Charlie Parker set his clay career spinning in 1967 at age 14 when he worked as a part-time clay-mixer at Minnesota Clay Company. As his passion began to flourish, he chased it to the studio of Warren Westerberg, working as an apprentice and molding himself into a master of form and expression. Today, Charlie's 3,600-square-foot workshop offers plenty of space for classes and open-studio time. Under his guidance, aspiring artists of all experience levels make their own projects from Continental and Laguna clays available for purchase. Charlie's artisans also offer their own pieces for sale in the gallery, including figurines and bottles guaranteed to be free of tricksome genies.
With nearly 30 years of glass industry experience, professional artist Kathleen leads students of all levels in creating works of art. Her classes?which are kept small to allow for individualized attention?teach the basics of stained glass, fused glass, and mosaics, as well as creating jewelry items such as beads and pendants. Kathleen can also be commissioned to create custom pieces, such as church windows and stained glass doors.
Gazing out his window at Veni Vici Pizza, owner Gustavo Arriola watches pods of dolphins splash through the cresting waves. The diners take in the same scene at the waterfront tables, sipping glasses of wine and splitting deep-dish pizzas. Formerly in the banking business, Arriola decided that he wanted to take charge of his future by making his own way into the restaurant industry. He naturally gravitated toward opening a pizzeria because he "loves everything about pizza," especially the limitless topping combinations that you can invent yourself or select according to the pizza almanac. From his kitchen, he can decorate dough with everything from fresh green peppers to italian beef and spicy giardiniera. As an alternative to typical thin- and pan-crust pies, Arriola also spotlights Chicago-style deep-dish and stuffed-crust pies on his menu with their special sauce and thick, buttery crusts.
Mugs 'N Jugs takes pub fare to new heights with pulled pork sandwiches stacked high between two slices of toasted ciabatta bread, and juicy burgers on brioche buns. Their crispy, battered wings are a local favorite and can be ordered with your choice of fiery sauces. Lighter options include turkey-club spinach wraps and a gourmet chicken salad tossed with fresh pineapples, grapes, and walnuts. In between bites, diners can play pool, watch sporting events on big screen TVs, or perfect their karaoke.
Vibrant swaths of fabric in nearly every hue of the spectrum line the walls at Keep Me In Stitches, where knowledgeable staffers dispense creative advice and design ideas as they roam the prismatic environs. They carefully curate a vast collection of textiles, which flaunts silks, novelty prints, and batiks from brands such as South Sea Imports, Benartex, and Michael Miller.
Aside from fabrics, the shop uses a fleet of sewing machines and digital design tools to facilitate embroidery endeavors. The staffers can also enlighten nascent seamsters during frequent classes and workshops, as well as repair sewing machines and bionic grandmothers of all makes and models.
Stocked with cute collectibles, hand-made home furnishings, and fashionable accessories, Gifts by Maria is a treasure trove of keepsakes and mementos. Under the sparkling light of a crystal chandelier, customers can find bath and body products, decorative figurines, and treat-packed gift baskets in Big Bad Wolf–proof packaging. Seasonal offerings include stocking stuffers, unstuffed stockings, and spooky Halloween-themed party favors.