'We don't have the ability to pivot': Downtown Chandler's SoHo63 grapples with COVID-19 closure

SoHo63, an event venue in downtown Chandler, was forced to close its doors during the coronavirus. (Courtesy SoHo63)
SoHo63, an event venue in downtown Chandler, was forced to close its doors during the coronavirus. (Courtesy SoHo63)

SoHo63, an event venue in downtown Chandler, was forced to close its doors during the coronavirus. (Courtesy SoHo63)

For event venues such as SoHo63 in downtown Chandler, social distancing due to the coronavirus has put a halt to business. Owner Megan Schmidt said the business has gotten creative with showing potential clients the event space by using video calls and utilizing that same technology to keep planning future events with clients.

"We have halted events; we don't have the ability to pivot," Schmidt said. "We do groupings and events and gatherings—not having the ability for people to meet and gather and socialize puts a little damper on our business."

Schmidt said several weddings scheduled to take place in March or April at SoHo63 have been postponed due to COVID-19.

"It’s incredibly sad; couples plan for so incredibly long to have their wedding that they've planned for," Schmidt said. "To have it taken away from them in a week or two or five days, it's heartbreaking."

Schmidt said so far none of the couples have canceled their weddings but have postponed for later in the summer or early fall.


"We are just kind of hitting the pause button in postponing versus canceling; we are just going to freeze for the next eight weeks," she said. "People are devastated, and it's understandable. One thing I think all our couples and our team understands is we aren't alone. It's not an us problem; it's an everyone problem. We all have to do our part for ourselves, for the community and the world."

For couples rescheduling their weddings, Schmidt said postponing is the best thing they can do to keep the day they had envisioned.

"As more and more things close or become modified, it becomes not the wedding weekend they had dreamt about," she said.

As for SoHo63, Schmidt said weddings, parties and events that had been booked farther out than April or May are still proceeding as normal, and the business is staying busy by planning for those events with those clients.

She said she hopes, in order to help the business, people prebook their events as much as possible.

"I think there is a huge fear of purchasing anything large, so we are reducing down deposits," Schmidt said. "And we are still seeing couples book for next year."

Schmidt is remaining as optimistic as possible throughout the uncertainty.

"The world will come back again," Schmidt said. "The world will resume again."

SoHo63 is located at 63 E. Boston St. in Chandler.



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