New Life for Chandler Event Venue

by RaeAnne Marsh

Newly reopened under a name intended to evoke a hip and historic cultural vibe, SoHo63 takes Chandler’s long-standing weekend venue at 63 E. Boston Street and expands its use to attract events all week long. Building a customer base beyond what had been primarily weddings, SoHo63 will accommodate corporate customers as a meeting and workshop site with upgraded technology such as flatscreen TVs, the ability to let users plug in from their laptops, and a power tower onsite for guests to charge up multiple electronic devices. Bringing events on a daily basis will add vibrancy to Downtown Chandler, says Megan Schmidt, event curator for the site who manages its day-to-day operations, explaining, “Once an event is complete, people will migrate to local places such as restaurants and bars.”

The venue, previously Inspirador, had closed suddenly earlier this year and was purchased in June by 20-year industry veteran Kate Christensen and her family. “We did not want to see it be lost from Downtown Chandler’s historic district. It was important to us to preserve this building for the East Valley,” says Schmidt, Christensen’s daughter. She notes the family has deep roots in the Southeast Valley and is committed to strengthening the local community by helping bring people to the area and “by including local vendors and partnering with them when we can.”

Schmidt says SoHo63 needed no major renovations, as the building is in good condition; efforts were focused on rebranding the different spaces, creating options from grand to intimate. The front room, for instance, is Brix on Boston, which incorporates exposed hand-laid brick floor — from its early 1900s use for tractor repair by the building’s original business O.S. Stapley Hardware — with book shelves and comfortable seating to create the masculine feel of a library.

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