The news is FINALLY out! If you have not watched the video yet, head to it HERE before reading the rest of the blog so you are all caught up to speed. Watched it? Ok good, I will continue! Back in early March we started talking with my parents about the second story of their commercial building in Reynoldsburg. Nearly 6 years ago we went up to the location and saw it vacant and fell in love. At the time my parents didn’t own the building nor did they even know they would ever lease it. We both couldn’t shake that it had amazing potential even then. Fast forward to earlier this year, we were back to talking about the building but this time my parents have had Vick’s Pizza operating down stairs for nearly three years. My dad was super supportive with the idea when we mentioned it in March. The only hang up was my parents didn’t own the building, they were only leasing the first floor. My dad communicated to me that they were trying everything they could to buy the building but they weren’t sure if it was possible. QUEUE Covid. There have been so many challenges with Covid-19, but this post won’t mention those. Because of Covid our family was able to purchase the entire former Connell Hardware building on March 27th. That very next week we started cleaning it out and working on it and it has been NON-stop ever since!
This is what it looked like the day we got the keys to the building and started cleaning it out! It was used as a church and recovery ministry. It was left basically abandoned 4-6 years ago. Trash and the former businesses belongings were all still there. We went through and sold everything we could and gave stuff away. We had a hauling company come twice to remove JUNK! It was a huge process to clear the building out and get it to bare bones.
That’s my dad chilling. If you know my dad, that is what he does! HA!
It has been so hard to not post pictures as we tore things down, painted, and worked hard over the last few months. We currently have a great team of contractors working full time on the space inside and out. The goal since we started has been to renovate the smaller side of the building first which is around 1,300 square feet. It is set to be finished in a few weeks which will have our bridal suite/studio, bathrooms, Edison room for catering and other rental needs, and office space. Once that is all wrapped up it will be all hands on deck in the main room starting in September! Here are some of the pictures during renovations.
Here are some 3D scans a friend helped design and make in an app. This just helped us see the layout and square footage as well as how we wanted to furnish the rooms.
To make this easy I am going to run through some of the TOP questions we have been asked as we have told people privately.
1. Will you still do photography? – YES! We plan to try and shoot when we can. The first year the venue is open we plan to focus on it more and then slowly delegate things out. Our long term goal is to shoot 10-15 weddings a year and they will NOT be at our venue. — That is the other question connected to this one. Will we photograph weddings or events there? – NO. We want to be focused as venue owners IN the venue and photographers outside of the venue. However, we will be using the space as a studio for portrait shoots, head-shots, commercial work, and more through the week.
2. When will it open? – GREAT QUESTION! Construction is a BEAR and there are so many unknowns. The running joke around here is “three more weeks”. I get told that a lot for all different things. Realistically, the left side will be done here with in a month and once all hands are on deck we hope that the project comes to completion within six months. There are many variables with the liquor license, health department, our sprinkler system install, and more.
3. Can we book it yet? – We are opening the venue up for tours officially starting THIS September. With our smaller spaces all being complete, we will be able to successfully tour people. We will start booking weddings in a few weeks for dates September 1st 2021 and beyond; that is exciting! We do foresee completing renovations prior to that, but we are just not comfortable hosting events like weddings until then. That will give us time to host other small events, get used to our rental services, setting up and tearing down, and so much more. This could all be subject to change, but we will keep you posted.
Thanks for coming on this adventure with us!
- Andrew + Chrissy