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A new Madras gathering place, The Spot, to include restaurant and event center, expected to open this fall

(Update: adding video, comments from project officials, KTVZ.COM Poll)

MADRAS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Construction in Madras of a new tap-house restaurant, The Spot, and amphitheater, the John Brown Event Center, is three months in the making and on track for a fall opening.

As of now, construction has gone vertical, with framing taking place. The facilities are set to open in late October or early November.

Project managers told NewsChannel 21 this week they’re at the early stages of development, with vertical framing underway.

"Next phase will be ... roofing assembly, siding and doors," said Logan Williams, project manager.

Williams says the venue offers a place for the community to gather -- which inspired its name. 

"In the '50s, it was called 'the spot,' and so those are the places that people gathered. And that's really the heart behind what we're doing," says Tara Arnold, media director for The Spot.

Arnold says the John Brown amphitheater also holds historical significance, being named after the first African-American to move to and homestead in Central and Eastern Oregon. 

"He was such a innovator and such a big figure that we wanted to name the event center after him," Arnold said. "In 2014, the Oregon Geographic Names Board actually named the area's canyon John Brown Canyon. So, it's just there's a rich and storied history there."

Patrons can expect a 3,100 square foot facility and three food carts. The Spot will include heated fire seating and second-story balcony seating.

"I know there's nothing like this in Madras," says Williams. "The other areas where people have had food carts and small bars and restaurants have proven very successful."

The 3,300-square-foot John Brown amphitheater will be next to the restaurant and will hold 300 people. The hope is to give Central Oregon more accessibility to the rest of the state by offering passes to exclusive events, discounts on Portland Trail Blazers tickets, and AirBNBs. 

"Then an apparel discount, membership festival tickets and obviously there's the grand prize, which is a $5,000 cash prize. There's going to be a drawing for the membership," Arnold said. "There'll be also a discount on beverages, canned beverages, both alcoholic, non-alcoholic, and the program."

It will even give 10% of the membership fees back to community arts programs in the Madras area. 

Food carts have not been fully secured, so the ownership encourages local food cart businesses to reach out through Facebook.

"So I just love the heart behind The Spot," Arnold said. "It's just to, like, bring everyone together, and also just use those funds to help the next generation of arts and sports."

The Spot is expected to be open late October or early November.

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Matthew Draxton

Matthew Draxton is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Matthew here.


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