22 Mar

Monarch Events Center Opening in Monticello, IL

Let light filter in on guests through gorgeous stained-glass windows. Gather around beautiful handmade tables sourced from original building materials. Get ready for your special event in a newly renovated “Bride’s Room.” Allow your band to take the stage and dance the night away on the original heartwood pine floors. Where is this place? No need to travel. It is right here in Monticello, IL.  Monarch Brewing Company, formerly the United Methodist church is transitioning to a new life and re-opening as Monarch Events Center.

“When we purchased the old Methodist church building back in 2016, our goal was to make it a gathering place for the community,” says Matt Miller resident of Monticello, IL. “And in this next phase of the building’s life, it will continue to bring to life the original vision. That is important to us, and we are happy to announce that the location is now open for booking summer and fall events as state regulations allow.”

In 2016 Miller worked to renovate the building with ample help from family and friends. “It was truly a community effort. From removing the red carpet to leveling and restoring the old sanctuary floor, a lot of heart went into that transformation. Tables are made from old floor joists and the original stained-glass windows have been preserved. We worked hard to respect the beauty of the building and the historic significance of the location to the community.”

In 2019, Miller received the Heritage Award from the Preservation and Conservation Association (PACA) to recognize the effort to maintain and preserve the historical building. He comments, “The space deserves that appreciation. It is a beautiful building, and it was an honor to have the opportunity to nurture that space while respecting the past.”

Monarch Brewing Company served the local community as a brew pub, but like many restaurants and breweries, the pandemic made operations difficult. “The place is made for large crowds and, of course, that was not safely possible this past year,” explains Miller. “But even though the site has been closed, we have been busy!”

During its recent downtime during the pandemic, under the direction of local contractors, renovations have continued. Miller explains, “We did a deep clean of the facilities, worked with Monticello stained glass artists Chris and Lynn Corie to further restore and protect the beautiful windows, and finally, under the direction of local designer, Lisa Sheppard and local carpentry artist, Steve Collins, transformed the old game room into a ‘Bride’s Room’.”

It should be a lovely space for a bridal party to gather and bond before a wedding ceremony,” explains Sarah Probst Miller, Matt Miller’s wife and partner on the venture.

“Can the space be used for community events and fundraisers or corporate events? Absolutely! Can holiday parties, galas, class reunions, church gatherings, or funeral dinners be scheduled? Sure,” explains Probst Miller. “While we are renovating the space to be especially appealing for a wedding ceremony and all the gatherings around that special day, we want this space to continue to be a great place for our community to gather, celebrate, support each other. We are hopeful as the pandemic starts to calm down that Monarch Events Center can be a great place for all of us to safely gather, reconnect, and celebrate.”

So, who do you contact to book the place? “Well, not us,” laughs Probst Miller. “Our goal for the space was to minimize our personal involvement and coordinate with a company that could run the show, and free us up to focus on our other businesses,” she explains.  Probst Miller is a veterinarian who runs AgCreate Solutions, Inc an ag education and media firm here in Monticello, IL while Matt Miller co-owns an engineering firm in Denver, CO.

The company that will coordinate the scheduling and catering for events at Monarch Events Center is Nelson’s Catering, Inc. “We specialize in catering corporate events, weddings, galas, social gatherings and fundraisers, but no event is too big or too small!” explains Ashley Oare who will be the representative coordinating events at Monarch Events Center. She adds, “Our sales staff and culinary team work together to craft custom menus while our lead caterers work to execute a smooth and successful event for you. We have over twenty-five years of experience in full-service catering in Central Illinois and we are thrilled to add this gorgeous and unique space to the locations we serve.”

When people want to book the space, all they need to do is go to the website at and fill in the contact form. The contact form will put you in touch with a representative from Nelsons who will handle all scheduling and catering needs.