Inside Venue: Ann Arbor’s first event, dining and co-working space

Venue was designed by local firm Synecdoche. (Meredith Bruckner)

ANN ARBOR – A new all-in-one space dedicated to work and play is opening in the former Lucky’s Market location on the city’s southside.

Venue will be holding its grand opening on Thursday from 4-10 p.m. to showcase its multiuse experience to customers seeking a place to hold events, work, eat and socialize.

The space was developed by Prentice4M, which owns the short- and long-term rental property just down the road at 830 Henry St.

Venue's exterior at 1919 S. Industrial Hwy. (Meredith Bruckner)

With the arrival of Venue, Prentice4M’s founders said they’re one step closer to creating a true 15-minute neighborhood in Lower Burns Park.

“There’s not much around here,” said Margaret Poscher, CEO and co-founder of Prentice4M. “There’s no place to go, there’s no place to eat, there’s no place to socialize. (Now) you really can have everything here in this neighborhood.”

Venue offers five restaurants, a full bar, spaces for large and small events, co-working space, an outdoor patio area and a specialty foods market.

Venue boasts five restaurant lines, a robust wine list, a full bar and more. (Marina Goldi)

Dining

The restaurant lines will be run by Executive Chef Thad Gillies, a longtime Ann Arbor chef and restaurateur who owned and operated Logan for nearly 20 years and Asian fast food concept Chow.

According to a release, the restaurant concepts include:

  • Venue Brasserie: The newest food concept from Ann Arbor-based Chef Thad Gillies, Venue Brasserie is French cooking showcasing rustic dishes that let the beautiful flavors speak for itself.
  • Mesa Taqueria: Street tacos are straight from Oaxaca and feature traditional hand-made masa tortillas with accents of rich mole sauce, tangy salsas and the freshest in toppings.
  • Pizza Forum: Authentic Neapolitan-style pizza topped with expertly sourced ingredients and baked at 800 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Pasta Forum: Authentic Italian dishes featuring hand-made pasta, made from scratch every day.
  • Bar19: Offering a robust cocktail, wine menu and beer selection expertly crafted to pair with 4M Venue’s eclectic cuisine.

Boasting more than 25,000 square feet of office, dining and event space, Venue is open to customers of all ages and tastes.

“If a family comes in and a kid wants pizza, the mom wants pasta and the dad wants a steak, you can come here and satisfy everyone’s little craving for that evening or lunch,” said Poscher. “That’s a difference, I think. It all comes out of the kitchen at the same time. You may be ordering from three different menus, but it’s all coordinated to come out in perfect time.”

CEO and co-founder of Prentice4M Margaret Poscher and Venue Executive Chef Thad Gillies. (Meredith Bruckner)

Gillies and Poscher opened a test kitchen in December to develop dishes and design the menus. Gillies said Venue has provided him the chance to come full circle after an extensive and diverse cooking career.

“It just kind of touched on all the elements that I’ve been through my whole career,” said Gillies. “Being a chef at Zingerman’s, so really understanding and loving sandwiches to even when I first started cooking I was just flipping burgers in college.

“Having a place where I could do my high-end food, Logan-style -- it was all those experiences in one and I could do it all in one kitchen.”

Venue will serve up fresh Neapolitan-style pizza. (Marina Goldi)

Poscher said its large event space that can accommodate 75-100 people has already been booked for Michigan football watch parties.

The Ann Arbor New Tech meetup and Vault of Midnight will be holding regular events at Venue, which will also soon be debuting a Trivia Night.

Customers can order food through Venue’s digital app. It’s a customer-led experience by design, giving each guest the freedom to “direct their own experience.” Members of Venue’s service support team and concierge will be available on site to assist guests if necessary.

Venue's custom-designed app. (Meredith Bruckner)

Co-working

Several co-working options are available, including day passes, designated desks in a large open space and private offices. Amenities include conference rooms, phone booths, coffee stations and more.

Co-working members will have exclusive access to perks, events and amenities like bookable Tesla vehicles, food and beverage service, ample parking and digital design tools. They will also have 24/7 access to their office.

Day passes are available to use floating desks. (Meredith Bruckner)
Co-workers can enjoy perks and exclusive access to parts of Venue. (Meredith Bruckner)

Additionally, May Mobility has made Venue an official drop-off and pick-up stop for its free autonomous A2GO shuttle service, which has stops downtown and in Kerrytown.

Venue will be open seven days a week and is located at 1919 S. Industrial Highway.

For more information, visit www.experience4m.com.


About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.