Led by Tom and Donna Otis, Fast Frame Charlottesville's friendly staffers outfit pictures and beautifies abodes with ensembles that turn two-dimensional keepsakes into multidimensional treasures. With a vast selection of borders, Fast Frame tastefully accents pictures of cherished memories, safely preserves and displays sports memorabilia, and even frames flat-screen TVs so they can't leave the living room to go chill with the microwave. Under Fast Frame’s Preservation Plus program, frame craftsmen sequester artwork in an acid-free environment and use framing designed to save artifacts from UV light, ensuring that they retain their luster throughout their display and that they are safe for future removal.
It’s hard to miss Artmart: Pollock-esque splatters of paint cover its bright-red exterior. Inside, its just as striking. Artists of all disciplines draw from the art superstore’s wealth of supplies and skills to further their next projects. Thousands of colors of paints, pencils, and sculpting materials are in stock here, as well as brushes, easels, canvas and a vast paper selection.
As a locally owned creative marketplace, Artmart has a number of divisions in its store depending on your artistic needs: you can immortalize your pieces and prints at the Framing Center, or stock up on colorful cards, stationery, and decorative paper at the paper boutique. Children as young as three can sign up for the store’s small-group classes, which cover various media including painting, sketching, and sculpting skills. You can be inspired at their Studio which boasts a host of events from fine art adult classes to craft workshops to creative birthday parties.
Unique home-decor items can be an extension of one’s personality. At Rambles, a mix of new and used housewares and gifts allows decorators to find the final touches for any room. While upholstered couches and area rugs can contribute to a home’s overall look, it is Rambles’ more unusual accessories—bottle-cap magnets, framed comic-book memorabilia, and vintage LIFE magazines—that spark up conversations and cover up your pet squid’s ink splatters.
The bright-red door outside Three Kings Public House acts as a beacon, summoning guests into the tavern?which was named the Best New Bar in 2011 by the Riverfront Times?for a brew and a bite. Once past the vibrant port, though, diners enter an old-school world dominated by brick and wood decor. Though this aesthetic choice gives the Delmar Loop bar a time-honored vibe, the menu reveals that the kitchen?s vision is focused firmly on the here and now. In fact, to keep their dishes as fresh as possible, chefs use only locally sourced ingredients from nearby Missouri and Illinois farms including Twin County, Heil, and Thies Farms. This conscientious culinary choice adds to the bar's effort to keep its carbon footprint smaller, but it also ensures that each handcrafted pub-style entree?from third-pound burgers to traditional fish 'n' chips and barbecue pulled-pork sliders?arrives at tables bursting with flavor. Chefs also toss out a culinary curveball in the form of their not-so-traditional bar eats, including a soy-protein burger and a filet mignon cut into the shape of each diner?s silhouette.
To further enliven Three Kings' eats, meals can be accompanied by a fresh cocktail or any of the "20 craft and locally brewed beers on tap" mentioned by the Riverfront Times. During the warmer months, diners are invited to recline on the outdoor patio; no matter the season, Tuesday and Wednesday nights are dedicated to live musical acts performing on the bar?s built-in stage.
The Tintypery's shutterbugs have been capturing sepia-tone memories inside their old-time photography studio for the past 30 years. Before each photo shoot, customers don authentic costumes, which range from the 1860s through to the 1930s?guises include cowboy hats, pinstripe suits, Victorian gowns, and glum facial expressions. Once families and groups gather around whiskey barrels, rifles, and oil-lamp set pieces, they can choose to pose with historically accurate props: southern belles may swish delicate lace fans and Civil War soldiers may pose with their trusty sabers. Kids too can join in the fun by dressing up as masked bandits or other period characters. Not to leave anyone out, The Tintypery also welcomes pets as long as they respect the customs of the past by covering up with a bandana or modest pantaloons.