February 8, 2013
A new place to host events is open for business on the Downtown Mall.
The Old Metropolitan Hall had its first event Friday night.
The Old Met is a space to rent for weddings, private parties, or other celebrations. It will also be a space for classes and shows.
The owner said that wineries and other destinations in the county attract weddings, but felt there was no equivalent in downtown Charlottesville.
"We felt that there was a void downtown. We wanted to market doing private dinners, small weddings, receptions, private parties," said Travis Wilburn, owner of the Old Metropolitan Hall.
Nest Realty threw the Old Met's kickoff event. The debut event featured the food of Chef Peter Chang.
"2013 is a very exciting year for us because we're going to celebrate our five-year anniversary," said Jonathan Kauffman, the director of Nest Realty.
"Our office is downtown...so we wanted to have an event that's downtown at a place with energy and excitement," said Kauffman. "It's a great space."
The Old Met was created in the 20th century. It was a grocery and, later, The Metropolitan Café.
While renovating the space, workers dug out a new downstairs for a dance floor and more. The area of the underground space extends underneath two neighboring shops.