Stone River celebrates successful first month with Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting
After sitting empty for nearly four years, the former New Orleans Riverfront Restaurant has been given a facelift and new life. This summer, the space was transformed into the Midlands’ newest restaurant and all-purpose event venue, Stone River.
Co-owner Chris McCutchan and General Manager Jay Beneventano welcomed local dignitaries and residents Thursday for a ribbon cutting ceremony organized by the West Metro Chamber of Commerce. The duo was eager to show off their hard work, which many already have enjoyed since Stone River’s grand opening this August.
“It’s been an honor to be a part of this project,” Beneventano said.
The space has come a long way since Beneventano and McCutchan had the idea in March to revitalize the unused building. They initially were just looking for a place for their church to meet, but McCutchan said the vision grew into more than they’d hoped.
“This is so much bigger than an event space,” he said. “It all came together.”
In fact, the Stone River team aims to use a portion of the proceeds to be a “business on mission” for local and global causes.
“We want to give back, be a great venue and a great restaurant,” McCutchan said.
Stone River hosted its first event just 10 weeks after the lease was signed in May. Multiple concerts and benefit events already have been held there. With a view of the river, indoor and outdoor seating space and brand-new furnishings, the location is touted as being ideal for weddings and numerous other special occasions.
West Columbia Mayor Joe Owens commended Beneventano and McCutchan for seeing the potential in the restaurant space on Alexander Road and bringing something new to the community.
“I never believed it’d turn out as nice as it did,” he said.
Visiting from across the river, Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin was equally happy to welcome Stone River to the area.
“We’re excited to consider this a piece of Columbia,” he said.
Stone River is open for lunch between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on weekdays. The restaurant also is accepting event bookings at (803) 451-0044. More information on upcoming concerts and events can be found on Stone River’s Facebook page.