BATAVIA – Wedding and event planner Shuki Moran of Geneva will open his own venue in Batavia.
Moran is about to take over the larger of the two buildings at the Batavia Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1197 campus on South River Street (Route 25).
The new venue, Revelry 647, will be located in the 6,800-square-foot building that has been commonly known as The Hangar.
Moran’s Exceptional Events has handled weddings and other big gatherings at locations such as the Herrington Inn in Geneva and the Hotel Baker in St. Charles for about eight years.
The Batavia VFW will continue to operate from its original post home at 645 S. River St.
Moran said he has signed a 16-year lease with the VFW, which will take effect Aug. 1.
Work to resurface and reconfigure the 142-space parking lot is expected to begin soon.
The building, at 647 S. River St., is to be completely renovated inside and out, Moran said, with the new venue expected to open early next year.
“This has been my dream,” Moran said. “I was always looking to open a place that’s run my way, my style.”
Moran’s way and his style is all about elegance.
The 4,900-square-foot ballroom, with a capacity of about 300 guests, will be redecorated with white walls and flooring, black window trim and gold light fixtures. The building exterior, now a light brown, will be painted white. Guests will enter the building through French doors.
The restrooms will be completely renovated in the white, black and gold color scheme and the entryways reconfigured. At the south end of the building, a storage area will be transformed into lounges for the bride and groom.
The large outdoor wooden deck on the back side of the building also will be renovated, Moran said.
The bar area will remain in the same location, Moran said, but a window will be added to the west wall, providing convenient bar service to guests on the back deck.
Moran is leasing roughly half of the sprawling multi-acre VFW grounds, which have picturesque views of the Fox River.
A gazebo is planned to be constructed on the lawn behind the building.
The existing kitchen indoors will remain in place, to be used by caterers for final meal preparation before service to guests, Moran said.
In addition to weddings, Moran plans to host fund-raisers, corporate retreats and other events.
Moran said he hopes to create a synergy with bars and restaurants in nearby downtown Batavia.
“I think Batavia is phenomenal town,” Moran said. “I want the community to feel we’re a part of them.”
At Moran’s headquarters in an eastside St. Charles industrial park, he already has the light fixtures stored in a warehouse with elegant tables and chairs on order.
Moran estimates that he will invest at least $500,000 in the business, including the renovations and furnishings.