The historic Peanut Warehouse on Conway’s riverfront has already undergone an outside transformation, but the new owners have even more plans to upgrade the inside and add services for people who want to rent the popular building, according to one of the new owners.
When Jamie McLain and his co-owners, Jay Holbert and Heath Adams, bought the building, Scott Thompson already had a lease to use it until the first of the year, but because Thompson wants to spend more time developing his farm attraction out U.S. 701 South, the trio of new owners will begin overseeing the building and its schedule just after the first of the year.
The first order of business for 2021 will be more upgrades.
One complaint guests in the building have previous voiced was the temperature – cold, well very cold, in the winter and hot in the summer, making it popular primarily in the spring and fall, but that won’t be the case anymore.
McLain says they plan to winterize the building and add heat and air-conditioning so it can be used comfortably all year.
“Next winter you’ll be nice and warm…nice and warm in the winter and cool in the summer. That’s what our plan is,” he said.
The group has also made arrangements with Ashley Rouhselang to become the building’s event coordinator whose services will include wedding planning.
Rouhseland, who has worked for Conway attorney Robin Ciaccio for 16 years, says she’s been planning weddings for friends and family on the side for about 10 years dreaming of eventually turning her services into a business.
In her position as event coordinator, she will take phone calls, answer questions about prices, help secure tables and chairs, take people on tours of the building, get contracts signed and collect deposits. She will also help renters find local vendors, deejays and caterers, and she can help decorate for and direct weddings.
She also has other plans for events for the building. For instance, next December she is planning to have a Holly Market, something like the Merry Market in Florence, where there will be local vendors, pictures with Santa, carolers and food.
Rouhselang also hopes to work with the City of Conway and its light show next Christmas with the idea of putting clear lights around the building so people will see them as they come across the Main Street Memorial Bridge. She says she got started with her new tasks at Thanksgiving and she’s already getting calls from people who want more information about the building.
“We’ve got several bookings already for next year and for 2022,” she said.
She expects more soon because this is the time of year when many couples become engaged.
She says June weddings are no longer an absolute must for many people, with fall and spring coming on strong now.
She is calling her company, Under the Oaks Events, and can be reached at (843) 465-9588 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It’s a beautiful building,” she said, adding that renovations are also planned for the kitchen and restrooms.
“I’m so excited about this new venture,” Rouhselang said.
McLain and his co-owners also own 1.3 acres near the Peanut Warehouse, running from the railroad track to the riverwalk, all the way to the bridge, and woods in the other direction.
McLain says, although they don’t have anything concrete yet, they are floating around ideas for that property. He says he isn’t ready yet to reveal those ideas and plans, but for now will concentrate on getting the Peanut Warehouse ready by the spring.
McLain is happy to be one of the owners of the building, adding that the trio wanted to keep its ownership with a Conway-based company.
“We just felt like it was a piece of Conway’s history,” he said,