The Matrix Club aims to become Naperville’s “cultural hub”

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“For the City of Naperville, it brings in a very unique cultural flavor because right from music, art, politics, and social events, this is going to bring in people from all different communities who will engage in this place for big events,” said Madan Kulkarni, owner of The Matrix Club, a sprawling new entertainment and banquet venue housed in a former Sam’s Club building at 808 S. Route 59.

Over two decades ago, Madan and his wife Shebani had a vision for a “platform for global culture.” The Matrix Club was the end result of that vision, as the $15 million project features a series of “meticulously designed” spaces for all kinds of artists.

“We have multiple venues within one space,” said Director of Event Sales and Marketing at The Matrix Club Cherryl Marcey. “From an art gallery to a recording sound lab, to our performing arts theater, which we’re standing in now. We have a yoga studio.”

As you walk into the 78,000-square-foot space, you’re greeted with soaring ceilings covered with colorful art pieces and a fountain.

But The Matrix Club’s central attraction is its grand ballroom. It has recently hosted a few weddings and over 2,000 Indian Prairie School District 204 staff members to kick off the school year.

International cuisine with live music

The final phase of construction involves The Matrix Room, a restaurant and live music venue. That space will be ready on Sept. 8.

“We are an international global fusion cuisine establishment,” said Marcey. “We are working with some local farmers as well, farm-to-table will be key in that establishment. But it’s a little bit different in that the model of the restaurant is an international music lounge. So we’ll be housing international acts along with local musicians.”

Setbacks along the way

This massive undertaking wasn’t without setbacks. The Matrix Club has seen a number of construction delays over its two years of development, as steel supply was an issue at times.

Local high school proms and other scheduled events could not take place at the venue earlier this year.

“A few proms were relocated during that time,” said Kulkarni. “But we are grateful that the schools, educational institutions, and various other charities that stuck with us, and believed in what we were doing.”

Mission Meghna at The Matrix Club

Madan and Shebani’s 29-year-old daughter Meghna played a vital role in the creation of The Matrix Club.

Meghna died suddenly in February, but her memory lives on through murals around the site and Mission Meghna, a charity the Kulkarnis created in her name to support underserved young adults, children, and women. Meghna’s Lounge in The Matrix Room is named in her honor.

“She had a very unique sense of compassion for people, she found good in every little thing,” said Kulkarni. “Now that she is not there with us, it’s a huge thing. On the one hand, we find life is very empty without her. But at the same time, when we look at the other half of our life, we feel that if we can further what she wanted to, then life is a very precious gift.”

This new venue is a chance to help others celebrate life’s special moments, and what Madans calls a “co-mingling of cultures.”

“It promotes relations, it promotes understanding, it promotes appreciation of each other,” said Kulkarni. “So I feel in a different way, (The Matrix Club) is a global space now.”

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