Christopher’s Restaurant opens an event space with integrated catering in a former church

October 29 — A longtime Dayton restaurant with a well-established catering service takes a big step in its next business.

Christopher’s Restaurant in Kettering, 2318 E. Dorothy Lane, has officially opened its brand new event space called The GEM by Christopher’s. The venue is ready to host weddings, receptions, graduation parties, meetings, business conferences and more.

The GEM, located inside a renovated old church, is located at 3425 Valley St. in Dayton. For many years, the space also housed a former banquet hall, according to The GEM owners husband and wife Dave and Erika Krites of Centerville.

“The biggest benefit we have to offer to anyone today – I’m talking about right now – is an open schedule,” Dave said.

With a liquor license and a full service bar, the GEM will be able to host events for up to 175 people, though the owners have said the “magic number” is between 125 and 150 guests. With a built-in catering and bar service, parties won’t have to search so many outside vendors to throw a big event.

Having a son who married last spring, the couple were not happy with all the moving parts and rules that had to be followed while working with many different caterers for their son’s wedding. With an already successful restaurant business under their belt, they decided to streamline the planning process of booking a venue.

Once the couple found the space on Valley St., they saw it as the perfect fit. As more and more young people decide not to marry in a religious setting, Dave said he and his wife wanted to preserve the tradition of getting married in a religious environment, even if only in an aesthetic sense. .

“We want to try to be maybe that hybrid,” Dave said. “It looks and feels and functions like a church… and we want to be able to set it up like a church and have the same church environment when they get married. The front area has a bar and (guests) can take out. work and drinks and all that. “

The Krites have done considerable work inside the space, including a carefully decorated space for wedding and groom celebrations.

“We will always prepare and prepare all the food in our restaurant, which we have always done, and focus our time, our money and our efforts to have it in a very nice establishment where everyone can find a lot of joy in is going, ”Dave said.

The independent, local restaurant was founded in 1991 by Chip Pritchard and sold to the Krites in 2019.

“My wife and I started coming here to eat about three months ago,” Dave said in July 2019 when purchasing the restaurant. “We have eaten here 12-15 times. We loved being there and always felt at home there.”

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