Last week, Bel 50 closed at 738 N. Clark. Next week, an "art gallery gone rogue" is opening on 738 N. Clark. Gallery Bar, an art gallery/night club/street food/beer cocktail concept, is coming to the second floor space which used to house Highball Lounge. All the programs (food, drink, art, music) will revolve around a street theme. The soft opening is next weekend (June 14 and 15), the grand opening is June 21.
Creative director Dustin Rybka terms the food program "boutique street food." Six street-food burritos called "Bonzais" will take up most of the menu, filled with ingredients like sushi-grade tuna, carne asada, and tofu, and wrapped in either tortilla or rice paper. Three appetizers ("Osaka Pizza," "Tuna Tataki Tacos," and "Wanton Nachos") will also be served. Patrick Glatz, an alum of California, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico restaurants, is serving as chef.
The cocktail program, designed by Nellcote's Francisco Soto, mixes beer into craft cocktails named for local artists, famous works of art, and other art themes. Examples include "The Mosaic" (Bulleit bourbon, ginger, lemon juice, honey, Chain Breaker White IPA) and "Flying Dragon" (Zacapa rum, Grand Mariner, orange and mango shrub, pineapple juice, Deschutes Black Butte Porter). A diverse beer list features domestic craft, Belgian, red ales, and lambics.
The gallery space has two large walls with more than 20 rotating local pieces of art for sale as well as a monthly exhibit space. Rybka, inspired by Andy Warhol, calls them "provocative" and says he "handpicked the best 20 local artists that represent (their) concept." During the week it will be a relaxed art gallery and eatery but on Friday and Saturday nights it will morph into a party scene with local DJs. Rybka compares the idea to Angels & Kings, which was two blocks away before shuttering, only "more on the artistic side."
Rybka says he stopped into Bel 50 for coffee one morning and a couple hours later it was closed. He's opening upstairs a couple weeks after that.
· Gallery Bar [Official Site]