Oceanview of Nahant gets top-to-bottom makeover

NAHANT – Michael and Brenda Gallant had a three-year plan to renovate the landmark Oceanview of Nahant banquet hall after they bought the facility last April, but have managed to complete 90 percent of the work in just a year.The result is a spectacular modern facility from top to bottom, from its lobby and bridal suite to its reception hall and lounge offering breathtaking harbor vistas. The renovation has also led to a sharp increase in bookings that has put the venue back up among Greater Boston?s premiere wedding and reception locations.It?s a dream come true for the Gallants, and for Michael in particular, who admitted he wanted to buy the Oceanview for about 10 years before that finally happened. The former disc jockey and longtime owner of Peabody-based Perfect Parties USA, Gallant, at just 37, attributes his early success with the Oceanview to what he learned from the DiPerna family, its longtime owners from whom he bought it, and also to the passion he said he and his wife have for food and entertaining.?I started out as a DJ as a freshman at St. John?s – that?s how I put myself through school – and I was doing parties here for 10 or 12 years,” said the Saugus native and product of St. John?s Prep and Merrimack College.Standing in the newly renovated function hall, he recounted his earliest memory of the facility he now owns.?The first time I was here doing a wedding at a very early age. (The DiPernas) were an old-school Italian family. They had a tremendous reputation and were very meticulous.?I?ll never forget, I was setting up on stage and Al, the owner?s son, brought me into the lounge and I was getting ready to line up the bridal party, and he looked at me and said, ?You look way too young to be a DJ. I?m just telling you that if you mess up the pronunciation of anybody?s name, you?ll never be allowed in my house again.?”?I said, ?That?s great, the fact that you?ll notice I nail them all means you?ll like and appreciate what I do,” he recalled, smiling broadly. “I come from a big Italian family, so he and I, right off the rip, hit it off and became good friends. And Al?s father Jack was 88 and he was here every single day. I learned a lot from them.”Michael Gallant guided The Item on a tour of the facility and discussed details of the renovations, starting with the new lobby and its new rest rooms, new floors, new carpet, new drapes and new lighting throughout. And the second-floor landing leading to the lounge and reception hall now has windows overlooking Kelley Greens Golf Course.?You could never see the golf course before … so we opened all of that up,” he explained.One feature he said he proudly preserved is the ironwork in the staircase railing, with one section displaying the initials “TC,” dating back to when the facility was owned by the Conigliaro Family and named “Tony C?s” for the late Red Sox great.The dining hall, which seats 225, is entirely updated, complete with a new dance floor. Windows the length of the hall overlook the harbor and to the right, Bailey?s Hill Park and its town-owned gazebo where there are many wedding ceremonies.?We plan weddings over the gazebo and take care of everything,” Gallant said. “For one of our new wedding packages we offer a fire-pit finale, so we put a bunch of fire pits out on the beach,” he said.Winter bookings at the Oceanview, with fireplaces working, are equally alluring, he said.Standing on the beach deck and pointing out over the cove that spies Graves Lighthouse in the distance, he explained, “The harbor is a path for cruise ships coming in and out of Boston Harbor, so typically on Fridays and Saturdays, right around ceremony time, you?ll see the cruise ships coming across the horizon and it?s just spectacular … and in the summertime once the boats are out here, it?s got a real Newport-feel.”Gallant also pointed out the Oceanview has a new commercial kitchen.?My wife and I are foodies, so one of the big things we needed to do was update the menu,” he sa

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