Kentucky Sports Radio partners are opening another venture downtown

Marque is scheduled to open in late November and will have about 12,000 square feet on two floors. The space can be rented for weddings, receptions and other events.
Marque is scheduled to open in late November and will have about 12,000 square feet on two floors. The space can be rented for weddings, receptions and other events.

Kentucky Sports Radio’s Matt Jones and partners are opening a new business in downtown Lexington.

“Marque” at 177 North Upper will be a new venue space, available beginning in late November for weddings, receptions, parties and meetings, according to Andrew Jefferson, partner with Jones of KSR, KSBar and now this.

Jones said that he isn’t involved in the operation, “except for my money.”

The building, built in 1967, was once the Marshall-Featherston Motor Co. where Buicks were repaired. The event space will be an upscale play on those industrial roots.

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The building at 177 North Upper that used to house the Mediation Center and other offices has been gutted and will be turned into a posh event space called Marque. It’s a venture by Kentucky Sports Radio’s Matt Jones and partners. Janet Patton

The two-story space will have about 6,000 square feet on each level and will be able to accommodate up to 200 guests. The ground floor is designed as an open flex space and lounge area; the second floor will feature a terrace with views of the downtown skyline and a large area for dining.

Besides bridal and groom suites, it will have a designated kitchen area for caterers and a bar area upstairs. Construction is expected to begin next month.

Jefferson, Jones and partners Ryan Foster, John Bruce and Cary Bruce and Seth Bennet have applied for a liquor license for the address. Bennet operates Two Keys Tavern, Pazzo’s and QP nightclub on Main Street.

Once a Buick repair shop, the Marque will have a terrace on the second floor with views of downtown. It will be across the street from The Sire boutique hotel and a few blocks from the 21c Museum Hotel. Rendering by Morris Workshop Architects

Jefferson said they bought the building when they were looking for office space for Kentucky Sports Radio. Then they decided to open a bar off South Broadway and put their office there.

They looked at developing it as apartments but ultimately decided to make it an event space and began working with event planner Shelly Fortune to help market it.

With the closing of The Livery at the end of 2019, they saw an opportunity. That popular event space on Main Street will become more offices for Gray Construction next door.

“We thought there aren’t any medium-size spaces,” he said.

Fortune agreed.

“What we’re excited about is the location,” she said. It’s across from The Sire hotel and near the 21c Museum Hotel, as well as other downtown amenities. And because it isn’t tied to a particular caterer, those who rent the space will be able to choose their own vendors, she said.

She began marketing the space at wedding shows this spring. The first event, a wedding reception, is already booked for the end of November, she said.

City Center is one of the first buildings to participate in LexLights!, a new project to light up downtown sponsored by the Downtown Lexington Partnership and the Downtown Lexington Management District.