Carrie Rengers

LaVela banquet hall to open in July

Candle Club general manager Judah Craig, right, and executive chef Jeremiah Harvey are working on new banquet space next to the private club.
Candle Club general manager Judah Craig, right, and executive chef Jeremiah Harvey are working on new banquet space next to the private club. Eagle file photo

In addition to taking on the reopening of Snug Harbor, Candle Club general manager Judah Craig also is overseeing a major banquet hall addition next to the private club.

“Between that and the banquet hall, I’m tapped out right now.”

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Craig finally can reveal the name of the hall: LaVela.

“It means ‘the candle’ in Italian,” he says. “It does have kind of a culinary feel to it. … Nice and elegant.”

He says construction will start in February, and LaVela will open in July.

There will be seating for up to 300. The space can be divided into four rooms, three of which can hold 50 and one of which can hold 100.

The 7,300-square-foot space is going to be to the east of the Candle, which is in the Prairie Village shopping center at 13th and Woodlawn.

The business will have a separate liquor license and, unlike the Candle, will be open to the public.

“It’ll be an extension of us in the sense that it’ll feel like us,” Craig says.

He says menu selections will be similar.

“It’ll be in a way a nice opportunity to give people a glimpse of what we do,” Craig says. “It’ll have an independent kitchen so it won’t affect our members at the Candle Club.”

He says that will be a great thing about LaVela. The Candle does a lot of charity events each year, but, he says, “Sometimes our members would feel overrun.”

Craig says the new space will be a better opportunity to take care of charities and members.

LaVela also will have bride’s and groom’s rooms with separate restrooms so the venue can hold weddings and receptions.

“I feel like if you can make a bride preparing to get married happy, you can make about anybody happy,” Craig says.

He says there will be a dance floor with lights and audio-visual equipment available for each room.

“It’s really going to be a very flexible entity.”

Look for more information as work progresses.

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers

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