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Wednesday, September 30, 2020
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Yes, you can have a beautiful, socially distant, low stress outdoor wedding or bar/bat mitzvah that is not in your backyard. Space Events, a full-service catering venue in Englewood, has turned its large paved parking lot into a simcha paradise, with a spacious 40 x 60-foot tent that can hold up to 120 people with social distancing (199 legal capacity). With so much room, the tent can be arranged to easily accommodate a ceremony followed by a meal.

“It’s beautifully decorated, fully furnished and ready for a turnkey event,” said owner Elvira Grau. The tent is air conditioned, and can be heated if the air gets a little chilly; events are being planned in the tent through November. Hosts can bring in their own vendors, or let Space Events do it all, including glatt kosher catering under the supervision of RCBC. “We’ve been around for 16 years. We’ve learned everything that needs to get done and we can do it,” she said.

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Events have been held in the tent all summer. “I had a mother and grandmother tell me the bar mitzvah ceremony had the nicest food presentation they’ve seen, and the tent was gorgeous,” said Grau. “We custom designed a Lucite barrier, and all the courses were served behind it. At the buffet, servers handed out beautifully presented, individual plates to guests.”

People who had to cancel events last spring are now rescheduling, excited that Space Events has a luxurious outdoor capability with professional event production services. Grau just booked a wedding with two weeks’ notice.

With the governor’s go-ahead for indoor events at 25% capacity, Space Events has also re-opened its venue, giving hosts a choice of indoors or outdoors. Before the pandemic, there was capacity for almost 1,000 people. “Space has 26,000 square feet and 24-foot ceilings, with good ventilation,” said Grau. “There’s plenty of room for social distancing; people are not on top of each other. Plus, we’re completely equipped for parties, including specialized hi-tech lighting and sound systems that you usually have to bring in separately.”

As the owner, Grau knows she is responsible for an event that is both flawless and safe. Space recently held two bat mitzvah parties indoors with strict attention to CDC protocols for cleaning and disinfecting.

Grau has been thinking of ways to help people make fun, safe parties since the pandemic shut down so many activities. “I said to myself, ‘If they can’t come to me, I’ll go to them’.” Throughout the summer, Space Events brought its culinary magic to off-premises parties at homes locally and in the Hamptons, Montauk and Connecticut. At the height of the lockdown, they conducted drive-by parties complete with balloons and a red carpet.

Making the best of any situation is at the core of Grau’s being. “You have to be creative, stay strong and have a sense of vision,” she said. When she is handed lemons, she not only makes lemonade, she serves it with flair and a smile. “Being a female entrepreneur is about innovating and reinventing. That’s what it’s all about right now. Every business has gone through this enormous challenge.”

Grau speaks to groups about how to think out of the box and come up with different ways of doing things that can be creative and exciting. She has been adapting and recreating herself since she immigrated to Brooklyn from Russia with her family when she was 9 years old. After getting married, she and her husband moved to Bergen County. She became a mother and then an entrepreneur as she recognized the need for a climate-controlled entertainment space for kids and adults.

The pandemic shut down all public gathering places but it didn’t shut down Elvira Grau. She used the time to keep moving forward by planning off-premise catering, drive-by entertainment and the Space Events outdoor tent. “You have to keep moving; you can’t sit still and wait to go back to normal,” she said. “Life is meant to be lived and celebrated.”

And a good place to do that is with a wedding or bar/bat mitzvah at Space Events. With many events already booked, Grau is looking forward to a full fall season.

Visit www.spacenj.com  for a gallery of exquisite photos and details about planning an event.

By Bracha Schwartz

 

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