Bellingham's Uptown Art offers place to socialize while painting

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDNovember 30, 2013 

Uptown Art

Jim Muder, carpenter at Summit Construction, pulls up masking tape, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013 at Uptown Art, 23 Bellwether Way, Suite 101, in Bellingham.

MATT MCDONALD — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD Buy Photo

A new Bellingham waterfront business will be an entertainment venue, but one where people can learn a few things about painting.

Uptown Art is scheduled to open on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 23 Bellwether Way, Suite 101. It'll be a place where customers can have a glass of wine or other beverage with friends while learning to paint in a relaxed setting, said Robert Mishkin, who owns the Bellingham studio.

The goal is to be a gathering place where people can do something without being intimidated, Mishkin said. Someone who has never painted came come in and try it.

People can sign up for events, which are usually held in the evening. Those will be guided by an accomplished painter, under a variety of themes. On Dec. 7, for example, participants will pay $39.95 to spend two to three hours learning to paint funky peacocks. Events throughout much of December feature a variety of holiday themes.

The combination of painting while socializing is becoming a popular trend: Uptown Art has more than 15 locations across the U.S. In Bellingham, Date and Paint opened earlier this year at 4071 Hannegan Road, Suite R, also offering a place for someone to socialize while painting.

Mishkin said that this format is appealing to people because it's more like entertainment than an education class.

"We compete more with the movies and theater than classes," he said.

This being a college town, Mishkin believes customers will come in a variety of age demographics. The location on Bellwether Way may attract nearby hotel guests looking for something to do in the evenings. While people are encouraged to sign up, drop-ins also are welcome.

Along with individual signups, Uptown Art will offer group events and can accommodate catering with the activity.

For more information and to sign up for events, visit uptownart.com/Bellingham or call 360-733-1471.

RAGFINERY ACCEPTING CLOTHING DONATIONS

ReUse Works is launching a company that focuses on recycling clothing.

Ragfinery will take unwanted garments and textiles and work with local artisans to create new products. The company is currently accepting clothing donations at 1421 N. Forest St., in the former D&L auto body space. Hours for donations are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday.

It's a similar model to Appliance Depot, which for years has fixed and resold old machines.

For details, call 360-738-6977 or visit ragfinery.com.

OTHER TIDBITS

- Seven Loaves Pizzeria has closed. The 7-year-old pizza place was at the Bellingham Public Market. According to a Facebook post, owner Stephen Trinkaus said it may reopen next year under new ownership.

- A new liquor license application was submitted to put in a restaurant/lounge at 1114 Harris Ave. in Bellingham, in the former Fairhaven Pub & Martini Bar space. The applicants are Peter and Vickie Logrande; the proposed name is The Fairhaven.

- Troy Strong has submitted a liquor application for a new fruit/wine distillery at 2120 Grant St., Suite 6. The proposed name is Strong Spirits.

Retail Tip Sheet runs each Sunday. Reach Business Editor Dave Gallagher at 360-715-2269 or dave.gallagher@bellinghamherald.com. Read his Business Blog at bellinghamherald.com/business-blog or follow him on Twitter at @bhamheraldbiz.

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