Sometimes your friends do something funny like drive away with a cup of coffee on the roof of their car. Or sometimes they do something pretty cool like treat you to lunch unexpectedly. But every once in awhile, they do something so amazing that you wonder if they're secretly 20 years older than you and somehow got a Ph.D. from Harvard before you ever met.
Liz Moore and Carl Seiley, one of Columbus' up-and-coming dynamic duos, have done the latter. When I first met Carl several years ago, his father, Phillip "Flip" R. Seiley, was fighting a battle with esophageal cancer that he eventually lost in 2010. Some people, when faced with such a devastating tragedy, might become defeated, but a special few, like Carl, get to work. Since 2010, he has thrown himself into the creation of the non-profit organization, FLIP, in his father's name, to increase awareness about prevention in the fight against cancer. Shortly after starting FLIP, Carl began dating Liz, who has since become his partner in business as well, and the strides they've made together have been nothing short of amazing.
This year, the duo acquired the former Outland space in the Brewery District of Downtown Columbus. Originally intended as a place to house FLIP, which stands for Fight, Live, Inspire, Prevent, the pair have since renovated the 10,000 sq. ft. space into both an office space for the organization as well as a meeting and event space. With enough room to accommodate 300 seated guests, or 400 guests in a cocktail setting, as well as a patio providing space for 80 additional guests, the coveted location has already hosted weddings, a benefit, a fashion show, and other events since opening its doors in October.
I visited the space while it was still under construction, and even with a veil of sawdust, I could easily see the potential in the venue, which has quickly made it to the top of my own wedding planning list. Here's a rundown of why I love Vue Columbus:
1. Location, Location, Location!
Nestled into a cozy spot on West Liberty Street, just off of Front Street, the Vue space has the perfect feel of a private, secluded area while also being right in the middle of the bustling downtown area. Sharing the block with Shadowbox and World of Beer also provides entertaining options for pre- or post-party hangouts. Not to mention, the tucked away spot also houses a great view of the beautiful downtown buildings. Oh, and did I mention that they have their own spacious parking lot for your guests? That's a big check off of the event planning list!
2. Every Artist Needs a Canvas
There's nothing like planning the gold and ivory wedding of your dreams, only to find that every ballroom in the area has some form of burgundy and/or emerald carpet that completely throws off the whole look. Vue Columbus' neutral and minimal decor provides a great option for any event planner out there who wants all design aspects within their control. A mix of metal and reclaimed wood, the venue lends itself nicely to a variety of styles, from a modern industrial loft design to a cozy and quaint rustic feel. A large projection screen and track lighting allow for even more customization. This is a dream for all the DIY brides and party-planners out there!
3. Catering That Goes Beyond "Wedding Food"
Vue Columbus is teamed up with Metro Cuisine to provide a dining experience that your guests won't forget. For the more traditional (but elevated) dinner, options include entrees such as Beef Short Ribs with a Gorgonzola Shiitake Crust and Pistachio Crusted Tilapia with a Lemon Wine Sauce, to name just a few of many. And for the non-traditional dining experience, there are nearly 50 unique appetizer selections as well as the option of food stations, such as a Martini Salad Station, where salads are served "up" in martini glasses, Petite Dogs with All the Goods, featuring all-beef and vegetarian tofu franks with all the toppings, Taqueria del Metro, which serves assembled-to-order tacos, and a Kids Food Station, with chicken tenders, mac and cheese, mini hamburgers, fruit cups and cookies. And those were just my favorites! A big benefit of the Vue/Metro Catering partnership is that a food package purchase comes with your necessary china, flatware, glassware, and choice of linens, as well as all of your "must-have" tables and chairs, including the cake, gift, place card, DJ, and bar tables. And they've also got you covered in the staff department, providing a full team of servers and bartenders for your event. So you can get the DIY space without the stress of DIY catering!
The awesome catering packages I just mentioned above are some of the best I've ever seen, but I'll let you in on a secret- they can be a little expensive. That being said, hosting an event at Vue Columbus can still be very affordable because of this other little secret- you get to provide your own alcohol! As someone who has toured a number of venues in the past year, I can tell you that this is an event planning perk that isn't offered at many places. The rental prices at some venues may seem low, but once you add in the cost of alcohol, all of the sudden it's through the roof! Buying wholesale-priced alcohol of your choosing for the venue (and remember bartenders are provided!) can save you from making a major dent in your budget on alcohol markups. This means less stress for you and more fun for all of your guests!
5. You're Celebrating for a Good Cause
Supporting Vue Columbus also supports FLIP, and that's something you can feel good about. If you are getting married or planning a corporate event, you're going to be paying a rental fee no matter what venue you choose. I personally don't know of any other venue space that will take your check and then turn around and use it for a great cause. Simply put, why not put that fee towards something positive? It's a win-win!
If you're still reading at this point, I assume you already like Liz and Carl as much as I do. Get more info on the cancer-crushing couple at the Vue site and FLIP site and make sure to like Vue Columbus and FLIP on Facebook to help support the cause!