Whether it’s about weddings or corporate events – or film/photo shoots or just a big birthday – familiar venues aren’t always the most compelling to guests. People – wedding parties, not to mention event planners as well as corporate and wedding caterers – like new spaces in less-familiar places, which for the time being includes Smokey Hollow Studios in El Segundo.This isn’t entirely a new event venue, in that it’s recently been renovated and remodeled with upgraded bathrooms, increased indoor food prep spaces, all complementing the hip styling of polished concrete floors, exposed structural wood (rafters), and warehouse-style brick walls.
But every event is subject to the real estate rule of location-location-location. El Segundo is newly popular as a destination within the south Santa Monica Bay-Silicon Beach region (Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Marina del Rey, Playa Vista, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, plus Lennox, Hawthorne and Lawndale nearby). It’s a beach town, and Smoky Hollow Studios is just a short walk up from the surf. The venue is a former industrial building in a neighborhood that has transformed into a creative hub of design and architectural firms, movie production studios, tech startups and cafes, art installations, and pathways for bikes and pedestrians. Grit meets glamor here in all the best ways.
So visitors to the area likely know they’re on an adventure, and Smoky Hollow Studios delivers. It’s a 250-person capacity venue (300 for cocktail-only receptions) with a list of features that foster great group interaction and an overall festive feeling:
- Farm-style long, wooden tables and sturdy, French-inspired Marais bistro chairs, a chic wood and metal combination; provided by the venue, this brings a cost-savings over venues where those items must be brought in.
- A mostly-indoors venue, but sufficient outdoor space for photography, ceremonies, dancing, etc.
- The guest accommodations are on one level, a welcome amenity to families and businesses with accessibility needs.
- A bridal suite on a second level.
- A chalkboard wall for event-specific art, group messages, etc.
The venue provides a list of recommended wedding and corporate caterers and valet services, but event hosts are free to choose their own. What is required is an event coordinator to handle scheduling, trash, tables and chairs, dishes, food vendors, working in cooperation with the Smoky Hollow Studios site manager. Hosts are also allowed to bring in their own alcohol, however it has to be served by a licensed and insured bartender (self-service is not permitted).
As El Segundo’s rise as a place for events is still a new idea, as this is one of the few (and arguably the best) event venues available in the town. Count that a plus if your guest list includes people who like new places to go and bragging rights for doing so before all their friends.