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AvantGarden Houston Case Study


AvantGarden Eclectic Venue for Local Events, Weddings, and Parties

AvantGarden is a Houston-based social patio, bar, and lounge with a history as eclectic as its unique mix of art, live music, and special events.  A night out at this turn of the century Kraft House in the Montrose neighborhood can mean anything from poetry, experimental music or jazz by internationally acclaimed musicians, an original theater production, local rock bands, a local filmmaker's movie screening, or a variety of private events for weddings, charity benefits, and parties.  

AvantGarden was named one of the top spots to visit in Houston by the New York Times, but despite the national recognition and truly incredible location and entertainment – AvantGarden was still one of Houston’s best kept local secrets. 

AvantGarden approached Schipul – The Web Marketing Company to design and build a new website to increase the Art Bar’s Brand in the Houston scene and increase revenue from their events, particularly their private events including weddings, wedding receptions, corporate parties, and events to support the local artist community. 

Avant Garden Old Homepage before Schipul Redesign Avant Garden Old Calendar before Schipul Redesign

AvantGarden's previous website (screenshots above) was completely static and required technical knowledge of HTML, CSS, and other programming languages to update and change any of the content.  Additionally, the website lacked the functionality that restaurants and bars need for engaging their online traffic and bringing them offline and into their location.


Schipul - The Web Marketing recommended replacing AvantGarden's static website with a content management system to make updating content easy and low-tech.  Schipul and AvantGarden selected the Tendenci CMS platform because it would provide AvantGarden with a number of features that would help AvantGarden increase revenue through events.  Tendenci also had the flexibility in its software framework to use design elements from AvantGarden's original website to maintain the eclectic and creative image that communicated AvantGarden's brand.

The Tendenci CMS provided the perfect website platform and key features to increase AvantGarden's online and offline marketing initiatives including:

  • Online Photo Galleries to showcase local artists on the website
  • Events Calendar with integrated registration and online payment processing providing a way to pre-register special events, private parties, and weddings
  • SEO optimized to attract web visitors seeking a venue for their weddings, private events and charity benefits
  • Social Media Network Integration to allow social sharing and interaction across the internet
  • Custom contact form to track leads from the website and build a subscriber list for promoting upcoming events and sending email newsletters and other communications


AvantGarden's new website, using the Tendenci CMS software platform, went live in November of 2011.  AvantGarden's owner, Mariana Lemesoff, was particularly pleased with her website's photo galleries and how easy it was to create and upload photos from events and artists.

In the three months since the site went live, Search Engine Traffic has increased 25% and traffic from wedding related keywords has more than doubled for keywords the Schipul search engine marketing team selected and integrated throughout the website.  AvantGarden also has received an increase in online and offline reservation requests for special events, private parties, and weddings and wedding receptions.  Using Tendenci's custom forms, AvantGarden was able to create an online reservation form for site visitors to complete AvantGarden for private events and weddings.  

AvantGarden's staff can now change content quickly and easily on the new website instead of having to struggle with the old code-heavy backend site they used to use.  AvantGarden can manage the website content and update it daily with new events, articles, entertainment, drink specials, and more.

Tendenci's full-featured events calendar allows AvantGarden's patrons to search events and register online.  The integrated google map for directions ensures new customers can find the Houston Social Venue, and the custom design and color scheme matches AvantGarden's Branding.


AvantGarden now has a dynamic, interactive website complete with the ability to connect their online social media profiles.  The new website provides a better experience for AvantGarden's staff, customers, and the local Houston creative community.  


AvantGarden can use online Photo Galleries with photos of their events such as this wedding photo set.  Image used shows the admin view for managing photo galleries and includes permissions control for viewing photo sets, download full set as a zip file capabilities, and other online photo management features. Tendenci's photo galleries give AvantGarden multiple options for downloading and embedding photographs from their website.  Image used shows the admin view for downloading individual photos and includes the ability to select creative commons licenses for photos and embed code to add the photo inside a Page using simple html code. Tendenci gives AvantGarden a colorful way to promote their events on their website.

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