By the time Nancy Rowan closed her old Golden Eagle shop on Gingerbread Lane in East Hampton in the fall of 2013, it had grown from a well-stocked art store into a veritable art center, selling canvases, paints, fine papers, and the like and also offering classes for adults and children in a variety of mediums. Even though the store reopened on Newtown Lane just a few months later, the classes fell by the wayside for lack of parking.
Now, Ms. Rowan and a longtime associate and new business partner, Michael Weisman, are preparing to bring back the art classes, and more, in a spot on North Main Street that they will call Studio 144.
“This new location is like a little world unto itself,” Mr. Weisman said Tuesday. The property, a little over an acre on a flag lot next to Nick and Toni’s restaurant, includes an old house, which will become an art store, a barn out back where classes will be held, and plenty of parking. The property had been overgrown and empty for several years, but was recently tidied up and put on the market for rent. “The outbuilding is really what sold us,” he said.
The business partners envision classes in every discipline and for every skill level as well as gallery shows and other happenings, and they will have room for all of it on North Main Street. The Newtown Lane shop will remain open, but may shift its focus. “We’re kicking around ideas for that now,” said Mr. Weisman, who helped Ms. Rowan open on Newtown Lane and has stayed on to work there.
“We’re very thrilled because we’ve been looking for space for a long time,” he said.
No stranger to East Hampton’s retail landscape, he ran Inside Out, a home-centered, design-forward store on East Hampton’s Railroad Avenue, for a number of years before closing it in 2006 and moving away. He returned in 2013 when Ms. Rowan asked for his help scouting for and designing a new location when she lost her old lease after 12 years on Gingerbread Lane.
The partners hope to begin offering classes at Studio 144 (their street number on North Main) by mid-May and to have the store up and running by mid to late June.
This week, they put out a call for art teachers for children and adults in all mediums. Those interested have been asked to email Annie Barrett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I’m not really a person who does a lot of boasting, but I get a really good feeling about this,” Mr. Weisman said.