'A place for all these global cultures': Matrix Club to offer a venue for diverse Naperville area
Multipurpose venue to open in Naperville
The Matrix Club isn't scheduled to open until September, but already the venue has three proms booked in 2023.
That's not to say the club is the new hot spot for high school events. The bookings are merely symbolic of the eclectic space coming to Naperville.
The Matrix Club -- a 75,000-square-foot facility at the site of a shuttered Sam's Club store -- is a multicultural, multipurpose building with a banquet room for weddings, corporate events and concerts.
It also boasts a restaurant with a Michelin-star chef, a performance arts center, a yoga studio, an art gallery and a state-of-the-art sound and light system tying it all together.
Conceptualized by founder Madan Kulkarni, the Matrix Club was designed as a gathering place for the diverse communities in Naperville and the surrounding area. Dignitaries from Taiwan might meet in the banquet hall one night, followed by a Greek musician in the performance arts theater the next night.
It will be located at 808 S. Route 59.
The reach of the Matrix Club is limitless, Kulkarni said.
"The concept has been in the works for the last 15 or 17 years," he said, "to get a synergy of different aspects of music, art, literature and fine cuisine. It's a place for all these global cultures to get together and interact with each other."
Kulkarni's team signed a lease for the space in 2020. While the interior of the former Sam's Club was gutted, only the facade of the exterior was changed in a renovation estimated to cost between $11 million and $12 million.
The club has been booking events for almost a year. Three different musical acts from three different countries are scheduled in late October, including a fundraiser being held by the Naperville-based Academy of the Arts headlined by singer Taylor Dayne.
Metea Valley, Neuqua Valley and Oswego East high schools scheduled their 2023 proms in the banquet hall, and more school events are expected to be added.
Highlighting musical and theatrical performers from Poland to Pakistan, the Matrix Club aims to bring a little bit of everything to Naperville.
"We're kind of an international hub of culture and arts, and it's so needed here," said Cherryl Marcey, the Matrix Club's director of event sales and marketing. "Naperville has been very supportive. Every group we've approached to host their special occasion here has enjoyed walking through our space and understanding the concept and the fact that we can celebrate each other's cultures and learn from each other this way."
While the anchor of the facility is the 2,200-seat banquet and concert hall, more than 200 people will be able to enjoy the Matrix Room's restaurant and stage performances.
Another 200 people can fill the Dhrishti Center for Performing Arts. There's also a Think Tank room designed for about 120 people that can host anything from secure conferences to cocktail parties.
The yoga studio offers techniques from around the world in person and through LED screens. The art gallery of paintings, sculptures and artifacts of cultural significance will feature local and international artists.
As for the food, Michelin star-winning chef Yani Sanchez will deliver international cuisine and American fare with fellow chef Devinder Utpaul.
"There's a transformative nature with our venues," Marcey said. "We can use our spaces traditionally, but we can be creative with how we book events."
Kulkarni said the Matrix Club will open in stages in September, starting with the restaurant and theater early in the month and then the convention and banquet hall in the following weeks.
Because of the international popularity of the acts that will be performed, Kulkarni expects visitors from throughout the Midwest to bring a boost to the local economy.
It'll take time for the Matrix Club to settle in, but Kulkarni said he's already thinking about expansion.
He plans to bring the concept to one or two other cities and then reevaluate the Chicago market to see if it can support another facility like the Matrix Club.
"Art has no boundaries," he said. "It can go from place to place, person to person. It doesn't need a passport or visa."