The Aviator Event Center & Pub has quickly become one of the hottest wedding venues in the region, but it isn’t just for brides and grooms

Aviator Couple Cover
Since April, The Aviator has hosted more than 250 events, including some of Northeast Ohio’s most glamorous (and well-orchestrated) weddings. (Photography: McNair Photographic, LLC)

By Mitch Allen

When The Aviator Event Center & Pub launched last April in the former 100th Bomb Group location overlooking Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, there were high expectations about the potential for its success.

But no one expected this.

“Since April, we’ve already hosted more than 250 events,” says president and co-owner Khadar Soussou. “And most key dates are already booked for 2023.”

The modern, upscale event center is popular with brides and grooms in part because of its stunning décor, but also because The Aviator is a one-stop shop. Everything you need to bring your dream wedding to life is right there.

“We take care of everything,” Khadar says. “And we are always looking ahead and making investments in the latest technology, including a leading-edge photo booth and lighting. Every day we’re adding more and more services to make the fairytale wedding happen within our four walls. We have a phenomenal team of professionals who focus on the design process and execution of the day. We always try to say ‘yes’ to brides, and I feel comfortable making promises because I know my team will make it happen.”

The Aviator is so popular, the team is now hosting weddings Thursdays through Sundays, even in the winter.

“Saturdays in the summer are in high demand, so couples are looking for alternatives,” Khadar says. “And we are right there for them. Other days of the week at other times of the year are growing in popularity. It’s easier to find a venue and it’s often more affordable that way. Our brides and grooms are looking forward to one key moment—when they can go to sleep one night and know for certain they have a wedding date.”

Other Events, Too
In addition to weddings, The Aviator hosts parties, family events, corporate gatherings and more.

“Our corporate events business has become a behemoth,” Khadar says. “We’ve created complete, full-service experiences. We host meetings, retreats, team-building exercises and more. We recently pulled off a murder mystery exercise for one company, a comedian for another, and a team-building event at a shooting range for yet another. We like to get out of the box to help companies build and strengthen their culture, whatever that may be.”

Dining at The Aviator
The Aviator’s scratch-kitchen restaurant is open to the public for lunch and dinner seven days a week. The menu features both fine dining and affordable American classics, but it’s the hamburger selection—dubbed “Smashed”—that is blowing up. “Everyone loves our burgers because we use two 4-ounce Angus beef patties and smash them together to crispy perfection,” Khadar says.

The Jack Frost Smash is two 4-ounce Angus beef patties smashed together between a grilled Jack Frost donut with American cheese, bacon and caramelized onions. (Photography: Felicia Vargo)

One example is the Jack Frost Smash, featuring a grilled Jack Frost donut as a bun, along with American cheese, bacon and caramelized onions.

New Year’s Eve Bash
In spite of the popularity, no one at The Aviator is slowing down. New promotions and events are always in the works, like the new Thanksgiving Take & Bake. “If you don’t know what you want to do for Thanksgiving or it’s suddenly the last minute, check us out,” Khadar invites. “We include everything you need for a Thanksgiving meal plus all the instructions to prepare it.”

And here’s an inside tip: The hottest ticket in town is going to be The Aviator’s New Year’s Eve bash. “It’s a ticket-only event, but the public is invited,” Khadar says. “And look for it to be over the top—live entertainment, a raw bar, a hand-rolled sushi station, a premium open bar, and a whole tenderloin carving station. We want the best for our brides, but we also want the best for everyone we invite to our parties. New Year’s Eve is special, and we should live up to that.”

The Aviator Event Center & Pub is at 20920 Brookpark Road in Cleveland next to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. For lunch or reservations or to schedule a tour of the facility, call 216-770-5300 or visit

Categories: Westside Food & Dining