While the grand opening of Escape Alley Sundry is scheduled for March 26th, they opened for their soft launch today — St. Patrick's Day — with an eye toward celebrating their first anniversary on the holiday.
Owner Russell Wild, an artist and architect, converted the building at 651 Marshall after he was laid off in August.
"I built it as a place to hang out, eat a little, have some beers."
The ambience is arty-funky for this 50-seater: paintings, both grand and unassuming (did I spot a Paint-by-Number or two?) on the walls, old bikes hanging from the ceiling, and the odd bric-a-brac here and there.
"Everything in the shop is for sale," Wild says.
The menu is stripped down by design. There are tamales, salads, peanut butter sandwiches, and bologna sandwiches, among other items. Prices range from around $3 to $6.
A surprisingly sweet touch to the menu is the "cereal of the day" ($2). "Everybody likes a bowl of cereal every once and a while," Wild explains, noting that opening day's cereal was Lucky Charms. (It's St. Patrick's Day, remember?)
Wild is building a patio that will seat 75. He's also put in a garden in the parking lot. (Escape Alley is next to the back entrance of Quetzal.)
At the front of the building, separate from the restaurant, is a larger nightclub that will have live music.
Escape Alley Sundry is open Tuesday-Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The grand opening is Friday, March 26th. Happy hour starts at 4 p.m., and live music starts at 6 p.m.
Escape Alley Sundry, 651 Marshall (528-3337)