RACINE — Soon a former Racine church will have a new purpose.
Culinary Infusions of Kenosha recently closed on the purchase of the former Our Savior Lutheran Church, 2219 Washington Ave., for $325,000. Pending approvals, the company plans to open its second reception/banquet hall and catering facility there next fall.
Culinary Infusions, previously just a catering and event management company, opened its first reception/banquet hall in Kenosha, Circa on Seventh, in 2013 after renovating a former theater, said Hanni Gould, general manager of Circa on Seventh. She is also the daughter of company owner Keith Meyer and President Kathy Meyer.
Gould said for about two years the family had been looking for a building in the Kenosha or Racine area in which to open a second banquet venue. Then her mother looked at and fell in love with Our Savior and the attached mansion which together have about 14,000 square feet of space.
“The eye-catching vaulted ceilings and exposed wood beams drew us to the space and we knew instantly this was something special,” Kathy Meyer stated.
“Brides always want something unique,” Gould said. She hopes the future banquet hall will be able to accommodate parties of up to about 200 people. Events will include weddings and showers, holiday and retirement parties and so on, Gould said.
The company will install a full kitchen in the church basement both for serving in-house events and catering outside events, she said. It will likely employ at least five people full-time, Gould said.
No name has yet been chosen for the new banquet venue, she said.
Just what kinds of events the attached mansion will be used for is yet to be determined, Gould said, but she can envision one use as being where bridal parties will get ready for weddings and have photos taken. The mansion is on the National Register of Historic Places and in “fantastic shape,” she said.
The mansion was built in 1874 for George Murray, a Scottish immigrant who was a partner in a lumber and shingle business, according to the Racine Heritage Museum. In 1954 ground was broken on the church which was dedicated in 1956.