LE MARS A new venue for gatherings is now open in downtown Le Mars.
The Uptown Event Center, owned by Mike and Cheryl Wells, is next door to Iowa BBQ on First Avenue Southwest.
Several events have been held since the facility opened.
We had our chamber coffee there and had a great turnout, Cheryl Wells said. We have had a couple of weddings there, three or four small groups that did dinners. I think it will be a great space.
Work on the center started about a year and half ago, but was slowed down in the midst of COVID. The building had previously been used as a storage area and a space for Habitué vans.
The venue offers options for seating and capacity.
With an event for a full meal, we could probably seat around 60. I think it would be too crowded with more than that. If it was a standing event, like we did with the chamber coffee, I think we can fit about 120, Wells said.
Mike actually named it, Uptown Event Center. He likes the short and simple.
I think its a beautiful space that people can gather in for things such as a grooms dinner, educational sessions, business meeting, and baby showers, Wells said.
Wells said its been a fun project to work on with her husband.
Hes really taken a lot of ownership in it. It was his idea to really make it about the historical aspects of our city, Wells said.
The couple worked with Mark and Maggie Catton of Catton & Co., to put together an interior that embraces the history of Le Mars.
They found some old postcards that we had made into wallpaper, so its really cool. The biggest one is the old Union Hotel which used to be on that corner. That kind of became our theme, Wells said.
Mike had a lot to do with it. He picked out everything for the walls, how to set up the room, how he wanted it to look. It was fun for him. He did a great job, Wells said.
The event center can be rented by the hour, half day or whole day.
I have had lots of people asking, if this is a place where we can bring in our own food, but it is not something that were going to do, Wells said.
We do have a connecting door with Iowa BBQ. They are one of our caterers, as is Mr. Ps and Habitué of course, she said. Wine and beer may be served, but must be purchased through the venue.
Anyone interested in renting the facility may contact Habitué at 546-4144 for details.
There is also the outdoor area which will be used during the warmer months. It features a fireplace and will have seating and tables as well.
On the street side, there is a fireplace near the edge of the sidewalk, and the area will offer comfortable seating with couches, tables with umbrellas and some kind of a beer garden.
We will see how it will develop, Wells said.
Being so close to Iowa BBQ, its really going to enhance that space, too. They have outdoor space next to ours, with a little walkway between that we can close off.
We are really excited to be doing some live music there when its nice out, and just opening it up so people can get Iowa BBQ, she continued. So its fun, because it feels like some shared space there. Were looking forward to doing some partnering in that.
All indoor tables, including tall tables, round tables, long banquet tables, and all the chairs are on site so people can come and set up their own space.
Wells said they hope to work with non-profits in making the venue available for their needs as well.
We definitely will work with groups of non-profits. We want to be good community partners, and allow people to use it where it wont be the fee.
She also sees it as a space for bigger community events.
I think we are going to be connected with RAGBRAI, on the day of the event. I think the committee is excited to be using that, she said.