Downtown Saratoga Springs is about to get a new private events venue, right above one of its most popular food establishments. Located at 408 Broadway on the second floor of Cantina, The 408 Event & Occasion will officially open its doors to privately booked events and parties starting on Friday, November 1. Although it is the brainchild of Cantina owners Heath and Jeff Ames, don’t confuse The 408 with Saratoga’s signature purveyor of Mexican-inspired fare just below it.
“We’re excited to do something that’s unique and different from Cantina—it’s not an upstairs Cantina venue,” says Heath Ames, who co-owns both businesses with her husband, Jeff. “It’s its own independent, private events space, with its own kitchen and bar and style.” To that point, The 408 won’t have a Mexican flair at all, but rather a contemporary and luxurious chic decor. The private hall will also boast a modern, fully stocked bar and some diverse kitchen offerings curated by Culinary Director Frank Otte (who’s also the culinary director at Cantina and Mercantile Kitchen & Bar). Specialties will include buffets with themes such as “Wine Country,” “Not So Little Italy” and “Far East.” “We’re hoping that clients will be adventurous and want to explore new foods at their events,” says Ames. “However, you can still have three-course dinners and your Cantina favorites upstairs, if that’s what you want.”
The new hall in the heart of the Spa City (where private event space is already at a premium and difficult to find) will be able to hold up to 100 people for sit-down meals and closer to 150 for standing, cocktail-style occasions. And even though The 408’s website isn’t even up and running yet (Ames said it should be ready to take reservations by October 18), the space already has bookings through November, December and beyond. “It’s filling up much faster than we anticipated,” says Ames.
The 408 will grow a little bit more by next summer, which is when Heath and Jeff Ames plan to open up a rooftop bar that adjoins the hall. “The rooftop bar has been talked about for a while,” says Ames. “It’s going to be a nice addition to anybody who might rent the space.” When not being used for events, the new bar will also be open to the public.
As for tackling a project so different from Cantina, Ames says it’s been exciting. “We always love a new challenge, and we had fun creating a distinctive, new space,” she says. “I think people will be surprised by what they see upstairs!”