The city of Ceres has some competition when it comes to venue rentals.
For the past eight months the upstairs of the Odd Fellows Hall is being marketed by building owners Pedro and Estella Perez as the Ceres Venue social hall, a place where parties, special events, family gatherings, business meetings and instructional meetings can take place.
Perez had his Ceres TV Shop on the first floor until he moved it to McMittrick Court. It has been replaced by an insurance and real estate company. Perez decided to rent out the second floor for special events.
"The hall has been rented quite a few times," said Pedro. "Last month we rented every Saturday but one and a couple of Sundays and a couple of Fridays. During the week it is rented to a group for four hours."
That group, a meeting of Herbal Life distributors, rents every Tuesday and Thursday, he said. The hall has also been rented for wedding receptions, larger birthday parties, baptism celebrations and Amway meetings.
Perez charges $600 for a Saturday rental, plus $250 for a deposit. The rental fee varies for uses on weekdays mostly because of the duration of the event.
"It depends on the event. We don't have a flat rate."
The 2,200-square-foot upper floor has an open floor plan but features chairs, tables, two restrooms, a small kitchen and an ice maker. The size limits capacity to 120 seated with a maximum of 215 occupants.
"I recommend to people 180 because it's not that big," said Perez.
The Odd Fellows organization met in the hall for decades until it eventually disbanded and sold the building years ago to Perez. The best he has figured, the hall was constructed in 1920.
The Ceres Venue is located at 2314 Lawrence Street and may be booked by calling 505-2454.
The south and west sides of the building still sports the murals painted by the community in 1961. Perez said he would like to see the murals restored to their original luster and plans to see if there is community interest to fundraise for it.