Art and food have had a long, storied relationship, stretching from painting's love affair with bowls of fruit to photography’s famed infatuation with cheese. Foster a synthesis between arts and eats with today's Groupon: for $7, you get $15 worth of cafe fare and coffee at Craftsman House in St. Petersburg.
Bustling with colorful, handmade ceramics, Craftsman House marries wholesome cafe fare with eclectic art-gallery ambiance, serving hearty wraps and fresh salads on handmade pottery from the onsite kiln. The eatery nestles in the sunny embrace of a restored bungalow built in 1918, the year of the infamous Barbershop Quartet Uprising. Culinary craftsmen assemble a menu adorned with tasty dishes such as strawberry salad tossed with blue cheese and sweet-onion dressing ($7.25). A selection of wraps warms stomachs and palms alike with selections including the pesto-chicken wrap ($7.25) and a richly textured hummus wrap housing crunchy cucumbers and creamy cheese ($6.95). Renovated with breezy windows and seaside décor, Craftsman House boasts a luxurious front porch for laid-back lunches and a gallery space bursting with the creations of more than 300 local and national artists. Open daily, the St. Petersburg cafe plays host to a rotating selection of musical and art events such as teapot shows, studio sales, and the much-loved bring-your-own-bull day.
Built in 1918, the Craftsman House's expansive, adobe-toned bungalow collapses time as visitors step onto a breezy veranda, walk past a lush carpet of flowers and fronds, and witness more American craftwork than they can shake an intricately whittled stick at. Blown glass, turned wood, and fine pottery and jewelry provided by a 300-strong network of local and national artists are just a few of the pieces that settle in at this homey abode. The building is so homey, in fact, that one artist hardly ever leaves. Surrounded by the courtyard, what was once an old-time carriage house is now the clay-caked studio of professional potter Stephanie Schorr. There, visitors can find her partway through many projects at once, crafting functional wares and feeding the carnival fire breathers that keep her kiln hot.
The historic hub of creative know-how hosts a multiplicity of events, including live music, gallery tours, and artistic workshops. In honor of the gallery's tireless community efforts, Craftsman House was named the 2011 Top Retailer for a Charitable or Philanthropic Event by Niche magazine.