Drink-and-paint studio hopes to foster arts scene in Dyker

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They’re bringing a dab of high-culture to Dyker Heights.

Owners of Dyker’s new drink-and-draw franchise Pinot’s Palette want to transform the bedroom community into an artistic hot spot. The shop, which opened last month in the back of a bookstore on 13th Avenue and 76th Street, is lending some cultural cred to an area that doesn’t have much going for it besides chain stores, one customer said.

“There’s nothing else really going on there except a Dunkin’ Donuts,” said Keri Thompson, a Dyker native who lives on Staten Island and recently held a birthday party at the store.

The studio, where folks can sip wine and learn to paint, is bringing a touch of artsy Bushwick to the Southern Brooklyn neighborhood, one instructor said.

“Pinot’s Palette is great for Dyker Heights, because it’s bringing more of that art culture,” said Cassandra Fountaine, who lives in Bushwick and leads painting classes at the Dyker studio. “I feel like they don’t have as many artists shops and places where you can be part of the arts scene [as Bushwick].”

Indeed, most of the artists leading classes hail from hipper ’hoods, the owner said, such as Williamsburg, Park Slope, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Bay Ridge — where wine bar poetry nights and street-front art walks are redefining the middle-class neighborhood.

“They’re imports, most of them, but they’re all really talented,” said Pinot’s Pallet owner — and lifelong Dyker resident — Tatiana Nicoli.

It’s not Nicoli’s first stroke in trying to cultivate neighborhood arts. She opened biblio-boutique Boulevard Books, which shares space with Pinot’s Palette, about five years ago, she said.

Back then, she said locals told her it would never last.

“When I opened the bookstore, I opened to some naysayers who were like ‘Whaddaya mean a bookstore? Nobody reads in this neighborho­od,’ ” she said.

Five years later, the bookstore is still going, though Nicoli scaled back adult offerings to those on the New York Times best-seller list in favor of adding more children’s titles, she said. With the extra space, she decided to open a franchise of the Houston-based paint parlors, she said.

Pinot’s Palette [7518 13th Ave. between Bay Ridge Parkway and 76th Street in Dyker Heights,, (718) 491–4386].

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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