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Fashion / Weddings

Houston’s Corinthian Undergoes a Dramatic Transformation

Coveted Wedding and Event Venue Gets a New Owner, a New Name and Sudden Caterer Freedom

BY // 12.11.17

A sea change is taking place at one of Houston’s premier special events venues, one that has ball chairs and mothers of the brides kicking up their satin stilettos. The Corinthian has been rechristened as Corinthian Houston. The fresh moniker marks a new era for the long-loved neoclassical banquet hall — and it ushers in a whole new host of approved caterers.

The interior may be timeless, from the colonnade of Corinthian columns to the Grand Hall and bicameral staircase, but times are changing.

Frank Garvey, the original developer of the Franklin Lofts and The Corinthian, regained the reins of the venue this summer. He was joined by Boyd Bryan, who worked with Jackson and Company Catering for 30 years.

“After much introspection, we made the decision to make a career move and are now working with Mr. Garvey,” Bryan tells PaperCity.  The two sought a re-branding that maintained “the integrity of the venue and the name that it has built.” Instead of an overhaul, they chose a sleek update.

For 15 years, Jackson and Company was the exclusive caterer for events at The Corinthian. Its relationship with Corinthian Houston has evolved, just as the venue’s name has. The company will continue to cater at 202 Fannin Street, but it now numbers among nine approved companies.

This dramatic shift in policy was motivated by the desire to “broaden the scope of our clientele,” Bryan says. This could only be accomplished “by broadening the scope of caterers having access to the venue.”

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Corinthian Wedding
Corinthian Houston has long been one of the city’s most coveted wedding venues.

The fresh faces coming to Corinthian Houston’s catering scene are A Fare Extraordinaire, Café Natalie, Caswell Catering, Cordua Catering, City Kitchen, Culinaire, Melange Events, and Liberty Kitchen.

Garvey and Bryan drew upon their 30 years of knowledge and experience in the catering and hospitality industry to select their preferred caterers.

“The list includes a wide range of price points for our clients to select from,” Bryan says. The newly approved caterers are eager to bring their existing clients to the venue as well as work with referred clients, he adds.

A New Corinthian

City Kitchen Catering is honored to be part of the new chapter. It’s a great opportunity “to revive a space that has only had one option in the past,” Jim Ewing, senior account executive, tells PaperCity. “A new list of approved caterers will better represent the diversity of cuisine and budgets of clients” considering Corinthian Houston for special events.

Barbara McKnight, chef and founder of Culinaire, came close to catering at The Corinthian in the early aughts. She worked at Jackson and Company until 2000, and coincidentally left just as The Corinthian deal was taking shape.

“Every time I drive by, I think ‘I’d love to cater an event there.’ And now it’s happening,” McKnight says. She’s most impressed by Corinthian Houston’s staying power. “The iconic space has managed to transcend.”

The space is a considerable draw for A Fare Extraordinaire, spearheaded by Rachael Volz.

“It’s a historic, elegant space that has a lot of detail,” Volz says. “It’s going to draw a customer who appreciates a timeless feel and really honors tradition.”

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