As First Fridays stretch out over weekend, Old City offers sidewalk event
Normally, the music venue The Tin Angel on Second Street, and its restaurant, Serrano, close in July. That's when the summer doldrums hit, and the owners like to take a vacation.
But this year, owner Dolan McCoy will keep the restaurant open to serve street food, like the Sonoran, a fat hot dog wrapped in bacon piled with beans, guacamole, and chipotle sauce.
"It's a bit of an experiment for us. It's uncharted waters," said McCoy. "We'll see how it works out."
McCoy is launching his temporary street-food menu on First Friday Weekend, which is also a bit of an experiment. Six months ago, the Old City District began leveraging the popularity of the First Friday art crawl into the next day. The campaign is starting to work.
"We are seeing an impact, slowly but surely," said McCoy. "The Friday is extending into the Saturday. It would be great if it could extend into the Sunday."
For the first weekend in July, Old City businesses will set up shop on the sidewalk in front of their buildings. Called "Inside Out," it's the first time all participants have rallied under one theme.
"We have restaurants, galleries, fashion boutiques, design studios, and they have different audiences," said Graham Copeland, director of the Old City District. "We're looking for the collaboration and opportunities creative programming that can embrace different things that we all offer here."
First Friday could be seen as a victim of its own success. In good weather, thousands of people come to the art galleries on Friday evenings, causing many to believe that that is the only time galleries are open to the public.
"On our block, it's very crowded," said Heidi Nivling of Larry Becker Gallery on Second Street. "Mostly, everyone is very nice and having a good time. But you do have to be aware that there are an awful lot of people in your gallery at once -- you want to make sure nobody bumps into a painting."
Nivling was supposed to take down the gallery's current exhibition, feature work by Max Cole, two weeks ago, but she extended it through Saturday to take advantage of First Friday Weekend traffic.