Bottle & Bottega’s Homewood studio has had the area buzzing about the Chicago-based art party chain since it was announced several months ago.
Proprietors Greg and Darcie Loudon plan to hold a soft opening of the Homewood location at 2009 Ridge Road in mid-September, with a grand opening to follow.
Bottle and Bottega was created in 2009 and started offering franchises in 2011. It offers patrons a chance to creatively unwind with professionally guided painting and a glass of wine.
The Loudons will hold art parties, not art classes, so no artistic experience or expertise is required – artists of all levels are welcome.
“I want everyone to know that this is a great opportunity for all ages from kids birthday parties to a girls night out to family night,” Darcie said.
The Homewood studio is designed with the comfort of artists in mind. The space will be divided in two parts separated by a living space.
“We designed it to be a hip, warm and embracing place,” Greg explained.
The Homewood couple began their adventure with Bottle and Bottega when Greg was between jobs. With his background in illustration, a friend shared information about the chain, and that got him interested in starting a franchise.
“It was like, ‘Why not here?’” Greg said. “There was never any other choice. We like the community and we like the people.”
He has lived in Homewood since 1989.
“Creating a business together is something I always wanted to do but never thought we would. Then [Bottle and Bottega] came into our lives,” Darcie said.
They found that starting a local business has strengthened their relationship, not only with each other but the village of Homewood as well.
“Having our friends be a part of this is really cool. It really is a more family and friend experience here than it would be anywhere else,” Greg said.
The Loudons have hosted about 25 pop-up painting parties at locations around the South Suburbs since creating the business. They said the events have gotten positive response from patrons.
Village officials have provided support and encouragement for the venture. Trustees approved a business incentive grant July 26 to help with renovation costs.
The Loudons’ company, Fiveloud Inc., will receive $11,250 in business incentive funding from the village to help offset the cost of building two American Disabilities Act-compliant restrooms in the studio. That amount is 50 percent of the cost of building the restrooms. The total cost of renovating the studio space is about $80,000, according to village officials.
Trustees also approved an amendment June 14 to the village’s liquor license classifications, adding a class 12 license that will enable Fiveloud to host bring-your-own-bottle parties.
Eric Crump contributed information for this story.