FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Empyrean Events and Catering held a grand opening event for their new event space in downtown Fort Wayne.
The Elysean, located at 400 W. Main St., was created out of a former maintenance building that belonged to the Aunt Millie’s Perfection Bakery campus. Empyrean Events Owner Renee Miner said the space offers an event setting that is hard to find in northeast Indiana.
“It was an old warehouse space,” said Miner. “The space is an industrial modern event venue with luxury finishes. What does that mean? You’re going to come in and you’re going to see exposed brick exposed masonry, you’re going to see an original 100-year-old look In the space, and then you’re going to see things like charcoal velvet, and doors from Morocco that are on this spaces, you’re going to see custom tile work. All of those special finishes kind of blending together.”
Although Empyrean made several updates to the main level and added restrooms, they also chose to keep some elements from the building’s previous life, particularly on the second floor.
“The loft space is really pretty awesome for me, I can still see you know, you walk up there and you will literally see spray paint on the floor of the tools that were used,” Miner said. “We’re keeping all of that, that’s important to tell that story and the history of it. The loft has literally a tic tac toe that someone that worked here at one point in time drew on the wall, who was that person? I don’t know, but we’re keeping it there.”
Miner said Empyrean has seen a resurgence of people seeking event spaces now that pandemic restrictions have dropped off. She has found there is a desire for spaces with character and parking that can accommodate a large crowd of people.
“It is you’re really limited when you get over that 300 guests count of where you can go, and most of those places are hotels or the convention center,’ said Miner. “Those are fantastic event spaces for large events, but when it comes to something that has character with on-site parking with large guest count, it just doesn’t exist.”
So much so, that they were booking events while work was still being done.
“The day that renovation started, we were here doing tours with hard hats and in the middle of dust and rubble, and for people to be able to see the potential in the space. it is just a very, very hot event space in terms of bookings, which is exciting for us. It obviously was the answer. And we saw like, Okay, this, this is what Fort Wayne was looking for.”
As a nod the building’s past, a mural of a Perfection Bakery delivery truck was painted on the front of the building by The Hedge.