208 Greenwood Ave.
Bethel, CT 06801
Tucked into a small but busy shopping center in picturesque Bethel, Connecticut, Plain Jane’s Restaurant is an intimate space for people who really enjoy good food. It is said that people eat with their eyes first. That explains why the dishes prepared by the owners of Plain Jane’s take such pride in the presentation of their food. Perhaps because this business has always supported the arts and has its gallery throughout the restaurant, both the food and the art being exhibited make for a memorable dining experience. This restaurant is a favorite in the community and draws foodies as well as art aficionados. The exhibitions change every two months and include works from renowned local painters, sculptors, potters and more.
The Atticus Book Store
1082 Chapel St.
New Haven, CT 06510
A thriving business located in the middle of the Yale University campus in New Haven, this bookstore is a Connecticut landmark. Opened for business in 1976, it not only is an independent bookstore, but it features a café and baked goods that are simply scrumptious. If there’s one thing that tops eating fine food while reading everything from classics to pop culture, it’s being surrounded by art. Yes, the Atticus Book Store also has a gallery in its café and features a new exhibit every six weeks. It is in this warm and friendly environment that artists like Mary McCarthy get to display their works.
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Celebrations Tea Room
330 Pomfret St.
Pomfret Center, CT 06259
Celebrations is a unique business that combines a tea room with a gift shop and an art gallery. The tea room is special because it features a themed tea each month. The themes reflect the season and the teas are perfectly brewed and accented with delicate and tasty tea sandwiches and yummy sweets. This is one of those businesses drenched in charm in a 10-room 1885 Queen Anne Victorian home. Recently, Celebrations added ice cream socials to its list of events. The ice cream is tea infused, of course. While visitors may have a hard time deciding on whether to sip tea, nibble on a delicacy or shop for a unique gift, one will not be able to resist visiting Celebrations’ art gallery. Here everything from the most imaginative and creative paintings, pottery, hand-blown glass and sculptures fill the space with warmth and beauty. Reservations are a must.
205 Chase Ave.
Waterbury, CT 06704
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then wait until the beholders get a look at Caesars Camera in Waterbury, Connecticut. Here is an imaging center that offers everything from passport photos to used photographic equipment to custom framing and camera lenses. While strolling through this cutting-edge Connecticut business, be prepared to visit Caesar’s Image Galleries. Here, the art of the photographer is available for browsing, inspiring and purchasing. All of the artwork is by local artists, which makes the gallery experience a community event.
233 Pearl St.
Hartford, CT 06103
TheaterWorks Hartford is an off-Broadway type of theater located in Connecticut’s capitol city. When theater founder Steve Campo purchased the building that houses the subterranean theater, he allocated the upper level to an art gallery. In this way, visitors not only get to enjoy the most outstanding performing arts, but they also get to take in the work of contemporary artists. Here, avant garde is an understatement as the mind takes in the sights and sounds of fine art as well as the drama and comedy of theater. This theater knows how to combine business and art in a most successful and entertaining way.Related: Top Permanent Exhibits In Connecticut
Joanne Greco Rochman is the arts editor of The Fairfield County Review, a columnist, critic, feature story writer and English professor. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Republican-American and Hersam-Acorn Publications. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.