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  • Writer's pictureClarice MacGarvey

Banking on Events & Overnight Stays, Exmore Social Hall and Loft Airbnb Open on Main Street

Yes. There is an exciting, stylish new place to host receptions, musical performances and other special events, with ideal spaces to gather friends for a one-of-a-kind party and even stay overnight. And it's right in the center of downtown, on the corner of Main Street & Bank Avenue, with its own outdoor cafe and patio plaza out front. Welcome Exmore Social Hall and Bank Loft Airbnb!

When entrepreneurs and artisans Jen Downey and Matt Rodhle, first looked at the former People's Trust Bank building in the heart of Exmore, they quickly saw the possibilities. They purchased the two-story brick structure in 2021, and with pizazz, panache and imagination, transformed it into multi-use spaces that are warm, inviting and adaptable for any occasion or special use, from weddings and receptions to jazz or poker nights.

Jen and Matt led the repurposing of the building, selecting furnishings from local resale boutiques and antique stores for a classic look and bespoke elegance throughout, accented by touches of whimsy in the upstairs loft Airbnb. Think billowy curtains framing sleeping areas, and glass doors demarking a closet--or a tin tub in the shower stall. (plus more).

The main event hall (1,000 sq feet) retains key features from the 1950s-era bank. How many venues have a walk-in vault and windows that reach up to a ceiling 20' overhead? An outside stairway leads to the 800 square foot Bank Loft accommodations (pictured below) and well-equipped kitchenette.

You could say the project started in 2021 with the opening of Carpe Donut on the bank building's patio/plaza. But the impetus might have been a sailboat.

Since 2007, Matt & Jen have been creating organic donuts from scratch in their shop in Charlottesville, Virginia. They had a sailboat. The search for just the right place to "home" the boat led them to the Eastern Shore. Exmore, with its good location (easy access to multiple harbors and waterways), no-nonsense, hometown feeling, and genuine friendliness captured their attention. They moved to Exmore, replicated their Carpe Donut business here, then followed through on their vision to fill an existing gap in the Town's hospitality options.

The two underscore the point that they are creating spaces for local residents and their guests, as well as visitors to the shore. One aspect of Exmore that immediately appealed to Jen and Matt is that this is not a touristy town, but a relaxed community with a slower pace and hometown ambiance. "We want our Social Hall to reflect that, Local is important to us," said Jen. "We buy local, use locally produced ingredients for our cafe menu offerings and encourage local performers, families, organizations and event organizers to come and use our Social Hall."

About Matt & Jen: Matt is a former caterer and restaurant owner (among other career paths) and Jen combines a talent for Airbnb owner/management with sucess as best-selling author of novels for young adults. (Check out the Ninja Librarian series available on Amazon and locally at Walmart).




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