New Event Venue in East Topeka, a Hub for Community Activity
Shelby Herring and Rebekkah Taylor are a dynamic duo. This year, they decided to open a business together. Within four months, they made it happen. Herring and Taylor are co-owners of a brand new event venue in East Topeka. They hope that their venue will soon turn to be a hub of community activity and special occasions.
The Floor Plan
They call the new venue The Eleven Hundred. It is located at 1100 S.E. Rice Road, East Topeka. The venue has near to 8000 square feet area on the ground floor, which is the main event space. The first floor houses a kitchen area and bridal suites.
The second floor consists of a lounge area. It also has a nursery. Suppose parents of young children want to step away temporarily from the action at the wedding venue; they can do that here. On the second floor, there is a loft area overlooking the main event space on the ground floor. The flight of stairs leading to the floor is rainbow-colored.
The owners say that they want to bring the community here to the new venue. Herring said that a lot of the time, community people might think that there is not a lot going on in East Topeka. She said that her motto is to introduce people to the new venue. “We’d like to keep people here and have things that people can come do and want to be a part of,” clarified Herring.
Speaking of their new venue, the owners said that the industrial style of the building was one of the things that attracted them. Taylor was saying that she thinks that the industrial style is quite popular now. She also said that at present there is not a lot available for big events in the area.
“We know Kansas City is super industrial with its wedding venues, so I think we took some inspiration from them,” added Herring.
Taylor and Herring envision the venue to be a great place for weddings. They keep their place open for those ceremonies that had to be canceled at the last minute in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They also want to host smaller events related to weddings, such as engagement parties and bridal showers.
Taylor said, “Because of how 2020 went, a lot of people put their weddings off. Venues are booking out to 2023 right now.” She continued, “Well, we’re here and we’re open, and we’re ready to go.”
The Eleven Hundred is open for all types of events. Taylor was saying, “We want to do whatever events. We want to do corporate events.” She confirmed that their venue has space and capabilities for those. She also mentioned that they hope to do a lot of community events.
The duo has already started planning for the rest of the year. Taylor said, “We have Santa for December, and we are just brainstorming different ideas. On May 22, we are trying to put together another event.” These other events might be anything from community classes -- such as art or floral arrangement-- to bridal fairs.
Herring confirmed that they want to collaborate with other businesses. They would want to bring in local artists or anybody with something creative to exhibit. Taylor added that they want to incorporate art in the décor of the building by allowing a space for local artists.
Although such displays are yet to be ready, yet it’s one of the areas where the owners want to improve. Their to-do list includes the installation of a spiral staircase connecting the main floor to the loft area. Painting the outside of the building is also on their list. They would also want to work with the City of Topeka to enable a more direct entrance to their venue. The property is surrounded by a couple of one-way streets that can make access tricky.
Herring said that the place could look very different a few months from now. “We’re going to keep constant improvements going since it was such a quick turnaround.”
Taylor said that they might have been selling themselves short if they had waited to open with all the improvements they plan. “Because I think there are a lot of people who would like to use it now.” Taylor was saying.