By SHERIDAN CYR
Two local, small businesses have partnered up to provide “local art, local farm to fork food, local craft beer and local friends” with a little help from the Southington Chamber of Commerce in sparking the partnership.
The Hop Haus in Plantsville and the Art Studio of Connecticut held their first collaborative paint night on June 28 with great success.
“These two businesses brought their expertise together, teaching painting to beginners with a thoughtful and easy-to-follow approach, along with great food, an inspiring patio and unique craft beers,” said Hop Haus general manager Dave Evens. “The combination was a perfect evening.”
Happy painters showed off their completed projects on the patio behind the building. For many of the artists, it was their first time visiting the gastropub. Dawn Toce, owner of the Art Studio of Connecticut, said many of the painters even stayed after the event was through to grab a drink or a bite to eat.
“These are small businesses supporting each other,” said Toce. “We are not franchises—we are locally-owned businesses here in Southington, doing something unique that hasn’t been done in that area. It’s an opportunity for us to get people familiar with what we are all about, as well as draw in new customers to the Hop Haus.”
Executive chef Jakub Gorgon takes pride in his cooking, using only farm fresh ingredients to create unique, high quality dishes. For the June 28 event, guests were served mini chicken tacos and deep fried lobster ravioli with a fresh carrot puree.
The Art Studio of Connecticut opened in early May, right on the corner of West Street and West Queen Street. During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Toce said one of her goals was to be a part of the community and form relationships in town.
Both the Art Studio of Connecticut and the Hop Haus are members of the Southington Chamber of Commerce. In early June, Hop Haus owner Michael Miller and general manager Dave Evens met with Chamber director, Taylor Crofton, and indicated that they were looking to start a partnership with local artists to create beer art for décor.
“I referred them to Dawn Toce to see if they could collaborate together,” Crofton said. “It seems that they have hit it off, and are now offering joint events for the public, which is great.”
Hop Haus walls are dotted with a number of paintings created by artists from the studio that guests of the restaurant can purchase.
“That is something very exciting, because the paintings are not owned by the Hop Haus, or by the studio. It directly supports the artists,” Toce said.
The next paint night is scheduled for July 26 at 6 p.m.