Jason Charles, owner of Latest Craze Productions insists he wasn’t looking to open an events venue when he and partner Narender Raju, owner of RSVP Special Events, stumbled upon a historic 1920s building in downtown Phoenix’s Warehouse District. But their imaginations got the best of them when they found out it was available.
“We saw an opportunity here to be part of downtown,” says Charles. “It’s already a great place, but we wanted to bring more culture and give people a reason to come to the downtown Phoenix area.”
And they have. With lots of work and the help of local architects and craftsmen, what was once a grocery store and old printing press is now an events venue known as The Pressroom.
The new venue, located at 441 West Madison Street, opened its doors in February in the heart of downtown Phoenix. The two business owners are excited to start the business, and the chance to revive a 1920s building has been a thrilling part of the journey.
“Downtown Phoenix has beautiful spaces, and we really wanted to preserve the authenticity of the historic building,” says Charles. “We couldn’t be more excited to be stewards of this place.”
Charles and Raju were working together on large weddings and multicultural events when they first learned that the property was available.
“I take care of the décor and Jason did the production of the events,” says Raju. “But we were ready for something bigger.”
With the opportunity to use such a unique building with so much character in this fashion, the two decided they had to act, and act quick at that. After securing the location, everyone has been buzzing about the new venture.
“There is no mid-sized events venue in downtown Phoenix, so it’s a really good niche in this area,” says Charles.
Other popular music venues in the area include Crescent Ballroom, Monarch Theater and Comerica Theater, to name a few. But both Charles and Raju can confidently say that there is nothing in the area like The Pressroom.
“We are truly unique,” says Charles. “In addition to the abundance of nostalgia, The Pressroom has an abundance of something else that other event venues do not: space.”
With over 14,000-square-feet of entertainment space, The Pressroom is set to accommodate up to 1000 people and features outdoor area.
“We’ve obtained a liquor license, repainted the venue and brought in sound and audio equipment,” says Charles. “The venue, which also features outdoor space, is set to hold private parties, weddings, concerts and corporate or cultural events.”
Working with owners Charles and Raju is big-time music promoter Danny Zelisko, who has been tasked with getting the best performers on stage and music lovers in the door.
“Zelisko is the best in the business; he’s been around and knows what he’s doing,” says Charles. “We believe his knowledge, reputation and expertise in the industry will help increase business at The Pressroom.”
While music is the primary focus at the new downtown venue, Charles and Raju are both looking forward to bringing a unique kind of experience to patrons, no matter what the event.
“Instead of competing, we want to add to what is already here in the downtown area,” says Charles. “The goal is to join other venues in bringing the warehouse district to life.”
So far, it has. The Pressroom has already booked artists such as Sara Robinson and the Midnight Special, the legendary Paul Gurvitz, and Scandalesque.
“This is only the beginning,” says Charles. “With the team we have, The Pressroom will very soon serve as the backdrop for many well-known artists and new names in the music industry.”