Paint nights are very definitely a thing right now.
You probably have seen them advertised: A local artist sets up shop in a restaurant or bar for an evening, and then people can come to paint while they sip a beverage, have a snack and talk.
Mother-daughter team Gina Blom and Lauren Denton have taken the concept a step further, establishing a studio in downtown Turlock. Rembrandt and Rosé opened recently in the Sandia Village on North Golden State Boulevard.
Fittingly enough, the two got the idea while visiting a similar business in Lake Tahoe on Mother’s Day weekend.
“I’ve painted my whole life,” Blom said. “But who’s going to pay me to do that?”
Plenty of people, judging by the rapidly filling calendar on the business’s website. Classes and private parties fill up quickly. And, if the session I attended last week is any indication, they are a ton of fun.
“We decided to make it like our living room,” Denton said. “You come in, and you’re family. And people make new friends. We have had people who met here, and then we will see photos on Facebook of them wine-tasting together.”
Speaking of wine, that’s not something you can get at the studio, despite the “Rosé” in the name. People who sign up for private sessions can bring their own, something that has seemed popular since the opening day. That also allows Blom and Denton to have alcohol-free events for children, including one scheduled Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m.
“It’s really cool to see people come in and just let go, and get out of their box,” Denton said.
But how’s the final product?
Though “90 percent of the people who come in here have never put a brush to canvas,” Blom said, “all the paintings turn out decent.”
It’s enough to keep people coming back – already, the business has repeat customers.
“Business has been great, due to our legendary hospitality and our comedic relief,” Blom said, laughing. “And we’re a couple of pretty good artists, too.”
ELSEWHERE AROUND THE BUSINESS BEAT: McDonald’s is commemorating the back-to-school season with a free breakfast for students.
Participating Modesto-area McDonald’s restaurants will serve a free breakfast to kindergarten through eighth-grade students Tuesday from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. Students must be accompanied by an adult and will receive an Egg McMuffin, apple slices and a carton of low-fat milk, all at no cost.
▪ Good news/bad news for a longtime McHenry Avenue restaurant: You may have noticed – as our City Hall reporter, Kevin Valine, and my former boss Mark Vasché did – that there is work going on at 1445 McHenry. This site has been home to a number of restaurants; for many years, it was a Lyons, then a Scramblz and, most recently, The Lion.
City records show there are plans to convert the site to a conference center. The plans are still in the preliminary stage, but it looks as if the days of getting bacon and eggs – or a beer and a burger – there are over.