Fredericton — The general manager of Fredericton’s Clay Café announced today the store plans to convert the location from simply a creative studio into a hip, artsy pub.
“We’ve noticed that at this point, the Clay Café has basically just become a bar,” said store manager Olivia Cleland. “It just sort of happened that way, more or less. Why not capitalize on it?”
According to Cleland, the studio was originally intended to be a creative spot for children to paint and decorate clay objects that would be given to them after being fired in a kiln.
“It was supposed to be a great place for simple Mother’s Day gifts, Christmas tree ornaments, or just little trinkets for kids to show off to family and friends.”
However, it wasn’t long before the staff found that the Café was much more popular with university students than it was with children, who showed little interest in the non-digital arts-and-craft activities.
“Painting is boring,” attested 4-year old Alisha Cogswell.
Soon, UNB and STU students were piling into the Clay Café, looking to take a cathartic respite from their studies, or to make creative gifts for their buddies and significant others — with sales spiking annually on Valentine’s Day.
“It was great, for a while. I was just happy that we’d found a niche,” said Cleland. “But, as with any college hangout, things could get a little rowdy from time to time.”
After a few violent incidents (one involving a young man who had painted Dumbo coffee mugs for 2 different women, and consequently took one of them to the side of his head), the studio decided it would have to hire bouncers to ensure the safety of their patrons.
“It was just little things like that,” Cleland explained. “They kept piling up until one day, we look up to find that we have nobody under the age of 19 coming in at all.”
She said that serving alcohol was simply “the next logical step.” Clay Café is right next to Fredericton’s Tannery area and a lot of people use it as a date location, when alcohol is relied upon to calm nerves.
“How could the owners of Clay Café do such a thing?” inquired concerned parent Amy Squires.
“It was pretty simple, actually,” said Cleland. “We just applied for a liquor licence through the GNB website. We got it in a couple of weeks.”
The location, soon to be renamed “Paints & Pints,” is set to open in late March.