Hype is probably the only thing Brooklynites don't believe in, but when it comes to 501 Union, believe the hype. Rumors of the Akiva Reich & Co.'s new building in Gowanus surfaced in late 2013 when Akiva Reich himself endorsed suspicions of the new site. Coined as the Green Building's "chic older sister", Reich told reporters it was to be a combination catering hall and community center that would also house a private club called "501 Social". Today, 501 Union is a stunning venue exuding quiet refinement and natural style. Designed to accommodate intimate gatherings as well and elaborate weddings, this chic space surpasses expectations.
The industrial chic building now home to 501 Union was originally built in 1916, when it was used to restore classic cars through the glory years of the American automotive industry. We can't help but think about Tom Buchannon from The Great Gatsby whipping his coupe through the doors of 501 before heading to Manhattan. Like the fictional Buchannon's, old-world glitz is characteristic of 501 Union today.
As one of the hottest burgeoning venues in Brooklyn today, 501 Union is at the center of five distinctly stylish Brooklyn neighborhoods -- Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boreum Hill, Gowanus, and Park Slope. However it is far from the shabby chic style often attributed to Gowanus and the Green Building just across the street. Instead, it exhibits a mod exterior with sharp lines alluding to its industrial beginnings. These stunning lines contribute to interesting photo opportunities and a nice play on lights unique only to 501 Union.
While keeping an industrial feel, elegance shines through with to its unique wallpaper, chandeliers, marble bar, and dark wood accents. The space is made up of a 3,500-square-foot main hall with a bar and a 1,300-square-foot outdoor area with a smaller cocktail lounge. This creates a versatile space made up of three distinct areas. However the most impressive aspect is the 50-foot skylight with custom light fixtures. Reich himself described his vision for the space as something he wanted to be "magnificent".
Today, everything in Brooklyn seems to be "on the rise" but what makes 501 Union stand out is its quiet sophistication. Although they are currently hosting month open houses to view the space and have an almost full calendar, 501 Union maintains an avant-garde air perfect for eclectic couples getting married or even an impressive book release.
While rumors fluctuated about the space being an enigmatic, members-only club, it hasn't reached that level of exclusivity... yet. 501 Union hosts a wide gamut of events, from cocktail parties to wedding receptions, intimate dinners, film screenings, and musical performances. The Lounge, Garden, and Gallery are all equipped with WiFI, light control, and fully integrated sound systems. Plus, the in house bar boasts an extensive list of wines, beers,and specialty cocktails.
We know this is a fabulous place, but what about the logistics?
Capacity: 501 Union can accommodate up to 299 guests for standing room events and up to 250 guests without a stage or dance floor. Should you choose to have a stage and dance floor, we recommend 200 guests. For a Garden ceremony, 140 guests is recommended. The Gallery can accommodate between 140-160 guests.
Coordination: The Venue Coordinator will be there to answer all venue related questions and concerns throughout the entire planning process. You will feel well taken care of as the Venue Coordinator will handle scheduling vendor site visits, final walk throughs with vendors, and coordinating all details such as bar packages, furniture rentals, spacing and planning.
Vendors: 501 Union is unique in that it offers its own exclusive bar packages, in-house table and chair rentals, AV technical support, and coordination of light design.
Believe the hype. 501 Union is one of Brooklyn's premier venues...although it certainly won't go around telling you that it is! We particularly love it's interesting story, ruggeshly elegant decor, and best-in-class service.
What event could you see taking place at 501 Union? Is this what you expected the talked about space to be?