It’s not often that you come across a gallery that seconds as a bar, and vice versa. Yes, there are time when a gallery has a show, and the drinks start flowing. Just as there are times when a bar hangs a show on the wall, allowing visitors to appreciate some art. But truly combining the two is rarely done, to the extent that Revolution Gallery has managed to accomplish.
Revolution Gallery is a true mashup between art and events, while functioning as a bar at the same time. Since opening, the galley has held a number of events and activities, including evenings dedicated to yoga, burlesque, comedy, live music (Italian 60s beat pop courtesy of Baci E Ceci), and lots and lots of incredible art.
A little over a week ago, I was hanging out with some friends on Hertel when we heard that DJ Dr. Wisz was “in the house”, so we hustled over to catch up with him. Mark was spinning for one of the gallery’s Retro Rewind events. Upon walking into the “gallery”, we were all amazed to find that it appeared to be more of a neighborhood hangout – something that you might expect to see in a European city. Inside the gallery, people were dancing to 80s and 90s alternative, punk, industrial and new wave, while others were sitting around a super quaint bar stationed in the back. It was fabulous.
“It’s the 5th Retro Rewind event,” Wisz told me. “It is once a month. The next one hasn’t been scheduled yet, but the owners should know shortly… it’s an ongoing series with with numerous musicians taking part. It’s a great little scene, and it’s always fun for me to play the underground 80s-90s tunes, when my revolution comes around.”
The next day, a bunch of us were still talking about how much fun we had. So much fun, that I decided to reach out to gallery owners Craig and Maria Pabico LaRotonda, to ask them about their unusual concept, which really should not be that unusual. “Our bar is open during our business hours; and for all our events,” said Maria. “We have a beer and wine license, and serve small plates of food. People can head to our website for our event listings. I have a bunch of September and October events to list, and will be posting later today (Monday, August 21), so stay tuned. Our next art opening is a group exhibit titled INTERFUSION – Friday, September 15th and we have another Retro Rewind coming up – a show with David Kane, Blue Rocket Trio; Baci e Ceci; Soul Butchers, as an opening reception for a North Park movie premiere, etc.”
Revolution Gallery is another great addition to Hertel Avenue. It’s more of an adult playground infused with art, for people who appreciate throwback music, or tunes with European flair. The venue perfectly ties into the direction that Hertel is going, and offers a completely different vibe that is deeply appreciated by a segment of the population that once enjoyed heading out and dancing, but now has a hard time finding a place that accommodates this type of music and chill scene.
I would think that the addition of a bar, serving light food, also makes good business sense. Gallery ownership can be tough, a bit like feast or famine. Being able to have a supplementary source of “income” has got to help get this type of culturally oriented business through the dryer times. And heck, someone might just walk in for a drink and a dance, and walk out with a work of art under an arm.
Lead image: Photographer Steve Volpe