BY JENNIFER BAILEY
Katasha Butler has a busy life with her full-time job at the Veterans Affairs Illiana Health Care System and going back to school for her master’s degree in business administration.
In her spare time she also loves to plan events.
That’s why she and a friend, Tukeua Jones, are opening Social.
The modern event space will be located in the former California Catering and Cook’s Workshop site downtown at 38 N. Vermilion St.
The space will be available for conferences, staff retreats, meetings, baby showers, bridal luncheons, intimate receptions, mitzvahs, private parties, company parties and many other events.
Butler, who lives in Indianapolis, and Jones of Chicago, graduated from Danville High School in 1994 and remained close friends.
Butler, whose parents and grandmother live in Danville, works as a pharmacist at the VA. Jones, who also has relatives living here, is a financial manager.
For years they discussed opening a business at home.
Butler started a wedding planning business in 2006. When Butler would look around at potential event spaces in Danville, nothing seemed to fit what she wanted. Butler looked at The Heron space downtown and she’d also been at California Catering previously.
The California Catering/Cook’s Workshop space was available for lease from Mary Lewis, and Butler and Jones thought it would work. The rental space already is taking shape with basic grey colors, a neutral palette; glass table tops with white table coverings; and chandeliers.
Butler said she wants the space to be “a little modern and a little upscale,” similar to spaces in Indianapolis and other bigger cities.
Those renting the space can bring in their own colors and materials and/or work with Butler and Jones to make the perfect event. Some people may want to use their own caterer, or there will be options for catering.
“It will be very turn-key if you want it to be,” Butler said. “Just show up and the party will be ready.”
Renovations to the space have been mostly cosmetic things, she added of the building.
The building can seat 140 or have up to 165 guests with a cocktail reception and less seating.
There can be a dance floor, too.
Butler encourages the public to attend the open house and meet them and see the space. There will be hors d’oeuvres.
They already have events scheduled, including a Second Saturday Soul Café night for poets and lyricists on Saturday; a rehearsal dinner; and brunch with the Easter Bunny.
Butler said downtown continues to make improvements, and she’s happy to be a part of it.
“Come and meet and see us,” she says, adding that they hope to “exceed expectations” with events.
An open house and grand opening for Social, a new downtown event center at 38 N. Vermilion St., will be from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday. Tickets are needed. Those interested can RSVP by visiting the website, http:// www.socialdanville.com. For information, call (800) 409-5726.