Venue 104

Celebrate Memorable Events at Venue 104

A stylish new venue with New York City influences has just opened at 104 N. in Downtown Cranford. Union Avenue, but Venue 104 also has a ton of family, love, and warmth inside! As soon as I entered this elegant and gleaming new event space, co-creator Ally Vitella hugged me and I discovered that chef Franco Vitella’s Italian mother, Carmella, was in the kitchen making us a freshly grilled chicken and house mozzarella sandwich. As I sat down with Ally to hear about the amazing opportunities that Venue 104 will bring to the neighborhood, the atmosphere instantly became friendly and pleasant. What a helpful community Cranford is! The mayor, the Westfield Township Committee, the Cranford Township Committee, local teachers, and families were all there during our December opening, and there was a long wait out the door just to check out the place and sample the food. The level of interest and assistance surprised us in a good way. There have been a ton of emails asking about reservations for 2020.


Chef Franco Vitella of Cranford’s Venue 104

As one of the most well-known caterers in the NYC area, multi-award-winning Chef Franco Vitella has already received so many honors, including three times being named “Most Creative Caterer” by ILEA NJ. You would never guess that he originally attended art school and had no prior formal training. Ally claims that his parents are of Italian descent. He was born in the United States, but when he was very small, they moved him back to Italy. He learned everything by working in the Milan family restaurant, where he is completely fluent. At age eight, Franco returned to the kitchen where he quickly acquired the skills necessary to design and perfect the one-page menu. The family-run eatery operated for more than two decades. Franco returned to the country and pursued his artistic education at the School for Visual Arts in New York City. Franco discovered that he was constantly pulled to the culinary industry. He became a self-trained chef merely by being around his mother in the kitchen at such a young age.


Ally Vitella, Owner/Creator of Cranford’s Venue 104

At the time, Ally was a successful producer and director of television and cinema who worked for MSNBC. Ally and Franco knew they were a creative culinary match made in heaven when he decided to become a chef! “With my experience as a creative director and Franco’s artistic background, our catering company may benefit greatly!”, declared Ally. “We wanted to expand our catering business beyond the deli. We initially catered for home and family gatherings before MSNBC news correspondent Rita Cosby invited us to do so for a significant event she was hosting in the city, said, “Yes, I’m confident we can accomplish it!In essence, Franco’s entire family gathered all of their cooking utensils, and we went to a large club in the city and catered an event for 400 people! The size of the event was remarkable.


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