptable to cocktail parties or full service dinners.
“I wanted something different,” she said. “Foods that people don’t eat everyday but for special events. We also do specialty drinks to complement a chosen menu.”
“It can take four days to set up for an event,” she said. “Moving the tables and chairs and decorating the hall takes several days. The food has to be made the same day so it’s fresh. I have three ladies helping me and large refrigerators to keep it ready.”
Now that the banquet hall can be opened, Eby is using her catering
company until the liquor license is final.
The Hall’s supply of electronic equipment is complete including twelve speakers around the venue, ceiling spotlights, cameras on stilts, scrims and projectors for color decoration or photographic backdrops.
“I have my own DJ and two more that can be used,” she said. “For bands, I take recommendations depending on the crowd and can help with that.”
“We have five packages,” Eby said. “They range from lunch with perhaps a specialty drink, priced per person, to different drinks and flowers that’s a little more expensive. The third program includes limo service and photography packages with video services. The deluxe package includes flowers plus valet
parking, greeters at the doors, specialty drinks and more food choices for $100 per person.”
Eby explained that her website and Facebook page are being redesigned but she can be contacted at OlgaEby@yahoo.com Events Banquet Hall at 144 NE Eighth Street in Homestead can be reached at (305) 247-3600 and is now
available for special events.