Edina restaurants display all kinds of art. Atmospheric images can transport diners to new realms of place and thought. And art can set the mood for food.
15th-Century Italian Painting Reproductions
Experience the timeless allure of Italian art from floor to ceiling at Arrezo. Not just any art, but Italian Renaissance frescoes, including Meeting of Queen Sheba and King Solomon. The work is just one of 12 that artist La Leggenda di Piero created in The Legend of the Holy Cross series at the Basilica of San Francesco in Tuscany. “We wanted to bring things that represented Arezzo,” says owner Adam Smith. An accomplished theatrical set designer planned the art reproductions. Arezzo’s fresco reproductions, along with Italian pottery and vineyard-themed stained glass, offer a glimpse into 15th century Italy.
Photo Booth Pictures
Pile in and smile, smile, smile! “The photo booth is something I have always loved,” says Ann Kim, owner. “In an age where everything’s digital, and you pick and choose what you want, this is more spontaneous.” Kim never intended for photo booth shots to become part of the décor, but the evolution was natural. First, staff put photos of themselves on the wall. Soon, customers followed suit. Now there are dozens of neat rows of photo strips. The entertaining tradition carries over to Hello Pizza, where the back wall is also covered. Photo booth ticket $3, two tickets $5.
Hockey Paintings and Memorabilia
Carefully procured artwork sparks conversation at Lou Nanne’s. The famed hockey player’s winning career comes to life in milestone mementos that cover the breadth of Nanne’s accomplishments at the University of Minnesota with coach John Mariucci, the Minnesota North Stars, the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame and more. These pieces aren’t typical sports-bar kitsch. Even non-sports fans can’t help but be impressed by the commissioned paintings by Terence Fogarty, an artist from Victoria, Minn., hockey jerseys and memorabilia that chronicle Nanne’s exemplary career.
19th-Century French Print Reproductions
While these print reproductions at Salut look nostalgic now, they were revolutionary in their day. Leonetto Cappiello’s primary-colored commercial images thrust onto black backgrounds made bold advertising statements. “They have a very strong read across a distance,” says Steve Roberts, architect. “I love the way these posters pull in color and make it lively. As a designer, I was immediately drawn to them.” The theatrical designs seemed a perfect fit. Salut’s collection illustrates everything from liquor to tires, and even an early rendition of a public health announcement. Every piece builds into an overall café-style impression. Salut’s prints “call to mind a more romantic time in Paris,” says Kip Clayton, vice president of marketing. The French art takes you to another place and time.
Thai Art And Masks
A bit of Thai history forms a wall gallery at Coconut Thai. Owner Pallop Ratnasingha takes pride in his native culture and speaks eagerly of his art collection. “It’s a mix of Thai traditions and European influences over the ages,” he says. The pieces are a patchwork united by life in Thailand. Royalty, common folks, religious figures, and Asian advertisements illustrate changing times. In a case by the cash register, Thai masks make an eye-catching artistic display. The sparkling papier mâché reproductions look exotic, almost spirited. Ratnasingha wanted his restaurant to have a modern feel that respected the past.