Catering hall adapts as Brooklyn residents change

A Mill Basin events hall has been providing service for private and public events for decades, and now it is taking its cues from the influx of new Brooklyn residents.

El Caribe Country Club Caterers opened in 1980. "We've done some spectacular wedding and other tremendous banquets and dinner dances," says Philip Kelly, of El Caribe.

The venue has also hosted events such as a fundraiser after Sandy struck New York, devastating some communities. "We basically offered a Thanksgiving luncheon for any displaced families from Brooklyn," says Kelly.

El Caribe also played host to a Valentine's Day celebration held by Marty Markowitz, the former borough president, for Brooklyn couples who were married for 50 years or more.

But as the borough changes, El Caribe says it also must change.

"Recently, we've seen Uzbekistani clientele, Turkish clientele, much more Asian clientele," says Kelly. "We really need to provide the right food and service that those clients would expect."

Most of the business' clientele used to be second- and third-generation Brooklyn residents, according to Kelly.

As more people from varied backgrounds move to Brooklyn, El Caribe hopes to meet their expectations.

"I think that's going to be the future of Brooklyn," says Kelly. "That is the future of my business."

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