Taste – Good Arts, Good Eats
From the outside, Taste is a small, unassuming brick building with four parking spots. It’s quaint, charming, and not at all what some may expect.
As soon as you step inside, the small building transforms. Enticing smells of spices and meats waft through the air to draw you in. Funk music blends in with the sounds of conversation and clinking silverware. And just as you begin to notice the art on the walls, the bartender greets you with a smile and encourages you to “Sit anywhere you’re comfortable.”
Owners Alex Unger and Ed Haag opened Taste on February 6, 2012. Since then, it has become a hot spot for local artists to showcase their artwork. It’s nearly impossible to sit in the restaurant without checking out the art on every wall.
Unger and Haag bring in new local artwork every two to three months. “We want to keep it fresh and exciting,” Haag explains.
So far, featured artists have included Seth Lange, Stephanie B. Francis, Rob Randall, Bruce Couch, and Brandon Spence. Taste showcases an eclectic blend of artwork from collage art to paintings of classic cars to photography and beyond. All of the art on display is for sale, as well. Prices range from $50 for smaller mixed media pieces to $1000 for large acrylic paintings.
On July 19, Taste will open its doors for its second art show to feature artists Bruce Couch, Brandon Spence, and Seth Lange. Guests will get the opportunity to view original artwork from local artists, purchase their favorite pieces, and maybe even meet the artists all while enjoying infused martinis, chipotle seared scallops, Israeli cous cous, or any number of tasty options on the menu.
A small American tapas restaurant may seem like a strange place for a local art venue, but Haag explains, “It started with a group of artists I met in Holly Springs at Niche [Wine Lounge]….That revived my interest in Raleigh local art.” As Haag continued to make connections, “it sort of all came together.”
Together, Haag and Unger have created a comfortable atmosphere with great food and amazing local art. “We are extremely pleased to be a venue for the local art scene,” Haag says.