The former Cooper River Ballet has been transformed into a boutique venue, Events by Sabrina, in the rear of the Collingswood restaurant space.
By Matt Skoufalos | October 21, 2019
Almost since they opened their Collingswood storefront five years ago, Sabrina’s Café owners Robert and Raquel De Abreu have thought about expanding their operation.
With the relocation of Cooper River Ballet to Haddon Heights in the past year, the extra square footage behind their restaurant suddenly became available.
The De Abreus were quick to snap it up, and have spent several months transforming the former dance studio into a catering space capable of hosting a variety of gatherings.
“We get calls [for parties] all the time,” said Raquel De Abreu. “We said, ‘Let’s just take the space and see what we can do with it.’”
Inside the white-walled room, she listed off myriad possibilities: birthdays, bridal and baby showers, christenings and communions, intimate weddings, funeral receptions, corporate events, luncheons, and breakfast meetings.
“You can create what you want,” Raquel De Abreu said. “A lot of places are set; this [space] allows you to be flexible.”
Dubbed Events By Sabrina, there’s only one thing the venue isn’t to be used for: overflow seating when the popular brunch spot is on a wait.
Sparsely outfitted, save a few careful touches of gold, white, and navy, Events By Sabrina can hold 100 guests standing, 60-to-70 seated, and 20 on the outside patio (there are heat lamps for events booked during cooler months).
Wooden walls break up the high ceilings, with angular, large-bulb lighting fixtures casting a warm glow over the room.
The De Abreus worked with local companies to outfit the room.
Haddonfield designer Sherry Nugent drew up the space; painter Steve DiOrio and contractor Carl Nugent built it out.
Jeff Purnell constructed high-top, movable tables, and greenery was sourced from Collingswood neighbor Bespoke Home + Life. Ryan McCabe will manage events onsite; Vanessa Crupi handles coordination and promotions for the space.
Guests will likely have their own ideas about how to use the room, but Raquel De Abreu believes its biggest selling point is the Sabrina’s kitchen on the other side of the wall.
“Our [events]menu is true to who we are,” she said; “it has all our sandwiches, breakfast options, and butlered hors d’oeuvres.
“We’ve been a boutique caterer for 19 years,” Raquel De Abreu said. “When you come here, you’re coming for Sabrina’s.”
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