Historic Stillwater building gets new life as wedding venue, craft brewery

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An iconic building in downtown Stillwater is getting a new lease of life as a wedding venue – and is opening its doors to even more tenants including a craft brewery.

Photographer Judd Sather has along with two silent partners bought the old Connolly Shoe Co. factory building at 123 N. Second St. with the intention of opening a $5 million "JX Event Venue" by next May, according to the Pioneer Press.

The 14,000 square foot venue will host weddings, corporate events, fundraisers, class reunions, concerts and shows, the newspaper notes, and is expected to accommodate up to 1,200 people.

But as the Business Journal reports, the renovations at the Connolly building aren't limited to the event space, as it was announced on Thursday that the basement of the building will be rented out to a new craft brewery, called Three Kettles Brewing.

Other spaces in the building will be rented out to a new speakeasy called The Velveteen, while other units are being taken up by a hair salon and five local photographers – turning the historic building into a new destination in Stillwater.

The Stillwater Gazette reports that Sather, who already owns the Studio J photography studio and event space downtown, still has a few hurdles to jump to make the center a reality. He needs to supply an acceptable parking plan and is also seeking approval from the Stillwater Heritage Preservation Commission to demolish an outbuilding

But he's optimistic that his plan will come to fruition, telling the newspaper he had already been asked for tours from potential customers at the building, and has two events booked already.

"There's a lot of buzz downtown," he said.

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