Caterers & Banquet Hall Ratings

           Over the years I have D.J.ed many receptions and events, I have worked with many Caterers, Reception Halls and Banquet facilities and have had many experiences most good but some bad.  An experience not shared is lost. 

I feel that it is my duty to share these experiences with you, please remember that these are my unbiased opinions; my only wish is that you keep these in mind when planning your special day.  

      Rating Scale:  (5) Best,   (3) Neutral,   (1) worst

       -356 Fighter Group, N. Canton, OH. (3)

               Located right next to the Akron Canton Airport the 356 has a lot to offer for you if you plan to have a smaller event.  The banquet room seats about 100 (cramped) but is designed similar to that of a greenhouse with the two walls and the roof being clear glass so that you can see the air traffic coming and leaving.  Surprisingly enough I did not notice the sound of the jets while I was DJing there.  The food is pretty good prepared by the chefs in the kitchen of the restaurant that is attached to the banquet room.   There is also a bar inside that has live entertainment and an large outside area that has a stage and cabana style bar with plenty of seating and chairs that face the airport so that you can sit and watch the planes.

        -AA Executive Catering & Banquet Hall, Canton OH Rating (4)

              Located on Tuscarawas St. in Canton this hall has a lot to offer for your event.  A banquet room that can seat close to 300 or can be divided into two rooms for different events seating around 130 a room with a dance floor.  They are a full service establishment with multiple chefs including a pastry chef that can make your wedding cake on site (the cake I had at a recent event was one of the best I have ever had).  They also have a grassy area behind the hall that can be used for smaller wedding ceremonies.  The food was a bit better than typical banquet food and presented well but I was surprised that the pasta was overcooked with all of their experience in catering.  The staff was very easy to work with and interacted very well with the guests and myself.  The only bad point that I noticed with this hall is that the room dividing wall was too thin and not well insulated so that if there were a DJ in each room, they would have to be set up back to back so as to reduce the bleed over music coming from the opposite room though the wall.

          -Access to Independence Hall, Rootstown OH.  Rating (2)

     A nice hall for the people looking to save money, this hall has a bar area and kitchen area but you need to bring in your own food and drinks as well as bartenders.  The hall was clean as were the bathrooms.  A few of the light bulbs on the wall lights were burnt out.  They provide the tables and chairs but you will need to provide the table clothes and skirts.

-Alfords Glen, Windham, OH. Rating (2)

       Converted from a horse barn into a banquet center, this barn venue in northern Portage county says that they have a lot to offer, the problem is that it is just another barn venue but this one is a step below the others.  Without any air conditioning even with the large doors open in the main room of the barn, it was very hot and the guests tended to stay outside.  The gal that was in charge was very difficult to work with and was giving me issues with where I wanted to set up my DJ equipment so that I was not playing my music over guests tables.  She was pretty rude to me after I made a suggestion about my placement so that I would have a straight access to the dance area without bothering guests by having them sitting directly in front of my speakers, the mother of the groom overheard this suggestion and thought it was a great idea but the gal in charge took offense to this somehow and got very mad.  They do have an area out behind the barn where you can have a wedding ceremony, only problem is that your guests all are facing towards the sun so they will have trouble seeing without squinting.  The barn does not meet the state fire code in any way, there are no smoke detectors, alarm system, fire pull stations, strobes or audible warning devices, so if there is a fire, your guests might not know about it.  They also do not have exit lights or egress lights so if they loose power, you might not be able to find your way out.  Overall, I would stay away from this venue...

-Ali Baba Grotto, Warren, Ohio. Rating (2)

              This is a Shiner's hall that is just off Rt. 5, the hall itself is large enough to seat close to 175 people and has a nice large dance floor area.  There is a kitchen but your food will have to be catered in, the catering company that I dealt with at for this venue was the Buena Vista Cafe, (see their rating below),  If  you are looking for an inexpensive hall then this might be an option for you.  For events during the warmer months, there was a nice roofed patio area next to the hall and a nice big open yard / field next to the parking lot.

-Antone's Banquet Hall, Boardman OH,  Rating (3)

                   A very nice full service hall, large room that was remodeled just s few years ago.  The room can be split into two separate banquet rooms with a dividing wall but you can still hear what is going on in the other room.  You may want to make sure that if there are two events going on and they divide the room that they turn of the overhead PA to your room so that you don't hear people talking on the microphone during your reception. The full service kitchen and cooks provided a very nice  presentation as well as the food being very good.  If you are using the whole room have them place the stage so that the middle post is not placed in front of the stage causing major echo from D.J. speakers.  D.J.s have to offset their systems on the stage to avoid the echo.  The staff is pleasant and easy to work with but for some reason  they do recommend that the Bride, Groom and bridal party eat before any of the guests arrive, ( not very traditional, but I guess this is how they do things in the Youngstown area  ). 

        -Atwood lake Lodge, Atwood Lake State Park, OH.  Rating (4)

          A beautiful resort and banquet center, many different sized rooms for different needs.  If you are looking for a getaway for you and your guests, this is it...  Have your wedding ceremony outside in front of their arbor that has a view over the lake with the lodge behind you.  Full service kitchen with chefs food is very good, supplied bars and bartenders provided.  Carpeted rooms with working fireplaces and wood dance floors, great view from main room of the lake.  Staff is very pleasant and easy to work with.

After the wedding & reception are over, your guests can stay in one of the many rooms in the lodge and also have access to the lodges pool, fitness room, restaurant, and bar, not to mention the 18 hole golf course. 

  -Aulizio's, Warren, OH. Rating (3)

            Though the hall can seat around 300 people, the hall is actually separated into 3 rooms with there being one main center room and then one room to the rights and one to the left which makes it a bit difficult for the guests that are seated in the outside rooms to see or hear what is going on in the main room.  All rooms of this hall are in severe need of updating, part of the main room and outer rooms has old dark paneling on the walls and there are no electrical outlets close to the floor, the hall drops down extension cords from the outlets that are about 8 feet up from the floor, which makes it a bit difficult for lighting and the DJ.  The buffet line is set up in one of the outer rooms and the bar is set up in the other outer room.  The food was good, maybe a little better than typical banquet food.  The staff was pretty easy to work with and interacted well with all the guests.

-Aurora Inn, Aurora OH.  Rating (4)

                    A very elegant facility for smaller parties up to 130 or so people, full service kitchen with chefs that serve excellent food as well as stocked bars and bartenders.   The staff was very accommodating and easy to get along with .  Carpeted seating area,  large wood dance floor area, not to mention many rooms so that your guests don't have to travel and honeymoon suites.  They also put on a great New Years eve party and dinner that is open to the public with reservation.

-Avalon Inn, Warren, OH. (4)

                    The Avalon in Warren is the ultimate banquet center with multiple banquet rooms for your conference, event or reception.  Avalon is also a hotel so that your guests from out of town do not have to travel after your event.  The facility is pretty modern and the banquet rooms are very elegant.  Behind the inn the Avalon has a separate banquet room that seats around 300, complete with a full service bar, kitchen, dance floor and bathrooms. This room has two walls of large windows that look over the beautiful golf course.  The food was very good prepared by chefs in the kitchen and the staff was very easy to work with and treated to guests very well.

-Avion on the water, Canfield, OH.  Rating (4)

                    Able to be seen just to the west of the turnpike, Avion on the water is a full service banquet hall that boasts the view of the large lake that sits behind the hall.  The banquet room itself can seat close to 350 and can be divided in half to do smaller events or two events at once.  The building appears to be less than 10 years old, it is very clean and looks good not only on the inside but on the outside as well.  Mike, the manager was easy to work with and his staff interacted well with the Bride and Groom as well as their guests.  The food was prepared on-site in the kitchen, presented well and was a step above the typical banquet hall food.  There were two full service bars located at both sides of the room and there also was a patio area behind the hall that looks out over the lake and could be accessed from the banquet room.

-The B & O Station Youngstown, OH. Rating (3)

                   An old converted rail road station makes up one of the Youngstown areas most unique banquet facilities.  With the feel of the old station and the decor to match, the room is a bit odd shaped and difficult for a wedding reception but if you have a guest list of under 150 it should be fine.  There is a main floor as well as an upper balcony area with a beautiful spiral staircase (great for photo ops), located pretty much in the center of the room that leads to more seating upstairs.  You will have to bring in your own caterer but the facility does have a large kitchen for them to use.  Attached to the other side of the building is a micro brewery that you can sample beers or even have their beers served at the bar on the banquet side.

-The Beachwood Hilton / Doubletree Rating (2)

Even though it's in Beachwood, I would not even bother looking at this venue.  My Sister -in-law was recently married here as well as had her reception in the same location.  This was a pretty big event with many people, many rooms rented and 2 days worth of events, including a brunch the next morning after the reception.  The whole fiasco started while planning the event a year prior, the venue cycled through 4 different  banquet managers, with the last one being only 3 weeks before the wedding, communication between the managers and the Bride was very poor with email answers sometimes taking weeks to get back to the bride.  Not only was I in the bridal party, I was the DJ as well as providing the up-lighting and projection monogram.  I was told the day before the event, when I did a walk through with the new banquet manager, that I would be able to get into the full banquet room 3 hours before the wedding ceremony to get my equipment and lighting set up, only to find out on the day of the event that they had double booked part of the room and the area where the most of my lighting needed to be set up, I had only 30 minutes before the ceremony started, to get it done.  Though the food was good and the rest of the staff were great, there were many other little issues that popped up before, during and after the event.  My Sister-in-law also told me that just one week later a mysterious charge to her credit card appeared for $890.00 from the Hilton, after they had already paid everything off.

-The Bertrum, Aurora, OH. Rating (5)

                    This facility can handle all of your party, fundraising, or reception needs.  With multiple banquet rooms, one capable of holding over 700 guests, and a kitchen staffed with multiple chefs the Bertrum can handle 2-3 events at once without a flaw.  The food from my recent night at the races fundraiser was excellent and very well presented.  The staff was very easy to work with and seemed to willing to help the guests and myself with whatever was needed.  Plenty of parking was available and was within a short walking distance of the entrance.  Overall this facility presented the guests with a great evening.

-Birchview Banquet Center, Northfield, OH.  Rating (4)

                    This facility is capable of taking care of all your wedding day needs.  The hall has a full service kitchen with excellent cooks that served a very good tasting meal, they also have full service bars and bartenders.  The hall can be divided into two rooms for two separate events or you can have your wedding ceremony on one side and your reception on the other.  The room has a elevated stage in the corner of the room for the D.J. and a dance floor directly in front of the stage.  The staff was very easy to get along with and very accommodating to the guests.

-Botzum Farmstead, Bath OH. (3)

                    Take a step back in time or out into the country, the Botzum farmstead has a lot to offer you if you are looking for that outdoor wedding experience.  With a beautiful field area for you wedding ceremony and a rustic Barn for your reception, you might want to take a drive out to the country to check this place out.  The Barn has a very large covered patio area that would be perfect for you DJ to set up as well as the buffet line and bar setup.  Then after dinner, the patio can be used as the dance area.  The grounds of Botzum have many great areas for your pictures and also has an up to date bathroom house (with running water) for you and your guests as well as a fire pit just outside the barn so you and your guest can sit around a campfire.  You will have to bring in your own caterer and the barn will only seat about 150 guests, but if country is what you are looking for, this place has got it.

-Brookside farms (The Barn), Louisville, OH. Rating (4)

                    Located in Louisville, (east of Canton), The Barn at Brookside farms seems to be the hip new place to have an event.  If you are looking for rustic in the country with a touch of class, then you might want to take a look at what all Brookside farms has to offer.  With the ability to have your wedding ceremony and reception on the same grounds, many weddings have taken place outside on the beautiful grounds of Brookside.  The barn itself has a lot to offer as well, with a nice big dance area that has railings all around for people to stand, lean and watch the dancers.  There is also a nice rustic part of the barn that is your social / cocktail / bar area, complete with a full service bar.  The other half of the barn has been modernized for your seating and dining area.  If there are any downfalls to the barn it is that the bathrooms are located downstairs which does not make it very ADA compliant.  Across from the barn is another barn that has been converted into a chapel for your wedding ceremony, if you want to have it in the safety of a building during the cold months or bad weather.  They also have a gate house on the grounds that can be used by your bridal party as a place to get dressed and hang out until things start happening, I also believe that the Bride & Groom can stay in the gate house over night.

       -Byzantine at the Grove, Youngstown, OH. Rating (4)

                   One of the better facilities in the Youngstown area, this facility is full service and has a full kitchen and bars to be able to cater to two receptions at one time or they can do one large reception removing the wall between the two rooms.  Andy is the banquet manager and is very easy to work with, he and his staff work well together and put on a great presentation for the guests.  The food is better than average for banquet food.  This facility does provide security for its events as well.  The only real issue is that they have made a stage for the DJ that is too high and not convenient to set up on, I have asked them to move this so that I may just set up on the floor.

-Chateau Michele, Canton, OH. (3)

                Located in the canton area, Chateau Michele is a great venue for your smaller event with comfortable seating to about 150.  The venue can also provide you an area for your wedding ceremony, with a beautiful staircase that you walk down for your wedding entrance.  The food is good but not much more than the typical catering food.  The building itself could use some updating as the bathrooms and main banquet room seem a bit dated and the carpet is worn down and dirty with duct tape on a few of the worn down seams.  There is a tiny area for the DJ to set up in the corner close to the dance floor.  

-Chenoweth Country Club, Akron, OH (4)

                    Located off Arlington Rd. and able to be seen from I-77, Chenoweth Golf Club offers a large banquet room that can be split in half for two events or can have your wedding ceremony on one side and then they can open up the room for your reception as well.  There is a dance floor in the center of the room and the back wall has large windows that overlook the golf course.  There is also a smaller side room that can be used by you or your bridal party to get ready or to hang out while you are waiting to come in for the grand entrance.  Outside there is a nice gazebo area with a large concrete pad for your to have your wedding ceremony on site if you choose.  The food is prepared on site by a Chef and cooks and was much better than the typical banquet food, more like what you would expect from a Country Club not a golf club.  The Staff was great to work with and interacted well with the guests, Jan the banquet manager goes above and beyond to make sure that everything runs smoothly.

-DiLucia's, Warren, OH. (3)

                    DiLucia's is located on Elm Rd. not too far off Rt. 5 in Warren.  They provide not only a banquet facility but also do catering as well.  The hall itself is a bit on the smaller side but does have a full kitchen, bar area, dance floor and from what I remember, seating for around 250.  The food was prepared on site in the kitchen by a chef and was better than typical banquet hall style food with an Italian flare.  The hall will provide bartenders but you must provide liquor, beer, wine and they do not allow kegs.  They just recently purchased LED up-lighting for their room which shines from the floor up the walls, it really helps to increase the ambiance of the hall.  Bobby and the staff were pretty easy to get along with and they did work well with all the guests.

         -Doogan's, Aurora OH.  Rating (2)

                    Dugan's is a sports bar that has a banquet room in the back of the facility.  This room is for smaller parties of maybe a 100 or so.  The staff was not very prepared to handle a wedding reception, they did not even realize that a D.J. needs a table and had to go outside to get plastic tables off their patio to accommodate me, because the had no more tables.  The host is young and not very familiar with what events take place in a wedding reception.  The guests have to walk through a noisy bar area to get to the banquet room.  The kitchen is mostly younger cooks, the food was ok but the kitchen staff had to be asked by me to turn their radio down so the guests in the banquet room did not hear the hip hop music and could hear the dinner music I was playing.  The dance floor was very small and the head table had to be set up on the dance floor because the size of the room and then had to be taken down after dinner so people could dance.

 -Elm Ridge Party Center, Canal Fulton, OH (3)

                    Elm Ridge is located in Canal Fulton, the banquet room is nice and big and will seat around 350.  It features a centralized dance floor and a fireplace located in the corner of the room.  The room has drapery that hangs on the walls the gives it and old Italian style look.  A nice big stage area for the DJ, an on site kitchen and a full service bar.  I provided LED up-lighting at the event that I did there putting a few of  the lights behind the drapes of the head table and shining up which created quite a dramatic change in the room.  The food was prepared in the kitchen by cooks and was ok, they did however commit the ultimate banquet hall sin and let the staff eat from the buffet line while the buffet was still out and the guests were still coming up for more food.  The other issue that I had was that they had the fireplace going and it was in the middle of summer on a hot day, their air conditioner had a very difficult time keeping up with the heat from outside as well as the heat from inside.  The staff was pretty easy to work with and did work to accommodate the guests.

-Embassy Suites, Beachwood, OH. Rating (5)

                                    Located just off 271, the Embassy has a lot to offer for your reception or corporate event.  With a ball room that seats 300 or may be divided into four individual rooms, a nice large an moveable wood dance floor, 25 ft. roll down screens for presentations, videos or picture shows and a large indoor atrium/courtyard/indoor garden with waterfall, just outside the ballroom.  The food was very well prepared by a chef and his staff in the kitchen and the staff of the suites were very easy to get along with and went well out of their way to make sure that all of the guests needs were met.  The hotel itself has 213 rooms available to you and your guests as well as a restaurant and bar.

 -Embassy Suites, Independence, OH. Rating (5)

                                 With Multiple smaller rooms to choose from as well as the large banquet room that can seat over 350 guests as well as be divided into smaller rooms the Embassy Suites in Independence has a whole lot to offer.  Outside the ballroom there is a very large area for cocktails before your guests enter the room as well as a very large indoor courtyard with restaurants and shops to keep your guests entertained.  The food was excellent and the staff interacted with the guests and myself very well and assisted us with our every need. 

 -Fairways at Twin Lakes, Kent, OH.  Rating (3)
          Located on the edge of the Twin Lakes Golf Course, and looking over the beautiful east lake, this facility has a large room that is semi divided for dining and dancing.  The dining room has big beautiful windows that look out over the lake, adding to the ambiance of this historic building.  The dancing portion of the room has a huge wood floor and working fireplace.  There is a full service kitchen with cooks, provide and present a wonderful tasting meal.  There is also a full service bar that is located on the same level as the banquet room, but is also open to the members of the Country Club.   Outside overlooking the east lake they have a beautiful arbor style open building that you can have your wedding ceremony right by the water.

         -Firestone Country Club, Akron OH.  Rating (3)

                    Firestone CC has an incredible banquet room, the staff is a bit difficult to work with as they seem to look down at you.  The room set up could have been designed better since the put the dance floor in the middle of the room, it is a wood dance floor but they commit the one major sin when it comes to set up, the D.J. is put in the corner of the room and they set tables between the D.J. and the dance floor, then they sat older couples at those tables.  Even during dinner those couples were complaining that the dinner music was too loud, it was turned down for them but the head table and the parents on the other side of the room were then unable to hear any of the music through dinner.  The food was prepared by chefs in the full service kitchen and was very good.  The windows all around the banquet room show a beautiful view of the golf course, overall the ambiance is nice but the room setup and somewhat difficult staff should be much better with the money you are spending.  During another visit to Firestone (5 years since my last visit) not much has changed, The DJ is still put back in the corner with tables between me and the dance floor, The staff was much better to deal with but their service was poor in the fact that they completely forgot a whole table of guests when dinner was being served.

-Foltz Community Center, East Canton OH. Rating (4)

                    Located outside of Canton in East canton sits the East Canton Library / Foltz Community Center.  Fairly modern in its design, this facility has a lot to off you for your event including multiple rooms, clean and up to date bathrooms, a large banquet room that can accommodate approximately 350 guests, a nice large stage area for your head table, large dance floor area, and a fully functioning kitchen.  Their only downfall is that they do not cater but the do use Mr. Mike Catering out of Canton, who I have worked with at  different venues.  Mr. Mike serves pretty typical banquet food but their staff is very easy to work with, very friendly and will go out of their way to help you.

 -The Georgetown, Boardman, OH. Rating (3)

                    Located on South Ave. on the edge of Youngstown, nestled in a strip plaza, is the Georgetown.  The facility itself can be divided into two rooms, which it was for the event that I just did there.  Each of the rooms can seat around 250 people but the wall that divides the two rooms is not very thick or well insulated to keep the sound from the other room out of your room.  This was VERY evident when we had to battle over the loud bass pumping music next door when we were attempting to do the best man's and Matron of Honor's toasts to the Bride & Groom.  The food on the other hand was well prepared and presented by the Chef and his staff.  The food was above average banquet style food and was well seasoned and none of the meats were dry.  The bar area is located in its own room but attached to the main hall, the Bartenders were very easy to work with and I noticed very good interaction between them and the guests.  I did however hear a few complaints about the banquet manager Carol, A few of the members of the Bride's family commented on Carol being a bit short with them when they were asking for help at the end of the night, I noticed this earlier in the evening with her as I was attempting to coordinate the events.  Overall this was a nice facility.

 -Geneva-on the Lake Lodge, Geneva OH. Rating (4)

                    Located up on Lake Erie, in the heart of wine country, the Lodge has plenty to offer.  There is a beautiful area for your outdoor wedding ceremony that over looks the lake and the sunset, an outdoor patio area that is large enough to have a smaller reception as well as plenty of rooms to house your guests so they do not have to drive after the festivities.  Inside they have a ball room that can be divided into 3 smaller rooms but when opened up will seat about 250 to 300 guests and your head table and dance floor.  The food is prepared by chefs and their staff in the kitchen and presented very nice as well as tasting pretty good.  They normally place a bar at each end of the ballroom so that your guests can walk to the closest one.  The facility is very clean and the staff was very accommodating.  

         -Guy's Party Center, Akron OH.  Rating (4)

                     Guy's party center is a nice full service facility located just off  77 in Akron, it features 2 full sized banquet rooms with bars, stages and dance floors and one smaller banquet room.   The food is prepared by multiple cooks in the kitchen and has been very good at all of the events that I have done there.  I have had worked events in all 3 rooms but prefer the south room mainly for the reason of the stage being in the center of the room and the Dance floor is directly in front of the stage.  The north room has the stage is in the corner of the room and the dance floor is in the center of the room, the last event that I had in the north room, the staff had set tables up between me and the dance floor causing a few guests to be upset at the noise level later on.  The staff is easy to work with and the hall is very clean, they even have security in the parking lot to keep your cars safe. ( when meeting with the manager to set up the room, just ask to have no tables in between the DJ and the dancefloor).  Guys is the place that I DJ the most every year and their food is always great and the staff is equally as good.  With all that is great here, the facility is a bit dated and is in need of some renovations.

-Hale Farm and Village, Bath, OH.  Rating (3)

                    If you are looking for a country setting that offers you the most option for the buck, you might want to look at Hale Farm and Village.  With their own village that has SO many photo ops for your wedding pictures, they have a cute old chapel for you to actually have your ceremony as well.  The Gatehouse will be the location of your reception and they provide a tram style shuttle that will take you and your guests from parking to chapel to Gatehouse.  The Gatehouse itself is the visitor center for the village but converts nicely into a reception hall with a big dance area and a nice area for your guests that will seat around 200.  You will have to bring in your own caterers but there is a kitchen area for them to use.  With the over all amount of things to see and photo opportunities on the grounds, this is a nice place out of the norm of the regular wedding venue.

-Happy Day Banquet Hall, Cuyahoga Valley Park, Peninsula, OH.   Rating (3)

                    Happy day is what used to be the parks visitor center and has now been converted into a banquet hall.  This place is very rustic with heavy timber beams inside as well as a fireplace.  There is a stage for the head table or the DJ but the stage bounces when you walk on it.  There is also another room that has screens and windows on 3 sides that is close to the main banquet room that could be used as a place to hold your wedding ceremony if you do not have over 150 guests.  You will need to bring in your own caterer as well as someone to tend the bar, (you must pay the park a fee to have a temporary liquor license for the day $190.00).  The hall has tables but the are all rectangular tables and you will have to provide the tablecloths and or skirts.  Also, your guests will have to park in the parking lot on the opposite side of Rt. 303 and walk through a tunnel to get to the hall, there is a small parking lot in back of the hall but they are very strict on who can park there.  This Hall now has a new banquet manager and the flexibility of set up times your ability to decorate the room are much better than in the past.

-Hilton of Twinsburg, Twinsburg, OH. Rating (4)

                    The Twinsburg Hilton is the place if you want a BIG fancy event, the main banquet room (Wilcox Ballroom) is very spacious and can seat over 300 comfortably.  The food was plated, presented and tasted wonderful, prepared by chefs in the kitchen.  Outside the ballroom is a nice big area that can be used for your cocktail time, they also can set up the bar in this area.  An added bonus is that your guests can stay there for the night.  Just like many other Big Fancy establishments, they tend to overlook a few of the smaller things, such as putting a plate and napkin on the cake table, I had to remind them 3 times about this, they also were set on cutting the cake before dinner "so it could be cut during dinner and served for desert"  but I had to ask them to remove it from the center of the dance floor so that  the bride could toss her bouquet, about 15 minutes after the guest were done eating.  The staff was ok to work with but they tended to look down and talk down to me and a few of the guests. 

 -The HippoDrome, Warren, OH. Rating (4)

                                        A great new venue in downtown Warren that made a very good first impression.  This venue is located in a 3 story building with the banquet room on the third floor and a cocktail / desert area on the second floor.  There is an elevator as well as stairs for your guests at this facility.  The wedding reception that I did here in 2009 was the second reception that had been done here but you sure could not tell.  The food and the staff were great to work with and showed no signs of being beginners at this whatsoever.  The Catering and staff for this venue is provided by the Mocha House.  Bill who managed and catered the event was great, he was very easy to work with and treated the guest and myself very well.  The guests started out on the second floor for cocktails and Hors D'oeuvres then went up to the banquet room for dinner then an incredible desert selection was offered back on the second floor after dinner.  In 2012 I did another event here and the service was just as good as 2009,  I was also able to easily LED up-light the banquet hall and and made the room look incredible as the evening came.

       -Hudson Country Club, Hudson OH,  Rating: (4)

                      I might have to say that the Hudson Country club is the best facility that I have played at.  The staff went way out of its way for me and the guest to make sure the night was perfect.  A beautiful banquet room prepared very elegantly, a full service bar that is all brass and oak style, a full service kitchen with chefs that have prepared the best meal that I have had in my 16 years of, (both my wife and I have been to cooking school so that compliment does not come lightly).  Off of the dinning room is a large covered patio that over looks the beautiful 18th green of the golf course, The D.J. usually sets up outside under the patio roof which gives your guest plenty of dancing space.  This is a great facility to not only have your reception but to have your ceremony as well.

 -Italian American Club, Ravenna, OH. Rating (2)

                    The Italian American club hall is the typical private club hall where one side of the building is a private club and the other side is a banquet hall that the club uses to pad its income.  This hall is pretty old and looks it, with the scuffed and worn in dirty tile floor, and water leak stained ceiling tile.  There is a kitchen at the back of the banquet room that can be used by you or your caterer and there is also a small area set up for a bar.  This room is a fair size and should hold about 125 guests.  Be careful, some of the tables are not in the best of shape.  The worst part of the club is that the private side of the club shares a common entrance to the building that you share as well and they do not have an outside patio for smoking so your guests will be walking thought the smoke and comments of club members who are out front lighting up.

       -Kent American Legion (Underwood Hall),  Rating: (3)

                      The Kent American Legion hall is a great full service facility for the bigger parties or receptions.  This hall easily seats over 400 with plenty of room to dance and mingle.  The food is prepared by Special Moments catering out of Streetsboro but the Legion uses them as the sole food preparer for hall events, you cannot bring in your own caterer.  The owner of special moments catering is also the gentleman that you call to book the hall, though his food has always been  great his personality as well as that of some of his employees leaves a little to be desired.  The hall has a beautiful big room that faces a stage that was placed at the head of the room and centered to meet the acoustical needs of all the guests in the room and for some reason He likes to set the head table up on the stage instead of the DJ, this makes the bride walk up and down stairs with her train multiple times during the reception, he also chooses to put the DJ off in the corner instead of on the stage where the architects of the building designed the entertainment to be.  He sets up the buffet dinner line on the dance floor and refuses to tear it down until all the guest have eaten and all the tables have been bussed, delaying the after dinner events such as the bouquet & garter toss and the dances by as much as 20 to 30 minutes leaving your guests bored.  Though I have done many events at this hall and other venues where his company has catered, the food has always been great but he  just does not seem to be to flexible.  I have recently found out that the Legion now gives you the option of 4 different caterers.

       -Kent State Student Center, Kent, OH.  Rating (4)

                     Kent State University Student center has three different options for your party of event.  The ballroom is its biggest room for parties of over 300, the cafeteria for your medium sized parties and Room 360 for your smaller sized parties.  All rooms are very clean with dance floors and full service facilities.  The kitchen prepares meals for all three of these rooms and is capable of doing such all at the same time.  The staff is very easy to work with and the food is very good

-Kent State University Hotel & Conference Center, Kent OH.  Rating (5)

                    If you are looking for a great place to have a wedding reception as well as giving your guests the ability to just walk upstairs to a modern upscale hotel room after the event is over the the KSU hotel is your place.  Only a few years old this facility has a nice, modern banquet room that can be separated into three smaller rooms or opened up into one large room that can accommodate larger crowds up to 250.  The staff is great to work with and will go the extra mile to make sure that you and your guests have a excellent experience.  With a trained Chef & staff in the kitchen that also cook for the up-scale "Zenas" restaurant that is located in the hotel as well, know that the food is well presented and prepared.  I eat wedding food every weekend and it is not often that I can eat a large 1" thick chicken breast with a fork only because it was perfectly cooked, all the food was seasoned as well, (the sign of a good chef).  With this hotel being located in downtown Kent, you are just seconds from many new bars, shops and restaurants for you and your guests to enjoy both before and after your event.       

-Knights of Columbus Hall, Mantua, OH (3)

                    Located on the northern outskirts of Mantua is the Knights of Columbus hall, thought this hall is a bit older it has everything that you might need for a less expensive banquet facility.  The main room seats about 200 and there is area for a dance floor in the middle of the room.  In a adjoining room is the bar area with enough room for a few tables for your guests to sit away from the main room.  Though the building does have a kitchen area, you will need to either bring in your own caterer or use one of their preferred caterers.

-Lakewood Country Club, Westlake, OH. Rating (5)

                    If you are on the west side of Cleveland and looking for a VERY nice place to have your reception, please look into the Lakewood Country Club.  With a very nice banquet room that can hold as many as 300 but can be partitioned for parties that are smaller, a cocktail area that provides elegant couches, chairs and a fireplace as well as a Baby Grand piano.  The food was excellent and prepared by chefs in the kitchen.  The staff was easy to work with and treated me and the guest very well., they even had a valet to park cars for you and your guests.  Overall one of the better places that I have D.J.ed at.

-LaMalfa Party Center, Mentor, OH. Rating (4)

                    One of Mentor's premier banquet centers, LaMalfa has quite a bit to offer from multiple banquet rooms to even a beautful wedding ceremony room.  Probably one of the best things about LaMalfa is that it is attached to the Holiday Inn so that your guests do not have to travel far to get back to their rooms at the end of the night.  The event that I did there recently was very nice with the LaMalfa providing up-lighting around the banquet room.  The grand ballroom could easily seat over 350 but they had divided the room with lit trees and fencing so that there was a cocktail hour area that was also used for the dinner buffet and was a nice place for guests to get away from the music later in the evening if they wanted to talk with each other.  The staff was very easy to work with and the food was prepared by chefs and their staff in the kitchen.  The whole facility was very clean and maintained well and there was plenty of close parking. 

-La Pizzaria, Canton, OH. Rating (4)

        Don't be fooled by the name, this is not a pizza joint.  Attached to the back of the restaurant of the same name is the modern banquet facility that features a large room with enough space for 300 guests.  A very large dance floor that has a hand painted arched ceiling above it and a stage that can either be used by the DJ or have the head table on it.  Up on the walls on either side of the stage are two large flat screen TVs that can play a picture show that you design or have done for you.  The room has some pretty fancy electrical and sound equipment that they like to use but on many occasions that I have played here, there has been an issue with it.  They were very adamant that I hook my equipment into their sound system but refused to sign a liability waiver incase my equipment was damaged by their stuff.  They also waited until the guests started to arrive to setup the Bride & Groom's picture / slide show and after it was playing on their big screen they realized that their computer had updated itself and the box kept popping up on the screens telling them to restart the computer, I had to keep the mouse and close that box out about 6 times through dinner so the computer did not shutdown. 

I recently DJ an event in their new banquet room (the old fitness center), it is a 2 story facility and they make it very nice for the DJ to be able to plug my system in to their speakers, and they have their own lighting on the dance floor, and even though it is pack full of new A/V technology, we still had the same type of problems as in the other rooms, with the cameras fading and flashing on the TV screens and the system not recognizing my laptop to do a couples slideshow.

​-La Taste of Excellence, Catering, Akron area, Rating (1)

                  Though I am not for sure where this company bases it's operations from since I cannot find them online, I worked with them recently at a wedding reception at a farmstead (barn wedding) in Akron last year.  From the get go I was concerned with the dress and actions of the staff (forgetting shirts, smoking while setting up, and using inappropriate language).  The gal that was in charge had a real attitude and was not interested in working with me or the maid of honor with a few logistical issues that we were concerned about.  In the barn there was a very small prep and plating area for this company so, the food had to be made off site and brought to the event.  Before dinner and while the welcome speech, toasts and blessing were happening, the staff was bringing in the food and making a lot of noise, enough to distract the guests and get the attention of the Bride and Groom.  Their food itself was OK, but nothing more than typical banquet food. 

-Links at Firestone, Columbiana, OH. Rating (4)

                    The Links at Firestone is a newer Clubhouse type of  building that overlooks the golf course.  It offers a nice big banquet room with seating for around 300 guests.  A nice large wood dance floor is located in the center of the room so all can see the festivities.  There is a nice large entry way / foyer for guests to mingle and to set up the bridal party for a grand entrance.  The full service kitchen adjoins the banquet room and is managed by a chef and cook staff.  The room overall was very nice with big window to see out over the golf course and double glass doors that go out onto a balcony area.  There was a full service bar located in the room as well.  The food was good and there seemed to be no complaints from me or the guests, it was set up with a very nice presentation on a double sided buffet style table.  There were also multiple desert and cookie tables as well.  The staff seemed very easy to work with and were very pleasant to the guests.

-The Metropolitan, Canton, OH. Rating (4)

                    Located in a down town Canton on the third floor of the 100 year old Knights of Columbus building sits the metropolitan, a elegant banquet facility that combines the architecture of old (the Ballroom), with the a new and modern ( bar, bathrooms, foyer and cocktail room).  The Ballroom with comfortably hold 275 seated, with plenty of room for a dance area.  The Bride & Groom as well as the Bridal party get to be center stage (so to speak) as their head table can be set up on a beautiful little stage overlooking the room and their guests.  In the same building is the event coordinator Dede of (D's Elegant Events) who also does all the design and set up of the room and tables.  During the warmer months, a rooftop patio is available for your wedding pictures as well as for the guests to partake in the beautiful view of the downtown.  The catering was also prepared onsite and was presented well from the cocktail hour Hors d'oeuvres to the salads and dinner.  Their food was presented nice and was perfectly seasoned and well proportioned but the chicken was a bit dry.  This room looked spectacular with up-lighting and many comments were made about how well the lighting looked their. 

         -Mahoning Country Club, Girard, OH. Rating (3)

                                         The Mahoning Country Club gives you more of the feeling of a banquet facility then a country club.  The facility is nice and offers three large rooms to have events in but the facility is older and they seem to no longer pay attention to detail like keeping bathrooms clean, replacing stained ceiling tiles and carpet.  There are two adjoining rooms that are divided by a folding curtain wall that is too thin and sound from the other room carries right through especially the music since they have the DJs in each room facing that wall.  The food was ok, prepared by cooks in the kitchen, the staff was alright to work with but did not go out of their way to help with special considerations.  If you do decide to have your event here, try to get the banquet room to the left when you walk in, so that you will not have to hear the music bleed through the walls from the other rooms.  The builing and rooms are a bit outdated and in need of a makeover but the biggest issue i had was that the emergency exit doors in each banquet room were padlocked from the inside and when I asked for them to be unlocked, the manager made a big deal about it.  There should always be easy access to the outside for you and your guests in case something bad were to happen.

-Mapleside Farms, Brunswick, OH. Rating (3)

                                    Mapleside Farms offers you the ability to have your wedding and reception outdoors or indoors.  Located on a beautiful hillside, the farm has much to offer your guests in the form of shops and a restaurant.  The downstairs banquet room has seating for around 200 guests and has a active working fireplace as well as a wood dance floor located to the side of the room.  Though the room is small that atmosphere give it a homey, country feeling.  The food is prepared in the kitchen from the restaurant by cooks and is served buffet style.  The food is good but keep in mind it is a country style restaurant with country style food.  The staff seemed pretty easy to work with as well.  Please do not book a wedding here during the warm months, the barn has not AC or even ceiling fans to keep the air moving.  I just did a wedding & reception in July and after dinner 2/3 of the guests went outside just to get in the breeze and would not come back in for the cake cutting, first dance and other events because it was too hot inside.

  -NEOMED, Rootstown, OH. Rating (4)

                                With a full conference center, NEOMED has plenty to offer you.  An Atrium with seating room of 150 for a wedding ceremony, an outside courtyard that you may have a wedding ceremony as well.  Inside they have multiple room for your use, the largest seating up to 300 guests.  The cooks in the kitchen can prepare and present a wide variety of good tasting foods and full service bars can be placed in the rooms as well.  The big conference room has 2 large projection screens that roll down from the ceiling for your slide shows.  Dawn, the banquet manager was very easy to work with and was eager to help the guests as well as myself with whatever was needed.  

          -North Canton Civic Center, N. Canton, OH.  Rating (3)

                     If you live close to Canton the North Canton civic center might be the venue for you.  The hall itself has a nice large room to hold around 200 guests, and has offset rooms for a bar and buffet line.  You will need to bring in your own caterer, alcohol and bartender to this facility as well.  There is a beautiful large gazebo outside for a wedding ceremony and plenty of room close by for guest seating.  After the ceremony its a quick walk to the reception hall, once inside there is a nice lobby for your receiving line.  The facility was clean inside and fairly modern looking, it event has a room for your bridal party members to hang out or get dressed in.  You will need to bring in your own caterer and bar tenders.

 -North Canton Eagles Club, N. Canton OH. Rating (2)
                   On the edge of The Strip by Beldon Village, nestled into the hill behind the Home Depot sits the North Canton Eagles club.  I am sure that at one time this building was a nicer hall but today it is not.  The hall is the typical private club set up where one side of the building is the private club and the other side is the banquet hall.  The banquet side leaves A LOT to be desired.  As you enter the hall, there are 2 big rooms, one to the left and one to the right with the area that you walk into as a large open Foyer (so-to-speak).  At the recent event that I did there the room to the Left when you walked in was where the reception was being held.  This room is the bigger of the two and has a stage and a dance floor.  The stage is a nice place for the head table except for the big ugly hand painted eagle that is on the wall (you will want to cover this for your pictures).  The dance floor is permanent and wood but has not been  taken care of with fade spots and scuffs.  On the Walls the wallpaper was coming apart and rolling at the seams and there were many water stained ceiling tiles that need replaced.  On the carpeted floor area of the room the carpet was dirty and looked like it had not been swept in weeks.  The final issue was that this event was held on a colder day so all of the guests had coats and jackets, the coat room had been converted into storage which left the guests to having to hang their coats on the chairs they were sitting in.

 -The Oaks Lakeside, Chippewa, OH. Rating (3)

                                       This is a smaller venue located in a beautiful lake in Chippewa, most of the guest seating was located on a balcony above the main room.  They are able to have events outside as well with large tents that let your guests walk around the grounds.  The food was good prepared by chefs and cooks in the kitchen, there is a public bar and restaurant in the building as well.  The one downfall is that the building is not ADA (American's with Disabilities Act) compliant.  The event that I did, one of the guests was in a wheel chair and the kitchen staff had to come out and lift him up the stairs and back down every time he had to go to the bathroom.  Overall this was a nice place for a smaller guest list.

         -Occasions  Party Center, Clinton, OH.  Rating: (4)

                     Occasions is a beautiful party center located in Clinton, not only can you have your reception but they also have a beautiful outside area with gazebo to have your wedding ceremony as well.  Inside is a very well planned banquet room with full service bar and kitchen.  The dance floor is set lower than the dinning area giving your guests a better view for the events that occur in the dancing area.  The food was presented very well and was equally good.  The staff goes well out of their way to make sure you have the perfect day.  The last event that I had there, the guests kept requesting a specific type of alcohol at the bar that the bride and groom had not accounted for, a staff member left the reception and went to the liquor store to make sure the guest had what they wanted.

-Old Oak Bible Church, Middleburg Hts. OH.  Rating (2)

                     Old Oak Bible Church can perform your wedding in there chapel and then it is just a walk down the hall into their banquet room.  If you are having a wedding with 150 or less guests and you are on the west side then you might want to have a look.  The staff said the hall can seat 220 but I don't see how, the recent reception I did there was set up for 140 and that seemed to be just enough.  Donna is the gal that you would contact and also is one of the cooks in the kitchen, she seemed to be a bit difficult to work with at first but was very nice to the guests.  While I was setting up the groom and his son came in the banquet hall to talk to me, they were told by another member of the kitchen staff that nobody was to be in the hall yet, this is not something that you tell to the person that is paying you or to his son.....Other than having a bit of an attitude the staff treated the guest well, the food was good and was served and presented well.  They did however commit the major banquet hall sin and placed tables between the DJ setup and the dance floor causing a few of the guests to be uncomfortable by the sound from my speakers and the dance floor lighting that I provide. 

 -Paradise Lake Country Club, Suffield OH.  Rating (3)

                    Set back in a semi-wooded area surrounded by a golf course, Paradise lakes clubhouse has a upstairs banquet hall that can be divided into 2 rooms.  When both rooms are used there is plenty of seating for around 200.   The kitchen and bar are both full service with a chef and provided by the facility.  There is a wrap around porch with sliding doors that lets you easily walk from the banquet room outdoors.  The staff has always been easy to work with and the food has been  pretty good.   This facility has been recently remodeled and looks very nice with a new wood dance floor located by the kitchen, there is not much room for the DJ to set up close to the dance floor since the also use the dance floor for the buffet line during dinner but they were able to work with me by moving a few tables so that I could angle my system towards the dance floor area.  They also now have a newly remodeled downstairs room that is a bit smaller with seating for around 50, it has a full service bar as well as a little dance area and a view of the golf course.

 -Perry Community Center, Perry, OH. (4)

                    Located in Perry Township up on the lake, this Hall has quiet a bit to offer with not so big of a price tag.  The Hall is able to be split into two separate rooms for two different events but the whole room is able to seat close to 300.  There is an on site kitchen but you will have to bring in your own caterer, bartender and supply the bar.  Attached to the back of the hall is a very large covered patio area and the area behind the hall looks out over the lake and provides a beautiful back drop for a wedding ceremony.  The hall is pretty modern and offers wood floors, clean facilities and plenty of parking.

-Pipefitters Hall, Valley View, OH. Rating (3)

           Also known as Walsh Auditorium, the Pipefitters hall is attached to the back of the pipefitters union hall in Valley View.  With its own Banquet hall entrance you walk into a lobby area with bathrooms and a coat room, then on into the main banquet room that is rectangular in shape, you have a bar and kitchen area to the left and an elevated are for your head table or DJ to the far left of the room.  The Hall has its preferred caterer, Maple Heights Catering.  There food and presentation was pretty good, Steve the owner and his staff were easy to work with and treated the guests and myself very well.  The food was mostly prepared off site but there is a full kitchen available, The caterer also provided the bar tenders but you must provide the beer and liquor.  The Hall also has easy access to a large back patio area that adjoins the room.  This room is modern and well maintained and will seat around 250-300 with the dance area open.   

 -Presentation Banquet Center, Fairlawn, OH. (3)

                Located between Akron and Copley on Ridgewood Rd. lies the Presentation Banquet Center, attached to the Presentation of Our Lord Church.    A large rectangular shaped banquet room that has the ability to seat up to 350 with a dance floor, this room also offers a stage for either the head table or DJ.  There are also 2 side rooms attached to the main room, one for the dinner buffet and the other for the bar area.  The hall is fairly modern with clean facilities and full service kitchen, though the food is presented and provided by Santangelo's Catering service (see my rating of Santengelo's lower)  The staff seemed to be fairly decent to work with but definitely does not like to stray too far from their comfort zone.  Over all the guests had a pretty positive experience.   I would really like to be able to do LED up-lighting at this venue, I think the room would look so much better.

-Quailcrest Farm, Wooster, OH. (3)

                    Set out in the country just on the outskirts of Amish country, Quailcrest farms has a lot to offer you and your guests if you are having a smaller event.  With many different herb and flower gardens as well as walking trails though the woods there is also an outdoor pavilion and an area in the middle of the gardens that is perfect for an outdoor wedding, complete with the sound of a nearby waterfall and ornamental pond.  There are also two different indoor facilities for your reception, the Tracy Barn that seats about 120 and the Gallery that seats about 50.  You will need a caterer for either of these facilities, you will also need to provide your own bartender and all bar supplies.  The Barn has a kitchen area for your caterers to use, there is also a dance floor in the center of the barn.  It is a rustic setting with big wood timbers inside.

-The Quarry Golf Club, Canton, OH. Rating (4)

                    Located outside of Canton just a little ways off Rt. 30 is the Quarry Golf club.  Beautiful scenic views that are great for your wedding days pictures are just one of the Assets that this facility has to offer.  A modern and upscale clubhouse offers a Medium sized banquet room that looks to be able to seat about 200 guests inside with the dance floor and built in bar.  There is also a outside attached covered patio that could be used for your guests as well.  The event that I did here in 2012, the couple actually had their wedding ceremony on the patio, looking over the golf course and a pond, then after the ceremony the guests could walk right into the banquet room for Hors d' oeuvres and could walk to and from the room to the patio.  The food was prepared in the onsite kitchen by a chef and cooks and was presented well an tasted above average as far as banquet food goes.  The staff was pretty easy to work with and served the guests well.

-Roby Lee's, Newton Falls OH.  Rating (3)

                     Roby Lee's has been the go to place for receptions and banquets in Eastern Portage County for many years.  A big banquet room with full service kitchen with cooks, the same kitchen also serves for the attached restaurant located in the same building next to the banquet hall.  The banquet room itself was remodeled a few years ago and is very appealing, a big wooden dance floor area is located in the center of the room and the D.J. sets up directly behind so that the sound will carry forward so that all your guests can hear.  The food is good and presented well in a beautiful buffet, the staff was fairly accommodating to myself and the guests but some of the staff came out and ate off the buffet line after the guest had eaten, this seemed a little out of place to me.  The back emergency exit was blocked with tables and chairs and should have been open in case there was an emergency and the electrical outlet that they have the DJ plug their equipment into was broken, I had to plug in my equipment and then tape it to the floor so my equipment did not shut off.  Overall a nice place with good food, I would recommend, if they fix the few issues.

-Ravenna Elks Lodge, Ravenna, OH. Rating (3)

                     The Ravenna Elks has built a new hall, moving from downtown out towards where Rt. 14 & Rt. 88 intersect.  The hall has a nice new feel to it but the banquet hall side of the building is a bit on the smaller side only seating 225 guests.  The recent event that I did there had 200 guests and the room felt a bit crowded and I did not like the fact that the emergency exits were blocked by guests tables.    The dance floor area is located at the back end of the room and so is the bar so guests were walking right through the dancers to get to the bar.  The food there was prepared by their preferred caterer ( Now we're cooking 101) and was presented like a typical banquet but the food left a bit to be desired with not much seasoning and very dry chicken that I did not even want to finish.  Overall a nice room for a smaller reception but you might want to look at other caterers or make sure that you sample the food ahead of time.

-Regency House, Austintown, OH.  Rating (3)


       -Roses Run Country Club, Stow, OH.  Rating (4)

                     Located in the Clubhouse of the beautiful Rose Run Golf Course, this establishment has a beautiful, large banquet room capable of seating over 200 people.  The banquet room has a beautiful working fireplace and wooden floors.  There are large windows on three sides giving the guests a beautiful look out on the golf course and lake.  The staff have always been very accommodating to both myself and the guests.  The full service kitchen, with chefs, prepare and present elegant and great tasting meals.  There is a full service bar staffed by the facility, located in the banquet room.  As well as a  full service sports bar located down the hall and open to the public. 

-Ruby's Hall & Banquet center, Grafton, OH. Rating (4)

              Located in Grafton on the West Side of Cleveland, Ruby's is a smaller but more intimate setting for your wedding reception and your ceremony as well.  The Hall itself is a two story facility with smaller room upstairs that can be used as a meeting room or a Bride & brides maid dressing room it boasts a balcony / hallway that is perfect for everyone to see the entrance of the Bride from the second floor, down the stairs to the main hall for her wedding.  The main banquet room can seat around 200 guests with the stage area and dance floor, there is also a separate bar and bar area, a small kitchen (for your caterer) and next to that, a food buffet line area.  Ruby's also has a large outside back patio area.  This facility is pretty modern with brass chandeliers, nice oak trim and clean facilities.  They do have their preferred caterers and DJ but you may bring in your own companies as well.

-Santangelo's Catering service, Canton / Massillon, (3)

             I have worked with the Santangelo's at many events over the past few years, the are the preferred caterers at a half dozen of the venues that I frequently perform at.  Overall, the staff is very easy to work with, not only providing food but linen, and tableware.  They provide a quality product and good customer service but are kind of lacking in some of the prep & coordination skills that go along with a wedding reception such as, making sure there is a plate, napkin, knife and spatula on the cake table, making sure that the drink for the toast is poured into the glasses on the head table before the grand entrance happens and not forgetting to put the table assignment numbers on the guests tables before the guests arrive.  As for the food, it is pretty typical banquet style food that taste good but lacks a bit in seasoning, though I have never had a bad meal with them, it has never made me say WOW either.

         -Silver Lake Country Club, Stow OH.  Rating (4)

                    Located on the edge of Stow in Silver Lake, right off of Route 8, is the Silver Lake Country Club.  Known for many years as being one of the areas most ritzy places.  The banquet room has beautiful ceiling to floor windows looking out to the golf course, however this could be a problem with an afternoon reception due to the glare of the sun shining through.  The staff seemed pretty easy to work with and the food was good, prepared by chefs of the full service kitchen.  The room also has a bar that is staffed by the facility. 

         -Solon Valley Party Center, Solon OH.  Rating (1) 

                    This place is actually a Knights of Columbus hall,  though the staff was nice, they lacked the knowledge of how to run a banquet center.  They have a full service bar and kitchen and provide both bartenders and cooks.  The food was ok and the service and busing was kind of slow due to almost all the staff being over the age of 60.  The bartenders did not do a very good job at turning down the overly intoxicated guest which let the reception get a little crazy. They provided no security and after the reception was over and the doors were locked, the manager unlocked the front door and let some of the drunk guest back in which created quite a problem and the police had to be called.  I do not recommend this hall to anyone....

-Sorrentos Banquet Center, Warren, OH. Rating (4)  

                  Sorrento's has much to offer with a very large banquet room that has a large dance floor with a small stage for the DJ and a full service bar located in the room.  The room has seating for 300 plus and gives you an old Italian type of atmosphere.  From the parking lot you and your guest will walk through a large rod iron style double swinging fence gate that leads you through a small rock and flower style garden and into the foyer for the banquet room.  Mario was the manager and presented himself well and went out of his way to help the bride and groom as well as the guests through out the evening.  The food was prepared by cooks in the kitchen of the adjoining restaurant and was good.

        -Spring Lake Party Center, Springfield (Akron) OH.  Rating: (2)

                  At first glance Spring Lake Party Center is a nice all around event location, there is a beautiful gazebo that overlooks the lake for your ceremony and a nice hall with a stage to hold your reception.  Unfortunately my only event that I have D.J.ed there proved that looks can be deceiving.  The couple wanted their ceremony outside at the gazebo and due to the wind off the lake wanted to have a microphone for the preacher, there were no power outlets in the gazebo area so an extension cord had to be run to my system.  Inside, the hall staff did not have a table for the D.J. and was not very helpful in letting me know if they had an extra one.  The floor of the hall was not very sturdy, as I was brining my equipment in on a dolly I watched the cake and food displays shake.  The food was prepared there but was not very good, both the chicken and roast beef were dry and left many of the guests talking about how bad the food was.  To top all of that the staff tried to cut the evening short by a half hour saying that the bride and groom had misread their contract.  I don't make it my business to disappoint the couple that has hired me so I kept playing even after the hall staff came up to me and threatened to unplug my system. I asked them to see a copy of the couples contract which they said they did not have a copy of.  After upsetting many people the staff did let the reception continue but the damage had already been done.  I do not recommend this party center to anyone.( After writing this review in 2007, I heard from a photographer that this hall cut short the reception of his niece in 2008 as well. )

-Spring Valley Golf Club, East Sparta, South Canton OH. Rating (4)

          Located southeast of Canton, nestled in the country and next to the Spring valley golf club is their banquet center that has a lot to offer you.  With modern and open floor space, everybody can see all that is going on from every angle at your event.  As you walk in the bar and kitchen are located in the center of the room and straight ahead across the room.  Dividing the center of the room to the left is a railing where you can take a few steps down to the dance floor area, that can also be used for your wedding ceremony.  The right side of the room has enough space to seat around 300 with a head table, gift table and cake table.  There is also a balcony that could be used for your pictures or for your guests, there is also a gazebo on site that can be used for an outdoor wedding ceremony.  This facility uses an exclusive caterer, so you cannot bring in your own.  Mr. Mike catering is the caterer here, there food and presentation were good, they also provided the bartenders but they lacked in the wedding logistics areas; I had to ask them to provide a knife spatula, napkin and plate to the cake table, I had to release the tables for dinner and had to pour the drinks on the head table for the toasts..  

 -St. George's Fellowship Hall And Family Center, Copley, OH. (5)

         Located on the Copley / Fairlawn border is St. Georges Fellowship center and Family center (two great banquet halls for you to choose from).  The fellowship Center is the older of the two halls that boasts seating for up to 300 guests with the dance floor in place and The family center (the newer hall) can seat up to 400 guests with the dance floor.  Bothe facilities have the large open room concept with tall vaulted ceilings and modern designs.  Both halls use TLC catering as the exclusive caterer: TLC has 21 years of catering experience, with trained cooks in the kitchen, the food and presentation were great, it was nice to have food that was actually seasoned correctly.  The staff was very easy to work with and you could tell that they had over 20 years of experience doing wedding receptions.  Both the Fellowship center and the family center are stand alone facilities, each with its own kitchen and bar area, there is plenty of parking for an event in each facility at the same time.      

-St. Mary of Assumption Center, Youngstown, OH. Rating (4)  

            Located next to the church, this hall is ideal for bigger receptions.  The Main room has seating for 400 or more, with a very large stage for the DJ or head table that is looking over a large dance floor area.  As you walk into the building , you walk into a large lobby area that has some seating for guests as well as a coat room and a smaller meeting room.  Just off the main room and accessible from the lobby is the bar area with a very large bar as well as additional seating for those guests that want to hang out away from the main room.  The food is prepared by the ladies of the church and has always been good, served buffet style only.  The only real issue that I have seen with this hall is that the staff does not want to release the tables, leaving it up to the DJ who has to release tables and run back up to the stage to make announcements.  If you do choose this hall it is recommended to tell them to have one of their staff release the tables for dinner.

 -St. Nicholas Hall, Mogadore OH.  Rating: (4)

                  This hall is very large, it is a L shaped room with the bar area just off of the main room.  It has a carport to bring your guests right to the doors without them getting wet if it rains, then they walk into a large nicely decorated lobby with bathrooms and a coat room.  The hall itself has a full service bar and kitchen.  All the times I have played here the food has been great and the staff has been very accommodating to me and the guests.  Even though the room is large they have built it so that the echo that you usually have with sound equipment in large rooms is not there. 

 -Sun Valley Party & Banquet Center, Aurora, OH. (3)

                  Located between Aurora and Mantua Corners off of Rt. 82, Sun valley is set back in the country with a pond and gazebo overlooking, a nice area to have an out door wedding.  As you walk into the lobby of the hall the you look ahead to where the buffet line and bar area are.  To the left is the dance floor, DJ and head table area and then in a room off the dance floor is the guest seating.  The building really has an odd shape and because the guests are in another room they have difficulty hearing what is happening.  The building also has a newly built patio area that over looks the lake but the guests have to walk across the dance floor and around the head table to get to it.  The dance floor is large and has plenty of area for your guests to dance and have fun.  The food is good, average, prepared on-site by the cook staff in the kitchen.  The downfalls;  Under new ownership. Ken (The manager) tries to be very accommodating but forgets things that he promises you.  I suggest that you make sure that you get everything that you talk about in writing ahead of time.

       -SYB (Stow Youth Baseball) Hall, Stow, OH.  Rating: (3)

                   The SYB ( Stow Youth Baseball ) hall is a full service hall that has a nice large banquet room, a smaller banquet room, a big lobby area, full kitchen with cooks and a bar area with bartenders.  The banquet room is very large and well decorated, it has a dance floor that is centered in the room, the room can seat about 375.  They have an elevated platform that you can have your head table on that is usually centered in the room in front of the dance floor.  The food is good, well seasoned and flavored, I have D.J.ed multiple weddings and fundraisers here and have never had a bad meal here.   I DJ here 3-4 times a year and very much enjoy working with the current staff, Chrissy the banquet manager is very easy to work with and has proven that she will go above and beyond to make your night speacial.  If you are having a fundraiser and need to use their PA system, it is not loud enough to be heard over the guests speaking, both fundraisers I did there, we ended up using my cordless microphones and D.J. system so all of their guests could hear. 

-Tanjier, Akron, OH. Rating (3)

                    I have had to rewrite my review of the Tangier since it has changed for the much better in the past few years.  The tangier has been the Akron hot spot for banquets, events and music concerts for many years.  With two reception rooms to choose from you have the Fountain room, located just inside the entrance of the building.  This room for smaller crowds is circular in shape and the tables are seated around a large fountain located in the center of the room, this room also has an upper level that can be used for the head table, cake table and dance floor area.  

In the back of the building is the larger ballroom for your bigger receptions, it boasts a central dance floor and plenty of room for your guests.  The food has always been pretty good here and the staff of lat is easy to work with.  The only downfalls of the tangier is that the facilities; hallways, bathrooms, carpet are in need of major updating.  The other downfall is that the smokers congregate right outside the main entrance so that you and your guests have to walk through the smoke and smell to get into the building.

       -Todaro's Party Center, Akron, OH.  Rating (4)

                    Located in the Valley between Akron & Fairlawn is Todaro's,  It offers 2 banquet rooms, one seating around 225 guests and the other up to 150, each of these rooms having their own bar area.  These rooms are divided by a removable wall that can open both rooms into on large banquet room that can seat over 350 guests.  This hall has been in business quite a while and it shows, with an attentive staff  that is very easy to work with to a kitchen staff that prepares very well tasting, well seasoned and presented foods. The rooms  have been remodeled to look modern as well as the building itself, with an outside patio area that is connected to the room by very large doors.  There is a covered entry area to drop off guests if the weather is not so nice and plenty of parking for all guests in a large nicely lit parking lot.


-West Side Irish American Club, Olmstead falls, OH. (4)

                      The West Side Irish American Club has everything that you need for your entire wedding day, with both an outside pavilion and a very large gazebo either place capable of having your wedding ceremony.  There is also a lake that has a walking bridge that would be a nice setting for after ceremony pictures.  The banquet hall has seating for 300 and features a nice large stage, dance floor and bar area.  The food was very good and prepared in the onsite kitchen by a chef and staff.  The staff was very accommodating and easy to work with.  The room was fairly modern with beautiful oak trim.  I used a few LED up-lights on the stage behind the head table to make a very nice and dramatic backdrop that drew the guests attention to the head table as soon as they walked in the hall.