The Den, a social club, art studio, and wine and beer bar rolled all into one, opened it’s doors for the first time in October in The Village Square located in quaint Sebastian, FL. Now, four months later, business is picking up, the word has spread about this hip, local joint, and owner Jodie Baldanza is looking to start expanding her hours thanks to the progressively successful little venture she began working on a year ago with her friend and silent partner.
The Den offers a unique atmosphere that invites you to come in, sit down, and stay awhile. Jodie wanted to provide a place that once you were done doing whatever you were out doing, whether it be participating in a paint party or just enjoying a meal, you did not feel rushed to leave once you were done. A place where you could enjoy your meal, then head out on the back dry beach area to enjoy the fire on cool evenings or live music on warm ones, head over into the den area to chat with friends, or just stay at your table for a game of chess or cards, but you are never rushed to leave. Turning over tables is not the goal at The Den, socialization and giving patrons something to do while they linger over conversation is the main purpose here. From the look of the crowd on Saturday night, her vision is coming to fruition.
Based on a family tradition of playing backgammon games on the table at the family restaurant and lounge where she spent much of her time when she was young, Jodie decided to provide various games scattered around The Den to encourage the same kind of socialization she was a part of then. There are chess boards here and there, and toys and games that include an eight ball, cards, monopoly pieces, and Left, Right, Center, hanging out in a tray on the bar just waiting for someone, or several someone’s, to pick them up and play. According to Health Fitness Revolution, playing board games not only reduces stress and lowers blood pressure, but also reduces your risks for mental diseases. So hanging out at The Den can be good for your health on top of being a fun, local hangout.
The Den has an eclectic variety of entertainment that includes an Irish night every Thursday that offers live music, along with your traditional Irish fare to snack on, like Shepherd’s Pie and Hot Corned Beef on Rye, plus the occasional psychic night or fashion show thrown in, since Jodie is a huge advocate of supporting and promoting local business. There is also Friday night band night, with local acts like Landsharks Band cranking out some high-energy tunes. They also provide private and public paint classes where you do not j ust copy a painting, but learn techniques like blending and sponge painting. Jodie states that you “never know what to expect” when you come to The Den on any given night; it is obviously what makes this wine bar meets art school not only different, but also distinctive.
One idea Jodie is currently working on is her Art in Motion project. She would like to find a few local, talented artists who would be willing to set up a station and work with her once a week creating their art, so that patrons may observe the artists “in motion” working on one of their pieces, while they enjoy a glass of wine or beer. This is just one of her latest ideas, so if you want to keep up with all the newest happenings at The Den, you can follow them at www.facebook.com/myartistsden. Or you can just pop on by, play a game or two, and say hi to Jodie, the address is 930 Village Square, Sebastian, FL 32958.