• New Venue Spotlight: Cornman Farms

    FROM THE Summer 2014 ISSUE

    A popular chef opens a Civil War-era event space. 

WHAT STARTED 10 YEARS AGO as a hobby for Alex Young, chef and owner at Zingerman’s Roadhouse, has evolved into Cornman Farms, a 42-acre farm in Dexter that opened a unique four-season event space in May.

"The food is grown on-site. It’s prepared on-site. There are very few venues in the country that accomplish that all in one place," Young says. "Demand for the farm space became obvious when local friends and family wanted to have graduation photos and weddings here."

The venue itself is a relic. Young had the site’s pre-Civil War buildings restored, preserving the historic feel for celebrations and meetings of all sizes, from intimate anniversary dinners to 400-person galas.

The barn offers two levels of accessible space that can welcome up to 180 strolling guests or 110 seated. Its dining area is ground-level with a lofty ceiling of exposed, refurbished wood beams. The basement space offers a fullservice bar; there are wood-burning fireplaces on both levels. Down a short path from the barn stands the Farmhouse, a two-story Greek revival house with upstairs fitting rooms, a ground-level lounge and fireplace, and an open kitchen. The Farmhouse accommodates 80 strolling guests and up to 50 seated.

Cornman Farms offers in-house rental packages for chairs, tables, tableware and a heated tent for larger events of up to 450 people. Direct access to Zingerman’s Community of Businesses also helps simplify event planning.

Guests have full grounds access (lawn games are welcome), and can take photos with goats, cows and other pasture animals. Planners can arrange to have farm vegetables harvested to be served at their event.

"You’re booking an event at a working farm," says Kieron Hales, Cornman Farms’ manager. "We happen to have a beautiful barn, but truly the draw is that you’re on a farm eating farm-fresh food."

Attendees at the Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism, which took place November 2-4, were among the first to experience the new event space at One Campus Martius. The 16th-floor venue was the site of the conference’s opening reception, and guests were wowed by the 5,500-square-foot wraparound terrace and the spectacular views it provides of downtown Detroit. The main event area offers more than 7,800 square feet of flexible event space, which can be divided into three smaller rooms.


Temperatures are starting to dip in Seattle, but if you want to get in one last outdoor gathering before winter, consider The Rooftop at WeWork Cap Hill. Located on the penthouse level on 11th Avenue near Seattle’s storied Pine and Pike Streets, the space offers inviting landscapes and spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. Capacity: 74.  Bring sweaters and scarves!


Taking photos of oneself isn’t just a thing you do at an event, it can be the event itself. Case in point: The Selfie Museum of Detroit has opened. The brainchild of Detroit local Kelli Cooke and her 14-year-old daughter, Jordyn Watson, the space features 20 Instagrammable and TikTok-ready interactive backdrops, featuring oversized ice-cream cones, a kissing booth, a red pay phone, a baby blue slide, and more. Group tickets are available.