By: Catherine Pierson | Photography: Laura Baker
Are you looking for a unique place to hang out with friends over the summer? Maybe you think the bar scene of downtown Athens has become overrated with a nasty smell of old Burnett’s shots scattered across the floor. The pool is always a fun atmosphere, but rain is a frequent occurrence throughout the summer, so why not try something new and creative?
ARTini’s is the place you want to be. Its location on West Broad Street allows you to continue to experience the popular nightlife of downtown Athens without the crowds. ARTini’s is exactly what it sounds like and a business that specializes in art and alcohol.
“It’s time to do something I love every day, and it’s time to use the gift I was given to give back,” says Kate Cook, ARTini’s owner/artist instructor. “It excites me to share art and bring it to everyone.”
ARTini’s is not just a business, but also a passion. Once you step inside, you will realize the hard work that Cook puts in for everyone to feel the same way as she does about art.
“I thought ARTini’s was a great combination of fun and chill with a side of cat[s],” says Ridley Griggs, a graduate student majoring in health policy and management from Cornelia.
ARTini’s is not just filled with paintbrushes, canvases and a lounge. Cats roam the place too. Penelope is one of the two cats that meet you at the door as you walk in. The cats are friendly and enjoy helping you paint, putting their little paws into the paint water. It is the perfect place to make some new furry friends.
The instructors are all very encouraging and take you step by step with every stroke and color of paint. The paint, brushes and canvases are all included in the cost. You don’t even have to clean up before leaving. The instructors use acrylic paint that dries very quickly, so you can take your painting home that same night. Then, when your beautiful painting is hanging on the wall, all of your friends will wonder, “How did you do that?” ARTini’s is a great place to show off your skills and abilities to everyone at home.
“I felt like I really did learn something,” says Sarah Ellen Williams, a junior biology major from Macon. “I would definitely go back and bring my mom because she would love it because it has her two favorite things: painting and wine.”
ARTini’s is great for when your parents and siblings make a visit. The atmosphere is better with a group because it is fun comparing each other’s paintings as the process goes along. People of all ages can enjoy painting and the process takes about two hours, which can then turn into a full night of fun. A girl’s night is definitely recommended at ARTini’s.
“If you’re looking for a chill place with cool beer and air conditioning, it’s the right place,” says Sami Netherton, a junior biology major from Alpharetta. “Plus, the free cups at the end were awesome for bringing to the pool.”
So next time you and your friends are bored or just looking for something new and fun to do, go check ARTini’s out, play with some adorable cats and even get a souvenir. Your time will not be wasted and you will be wondering why you hadn’t visited this place sooner.