Best Place to Buy Art and Catch a Buzz - 2006
Red Bar Gallery
Dozens of pairs of two-dimensional eyes greet you as you walk into the dimly lit downtown establishment. Fruit and nude bodies garnish the deep-red walls. Friends and lovers lean in to listen more closely to the words escaping their companions' lips as they settle into plush, rosy furniture. A raven-haired woman sips a martini at the bar, absorbing the certain lustiness that pervades the still air. But just as the name suggests, Red Bar Gallery is not a burlesque, but a place to buy art and cocktails. Owners Danny Baez and Courtlandt McQuire have created a venue where affordable drinks and local art combine in a warm, living-roomlike environment. "We wanted to provide a local drinking establishment that wasn't trendy with a velvet rope. Anyone, whether they're dressed in a tuxedo or flip-flops, can come here," says Baez. The art, painted by mostly local artists, with a few internationals thrown in, ranges from lifelike portraits, abstract oddities, and geometric shapes that go for $500 and up. The talents of paintbrush slingers Daniel Osorno, Roberto Valera, BoDo, Mano, Marcy Grosso, and others can be admired along with a pair of mysterious paintings by an unknown artist. Every second Wednesday of the month, art connoisseurs have the pleasure of meeting with the painters. "We wanted to provide a venue for local artists while bringing the art community to Brickell," says Baez. Even if your artistic knowledge is limited to Picasso and some other guy you can't recall, the weekend DJ and tasty drinks are motivation enough to make Red Bar your partying destination. It's open Monday through Thursday from 4:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., Friday from 4:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m., and Saturday from 7:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.