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The Crystal Ballroom at the Lerner Theatre is a community meeting place, no matter your event

Every community should be fortunate enough to have its meeting place.

It’s where old friends renew acquaintances. It’s where you can grab a hot cup of coffee or an ice cold brew. It’s where you find delicious entrees and decadent desserts. It’s where music is made and memories happen.

At the heart of Elkhart’s Arts and Entertainment District, the Crystal Ballroom at the Lerner Theatre is all of those things.

“We pride ourselves on creating a welcoming environment,” says Andrea Wade, who handles sales for the Crystal Ballroom. “We love hearing our food is exceptional or that we created the perfect ambiance for the party. We try very hard to make sure we’re living up to the high standards people are starting to expect from Downtown Elkhart.”

While the ballroom typically hosts functions like corporate parties, fundraising dinners, weddings, and anniversaries, Mother’s Day has become a special event for the staff. For one day, the ballroom becomes a restaurant, serving brunch to more than 450 people.

“Moms deserve a day off. We’re glad we’ve been able to become part of families’ traditions,” Wade says.

The menu for the event includes carved meats and omelets to order, fresh fruit and other artisanal bites, desserts, and a cash bar for bloody marys and mimosas.

The event has sold out for the past three years, Wade says, making early reservations a must have.

The Crystal Ballroom, which opened in 2011 as part of the Lerner Theatre restoration and expansion, is operated by Navarre Hospitality Group. Proprietor Kurt Janowsky oversees the functions in addition to running Matterhorn, an Elkhart mainstay on Cassopolis Street, and Artisan, which recently received the coveted four-diamond rating from AAA .

After Mother’s Day, the ballroom also is a showcase for music leading up to the Elkhart Jazz Festival. Each year, the Four Arts Club presents its preview party, this year welcoming the Dave Bennett Trio on June 6 for a coffee-and-dessert performance. The ballroom also serves as one of the stages during the three-day festival, providing a club-like environment as well as the location for the Sunday patron brunch.

To reserve seats for the Mother’s Day brunch or the jazz events, contact the Lerner box office at (574) 293-4469. To inquire about available dates for other events, Wade can be reached at (574) 293-1755 or via email at

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