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Romance + Restoration at this former Blacksmith Shop
Jake Kilroy
by Jake Kilroy
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The Union on Eighth

224 West 8th Street, Georgetown, Texas

The Report

It’s hard to tell what years it is inside The Union on 8th. As sturdy as an adamantium backbone but as welcoming as a grandmother’s hug, The Union sits on a sleepy corner, waiting to be filled with conversation and laughter. It’s a charming, rustic shell that transforms into whatever it needs to be. Heck, it seems like it’s already been everything under the Texan sun anyway: blacksmith shop, transmission shop, Oldsmobile dealership.

Only 20 minutes north of the heartbeat of downtown Austin, this historic building has been a fixture on the outskirts of the city’s square for over 85 years. The past two years have born witness to a revelry revitalization, converting the space into a chic, warm and welcoming corner of the world, while keeping it’s beautiful bones intact.

The place looks like it was rebuilt by a man with whiskey for blood and refurbished by a woman with bistro lights for eyes. The Union on 8th could be bright and romantic, or it could be moody and thoughtful. Layers of dark wood and wallflower light bulbs adorn the interior, allowing it the ambiance of a rural dance hall where you’d expect to find the phrases “necking” and “goin’ steady” tossed around. Shoot, depending on the event, maybe they will.

Images Courtesy of The Union on Eighth  & Laura Hooper Calligraphy Workshop

CELEBRATION CAPACITY: 225 Seated
ACCOMMODATIONS: n/a
HIGH SEASON: April to September
FOOD SERVICE: Caterer of choice
BAR SERVICE: Licensed Server Required
VIEWS: Landscaped courtyard
ESTABLISHED IN: 2013
VENUE SPACES: indoor + outdoor
DECOR: Reclaimed wood against slab

THE SCOOP

Due to its nature of existing as a 6,000-square-foot canvas for events, The Union can play host to pretty much anything, from holiday or corporate events to creative workshops. Weddings certainly make the most use of the banquet hall, with a traditional bridal lounge and a quirky groom’s quarters that happens to be in an airstream.

Weddings ceremonies and receptions are also able to make grand use of not only the loft itself, but also the surrounding outdoor area. Flawlessly landscaped grass engulfs the area around the standalone tree that looks like a beacon when lit up at night.

There’s plenty of furniture to work with inside and out: 20 farm tables, 150 wood chairs, 1 industrial bar catering, 1 prep kitchen, 1 ice machine, 1 warming drawer and sink. An on-site manager is ready to assist in any logistics. The location is handicap accessible with designated smoking areas.

Perfect for:

  • corporate event
  • dinner party
  • social event
  • wedding reception
  • Reunion

BONUS

The folks at The Union aren’t kidding when they speak of their vendor network. From calligraphy to floral arrangements to catering, management has names ready to go. Usage of their vendors isn’t required, but they’re definitely worth the consideration. It’s none of that “my cousin’s friend’s sister’s brother-in-law” business. It’s vendors whose work makes you gawk.

STYLE FOR YOUR SETTING

1. Align your design -  (And your chakra) with these peace-keeping elements that add color and texture to your setting. Bringing out the subtle beauty of your surroundings. Gems from Melissa Hagerty Found on Swoon Magazine  | 2. Bright Floral Garlands -  These black and White Anemones bring your garlands from rustic to full on romantically modern.  Anemones are in season October to May which is perfect for most Texan brides who are looking to escape the summer heat! Image from Emily Scott Via Apartment 34  | 3. Bubbly Cocktails with a hint of Mint – Using herbs to bring out the natural and subtle flavors of a good whiskey will always delight your guest, and because everyone loves a hand crafted beverage you can’t go wrong with the likes of this gold rimmed glass for a pop of mid-century modern art flare. Image from Aubrie pick 

INSIDE SCOOP

Long rows of tables are the best filling of the facility, with the cultured appearance of a royal picnic. Colors pop best as part of centerpieces and table decor. Anything’s up for grabs when it comes to decorating The Union, but the times it looks best features tables aglow and dazzling in color.

HIGHLIGHT REEL

  • Valet parking makes everything in life easier.
  • Hand décor is encouraged, from rafters to walls, as long as there’s no permanent damage.
  • With the open space, it serves as a terrific kid-friendly venue.
  • The historic square is just down the street and filled with bars, restaurants, and shops.

AROUND TOWN

Hiking and Biking:

9 miles of easy-going hike and bike trails are available for cruising alongside the San Gabriel Rivers. But there's also room for the more determined, including the 28-mile Goodwater Loop that tackles rugged terrain as it circles Lake Georgetown.

Palace Theatre:

Built in the 1920s in what is now the historic district, the theatre was notable for bringing "talkies" to the area back in the day. Now, it serves as the year-round home to live productions of comedies, dramas, and musicals.

Grape Creek Winery:

In a masterfully restored building on the town square sits the popular winery. Featuring a tasting room, a wine production area, and a large outdoor patio, Grape Creek Winery has made its name with 100 medals won in just the last two years of competitions across the country.


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