Huffs haul in governor for new ‘Hall on Ash’ premier

John and Wendy Huff stand outside of their new venue. (Brendan LaChance, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Old Yellowstone District in Casper has a new venue.

It is called “The Hall on Ash” and Governor Mark Gordon will be there for its first event, the Saturday, Sept. 7 “ENGAGE Summit 2019.”

“The governor is scheduled to speak,” says John Huff. “This is our very first event so we cleaned it up and barely got ready in time.”

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John and Wendy Huff purchased the building about a year ago. While they are not quite finished with all aspects of the building’s make-over, they already have multiple event’s booked.

(Brendan LaChance, Oil City)

“We bought it and started tearing it apart,” John said on Thursday. “It’s had a bunch of businesses here. In the late 60s, early 70s it was a Milo’s Toyota.”

It also housed Westridge Carpet and, most recently, Ka-Larks Gymnastics.

“There’s not a venue this size downtown,” John adds.

The Huffs also own the nearby Yellowstone Garage, which will be able to provide both food and liquor catering to events at the new venue.

“We already have Wyoming Opera booked several dates,” Wendy chimes in. “We have two burlesque shows booked and a couple weddings.”

The Hall on Ash will also host concerts.

Looking down from upstairs “parlor” space. The upstairs still needs to be finished but will be a place for brides and bridesmaids to retreat. (Brendan LaChance, Oil City)

“We have Harley & the V-Twins on October 26,” Wendy says, adding that an earlier concert on Oct. 19 will feature three different bands.

The Huff’s have also hired a new chef to work with their existing chef at the Yellowstone Garage.

“We call him ‘Chef Bob,'” John says of Bob Henry. “He’s a good dude. We’ve got a really nice event catering menu now which we think is going to be a big deal.”

“He’d been with John Johnson’s restaurants,” Wendy adds. “He’s really brought a lot to the table.”

But if people prefer to book other caterers for their events at The Hall on Ash, that will be just fine.

“If the bride has her heart set on Silver Fox, we’re not opposed to having other people come and cater food,” Wendy says.

While the building is ready to open its doors for the governor, it will still get some more work.

“We still have quite a a ways to go,” Wendy says.

“The building’s shell is all we kept,” John adds. “All new everything.”

They’ve already torn down upper level parts of the building’s previous layout and removed the paint to reveal the original reddish brick below.

That took 300 gallons of environmentally friendly paint remover. The old lead-based paint was disposed at hazardous waste sections of the landfill.

A new central air system has been added to ensure the temperature is comfortable for guests all seasons of the year. All new electrical wiring, a fire suppression system and new men’s and women’s restrooms have been added as well.

(Brendan LaChance, Oil City)

“The ceiling is actually canvas so it will absorb sound; some acoustic planning went into that,” John says.

Future work will focus on the building’s front facade. New cement landings will be added around the building along with new landscaping and fencing to make the outside a nice place to gather as well.

“It’ll be a fun space, with shade and greenery,” John says.

Wendy is excited about an upstairs parlor that will be added which can be used as space for brides to get ready and relax.

The Huffs say there is plenty of available parking in the area and add that the City of Casper says they can work with the venue to close off the public lot next door during events.

New lighting above mirrors in one of the restrooms. (Brendan LaChance, Oil City)

The project has taken about a year so far.

“I have a fairly small crew and try not to take on debt,” John says. “I’ve got real good trades guys I work with.”

Until a new website for The Hall on Ash is launched, people can book event’s through the Yellowstone Garage’s page.

They can also call 307-262-7256 for information and booking.

The Hall on Ash is located at 355 South Ash Street in Casper.

(Brendan LaChance, Oil City)