At the end of NoDa, near where 36th Street meets The Plaza, passersby have noticed a multimedia “selfie wall” emerging on the side of an empty black industrial building over the past couple of months.
The wall, which takes up an entire side of the building at 1218-A E. 36th St., was first adorned with giant vibrant swirling shapes by muralist Nick Napoletano. It is now complete, with sparkling iron sculptures filled with fragrant herbs and flowers.
The cafe and gathering space that commissioned this collaborative piece, The Artisan’s Palate, quietly had its soft opening over the weekend, and it will continue to cultivate more creative experiences for Charlotteans through art, food, coffee and community.
“We’re trying to create a place where someone walks away and [feels] not just that they had a great sandwich or pastry, but they feel like they’ve experienced something different, engaging all the senses,” co-owner Christa Csoka said. “That is what we’re trying to do.”
The Artisan’s Palate plans to have its grand opening in August, when it will expand its hours to serve wine, beer, cocktails and small plates and begin showing art in the dedicated gallery space in the back of the cafe.
Each month, the food, drink and cocktail menu will be specially designed to match the culture and style of the artist’s work and enhance the story he or she is telling in the exhibition. According to Csoka, every detail of the space will be curated, down to the scent of the space — using aromatherapy diffusers — to delight all the senses and provide guests with a unique and vibrant experience centered on the local art scene.
“This is really all about being an art gallery, instead of a coffee shop that has art on the walls,” Csoka said. “This is a gathering spot for everybody, but we’d really like to think of it as a community place for artists.”
Even though the gallery is not yet open, vibrant local art is interwoven into the cafe and cultivates a fun and creative vibe throughout the space. The coffee shop is bisected by a piece of collaborative art designed by 16 renown local muralists, including Dammit Wesley, Osiris Rain and Owl.clt. The back door, which leads to a charming porch area filled with sculptures and foliage, is a work of art in itself, completely covered in a painting by Being2.
According to owner Christa Scoka, the Artisan’s Palate will focus the next month before the grand opening on building out its coffee program with Magnolia Coffee, which is based in Matthews. In addition to coffee and espresso drinks, the Artisan’s Palate is offering a variety of baked goods made in house by co-owner and head pastry chef Christine Alter of German bakery Christine’s Konditerei.
Alter is bringing German-inspired favorites to the menu, such as bee sting cake, a cream-filled cake covered with caramelized almonds, alongside standard coffee shop favorites such as muffins, scones and cinnamon buns. Alter’s pastry menu also features several gluten-free and vegan options daily for those with special dietary needs.
For the next month, the cafe will serve coffee and pastries seven days a week, from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
This article was originally published in CharlotteFive.