Sometimes, one person can single-handedly inspire another person’s path in life. For Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild founder and owner Bill Strickland, that person was his childhood pottery teacher, Frank Ross. Ross’ deep appreciation for art was all encompassing: he often brought jazz music to class for students to listen to, hosted dinners at his home––which was decorated in handwoven tapestries––and encouraged Strickland to continue building his art skills at the University of Pittsburgh.
The social inequities that troubled Strickland’s native North Side neighborhood motivated him to form the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild as a way to inspire underprivileged kids to overcome trying times through art, the same way Ross did many years before. Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild began in a small space in a residential row house before growing to encompass a 62,000-square-foot art emporium with an array of studios and classrooms, and a large auditorium where commissioned bowls of fruit strike poses for still-life portraits. The award-winning center lives up to its mission “to educate and inspire urban youth through the arts” with a bevy of after-school arts programs that teach critical thinking and help prepare students for futures in the art world.
Colors & Bottles' founder Jessica Burley and her band of talented local artists are dedicated to supporting local emerging talent and businesses through art instruction held at nearby venues. Their resident artists travel to local eateries and art galleries, where they teach students of all skill levels to fashion dimensional masterpieces through step-by-step instruction. They also kindle creativity during private parties held at the location of your choice, asking only that the destination be outfitted with enough tables, chairs, and paint-by-numbers templates of the Sistine Chapel ceiling for all invitees. Colors & Bottles has received a nod for their engagingly creative events on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and within the pages of the Columbus Dispatch.
Eclipse Lounge’s exposed brick walls and candle-laden black tables create a warm ambience, luring late-nighters into relaxing and sampling the diverse menu of appetizers, wines, beers, and specialty cocktails. Settle into a zebra-striped chair to sample the hummus and pita ($10) or the assorted cheese-and-fruit plate ($12), while confiding in friends about the travails of the workweek and suspicions about the true intentions of robotic vacuum cleaners. Get a french kiss containing raspberry vodka, pineapple juice, and drop of Chambord ($8), or tingle tongues with a round of champagne martinis ($9). Oenophiles can select wine by the bottle or glass, and beer lovers can choose from domestic or imported varieties.
With today’s Groupon, $10 gets you $20 worth of any snack, smoothie, dessert, or drink on the menu at Firehouse Coffee Company and Cafe. One of the more cool and unusual places to chill in B-More, the café resides in a revamped Canton firehouse, constructed just off O’Donnell Square during the heyday of ghost-busting. Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
The dessert-inspired martini list at Olive or Twist hosts a range of sweet digestifs including the cake-batter cocktail, the tiramisu martini, the chocolate-covered-pretzel martini with a salted rim, and the key-lime-pie martini. In addition to inventive mixes, Olive or Twist hosts a wide selection of craft beers, ensuring guests find the ideal beverage to compliment upscale American fare from the full kitchen. Its range of appetizers and entrees sate any size of appetite, with options such as truffle fries, housemade crab cakes, and filet mignon with peppercorn sauce. While they dine, patrons can feast eyes on the dark-mocha wood accents that lace the bar and lounge areas at Olive or Twist, offsetting the cream-hued plush seats.
Patio 10 nourishes diners' stomachs and eyes alike with a chandelier-crowned indoor dining room and patio views of the city and waterfront. Lay a sturdy feasting foundation built with breaded appetizers such as zucchini planks, provolone sticks, and girders of mac 'n' cheese cooled through dips in bistro sauce. Thirteen sandwich options sate crusty cravings with mountainous bites, all accompanied by an avalanche of fries. Chefs toast hoagie rolls and load them with peppers, onions, mushrooms, and a blend of mozzarella and provolone to finish of the signature Steel City cheesesteak. Peer into a less hungry future reflected in the cheese-coated orbs on the meatball hoagie or bounce chompers into the BLT's layers of bacon, lettuce, and tomato trampolines. The Patio 10 kielbasa Reuben shelters shaved kielbasa and sauerkraut inside its kaiser bun, tucked inside with a blanket of swiss cheese and spicy mustard teddy bear.