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Events center opens in downtown Cuero

By Sonny Long
Nov. 8, 2010 at 5:08 a.m.

Jacque Schumacher

HOW TO RESERVE THE VENUEThe Venue on Church Street is available for many types of functions, but specializes in weddings. Packages include not only the facility, but also tables, chairs, wine glasses, on site staff, set up and clean up. Event planners and tours are also available.To reserve the facility or to learn more, call 361-243-1015 or visit www.thevenueonchurchstreet.com.

CUERO - Carol Hildebrand gasped as she entered The Venue on Church Street, the new special events center in downtown Cuero.

"Wow! How wonderful for Cuero. There's a story to be told here," she said.

That story begins as a furniture store.

The building, across from the Cuero Chamber of Commerce and from the DeWitt County courthouse annex, was originally Stowers Furniture, then Stimson Furniture.

A couple of years ago, Trust Texas Bank took over the building to use as a headquarters location but plans changed.

"We were storing prom decorations in here, and I thought that this would actually be a good place to have the prom. So, it's been a vision of mine for a couple of years," said Jacque Schumacher, one of the facility's co-owners, along with husband Kenneth Schumacher and Mike and Kim Weaver. The two families invested several hundred thousand dollars into the project.

The Venue on Church Street is ideal for weddings, reunions, dances, or corporate events. The first wedding will be on Saturday, and about a dozen others are already booked, Schumacher said.

THE BUILDING

The 15,000-square-foot facility consists of a stage, dance floor, bridal suite, groom's dressing room, bar and two catering kitchens.

It can seat 500 guests on the inside and there is a 2,000-square-foot courtyard, said Mike Weaver.

The store's large display windows were converted into a French style. The original hardwood floors have been restored, and many of the bricks were recycled from an older DeWitt County building.

Rafters from the remodeled Cuero city administration building were made into counter tops, Weaver explained.

ECONOMIC IMPACT

The Venue is filling a need in Cuero, Schumacher said.

"There is really nothing like this in the community to have functions," she said.

Others agree.

"Cuero has needed a place like The Venue on Church Street for along time," said Kay Lapp, executive director of the chamber of commerce. "This beautiful event facility will be a wonderful asset to our historical downtown, our community as well as our region. I feel our town will greatly benefit from the different events held at The Venue that will bring out-of-town guests to Cuero."

Cuero Development Corporation executive director Randall Malik, also sees the benefit of the new business.

"Having the Venue open will significantly increase the amount of people visiting Historic Downtown Cuero," he said. "As one of the prominent event facilities in the area, The Venue will be utilized by individuals and organizations throughout the region."

"While downtown, individuals will take advantage of the shopping and dining opportunities Cuero boasts. The Venue will also be a catalyst for future growth in downtown Cuero," Malik said.

Schumacher, during a brief speech at the facility's grand opening in late October, thanked all those who helped make the project possible.

"This is wonderful to see people in this building," she added. "I hope that everyone can appreciate and love it like we do. I think it can be good for the community. We hope a lot of memories will be made in this building."

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