Cocoa Village’s Bottles & Brushes Mixes Creativity With Fun
By Derek Suomi // February 24, 2013
Across From Murdocks
BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA VILLAGE – Long known as a haven for the artistically inclined, a new business in Cocoa Village is giving everyone the chance to get creative and give painting a try.
Bottles & Brushes, located across the street from Murdock’s Bistro at 115 Maryland Avenue, is the idea of local businessmen Alex Armstrong and Todd Jennings.
The business offers an instructor-led painting class in which groups of 10 to 20 people are guided in replicating the evening’s predetermined painting.
The experience that Bottles & Brushes is able to provide differs greatly from that of a stuffy instructional or classroom environment.
Not only do they take an unpretentious approach to painting, but they are also licensed to sell beer and wine. It’s a factor that makes Bottles & Brushes part art house, part wine bar and all fun for everyone.
“It’s a very laid back environment, we don’t try to push painting well. It’s more about having a good time with your friends than painting a masterpiece” said Armstrong.
Upon arrival, guests are greeted in the quaint storefront lobby by hostess Allyson Burgess and the evening’s painting instructor.
They are then led into a larger room with two long tables. The tables are outfitted with individual painting stations complete with an easel, a canvas, paints and paint brushes.
The class is leisurely led by local artist Lori Prell.
A veteran painter, Prell has her own studio in Cocoa Village, the Lorene Prell Studio. Her work can be seen in much of the signage and shops dotting Brevard Avenue.
The canvases come pre-stenciled, strictly as a means of “making sure everyone has something decent to take home at the end of every class,” said Armstrong.
Though there’s no denying that performing creative tasks like painting can cause some people tension, the emphasis is really on having fun.
Bottles & Brushes makes sure the whole process is a lighthearted evening of conversation and creativity.
Patrons paint playfully to the sounds of cool jazz music while Armstrong or Burgess see that neither your paints nor your libations run dry.
The idea for Bottles & Brushes was inspired by a visit that Jennings took to a similar place in Kentucky over Christmas.
“He had such a good time with his family that he came back and made me go to one with him,” said Armstrong.
After experiencing things for himself, it was apparent to Armstrong that this type of business would fit perfectly with the artsy vibe of Cocoa Village.
Open since last May, Bottles & Brushes is already doing their part to help out the community.
At 3 p.m. Aug. 4, Bottles & Brushes will host a special session called “Painting for Paws.”
For more information about Bottles & Brushes, visit their website at http://www.bottlesandbrushescocoa.com/ or call 321-400-8333.