Eatonton’s newest event and entertainment facility, The Eatonton Cotton Warehouse, wants to bring people to town, support and serve the local community and provide its clients with a memorable experience.
“The building is open to everybody; we want everyone in the community to use it,” Eatonton Cotton Warehouse owner Stew Aaron said.
“We’ve listened to what our community has said – that they wanted a place where they felt welcome, a place they could afford, a place that was multifaceted where they could listen to a comedian one night, a country music act the next, and another band the next,” Manager Dan Lowery added. “We’re giving you that. We’re listening to what you are saying.”
What the duo has done is create an event facility unlike any other in the area.
The Eatonton Cotton Warehouse was originally constructed in 1902, when the major economic influence in Putnam County was growing and selling cotton. The building also housed the Eatonton Board of Trade offices.
After the cotton industry in the county was destroyed by the Boll Weevil, the building became the H.B. Hearn warehouse, where farm supplies were stored and sold. The building was purchased in 2006 by the current owner, Stew Aaron, who dreamed of utilizing the space to benefit the community and to help revitalize the downtown district.
He and Lowery transformed the 115-year- old building into an exquisite event facility with new restrooms, a dressing room and a prep kitchen. The original wood flooring is beautifully restored, and a new stage puts musicians and comedians in the limelight.
The warehouse facility can host up to 615 people at any given event. New heating, ventilation and air conditioning, as well as lighting and a state-of- the-art fire alarm system, ensures they are comfortable and secure.
During the restoration project, the visionaries worked diligently to maintain the building’s history. Lowery said the ambiance is better because the building has character. “The key point is, we rent space and we rent history,” he said. “When you rent our event facility, usually it’s an important event, like a wedding or something that you want to be remembered. So you are renting history with us, and you’re going to walk away and go, ‘Wow, I am glad I shared that.’”
From weddings to birthday parties and quinceaneras, fraternity and sorority events, business meetings and community events, the Eatonton Cotton Warehouse hosts a number of different types of events. The staff at the Eatonton Cotton Warehouse is committed to the customer – working to provide the best experience from start to finish. The staff offers various packages, including table and chair rentals on site. In an effort to best serve the community, the warehouse offers special pricing for downtown merchants and other local organizations to use the space.
The warehouse also hosts various concerts throughout the year. In an effort to get the community more involved in the space, Lowery is working with local students, giving them the chance to audition and open for larger name bands. “That gets the community involved and shows our commitment to Eatonton and the community,” he said.