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The Reata Event Center: A Central Valley Showpiece
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Ann Maddox, left, and Robin Grohl opened the Reata in 2004 and have continuously been upgrading their services to meet the needs of customers. - photo by PHOTO BY RICHARD PALOMA

Take a 1920s-era abandoned brick building and add one experienced business woman with a background of interior design and one successful wedding planner and you have the foundation for a delightful venue for all occasions – The Reata in Oakdale.

Ann Maddox opened the facility dubbed, “The Valley’s Premier Event Center,” in 2004 taking a once-Dodge dealership brick structure turned restaurant-brewery and transforming it into what it is now, with a Tuscan themed garden patio and exterior, courtyard water fountains, and spacious hall.

“The Tuscan focus works,” said Maddox, who was an interior designer. “It adds elegance with an old world element.”

The Reata’s dining room is unique in that it reflects the charming character of the old classic red brick building with its high ceilings and tall windows, and features numerous elegant details with iron chandeliers, decorative lighting and a dramatic rustically adorned mirrored bar area.

In 2005, lifelong Oakdale resident and wedding planner Robin Grohl joined Maddox as the center’s event coordinator.

“When the brides come in here they love the warmth of the bricks,” Grohl said. “It’s an interesting building and has charm.”

Maddox said the chore of taking the abandoned building and grounds and making it into what it is today took several years. The wedding garden had been a dirt lot scattered with debris before being renovated into a tranquil garden piazza with a waterscape fountain.

Both women believe the setting is the ideal location for everything from intimate bridal showers and rehearsal dinners to grand weddings, receptions and a perfect venue for corporate meetings or social functions.

The Reata can accommodate indoor seating for up to 300 guests.

“In the valley, there are not a lot of nice facilities that can hold 300,” Maddox said, adding that the Reata has both heating and air conditioning that allows for year-round entertainment.

The center does their own on-site catering for the events at the location and offer a variety of extraordinary menus fashioned specifically for the complex by some of the area’s most creative chefs.

“The key people that do things here – flowers, catering, music – are Oakdale people,” Grohl said.

The Reata recently added a Mercedes Sprinter limo bus to its list of services that will allow customers to provide transportation to and from hotels or homes for themselves and guests.

The Reata is at 160 N. Third Ave. in Oakdale. The telephone number is (209) 845-9855.