Ready for action: Gallery 1245 looks forward to fun events, community engagement

Published 11:48 am Saturday, January 27, 2024

NILES — A former Niles restaurant is now a welcoming event space for music, food and fun.

Gallery 1245, 1245 S. 11th St., recently opened its doors to the community as a private event space. Owned by Morris Hospitality Group, the space features a private venue presenting a jazzy, speakeasy atmosphere.

The space was formerly home to Create Bar and Grill, also owned by MHG. It first opened its dine-in services in February 2021 after experiencing delays due to COVID and offered guests a mix of menu options including handcrafted burgers, sandwiches, salads, pastas, cocktails and more. The restaurant also embraced the arts by featuring art galleries and hosting live music and paint sessions.

According to The Morris General Manager Nate Barnett, the company decided to close the restaurant in favor of providing an indoor event space in the city. Gallery 1245 is also home to the company’s catering kitchen.

“We had a lot of bridal clients that really wanted a nice reception space,” Barnett said. “We spent last winter looking for somewhere else to do that and in the springtime, we just came to the realization that while the restaurant was fun, great and everybody enjoyed it, we really needed an event space.”

While the decision to convert the building was not an easy one, Barnett believes it was the right thing to do.

“We’re really excited because now it’s given us a space and more importantly, it’s given Niles a great space to have special events from corporate events to wedding receptions, holiday parties, you name it. We’ve already done quite a few here.”

According to Barnett, renovating the building took approximately 4.5 months with the space opening for events last November.

“We definitely did a nice refresh,” Barnett said. “It has great bones but we really want to change the feel going from the restaurant to a more event oriented space. We changed the carpeting, just from the wear and tear, but also just to kind of make it a very themed color in here. We’ve blacked out the windows, so when you come into the space, you’re really removing yourself from the outside world. Here, it’s much quieter. It just has that different elegance to it.”

Since opening, Barnett said the community response has been positive.

“We’re definitely doing things that are more community-oriented along with just introducing people to the space,” he said. “A lot of people were familiar with it as the restaurant and now it has a nice, moodier look to it. Just by introducing the space, we’ve had people that are like ‘yes I can see this’ because for groups of about 50 to 75 guests, people like a space like this where you have a nice bar, a dance floor and nice seating areas. It really kind of sets that atmosphere.”

For more information about Gallery 1245, visit Gallery1245.com.

“We’re always happy to give tours just for people that want to see the space or have a specific need that they’re curious about. Because of our dining pedigree, we essentially can be as bougie or as backyard barbecue as they want. The nice thing is we’re actually able to offer a very elevated experience to the people of Niles so we’re super happy about that.”