Meeting & Event Planning Guide: Newest downtown event space expands Crystal Catering’s offerings

The Heirloom at NK Hurst, a new event center south of downtown, hosted its first event Sept. 4. The venue is housed in the former NK Hurst Co. building at 230 W. McCarty St., near Lucas Oil Stadium. The dry bean and soup packaging company, which was founded in 1938, moved out of its Indianapolis digs in 2019, relocating operations to Zionsville.

The Heirloom is Crystal Catering and Events’ newest venue, joining the Indiana Roof Ballroom, The Crane Bay and The Willows. The venue has preserved some of the building’s best features, including the original floor, brick walls, the docks and its garage doors, which will be replaced with all-glass garage doors.

IBJ talked with Amanda Van Der Moere, general manager and director of sales for Crystal Catering, about the new space ahead of its first event.

When will The Heirloom open?

We are completing the construction right now, and the first event is actually Sept. 4. So, we still have a few more items that we’re going to kind of continue to develop, but it is definitely event-ready.

Tell us about the space. What does it look like and what does it offer?

So, the space is historical. It’s a historical venue. The floors are all original and polished, then you have the original brick walls, so it’s kind of a rustic environment and also industrial. … It’s definitely a great space for ceremonies and receptions, but also for reception-style events, like seated dinners. It’s definitely a great view of the downtown skyline. The location is amazing. It’s directly south of Lucas Oil Stadium, and you could actually throw a rock at the stadium.

How does it compare with other Crystal Catering and Events venues?

That’s actually what I think is the best part about this venue. … I think it really completes the whole puzzle for us. Each of our venues are very different. So that’s kind of a plus with Crystal Catering … that for each person, there’s a venue that matches sort of their style and what they’re looking for. So, The Willows is on a body of water, and there’s kind of a traditional space but also a rustic chic space with the wedding gardens. Then you have the Indiana Roof Ballroom, which is one of our premier venues that’s definitely more elegant. And then Crane Bay is more modern. And then The Heirloom is rustic industrial.

Why did the company decide to open this space?

We were on the hunt for a venue that would be different than all the other venues that we offer. So, the owner of the building and Jack Bayt, the owner of Crystal Catering, (they’re friends as well) teamed up, and it just fit perfect. It’s exactly what we were looking for.

Has the pandemic impacted opening plans?

I think it definitely has posed a bit of a challenge. I think the materials are taking a little longer to come in, and I think a lot of people are taking the time to renovate, so [we’re] competing with that. But the team we have here has been working around the clock and very efficiently to get it all done.

Is there already interest in the venue?

Absolutely. We had 12 site visits this week, which is a lot. And we don’t even have our website up. It’s actually going live, I think, as we speak. We did have a landing page for the site on our Crystal Catering page, so people have stumbled across it. We pushed a little bit of our social media last week, and I think that has increased some interest. And we’re on some wedding websites as well. So, without even having a website, we are gaining a lot of interest and then those who see the space are just instantly booking. This is exactly what a lot of people are looking for right now, so I think it’s perfect.

What’s an ideal event for the venue besides weddings?

I think it’s going to be a great spot for conventions that come in town that are looking for an offsite venue to host their clients or employees. And I think it’s going to be perfect because the proximity to Lucas Oil Stadium and the Indiana Convention Center and just the history behind the building and just what it has to offer and the views and everything.

What do you think makes this venue special?

I think the history behind the building is great. … The name of the venue really is a perfect fit. The definition of heirloom is a valuable object that’s been passed down from generations, and I think that’s really how we see the venue is, it’s been in the [Hurst] family for a long time. … I think the history behind the building and the location are going to be the selling features for sure.•

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