The Washington, D.C. legacy catering company officially takes over the iconic event venue on November 1st, 2023.
PRESS RELEASE NOV 1. 2023
Ridgewells Catering, one of the region’s largest and most celebrated caterers, has been named as the new lease holder and management firm for Washington, D.C.’s historical Mellon Auditorium. The Constitution Avenue venue is widely regarded as one of the most prolific event spaces in the capital, and will officially change hands to Ridgewells’ leadership team on November 1st.
“We’re humbled and excited for this new chapter in our story,” says Susan Lacz, Ridgewells’ CEO & Principal. “Ridgewells has a 95-year legacy in our region, and we’ve brought hundreds of phenomenal events to life at Mellon Auditorium in recent decades. We know this space as good, if not better, than anyone else, and we respect its history and place within our community. I think we’re uniquely qualified to care for the building in the way it deserves, as well as the guests who are served within its walls.”
A highly recognizable brand name that has served a prominent clientele throughout the capital region for nearly a century, Ridgewells employs a diverse workforce of more than 200 people and is frequently behind the scenes for some of the capital region’s most exciting corporate events and weddings. The company also has unionized divisions for government contracting, its own in-house staffing agency, and a Major Events team that provides a full range of catering and hospitality services for nationwide events such as the U.S. Open Golf Championships.
“Ridgewells has been an important part of the local economy in the District for decades, and we have the experience and vision to shepherd this beautiful space into the future. Mellon Auditorium holds a special place in our events community, and is a huge asset for D.C.’s tourism and convention business,” says Lacz. “Our team is dedicated to ensuring its continued success and appeal as one of D.C.’s best and largest event spaces.”
The company submitted their bid after being notified that the current lease was ending, and the building’s owner, the U.S. government, was searching for a new tenant to maintain the space while continuing to market and sell it for events. Lacz and her team quickly jumped into action to submit a proposal, drawing on their vast experience in the events industry, as well as with managing other significant venues throughout the DMV. Those venues have included major sports arenas, music and concert venues, galleries, museums, corporate office spaces with private event space, and other federal and government buildings.
“In addition to our ability to manage this space, one thing that I think set Ridgewells apart in this decision is our outstanding reputation for hospitality,” says Lacz. “I believe our team is the best in the industry, and they are truly dedicated to making every guest feel valued. Clients hosting events at the Mellon Auditorium can expect outstanding hospitality, plus access to a phenomenal network of vendors and resources. Whatever they dream up, we can make it happen.”
Ridgewells Catering was founded in 1928 in Washington, D.C., and has been headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland since the 1970’s. They’ve catered more than 16 presidential inaugurations, and employ more than 180 people. The company was ranked 15th for Washington’s Fastest Growing Companies by the Washington Business Journal in Fall 2023. For more information on hosting an event at Andrew W Mellon Auditorium, visit www.eventsatmellon.com