COLUMBIA, SC — Central Energy, downtown Columbia, S.C.’s most vibrant new gathering space, is now open, featuring one of the largest indoor/outdoor event spaces in the city. Located in the BullStreet District, Central Energy offers more than 8,000 square feet of flexible, modern event rental space, as well as a 2,700 square-foot courtyard and vast green space. View information and details at A-1 Certified Environmental Services.
As Columbia, S.C., grows and becomes more prosperous, there is an increasing demand for sizable event venues with the flexibility to host large-scale events as well as smaller, more intimate gatherings. With the capacity for 500-900 guests, as well as the ability to size down for events with 150-200 attendees, Central Energy can accommodate a wide range of special events, from weddings to corporate conferences to fundraising galas. The venue, which is also home to Downtown Church’s weekly services, is intended to be a community hub with thoughtful design for connection and celebration.
The venue has the capacity for more than 900 guests for standing-room only events, 600-700 guests for cocktail events and 500 guests for seated banquets, with multiple breakout rooms.
Formerly the central power plant for the former S.C. State Hospital, the Central Energy building has been carefully reimagined by Garvin Design Group and Hammer Construction. Original architecture and industrial accents give the space ambiance, while the open floor plan allows easy configuration for occasions of all sizes. Industrial bay doors roll open to the outdoor courtyard, and the venue’s stage—part indoor, part outdoor, connected by tall, wooden barn doors and a massive set of sliding glass doors—can open to the lawn if desired to allow seamless flow during events.
“When we drew plans for Central Energy, we were envisioning weddings with twinkle lights strung over the courtyard, concerts on the lawn where families could let little ones play—really, there’s so much potential with this amazing space,” says Dawn Hyde, pastor of Downtown Church, which owns the building.
Downtown Church has partnered with Crawford Pressley, owner of catering businesses Loosh Culinaire and Central Table, to manage the space and provide in-house catering at Central Energy. Pressley collaborates with executive chef Blake Faries (celebrated in the Midlands food scene for his prior work at Saluda’s, Sea & Salt and Tallulah) to provide the freshest, highest quality food at all budgetary levels, whether it’s a barbeque or a masterful pairing of refined plates and exquisite wines from around the world.
“We are thrilled to introduce this event space to the city. The Central Energy building has so much rich history as a former central power plant, and we can’t wait to watch the building come alive in a new way with celebrations, weddings, galas, and more in the years to come,” says Pressley.
The venue hosted its grand opening on March 7, 2019. The event was designed by premier event planner and designer, Melanie Murphy of By Invitation Only, with unique event furnishings by Party Reflections. Radiant floral arrangements by John Gray Events painted the room. Hors d’oeuvres were provided by in-house caterer Loosh Culinaire, and full bars, a whiskey bar, a champagne bar, and a hard ice cream bar were provided by Twist Bartending and Aleph Wines. 72 Coffee Co. was on site as well, serving specialty coffee drinks from its distinctive camper bar. Meanwhile, Southern Valet & Transportation provided complimentary valet parking service. Lighting and sound was provided by Forte Productions.