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The Venue multipurpose center opens doors in South Hall
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Jon Wayne, general manager, speaks to guests during an open house event at The Venue Thursday night. The Venue is a 40,000-square-foot multipurpose event center in South Hall. - photo by Erin O. Smith

One group of folks certainly excited about newly opened The Venue at Friendship Springs in South Hall is nearby active-adult community Village at Deaton Creek.

Several residents from the large neighborhood off Friendship Road trekked Thursday to the 40,000-square-foot multipurpose event center for an open house Thursday.

“I can see Deaton Creek doing functions over here, as opposed to our own clubhouse,” resident Norman Gross said. “There’s more space.”

And Nancy Bulens said she visited out of curiosity. She had read about The Venue in the Deaton Creek newsletter “and saw it being built.”

The Venue at 7340 Friendship Springs Road, or behind the Publix-anchored shopping center off Spout Springs Road in Braselton, cut ribbons — one each with the Greater Hall and Jackson County chambers of commerce — as it held the event.

People streamed through the doors to check out the building’s features and feast on goodies served in a banquet area. Also, event planners were on hand to answer questions.

The center also features an auditorium, performance center, conference space and a full caterer’s kitchen.

“We’ve tried to keep the layout as flexible as possible so that we don’t have to turn down any client for any reason,” said Jon Wayne, general manager.

He said the center has booked several events, including weddings, car shows and theatrical performances.

“This was an idea we started thinking about two years ago,” Wayne told the crowd gathered for the event. “We worked and worked, thought about it and wasn’t sure if this was the thing for us to do or not.

“And we prayed a whole lot about it, and we still weren’t sure if this was going to be the right move or not.”

And then Wayne met with Chad Logan, pastor of Cross Pointe Church’s Mill Creek campus, and decided it was time “to fish or cut bait.”

“When we partnered with Cross Pointe, that just set this thing in motion,” Wayne said.

The church campus, moving from Mill Creek High School in nearby Hoschton, is holding its grand opening at The Venue this Sunday.

“This is a great area (and) it’s great community,” said James Merritt, lead pastor of Duluth-based Cross Pointe. “We’re really proud to be part of the community.

“If you can use this for a church, you can use it for anything.”

Regional events