1 Night, 3 Ribbons Cut

A transit-oriented art gallery—positioned so art lovers and buyers can easily drop by from New York and Philadelphia.

The city’s first scientifically prepared healthful “pressure-fried” turkey outlet/

Those were two of—count ‘em—three new businesses whose ribbons got cut on a single night of grand-opening ceremonies Friday night in downtown’s Ninth Square district.

Allan Appel PhotoCity economic development and Town Green Special Services District officials seized the opportunity of the throng drawn down to Crown and Orange to mark the opening-night party of City-Wide Open Studios to cut the blue ribbon at Meat & Co.

A “designer sandwich shop,” Meat & Co. is owned by the same folks who run the adjacent six-year-old 116 Crown Street restaurant.

Click here for a preview of the menu. The Rick Reuben sandwich (pastrami or tongue, swiss cheese, cardamon, braised red cabbage slaw) continues to be the best-seller after three weeks, according to John Ginnetti, owner of 116 Crown along with Danielle Ginnetti and Bruce Ditman.

Shortly after the Meat ribbon was cut, the giant ceremonial scissors were rushed dangerously down the street to 86 Crown, where it was now Ide and Melaka Ehiguato’s turn.

He’s an aerospace engineer originally from Nigeria. She’s a cellular biologist. They said they had a craving for fried turkey last Thanksgiving, but could find none in the area.

Being scientists, they began their research. The result: Inspired Turkey, a restaurant that specialize not in fried turkey, which is not so great for you, but in “pressure-fried turkey.”

That’s “about 12 pounds of pressure per square inch. [It] traps the natural juices and flavors in, and keeps the oil from penetrating the bird. The bird cooks from the inside out. Pressure frying is a misnomer—it’s a healthy food,” explained Ehiguato after he cut the ribbon.

He serves the turkey home style, no frills. “Our vision is to grow this,” he said, with the retail being the first phase. Their products are already sold at Elm City Market and other area outlets.

It was now 6:45, and on to to the Fred Giampietro 91 Orange Street Gallery for ribbon number three.

Giampietro has been running a successful gallery in Erector Square for several years. (Click here for a story on his predilection in art, representational abstraction, two of whose practitioners’ works, Elizabeth Gourlay and Kevin Finklea, were on display Friday.)

Why open a satellite gallery?

“We wanted to have a connection with downtown,” he explained after he dealt with the ribbon with dispatch so as to return to the many guests at the opening.

“We thought maybe a whole gallery, but the better business decision was a small space, with one more employee doing the Internet business,” Giampietro explained.

He said that online sales of art account for about half his business.

Many of those customers are not only from New York City but Philadelphia. That was another reason for the 91 Orange St. address, Giampietro said: a satellite gallery close to the satellite train station on State Street.

“Finklea is from Philadelphia. That’s part of the strategy,” said Giampietro.

The new gallery is a brightly painted rectangle of white. Giampietro said he will begin to mix not only the work of his stable of emerging artists but also the work of better-known artists.

One of them, Don Voisine, was at Friday night’s open party sipping wine and eating cashews. Voisine’s show will be at Giampietro 91 Orange in January.

The Erector Square location will continue operating as usual, Giampietro added.

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posted by: Stylo on October 7, 2013  1:41pm

Meat & Co has a great space, good flavor profile in the sandwiches, but the name is a bit of a misnomer. For $10, I expect more meat in my sandwiches. It’s really a skimpy showing. If they get that right, it’s a home run all the way.