The Bricks Venue Center is one of many projects to revitalize downtown Cherry Valley

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CHERRY VALLEY, Ill. (WIFR) – The heart of the village could get busier as the community celebrates the opening of nearly 6,500 square feet of event space developed by The Bricks, a private retail space in downtown Cherry Valley.

The Schroeders established The Bricks in 2021, conceived as a multi-purpose venue designed to host multiple events including weddings, corporate meetings, monthly markets and more. The space seats nearly 350 people and features several refurbished chandeliers and wood materials from the original building.

On Thursday night, the community celebrates the opening of a new venue center, part of a more than $3 million project.

“I’m so excited that we’re bringing this new life back to downtown Cherry Valley,” said Veronica Schroeder, events coordinator for the Bricks Venue Center. “It’s always been a nice area to walk around and I love seeing these stores and people going out and doing what they love and they also bring their passion here.”

The 6,500 square foot space hosts over 30 local businesses for its monthly Cherry Valley Market. One such company is Savvy Event Co., created during the pandemic to help guests take the stress out of party planning.

“I think what sets us apart is our ideas. We take the time to get to know our customers and these little details make the difference. So that those little details are what sets the holidays apart,” says owner Savannah Fletcher.

Now, this party-planning company will move into one of The Brick’s retail spaces later this year and residents can’t wait to celebrate.

“Everyone knocked on the window, peeked out the window to ask questions and they’re eager to support it and we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it,” Fletcher said.

“We just want to give back to our village because we like you to know where we come from and we just want to be proud of where we are,” Schroeder says.

Savvy Event Co. is one of four companies to have purchased one of the retail spaces. They plan to open later this fall at the corner of E. State St. and Walnut St.

Village officials say it is one of many private and public projects completed or underway in the town center. Claeyssen says it can help several local businesses as well as the site center, including Cattle and Cream and Salmone’s.

“It’s going to drive traffic into the village and you can see the traffic driving sales and other things,” says Village Administrator Jim Claeyssen. “He fills that need with a secondary need where he generates additional income in the village and shared value.”

The Bricks is also transforming the former screw machine building adjacent to the center of the site into a retail/office space and restaurant with an outdoor patio and rooftop bar that overlooks the baseball field on the other side of the street.

Among additional projects, the village is working with a private company to move all utilities underground and transform the space between The Bricks and other local businesses into a walkway to make some parking lots more convenient for residents.

Claeyssen says Cattle and Cream also plans to open a confectionery around the corner from their store.

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