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Tuesday, February 19 , 2019, 7:08 am | Fair 35º


New Butler Event Center on State Street Celebrates Grand Opening

Owner Warren Butler of Marmalade Café says the facility has the space, amenities and versatility to accommodate a variety of events

The Butler Event Center in Santa Barbara unveiled its 6,000-square-foot venue at a grand opening Thursday night.

The center replaced Downtown Brewing Co. at 3744 State St. and is owned by Marmalade Café managing partner Warren Butler. Downtown Brewing closed last February.

Butler was once the managing partner and part owner of Stateside Restaurant and managed a steakhouse with celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck in Los Angeles.

“This place is flexible and can cater to many events,” Butler said. “While the primary caterer is Marmalade, it’s great because you can bring in any caterer and its clients. It’s more affordable than many hotels and restaurants, and it can’t be beat in terms of quality and location.”

Tony Vallejo is a partner at Palius + O’Kelley LLP and has worked with Butler in the past.

“Warren has always done a great job with his guests and made them feel welcome,” Vallejo said. “I’m confident this will work out great.”

The space is fully renovated with a mid-size ballroom, two smaller rooms, a large bar and two patios. The space can be used for anything from business meetings to quinceañeras and can hold up to 400 people.

“It would work great for a wedding, corporate event, a birthday and everything in between,” Dulce Dia events coordinator Shawna Andrade said.

Several events, including a Santa Barbara Young Professionals business mixer and the Santa Barbara Breakers basketball team preseason news conference have already been booked, and it has received inquiries for weddings, fundraisers and other banquets.

“We’ve never had something like this in Santa Barbara,” said Drew Wakefield, sales and marketing director for the Santa Barbara Ramada Limited Hotel. “It’s not exclusive; anyone can come be a part of this. ... There’s so much room you could have two separate events for something like a fraternity and sorority.”

Wakefield also said the facility would be a good fit for nonprofits looking for space to house their events.

“There’s a full bar, which would serve the adult side, a nice outdoor patio and hardwood floors for dancing — this is the place to be,” he said. “We need this in Santa Barbara.”

Vallejo agreed.

“The town needs something like this because there aren’t many options when it comes to hosting parties, only restaurants, hotels or your home,” he said. “It’s nice to be able to customize your party here with your own food and drinks.”

Leana Orsua brought her Santa Barbara Chocolate Fountains to the event.

“I would love to come back here for events because there is a lot of interest in this place,” she said. “You have the indoor and outdoor aspect, the amazing bar, it’s centrally located and a dance floor. There are a lot of events in Santa Barbara, and we’re well known for partying; we’re a social town.”

Vallejo said he would like to throw a business event at the Butler Event Center.

“It will absolutely benefit the community and businesses,” he said.

Noozhawk staff writer Alex Kacik can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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