World War II Ammunition Plant Transformed Into a Stunning New Houston Party Palace: Wedding and Gala Fireworks Sure to FollowBY Catherine D. Anspon // 11.06.17
The Revaire's handsome arrival area.
Rachael Volz in A Fare Extraordinaire's new temple to party planning. (Photo Brandy Stoesz Photography)
This spring, AFE devised the cleverly detailed grand opening for the retail destination Biscuit's new location. (Photo Rachel Stubbe Photography)
The expansive Gallery at The Revaire is the perfect blank canvas.
Rachael and Jason Volz toast the new Revaire space. (Photo Brandy Stoesz Photography)
The Revaire team (Photo Brandy Stoesz Photography)
AFE CEO and owner Rachael Volz (Photo Jeff Gilmer Photography)
Jason and Rachael Volz on the town at the Ambassadors for Texas Children’s Hospital Holiday Party
AFE is a fave among the art set: 2017 Blaffer Art Museum Gala (Photo Rachel Stubbe Photography)
On stage: Mercury Baroque Anniversary Gala in 2016 was designed and catered by A Fare Extraordinaire. (Photo Katy Anderson Photography)
The Menil Dinner in 2014 for Neiman Marcus and Chanel was an AFE production. (Photo Robert Lopez Photography)
AFE is one of the go-to caterers and party planners for the River Oaks set. (Photo Robert Lopez Photography)
A tony event in the Woodlands crafted by A Fare Extraordinaire. (Photo Brandy Stoesz Photography)
In this PaperCity exclusive, you’ll get a first peek at Houston’s newest event venue. Here’s the behind-the-scenes story of how one young female entrepreneur and her husband are ambitiously transforming a vast World War II era former munitions factory into the ultimate party palace or a dream-like space for the most opulent, fairytale weddings.
We caught up with Houston caterer and event planner A Fare Extraordinaire, fresh from a year where the company planned a flawless Super Bowl LI event — Taylor Swift’s Fan Appreciation bash at Club Nomadic — as well as the grand gala opening for Texas Children’s Hospital in the Woodlands, headlined by Jewel; and a fabulous al fresco evening in the park celebrating the 25th anniversary of Hermann Park’s Japanese Gardens.
Now, A Fare Extraordinaire’s CEO and owner Rachael Volz is pulling the curtain back on an ambitious undertaking that will add an epic — and dare we say enchanting — new venue to the options for Houston brides and grooms, as well as provide another venue in the competitive realm of nonprofit gala locales.
Volz, who owns the new property with her husband Jason Volz, dropped the news of the name, and closely guarded details in our exclusive email interview.
Enviably located within Loop 610, just off Katy Road, the 25,000 square foot space will be christened The Revaire. Rachael reveals the meaning behind the carefully selected, and unique, name:
“It is based on the word revelry, meaning celebration and the added suffix “aire” is a nod to the spaciousness of the building, as well as to our sister company, A Fare Extraordinaire,” she writes.
Good news: Prospective brides-and-grooms and gala planners need not wait long for The Revaire to open its doors. The Volzes aim for a late spring 2018 unveiling, and are taking bookings now. Conveniently, they will relocate their Museum area AFE headquarters too to the new venue, in order to streamline operations.
Rachael emphasizes, “The Revaire will be a one-stop-shop with the AFE team coordinating all the necessary event elements to make the planning process easy and stress free. These services include menu design and unique catering packages by A Fare Extraordinaire, tastings in a state-of-the-art tasting kitchen manned by executive chef Ryan Bouillet, an office on-site for meetings, on-site secured parking, hand-selected wine and liquor packages with house-made specialty cocktails, full-service and qualified service team, TABC-licensed and -insured bartenders, wide selection of in-house rentals, entertainment contacts, photographers, videographers, in-house floral design, decorative lighting, AV/staging, custom-printed goods, valet attendants, coat-check service and much more.”
The Revaire is also open to working with other party designers at the new space. Rachael notes, “Although we can handle every element, we also love collaboratively planning with Houston’s creative planners and vendors, and are happy to work with partners outside of AFE to bring a client’s vision to life.”
From Front Desk to CEO
The Revaire fulfills the Volzes long-term vision for the company where Rachael began her career as a fresh grad from Loyola University in 2005, working the phones and greeting clients from the front desk of the catering company.
AFE has a long history in Houston, and has always been among the go-to event planners for the art and social set. It was founded in 1985 by entrepreneur Karen Lerner — and quickly rose to the top echelon of Houston caterers in reputation and revenue.
Rachael Volz credits Lerner for her mentorship. She and Lerner were co-owners for a time before the Volzes acquired the company in 2014.
Pinterest to Reality
The specifics for the new venue came to Rachael intuitively, although she admits the couple looked for several years after outgrowing their previous space. “Jason and I have thought there was a lack of versatile venue choices to meet the demand in our city,” she emails. “We wanted a place that could provide our clients with a stylish, yet sophisticated, space that could be transformed without the need for hundreds of feet of draping. Something with history and soul, but also centrally located, as well as easily accessible from all parts of town.”
Rachael continues, “We found just that in a 1942 munition factory, which will be modernized and re-designed with style and sophistication. Built of steel, cased in glass, and dusted with gold, this space will truly be a one-of-a-kind work of art in the heart of our bustling city.”
Pinterest also played a part. Rachael recalls, “Two years ago, I also created a Pinterest board titled ‘My Dream Venue’ which is exactly what I want my clients to feel as they walk into the building. This venue has always been a dream for Jason and me, which is the inspiration behind The Revaire’s dreamcatcher logo.”
From Ammunition Plant to Social Power
The Revaire offers two spaces and occasions ranging from a more intimate dinner party for 150 guests to swank society galas entertaining a throng of 1,500 can take place. Rachael says, “Clients will have the opportunity to choose from two gorgeous spaces: the gallery and main event spaces, or both if it’s a large wedding, corporate event, or gala. The gallery space is 4,000 square feet and holds up to 500 guests, while the main event space is 9,800 square feet and holds up to 1,500 guests.”
She continues, “Each space is specifically designed to push the envelope in creating a one-of-a-kind experience for each client’s special event. Set on four-acres property, the gorgeous landscape lighting and an impressive grand entrance will immediately draw guests into the property.”
Rachael also shared details of the transformation of the raw space, which had for the past 30 years, following its beginning as World War II ammunition plant, served a more mundane function — as HQ for the industrial manufacturer Delta Fastener.
“Retaining the original bow truss ceilings (a huge architectural selling point for Jason and I) and the original concrete floors, the space will be refurbished with a modern luxury feel. We carefully balanced raw materials with elegant mercury glass and understated gold accents to create a cohesive rustic modernity from the exterior to the interior of the space,” Rachael notes.
Predicting the response of The Revaire’s future clients, Rachael hopes they will be “overcome by emotions in the detail and uniqueness of the building and their event’s celebratory design.”
For more info about the new venue and booking details, click here.