Cleveland event location creates pop-up cocktail bar to attract new customers

CLEVELAND – It has been a difficult year for the events industry with the coronavirus pandemic placing restrictions on mass gatherings.

But the Madison team in Cleveland found a way to make the party last by transforming part of their space into a cozy winter lounging spot.

No one loves a good party more than Chris Jespersen.

“I mean, that’s why we do what we do, to put on these amazing celebrations,” Jespersen said.

He welcomes them all to Madison, a 20,000 square foot warehouse converted into an event venue that he bought four years ago with his wife, Brooke.

“Weddings, we have corporate events, galas, we have fashion shows, birthdays, quinceaneras,” Jespersen said. “Dude, the business before the pandemic was amazing.”

But since the pandemic, Jespersen has said they’ve been making things work with COVID-19 restrictions.

“We’re trying to find a good compromise in the middle and say, okay, how do we make this event happen with the restrictions that are there,” Jespersen said. “We’ve always had parties all along. We’re one of the few places that can accommodate 300 people within social distance, so you know it’s always fun. “

But overall, it was still tough.

“We certainly suffered. I mean, I think anyone in the events industry has done it, ”Jespersen said.

To further offset these COVID losses and get creative with their abundance of space, in November, Jespersen and his team transformed their back patio by creating greenhouses for a pop-up cocktail bar they call WinterHaus.

Every Friday and Saturday evening until the end of March, customers can book two-hour sessions at WinterHaus for a maximum of four people per cabin.

$ 25 per person covers cocktails and snacks with minimal physical contact.

“The coolest part I think is all text based, so when you go out you get a text message and you can order from your phone,” Jespersen said.

Jespersen said the response has been overwhelming.

“We were pretty much full every weekend. We’ve seen people come back, bring new friends, play games. So it’s super exciting to see. I mean, people really like it, people want to go out and they want to do it in a safe way, ”Jespersen said. “It’s been a great source of income, it’s a fun thing to do. “

And while it helps pay the bills, it also helps Jespersen and his team get back to what they love to do.

“My job and what we all love about the events industry are happy people – that’s why we do it. So it gave everyone a little bit of joy,” Jespersen said. “COVID has been terrible for all businesses and I understand that, but I think we hear everywhere that there have been glimmers of hope for everyone and this is one of them for us. “

WinterHaus accepts reservations for Friday and Saturday evenings until the end of March. Jespersen and his team plan to bring him back seasonally, from November through March.

Jade Jarvis is a reporter for News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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