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This rendering shows the design of La Ventura, a new event center planned to be constructed by winter. Photo: Courtesy of Don Kappauf
This rendering shows the design of La Ventura, a new event center planned to be constructed by winter. Photo: Courtesy of Don Kappauf

By Eric Heinz

A new event center is coming to San Clemente in the near future.

La Ventura, which was approved for design by City Council last year, broke ground during a ceremony on Tuesday, May 3.

La Ventura, located at 2316 S. El Camino Real in San Clemente, is planned to be 5,000 square feet with a 1,500-square-foot courtyard for weddings. The banquet room is anticipated to be 3,000 square feet, which can hold up to 150 people. Grading for the event center is expected to begin next week.

La Ventura owner Don Kappauf said he hopes construction will be completed by November or December.

“I had a friend of mine who built one in Laguna, and several years later not being able to build what I wanted, a local plumber who’s a friend of mine said you should build a building for quinceñeras,” Kappauf said. “I started doing some research, and people said if I built a building here, it will do very well.”

Thirty parking spaces are currently available, and another 22 will be put in behind Pedro’s Tacos.

Eric Wagoner, owner of Iva Lee’s (left), and Don Kappauf, owner of La Ventura, shovel out the first piles of dirt during a ground-breaking ceremony on Tuesday, May 3. Photo: Eric Heinz
Eric Wagoner, owner of Iva Lee’s (left), and Don Kappauf, owner of La Ventura, shovel out the first piles of dirt during a ground-breaking ceremony on Tuesday, May 3. Photo: Eric Heinz

Eric Wagoner, owner of Iva Lee’s, said his business started catering in 2005 and grew larger than expected. He said his catering business now doubles the business of the restaurant, and Iva Lee’s will be the sole caterer to La Ventura.

“San Clemente is just the perfect location (for catering),” Wagoner said. “We’re right between San Diego and L.A., and we cater all over the area to Dana Point and San Juan. We’ve got hotels and bars for after-parties. We think this is going to be a great spot.”

The building’s design style will be “Spanish colonial.”

“We’ve also designed a bridal room and a groom’s room so they can have their privacy before the big moment,” Kappauf said. “We’ll have a full commercial kitchen on-site.”

Wagoner said they hope to host a variety of events and functions in addition to weddings.

“We’ve both been in this town a long time, and we’re going to create a copacetic environment,” Wagoner said. “When this thing is done, we’re just going to add a huge asset to the city of San Clemente, and we’re going to be involved in … bringing people together not only in their day of marriage but also corporate events.”

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