The Austria Club is a medium capacity venue adjacent to the New Westminster Highway in Richmond. It is a fairly good-sized venue and I estimate you could fit 200 guests in the room and still have a nicely proportioned dance floor.
The first thing I noticed when I pulled into the venue grounds was the large parking lot. Most venues don’t have ample, free parking areas so as a DJ who has been to many venues in and around the lower mainland, this was a nice surprise.
The load in for your vendors or for any wheelchair-bound guests is quite easy. There are no stairs leading to the entrance. Inside the entrance, a ramp has been conveniently laid over the steps giving easy access to the main area.
There is also a side door that is closer to the stage area for your vendors if they prefer. There are a couple of stairs here and I found to easier to load everything on a cart, in the front door and up the ramp to the stage.
The venue itself has an old school European vibe. Simple but inviting. They had set up a backdrop where guests could take a photo as they entered and signed the guest book.
One thing to think about is that I don’t believe the venue has air conditioning. It was 26 C when I was there and they had the side door open and the ceiling fans on. It might be a good idea to bring some floor fans just in case of summer events. I had my tabletop fan with me and this helped to keep me cool. There were only 50 guests at the wedding so there was plenty of room and the building did not heat up very much. They also have a BB gun shooting gallery as a little something extra for the guests to do.
A fun little service they had at the venue for the wedding was the accordion player skit. It is a surprise service and apparently it is performed by the owner’s husband. He has a number of different characters that he can do but in this instance, it was the French accordion player skit. It was quite well done and added some extra entertainment value to the venue’s offerings.
Another thing to consider is this venue is located close to a residential area. This means volume levels have to be controlled. It seemed to be ok for the small group of 50 guests that I was DJ-ing. A larger, more party-oriented group might find this hindering their festivities. Apparently, the owner told me of cases where the police have actually shut down weddings due to complaints by the neighbours. If you are thinking of booking this venue, it would be best to speak with the owner to determine if this limitation would dampen your event. Being a DJ, I do come across this sometimes in varying degrees.
On the upbeat side, the staff are friendly and helpful. They are generally older but this great as they have a lot of entertaining stories to tell.
The Austria Club is a simple, and quite possibly, a reasonably priced venue for your event. It has all the basics and some nice surprises like the accordion player. You may have to consider the lack of air conditioning in the summer and lower music volume levels, but there are benefits that just may suit what you have in mind for your event. I rate this venue at 3.5 out of 5