SB&G‘s Favorite Urban Chic Event Spaces in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill
Weddings today are all about customization, and the uber popular warehouse event spaces serve as perfect blank canvases on which couples can reflect their own love story, personalities and aesthetic preferences. These industrial venues abound in the Raleigh-Durham area of NC, due to the revitalization of our downtown areas over the past decade. Historic buildings and factories are being repurposed and turned into stunning wedding and reception venues that offer charming features like brick walls, wood floors, giant windows, or exposed beams. For the perfect mix of modern elegance, check out our list of urban chic warehouse wedding venues in North Carolina.
1 – Bay 7
Formerly a tobacco warehouse, Bay 7 is located in the heart of American Tobacco Campus, the mixed use area that has led the renaissance of downtown Durham. This means your wedding party can catch photos on the lawn under the iconic Lucky Strike tower or by ATC’s waterfall park. Accommodating up to 400 people, this is one of the largest non-hotel event spaces in the Triangle Area. The space is rustic with an upscale vibe, featuring century-old brick and wood, and a wrap around top balcony. Unlike some warehouse venues, Bay 7 receives a good amount of natural light through its panoramic windows and sky-lights. It also offers the luxury of a bridal suite. Even if you have been to a wedding at Bay 7 in the past, you might not know that it is now operated by the renowned Angus Barn, which is also the exclusive caterer. That doesn’t mean that only steak is on the menu (although we highly recommend going that route). Angus Barn isn’t just known for their melt-in-your-mouth beef, but also a full range of seafood and dessert options, customized menus, and most importantly, the finest service.
Calling all UNC Chapel Hill alum! Sure, you spent many an afternoon sipping Blueberry Wheat beers on the rooftop of “TOPO,” but did you know that there is an incredible event space on its lower level? Located in the space once occupied by the legendary Carolina Theatre on Franklin Street, The Great Room’s exposed brick and soft industrial feel gives a grateful nod to Chapel Hill’s past while simultaneously embodying its bright future with clean lines, hardwood floors and subtle interiors. Completely flexible menus and floor plans with a completely flexible planning staff allows each client to tailor their next event exactly to their liking. And there’s a built in after-party spot in the Back Bar, which is open to the public but rentable for private events.
3- Bridge Club
The newest and most intimate venue on the roster, the Bridge Club, is located on the 2nd and 3rd floors of a beautiful historic bank building in downtown Raleigh. Conceived by James Beard Award-winning chef Ashley Christensen, it is the upstairs neighbor of her restaurant Death & Taxes. The 2nd floor is designed like a loft apartment with leather couches, cocktail tables and a fully loaded demo kitchen. This space is perfect for intimate weddings or rehearsal dinners for under 100 guests. The 3rd floor has sweeping ceilings and incredible views, and could serve as its own venue or can be paired with the other floor for transitional events (think: wedding cocktail hour or after party). Raleigh foodies will be pleased to know that the menu consists of many favorite Christensen crowd-pleasers, and is happily quite flexible and affordable. SB&G votes Bridge Club as the #1 place in the Triangle for grown-up weddings.
Located in the Central Park district of downtown Durham, The Rickhouse boasts restored and reclaimed wood and exposed brick throughout. In addition to an inside space that comfortably seats 400, it has a large, partially covered concrete deck overlooking the famed Durham Athletic Park, the original home of the Durham Bulls (remember the “BULL DURHAM” Downtown Durham?). The Rickhouse has another unique story: it is home to a distillery that is close to completion. A panoramic view of the stainless steel factory through giant glass wall offers a distinctive and memorable backdrop to your ceremony or wedding band.
5- Market Hall
Market Hall is a historic multi-use space located in the center of City Market in downtown Raleigh. This unique and beautiful building has undergone several renovations and reinventions over the last 100 years, and celebrated its Centennial in October 2014. Say your wedding vows on the cobblestone streets, or transform the venue into a romantic ceremony site with draping and lights. The white walls lend themselves to any wedding look from funky to elegant.
7- The Cookery
Born of a membership kitchen for food entrepreneurs in the historic Durham Food Co-Op building, The Cookery is now one of the most sought-after event venues in Durham. Beautiful exposed brick walls are complemented beautifully with its signature metalwork salvaged from Durham landmarks (you’ll notice similar looks at Dashi and Ponysaurus Brewing Co, other projects by owners Nick Hawthorne-Johnson and wife Rochelle Johnson that also make cool out-of-the-box event venues). A large mezzanine offers guests a bird’s eye view, and an outdoor patio can be tented for extra seating, cocktail hour, or a ceremony.
Smack dab in the middle of downtown Raleigh on Fayetteville Street, the Stockroom at 230 is an expansive space that manages to feel romantic and cozy at the same time. Its exposed brick walls are complimented by hardwood floors and high lattice ceilings creating an open, relaxed vibe. An elevated platform at the front of the venue is the perfect place for cocktail hour, cake cutting, or even live music. Another fun feature is its chalk wall! (And don’t forget to ask about their bridal suite upstairs called The Glass Box). The Stockroom is under the Empire umbrella which operates several favorite Raleigh restaurants like The Pit, Sitti and Gravy. Brides who book here can use Empire Catering at a special rate, or bring in their caterer of choice.
Another new downtown Raleigh venue can be found in a restored warehouse space above Mulino restaurant. A stunning urban space with tall ceilings, arched windows and an open floor-plan, Melrose Knitting Mill allows brides to create their own wedding fantasy. Unlike many downtown venues, ample, free parking is available onsite. The delightful menu comes from the brand new Mulino kitchen.
10- Cross + Main
Formerly The Boondocks, Cross + Main is the most charming venue located in the heart of downtown Youngsville. This building has been it all over the years! From the home to horse drawn carriages, a fire station and an auction house. Now its stunning structural beauty and historical charm is restored to a perfect urban and charming wedding venue and event space!
11- Fairview Raleigh
Connected to ThemeWorks, an out of this world rental company, is their brand new venue space. With a warehouse charm and a view of Downtown Raleigh, you really can’t help but love Fairview Raleigh. Not to mention it comes with the convenience of having any rental you desire for your event, only a few steps away!
12- The Cotton Room
Located in the historic Golden Belt District of Downtown Durham, The Cotton Room is an elegant, unique, and all-inclusive wedding and event venue that is a part of a part of a historic cotton factory that created the drawstring bags for the tobacco being harvested a few minutes down the road at the American Tobacco District. Featuring beautiful, exposed brick, floor-to-ceiling windows, timeless architecture, and all-inclusive services, the Cotton Room was the original warehouse wedding venue in Durham NC, and it’s easy to see why it’s still one of the best venues North Carolina has to offer.
Check out our post on rehearsal dinner spots in Durham too!
Bonus: Raleigh’s Newest Warehouse Wedding Venue, Whitaker & Atlantic
If you are an Oak City dweller you are probably aware of the hip new restaurant known for all day eats and cocktails, Hummingbird Raleigh. Its industrial vibe is carried through to an incredible warehouse event space adjoining the restaurant. Whitaker & Atlantic is one of the best new wedding venues in Raleigh.
This modern event space features a grand room with high ceilings, textured concrete floors, and gold accented fixtures. A spacious three-season porch runs the length of the ground floor. A beautiful handcrafted wooden bar is tucked beneath a staircase that leads to an elegant bridal suite with its own private bathroom. This Raleigh venue includes natural wood and steel, soft grays, and blush and ivory hues. While Whitaker & Atlantic is certainly handsome, it is also perfectly feminine for the modern bride.