By Susan Elise Campbell
A new venue in the heart of downtown Glens Falls is now open for groups of 30 to 40 people for parties, corporate meetings, reunions, and small receptions. 21 Ridge Street Event Space has a “modern Adirondack feel” that marketing and sales manager Ian Quillinan said makes the space “feel homey and comfortable.”
The owner of the business, Chris Laing, purchased the building more than a year-and-a-half ago. It has two apartments upstairs and more than 1,800 square feet on the first level with a full kitchen occupying nearly a third of it, Quillinan said. In the past the ground floor housed an eatery and prior to that, a brewery and other types of businesses.
“The owner was thinking of ways to use the building but was not interested in operating a restaurant,” Quillinan said. “An event space was a new idea to utilize the open spaces for rental and provide a kitchen for food preparation.”
Mike Bannon of Saratoga Signature Interiors was brought in to redesign the event area because “his strong suit is the modern, Adirondack lodge style,” Quillinan said.
Bannon had black and white tile flooring to work with and a large bar with several brass tap handles, Quillinan said. The designer brought in new rustic furniture, patterned rugs, lighting, and artwork to add to the hominess and history of the seating and standing areas, including old logging photos of the Finch, Pruyn company.
There are plenty of comfortable chairs and couches arranged into casual seating areas. There are also tables with chairs and more than adequate standing room “so no one feels overcrowded,” he said.
Quilinan said the ideal maximum number of patrons is 40.
21 Ridge Street Event Space is conveniently located in the center of the city and near a number of restaurants and catering companies. This makes it easy for renters to bring in food from nearby services, Quillinan said.
“We may be reaching out to some of these restaurants to see if our clients can get large orders for take-out for events,” he said. “And we are putting together a list of caterers and private chefs to contact to help clients prepare food for the events they host with us.”
Quillinan said the biggest challenge he has for the new business is getting their name out into the community.
“Once the community learns about us we will have more traffic as people consider their options,” he said. “Any place that rents space for big parties is competition for us, but many of these are large hotels, big box spaces or ‘dance halls’ that don’t have the warmth and coziness of 21 Ridge Street.”
“We want to make sure families and friends are comfortable and enjoy their time here,” he said.
The building is a brick row structure and the original construction date is unknown. A map found on the Glens Falls’ assessor’s web site indicated the building goes back to 1905 or earlier, the era when logging and paper making was thriving in the area.
“We are looking forward to seeing how people use the space as they rent it,” Quillinan said. “Each customer will have a vision of what they want.”
Quillinan will use this knowledge to serve the community’s needs going forward and will also garner more information about cleaning, pricing and other aspects of marketing the new business as the client base grows, he said.
Clients can rent for 12 hours at a time from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. seven days a week. The fee for weekdays is $329 and for Friday through Sunday, $449, he said.
The two one-bedroom apartments occupying the upper floors were totally refurbished and are currently active short-term rentals through Airbnb. Quillinan said the owner is considering making these available as longer term leases in the future.