FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Anyone who knows Eva Babalola knows she understands how to throw a party.
Now, Babalola is the new owner of the Chateau on Broadway, formerly The Philmore on Broadway, in the 2400 block of the street by the same name.
Currently, the 100-year-old venue is under a major interior reconstruction designed by Design Collaborative and executed by MKS.
When it’s finished this spring, the round bar will be gone as well as a wall that separated the space. There will be more space for seating at events such as weddings, showers, birthday parties, corporate events and team building events. Babalola isn’t interested in hosting concerts or comedy shows, she added.
“I love to throw a party, and I can never find the perfect venue that I like,” Babalola explained. “So I talked to my realtor and we got in touch with the owner, and I got it.” She just closed her children’s boutique she opened in 2015 to make way for this new venture.
Her rehab investment is about $800,000. A new sign out front was approved by the historic commission and emulates the same flair as the center’s new owner. Although colors on the sign can change, the crown will stay. After all, it’s a chateau.
“It’s gonna be grand. I’m going to have eight-foot doors that you’re going to pull open. It’s going to be as if you’re walking into a nice castle with golds and blacks and stone. I’m really excited about that,” Babalola said Wednesday during an interview at the building.
To ensure there will be plenty of parking, Babalola bought the property across the street, she said.
If anyone is upset the round bar has been removed, there was a purpose.
“We got rid of the round bar. Everybody loved the round bar but the bartenders. It was really hard to work,” said Babalola, who has obtained a liquor license.
“We got rid of a lot of the roundness they had here. We updated the flooring, the carpet, the painting, the lighting. We put a lot of money into this and into the designs with Design Collab. I’m really excited and I can’t wait for everybody to get to see what we’ve done,” Babalola said.
For the opening, Babalola is thinking of holding a Bridgerton-themed event with ladies in elegant ballgowns and gents in waistcoats.
Another big event in the works is the 100th anniversary of the Art Deco style building, once a movie theater known as the Broadway Theater, later known for the risqué cinema. There will be a seated table dinner and a viewing of the original film shown. Keep the date: Nov. 5, 1923.
“I’m waiting like you guys,” said Babalola about the opening. “ I’m excited. Everybody’s calling, emailing, texting. When I get a date, I will let everybody know.”
For updates, go to chateaufw.com.