Thanks to Kelly Spencer, founder of The Social Affair catering/event-planning company, St. Louis’ Grove business district is home to a vivacious new venue with a cosmopolitan vibe: The Dogwood.
“We have been in and out of venues over the past, and owning my own bespoke space has always been a dream of mine,” Spencer says. “We quickly grew out of our 1941 renovated gas station a few years after moving in and began looking for the right space to move our offices, commissary kitchen, and add on an event space. My husband found 4308 Manchester many years ago and made the purchase, but it wasn’t until 2018 until we determined it would be the perfect fit for us, with the right plans. Ironically, 4308 was also built in 1941, but as a Kroger grocery store and bakery. I love that we brought it full circle.”
The Dogwood, which is exclusively catered by The Social Affair, officially opened its doors in August.
“It was a race to the finish line after a long marathon,” Spencer says. “But we opened our doors for our first wedding on August 8.”
The first floor of The Dogwood showcases a classic design that’s moody and loungelike with a bit of nostalgia thanks to a 15-foot marble-topped custom bar with brass finishes. A grand spiral staircase stuns in breathtaking black, taking guests above a 20-foot stage. The second floor is a contrast from the first, featuring a bright, white contemporary design and a 32-foot Euro wall that opens to a tasteful terrace overlooking the gorgeous Grove.
“The Dogwood was designed from a chef’s prospective, keeping food and presentation in the forefront of the design,” Spencer says. “Our restaurant-style catering kitchen is on-site and [meals are] served from scratch by our impeccable team. Having our kitchen on-site will allow us to create anything the client can imagine and executed with precision. The style alone also sets The Dogwood apart with its edgy, loungelike aesthetic.”
And although most Missourians would assume The Dogwood was named after the state tree, that’s only part of the story.
“I’m a Southern girl that grew up in a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama,” Spencer says. “The Dogwood was given its name to remind me of my Southern roots and where I am from, Vestavia Hills, the City of Dogwoods. The Missouri state tree is also a dogwood, reminding me not only of my past, but my present and the future.”
Although The Social Affair is known for catering weddings and similar situations, Spencer says the space can be used for community events, corporate events and more.
“We look forward to bringing our clients’ vision to life and creating more extraordinary dreams at The Dogwood,” Spencer says. “As Frank Sinatra sang, ‘The Best Is Yet to Come.’”
The Dogwood, 4308 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, 314-300-8500, thedogwoodstl.com
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