With a champagne toast and a ceremonial ribbon-cutting, the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall’s new outdoor deck was unveiled last Friday, Feb. 2. Formally named the Friends of the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall (FOPVCH) Terrace, the deck will serve as an extension of the concert hall’s current concessions area.
Attendees of the event included local officials, Chamber of Commerce representatives and members of the FOPVCH, and each had the opportunity to indulge in drinks, hors d’oeuvres and offerings from food trucks as they explored the new terrace.
“I want to thank everyone who came out tonight, especially the members of the Friends of the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, without whose generosity this new deck wouldn’t be possible,” FOPVCH President Steve Gard said. “Our group took about a year to raise $50,000 to build this deck. It took about two months to build, and it’s going to add about 925 square feet to the lounge area of the concert hall.”
With the intention of adding a full outdoor bar to the terrace, a request for a permit to allow the outdoor sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages on the property was recently submitted to the Planning and Zoning Division of St. Johns County. If approved, the bar would help to decrease the noise level in the indoor concessions area during concerts.
“Our lounge area gets rather crowded at times, when we have sold out shows here,” Gard explained. “It also gets rather noisy at times, which can disturb the people inside the auditorium, so this will give people a place where they can socialize, talk, have a drink and something to eat while they’re here for a show, and not disturb the people that are listening to the music.”
Gard also advised that the new non-smoking, outdoor concessions area is not the last of the improvements the FOPVCH has planned for the concert hall.
“What we want to do is raise $4 million to complete the upstairs here, which will add about 250 seats to our capacity. … If we increase our capacity to that level, we can start bringing in the kind of artists that you’ll see in Daily’s Place, at the Amphitheatre or at the Florida Theatre. We can have that right here in Ponte Vedra.”
St. Johns County Commissioner Jimmy Johns, who announced last week that he will be running for the congressional District 6 seat currently held by Rep. Ron DeSantis, expressed his gratitude and support for all the strides being made locally to broaden the county’s cultural landscape.
“Think about it,” he said. “We live in a place that people will save for years to come to visit for a week. They save their entire lives to retire here, but we live here. That is something to celebrate. Thank you for what you are doing to make St. Johns County special.”