SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- Saint John residents looking to channel their inner artist can now do so at a creative new café in the city’s uptown.

The Art Warehouse is a licensed coffee house, gallery, and drop-in art studio, where patrons can get their caffeine fix and make a masterpiece.

Owner Hazel Cochran came across the idea while travelling in Central America and decided to try it out in New Brunswick.

“It was a café, and it looked like any other café when you first walked in, with young people eating smoothie bowls and drinking coffee, on their iPads, and in the back they had a few easels and tables set up so you could do watercolours or acrylic paintings,” explains Cochran.

The Prince Street business has been open for a few weeks and colourful art already adorns the walls, with artists of all skill levels painting in the studio at the back of the shop.

Saint John cafe serves coffee and creativity

“So, it’s kind of neat to see people who clearly already have a talent utilizing the space, and it’s not just beginners, but we see a lot of those as well,” says employee Eric Scouton.

In addition to the food and drink menu, there’s a paint menu for patrons to peruse. The price is determined by the size of the canvas, with small, medium, or full-sized canvases available. The purchase of a canvas also includes the use of paints and supplies.

Cochran says it’s a great option for people who want to try painting before making a commitment to a new hobby.

“Maybe you want to try painting, but you don’t want to buy the canvas, buy a dozen paints, buy the brushes,” she says. “Maybe you don’t want to go through the commitment. Just try it.”

Cochran is also offering artist-led paint night workshops at the café.

“It’s just a creative space,” she says.