RED HOOK — The Red Hook community came together after Hurricane Sandy, gathering regularly to discuss ways to rebuild their storm-torn waterfront neighborhood.
But finding a place to meet was often challenging.
The Red Hook restaurateurs recently opened the “Atelier Roquette,” a 2,500 square-foot hall at 63 Commerce St., for fundraisers, events, private parties and more.
“The need for more community space has been there,” said Byrne, who also co-founded Restore Red Hook, formed by a group of retail and restaurant owners to raise funds for Sandy relief.
The Atelier Roquette, which once housed the offices of a neighboring coffee company, can hold 75 people, said Byrne, adding that the space is perfect for small weddings, dinner parties, movie screenings, music performances and even art shows.
Through their own company, “Roquette Catering,” Byrne and Swenson hope to use the hall as a venue for events that they plan and design, like the Red Hook Prom and nonprofit fundraisers.
But they also welcome other restaurants and design companies to take over the space for events.
“We want this to be a place that can support the industry throughout the community,” said Byrne.
The Homemade owners said they have been driving around Red Hook for 10 years searching for the perfect place to support their catering business.
“We have wanted to do this forever,” said Byrne.
Homemade, which sustained major flooding during the storm, recently began serving dinner on Friday nights as well as weekend brunch and dinner menus. By September, they hope to have the restaurant back to its regular weekly schedule.
The Atelier Roquette is near completion but Byrne is already planning a kitchen for the back area and a neighboring garden that she hopes to open by next summer.
“I never stop at 'here,'” said Byrne. “I’m always 10 projects ahead.”
Atelier Roquette will be hosting an open house on Sept. 9. For more information on booking the space, visit this website.