Step off of Union Street and into Brooklyn's finest newly restored venue, 501 Union, and you may feel as though you've been transported to another era. With art deco accents and two marble topped, Prohibition-inspired bars, it's enough to pull in at least five Gatsby themed events per year.
Like its sister venue the Green Building, 501 Union's story is deeply rooted in the history of the building. It once was used to restore classic cars in 1916, and today there are antique cars parked around the venue adding even more of a 1920's vibe. And don't miss special touches, like the Modo chandeliers by Brooklyn local Jason Miller and the Flavor Paper wall coverings that flank the walls.
We'd like to introduce you to Jen and Tracy. They are the 501 Union Events Managers, and of course they have the behind-the-scenes knowledge of the space. We've invited them to answer some of the more common questions they receive about this special venue, and to give you a few tips on what you've been dying to know about hosting an event here.
What kind of events inspire you most?
Honestly each event is inspiring. Every client brings something new into our space and it’s so fun to be a part of that creativity!
What has been your favorite event hosted at 501 Union?
There have been so many amazing weddings, birthday parties, conferences, photo shoots, charity events - it’s impossible to pick just one. Each wedding is so unique, and we have loved hosting events like Core 77, Dinner Lab, Ted Talks, Etsy, Indie Media Conference, Brooklyn Makers, Code Genius… the list goes on and on.
Any moments that make you laugh when you look back at them now?
We are lucky enough to work with an amazingly talented team and we laugh a lot. Events should be fun, including all the hard work and planning that leads up to it!
What’s the most important thing to consider when comparing and choosing a venue?
Your gut feeling. We want each client to be excited about the venue. So we recommend that they choose the venue that feels right for their needs and taste.
Where is it ok to save on your budget, but a definite no-no on going cheap?
Clients can usually save on decor costs because 501 Union already has such a great aesthetic. We recommend not cutting costs when it comes to staff. They ensure that the event flows seamlessly (from setting up, breaking down, checking coats, serving, and busing the room) ~ it’s extremely important to staff correctly based on guest count.
What advice can you give clients when hiring vendors?
We suggest looking at the venue’s recommended vendor list. From there, it would be beneficial to get 2 or 3 quotes from each category.
How exactly does a vendor even land on the coveted Preferred Vendor List?
We add a vendor to our preferred list once they've had experience working in our space and we work well together.
What’s your favorite feature of 501 Union?
The wallpaper! Especially in the bathrooms.
What upcoming events are you looking forward to?
We are really hoping to get more involved with our surrounding community to collaborate on inspiring events during the work week.
If you could host anything here, what would it be?
A morning dance party! Who’s in?!
Have more questions? Ask Jen and Tracy below in the comments! The full FAQ can be found here.