Cleveland's event scene comes alive again with the debut of BLDG17 CLE in St. Clair-Superior

As event planner Kattie Cool sees it, there is no better way to celebrate the ability to gather in large groups again than with an all-new event space serving Cleveland.

“The pandemic pushed so many events back that a lot of hotels and venues are completely booked,” says Cool, founder of Haus of Cool. “It’s always been a goal of mine to open my own event space, and I think that the timing is perfect.”

To that end, Cool is preparing to open BLDG17 CLE in the historic Twist Drill Building (4700 Lakeside Ave. E. in the St. Clair-Superior neighborhood). Along with 15,000 feet of open-concept space, the event venue will also offer a furnished lounge with a full kitchenette, bathroom, private changing room, and hair and makeup room.

“The idea is to host weddings, fashion shows, makers’ markets, charity events—the space is really flexible for different needs,” says Cool. “There are gorgeous pillars down the center, so we can add pipe and drape to make it as big or small as necessary.”

Cool had been touring various prospective spaces in the Flats and Lakewood for some time when a photographer suggested she consider the Twist Drill Building, which also houses duck-rabbit coffee and an array of artists’ spaces. Cool scheduled a tour and immediately fell in love with the intricate brickwork and natural light streaming through the original 1937 windows.

“What I thought was 1,200 square feet turned out to 15,000 square feet—there was a typo in the description,” says Cool with a laugh. “The minute I walked into the space, I knew it was mine.”

In 2022, Cool hopes to expand the BDLG17 CLE space to include the building's rooftop patio and the outdoor courtyard to offer clients more options. In the meantime, she’s preparing to welcome the Fuel Cleveland show in November and securing other bookings for fall. Cool is also planning to add some fun features such as cornhole, ping-pong tables, and giant Jenga and Connect Four games. “It can be hard to get people out of their seats sometimes, so we’re trying to encourage more interaction,” says Cool.

BLDG17 CLE officially opens on September 1, but Cool is hosting a free soft opening event this Thursday, July 22, from 5:30 to 8 p.m.  Appetizers and wine will be served, along with live music by We Are The Radio and City 6 Strings. The event will showcase many of BLDG17 CLE’s preferred vendors such as Euro Fine Wines, Sweet Costo, Cocky’s Bagels, Lavender and Lace Rentals, and more.

For Cool’s part, she’s excited not only to realize her vision of bringing a new event space to Cleveland, but also honoring the building’s industrial past.

“The space was the original Twist Drill Company, and Cleveland’s roots run deep here,” says Cool. “This building is so incredibly unique, and I can’t wait to make it into a more modern industrial building and event space."

Read more articles by Jen Jones Donatelli.

As an enthusiastic CLE-vangelist, Jen Jones Donatelli enjoys diving headfirst into her work with FreshWater Cleveland. Upon moving back to Cleveland after 16 years in Los Angeles, Jen served as FreshWater's managing editor for two years (2017-2019) and continues her work with the publication as a contributing editor and host of the FreshFaces podcast. When not typing the day away at her laptop, she teaches writing and creativity classes through her small business Creative Groove, as well as Literary Cleveland, Cleveland State University, and more. Jen is a proud graduate of Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism.