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Pancakes & Booze Art Show offers new take on gallery concept

The Pancakes & Booze Art Show brings an unexpected twist to the conventional art gallery. With more than 50 local artists, pancakes and alcohol, the event is back for its second round in Columbus. Credit: Kathy Tran

Breakfast for dinner isn’t quite as fun as breakfast for dinner –– with alcohol.

The Pancakes & Booze Art Show arrives at Strongwater Food and Spirits Friday for an evening of body painting, live DJs and, of course, an unconventional art gallery.

The Los Angeles-born art show welcomes Columbus art enthusiasts and dabblers alike with more than 50 local artists and free pancakes.

Pancakes & Booze first started in May 2009 when founder Tom Kirlin had the idea of combining art with his dream of a restaurant that serves both pancakes and alcohol.

“I would throw small art shows for my friends and anyone else who wanted to exhibit some work,” Kirlin said. “I needed to find a way to get people through the door, so we offered free pancakes.”

The show has since grown into a traveling art gallery, setting up shop in cities all over the world, including Dallas, Bangkok, London and Berlin.

Pancakes & Booze first made its Columbus debut in April 2017 after receiving many requests from artists to bring the show to Ohio, Kirlin said.

Jessie Lovano, a portrait artist and graphic designer, was among those whose work was featured in the first spring show. She is returning for a second round Friday.

Lovano said the unconventional aspect of Pancakes & Booze is what made her work a good fit for the show. As someone who leans toward macabre, horror pieces, the artist said she appreciates the art show’s eclectic mix of styles and media.

Giving a great variety of artists a platform to exhibit their work is what the event prides itself on, Kirlin said.

“Many artists don’t fit the mold of a gallery artist, but still have amazing talents that need to be seen,” he said.

The art itself is not the only thing that sets Pancake & Booze apart from others, Lovano said.

“This show is also different from other things I’ve done in that it is also a party atmosphere,” she said.

The Pancakes & Booze Art Show will take place at 8 p.m. at Strongwater Food and Spirits, 401 W. Town St. Tickets are $10 at the door and the event is 21 and up.  

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