Thursday, April 21, 2016

The "Bantha Boys" Looking to Tea You @ GA/GI @ Unblurred

Tea, not coffee, and Star Wars, not Star Trek are what inspired Brett Boye and Jack Ball to create the  Bantha Tea Bar at 5002 Penn Avenue.  It wasn't like it was an epiphany. Already associates working with the Irma Freeman Center, the two friends and Star Wars aficionados just thought there should be a cool place in Pittsburgh to sit, sip tea and have conversation. The natural thing to add to that was art.
Said Ball, "We wanted to expand on what was already happening during Unblurred on Penn; we wish more eateries would do that. You have a wall and you hang art on it. How hard is that?"  

He also sees supporting local artists as giving people another reason to visit their establishment. Newly opened, they are quickly becoming a regular gathering place for many hipsters who like the earthy vibe. Their Yelp Reviews say it all: Stumbled upon them during an art crawl, overcoming a ferocious cold and thinking I was seeing a heavenly mirage.... Love the service; if you're lucky schmooze with the teatender....Laid back atmosphere, I'll definitely be coming back!"

Wall art that becomes a table by Fuchs
The place has an appearance you will find oddly familiar and comforting, with hay embedded stucco walls and arched ceilings that give it an otherworldly appearance.With all they've done at Bantha, Boye is looking forward to doing more improvements and changes. "Actually, we're set up for change," he said, "and so many artists want shows."   Now through May, their exhibition is "By Any Means Necessary--Art by Samm Fuchs," a local artist whose current focus is to work with whatever she can get her hands on. It's on the walls now or you can see the collection of her work at Bantha Friday, May 6 during GA/GI. They'll be open until 10 pm.
The Bantha mistique

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