This restaurant belongs to Art

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 9, 2005

When he came up with the idea to paint the walls of Suffolk’s newest restaurant black, Ed Beardsley’s co-workers thought he was crazy.

&uot;Everyone flipped when I did that,&uot; says the co-owner of Art’s Kitchen, which opened last Saturday at 239 W. Washington Street (539-9966). &uot;But it’s like a canvas for all the art here.&uot;

You see, in this case, Art is not the name of the restaurant’s owner or manager. It’s the atmosphere that hangs, both literally and figuratively, across the walls (and soon, Beardsley hopes, the ceiling) of the establishment. Dozens of pieces of work from area artists line the walls at Art’s, ranging from paintings, mermaid sculptures, historical figurines, and other selections.

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&uot;We have about a dozen different artists on display here,&uot; Beardsley estimates. &uot;Almost everything is for sale, and just about everyone that comes in here gets up to look around at the art. It’s a great idea for gifts.&uot;

Over the next few months, he’d like to hold some receptions at Art’s for those who might not be able to get too much exposure.

&uot;It would be for small, part-time artists that don’t really have a way to share their work,&uot; he says. &uot;The art is a good part of the ambiance of this restaurant.&uot;

Of course, so are the food and the prices; Art’s offers a wide selection of breakfasts and lunch meals. The Masterpiece Breakfast (two eggs, sausage patties, pancake, and choice of side and toast or biscuit) is $6.95 – and it’s currently the most expensive item on the menu.

&uot;We serve simple food in a complex environment,&uot; says Beardsley. &uot;It’s a simple formula – good food, and lots of it, at good prices.&uot;

That’s a recipe that seems to be cooking up serious business.

&uot;In the last two days, I think we’ve served over 100 meals,&uot; Beardsley says. &uot;We’ve had people come in every single day we’ve been open.&uot;

Starting Monday, the restaurant will extend its closing time to 4 p.m.

&uot;Yesterday, I had five or six cars pull up and ask me if we’d decided to serve dinner yet,&uot; he laughs. &uot;We’ve really been embraced by the community.&uot;