The Gainesville Arts Studio, owned by Iris Coe-Gross and her husband, opens its doors tonight on South Main Street with an Artwalk reception that includes paintings by Aaron D. Coe, live music and refreshments.
The downtown brewery is stepping up to the plate this holiday season by throwing a benefit concert on Friday to help three employees whose jobs went up in flames during a recent fire behind Satchel’s Pizza.
Longtime customers at Satchel’s Pizza recognize Jordan Borstelmann as the bartender donning a kilt, a bushy beard and a huge smile. For more than five years, he poured drinks and served food in Lightnin’ Salvage, the entertainment venue and gift shop/toy store situated directly behind the Gainesville pizza joint at 1800 NE 23rd Ave.
On Monday, Dec. 5, a fire engulfed Lightnin’ Salvage and destroyed one of Gainesville’s most iconic hangout spots, where collections of dead butterflies and pine cones shared a home with artwork made from recycled cameras, cellphones and other household items.
The blaze, which occurred when the restaurant was closed, also left Borstelmann, 36, and fellow Satchel’s employees Danny Lore and Judy Keathley out of jobs.
However, thanks to the generosity of First Magnitude Brewing Co., Borstelmann and his co-workers should still be able to enjoy the holiday season and beyond.
On Friday from 4-10 p.m., the brewery at 1220 SE Veitch St. will sponsor a benefit concert to raise funds for the three Satchel’s employees while Lightnin’ Salvage is being rebuilt.
“It’s a little surreal,” Borstelmann said. “You don’t stop to realize how much people care until something like this happens.”
Nava Ottenberg and Eric Bushnell will be among the artists showcased tonight during Artwalk Gainesville. They will have an opening reception at the DNA by the Hand of Man Gallery.
If not for Nava Ottenberg and Eric Bushnell, it’s quite likely that downtown Gainesville would be void of public artwork. Together, they were instrumental in the installation of 22 sculptures that grace the sidewalks and courtyard of Union Street Station and the Sun Center.
Tonight, Ottenberg and Bushnell will collaborate again — this time for an art exhibition of their own works. An opening reception will take place for their show at the DNA by the Hand of Man Gallery, 218 NW 2nd Ave.
Ottenberg will display 40 of her paintings, many of which were created during a three-month visit to Italy earlier this year. Bushnell, a metal fabricator, will display nine sculptures he fashioned out of steel, aluminum and other materials.
“The exhibit is my way of thanking these two wonderful artists for all they have done for beautifying our community,” said Gerard Bencen, a lawyer who opened the DNA by the Hand of Man Gallery earlier this year.
The exhibit is one of the highlights of Artwalk Gainesville, which is taking place at 16 galleries and art spaces tonight around the downtown area. The self-guided tour combines visual art, live performances and other events.
Three longtime Gainesville area chefs — all related — are combining their talents to open Piper Gi’s, specializing in hand-crafted soups and sandwiches. The restaurant will open for business in mid-December.
Take three chefs with almost 50 years combined culinary experience, put them together in a restaurant kitchen with quality ingredients and their imaginations, and — voila! — you have the recipe for success.
At least that is what Jacob Riesch, Tommy Newman and Shanti Riesch-Newman anticipate when they open Piper Gi’s later this month at 204 SW 2nd Ave., next door to High Dive. Riesch-Newman said the eatery is shooting for a Dec. 14 soft opening and a Dec. 15 grand opening.
The carryout restaurant, with a tropical decor that extends to its pastel-colored picnic tables, will specialize in hand-crafted sandwiches, soups, salads and side dishes.
“I would say that we’re bringing the love back to sandwiches and the love back to food and to actual cooking,” said Shanti Riesch-Newman, executive chef at Emiliano’s Cafe for the past five and a half years.
Have you taken a look around downtown Gainesville lately? New eateries and other small businesses are opening on an almost-weekly basis. Fascinating exhibits are on display at museums and galleries. Memorable performances are taking place at local theaters.
There is also excitement in the air with the opening of Depot Park and the reopening of Bo Diddley Plaza this year. People are gathering downtown like never before.
Simply put, downtown Gainesville is a better place today than it was a year ago not because of large corporations and big money, but because of individuals who are passionate about what they do.
Today we recognize some of the individuals who have made and continue to make downtown Gainesville worth visiting and enjoying. (We have listed them alphabetically so as not to show favoritism, but we love them all!)
If we have left someone out, our apologies. Please let us know who also deserves our thanks! Continue reading
The bar and nightclub on Southwest 1st Avenue will close its doors following Saturday night’s one final burlesque show.
The owners of Market Street Pub & Cabaret, home to weekly burlesque shows and an eclectic mix of other entertainment for the past two years, have decided not to renew their lease.
The club at 112 SW 1st Ave., next door to Loosey’s, will close Saturday night after the Market Street Revue burlesque troupe performs one final time under that name.
“It’s going to be sad,” said Market Street Pub co-owner Tony Grezlik, who said it cost upward of $10,000 a month to run the place. “Money is the biggest issue.”
Grezlik and Jill Dumas took over the location in March 2015 and were determined to take the historic building and create a bar space where performance art thrived. They succeeded by lining up burlesque acts, circus sideshow acts, aerialists, magicians, puppeteers, comedians, live bands and singing troupes.
The only problem, Grezlik said, was that people generally visited Market Street Pub only during shows and didn’t patronize the bar at other times. Karaoke and trivia nights never generated strong interest. Also, a weekly comedy show struggled to find an audience.
“If we didn’t have a show, that space did not make money,” he said.
Are you sure about building that wall? In the past two weeks, a pair of family-owned eateries have expanded downtown Gainesville’s dining options well beyond our borders.
Unbeknownst to each other, two determined couples spent the long, hot summer putting love, sweat and tears into a pair of dining establishments that are now helping to give downtown Gainesville more of an international flair.
Alpin, a French bistro owned by Romain and Sita Marlier Challandes, opened earlier this month at 15 SW 2nd St., in a space formerly occupied by the Motor Room lounge.
Tamal, a storefront tamale shop owned by Nicholas and Rachel Iannelli, is now open for business four days a week at 439 Main St., in the complex that also includes the Civic Media Center and Wild Iris Books.
“This is Mom and Pop comfort food — nothing fancy,” Rachel Iannelli said about her 15-seat eatery that opens at noon Thursday through Sunday and closes each day whenever the last tamale is sold.
During the first two weeks of operation, Tamal has sold out of that day’s supplies of handmade tamales by 5 p.m.
The new café/bakery at Bo Diddley Plaza will have a grand-opening celebration on Tuesday morning with giveaways and a special cupcake as a fundraiser for Pace Center for Girls.
Downtown Gainesville finally has a cafe dedicated to providing coffee and tasty breakfast items six mornings a week. Patticakes opened last week in a brand-new building on the northeast corner of Bo Diddley Plaza, at 185 E. University Ave.
“I think working professionals appreciate the ability to enjoy a good breakfast before heading to the office,” said Erin Leigh Patterson, whose parents, Jan and David Patterson, have operated Patticakes at Haile Plantation Village Center for the past five years.
The new Patticakes, adjacent to Alachua County Civil Justice Center, also serves paninis, cold sandwiches, salad, baked goods and ice cream throughout the day and evening.
On Tuesday, Patticakes will celebrate its grand opening with a 9 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Gainesville City Manager Anthony Lyons and other dignitaries. Those attending will be able to sample coffees and breakfast goodies. There will be hourly giveaways of coffee and merchandise.
A “Toast to Patticakes” will take place from 5-7 p.m. with free mini-cupcakes being handed out. Also, Patticakes will be selling a special Mocha Cappuccino Crunch cupcake all day for $3.50 that includes a free small house coffee. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Pace Center for Girls.
V Pizza, which opened last week in a prime spot in downtown Gainesville, has gone to great lengths to bring authentic Neapolitan-style pizza to town. All the way to Italy, in fact.
Most everyone can agree that Gainesville has its share of pretty decent pizza joints. After all, this is a college town, where pizza plays an essential role at the top of many students’ food pyramid.
Now we’re pleased to report that downtown Gainesville has a great pizza restaurant.
V Pizza is the new guy on the block, and it’s a premium location at 115 SE 1st St., on the ground floor of the Hampton Inn in the large, open space formerly occupied by Vello’s.
“When you think of pizza, you think of greasy and fattening, right?” said Matt Kepp, executive chef for V Pizza. “With our pizza, you can eat the whole pie and feel good about eating it.”
That’s because V Pizza uses only premium ingredients with no preservatives and chemicals. Better yet, the dough, cheese, tomato sauce and most other toppings have Italian connections.
And everything the restaurant cooks, including piping-hot calzone and stromboli, is baked in massive wood-fired ovens made from clay molds and soil from the base of Mount Vesuvius. Yes, that Mount Vesuvius!
“We get the ovens up to 900 degrees, and that allows us to cook our pizzas in 90 seconds,” Kepp said. “The intense heat allows the pizza dough to puff up and become nice and airy. It all translates into great flavor.”