Whether out for a big meal or just a sip of coffee, you won't have to stare at a blank wall, your date, or worst of all, a framed print by a wannabe artist. Many restaurants and eateries make use of their walls by opening them up to artists and curators.
- File photo
- Douglas Rouse
Two that keep a fairly rigorous rotation: The Warehouse (thewarehouserestaurant.com) and Phantom Canyon Brewing Co. (phantomcanyon.com). Phantom owes its gallery status to OpticalReverb, run by curator Jason Zacharias. He develops shows for the space, drawing from a canon of local artists specializing in anything from graffiti art to portraiture.
Cucuru Gallery Café (cucuru.santuario.com) serves delicious food in the back half of the refreshing and homey gallery. It promotes a focus on Cuban artists but has shown solo exhibits by impressive locals, such as Ellen O'Brien.
For some new spots, head to Monument for Wisdom Tea House (wisdomteahouse.com) and Second Street Art Market and Wine Bar (secondstreetart.com). Wisdom opened just this year and serves a large array of tea, snack items and pies, to go along with paintings by locals such as Lance Green and Dan Fraley. Second Street has expanded its menu to include not only wine and tapas, but full-fledged meals to accompany its paintings, jewelry and pottery.