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It’s six o’clock on Friday night, and for patrons in Olde Town Arvada, it’s time to relax.Grand Lake Brewing Tavern, a happenin’ place for the end of happy hour, is crowded. Along the tables lay a trio of menus: one for food, one for beer and one for art.It’s First Friday at the Tavern.“It’s the whole art and music thing,” Abel Groh, a new waiter said as he talked about the event. “It’s something everyone likes and it’s our first one, so I hope it picks up some steam.”A celebration of local art and music, the event honored six artists by hanging 34 pieces of work — large, small, square, round — along the venue’s walls.Two rectangle canvasses with swirls of blue, white and green sandwich a large diamond painting of black dots, intersected by splashes of rose, gold and white against an off white canvas. Each painting hangs along the dark wooden bar back next to photographs of Grand Lake’s beers.“Are these all yours then?” A young woman in black asks one of the artists as she strolls through the venue.“Not all,” he responds, telling her and her date about his inspiration for a piece hanging on the tavern’s back wall.As the artists move around the bar, showing friends and family their works, 80s, 90s and music of today played overhead and a happy buzz resonated in the air. The band set up its red conga drums and keyboard, prepping for sound check.As the band readied to play, couples and friends enter the small taproom, congregating with fellow patrons at the yellow pine bar top. Taking a seat, they order a few beers, observe the new paintings, and point out various artworks they like or have a desire to talk about.“Ooooooo, you were my mojo,” the band sang as they began this evening’s set. “Can’t believe no one’s there except the feeling in the air …”From studious observations while savoring the Kickinback Peach Wheat beer, to having lighthearted conversations over a wood oven pizza, Grand Lake Brewing patrons, artists, friends and family alike sat, enjoying art, drinking beer and savoring the sights and sounds of the moment.
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