Pinot’s Palette (Pinot’s) located at 470 Pine Ave. in DTLB, will be opening its doors this month! The public is invited to attend their grand opening on May 26 from 10 AM-3 PM, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 11:00 AM.

Partners Monica Ochoa and Mark Pollard are the franchise owners of DTLB’s Pinot’s Palette. Monica also works as a script supervisor on the television series “This is Us,” currently on hiatus, and Mark is in the IT industry. After sharing a positive painting experience at Pinot’s in Tustin, and following a lot of exploration of other business opportunities – including a short-lived international tour guide excursion encompassing a 500-mile walk – the two were drawn to Pinot’s.

Attending “Discovery Day” at the corporate office in Houston, the two unanimously agreed Pinot’s was their future and signed the papers on site. Monica shared that they were impressed with how Pinot’s corporate treated its franchisees and customers. “They had more of a heart,” stated Monica, and went on to further declare that “this is the best thing that has happened to us.”

Having explored other locations, including Torrance and the South Bay in general, DTLB kept popping to the top of the list. “Long Beach has so much to offer. Downtown is up and coming with so much development,” declared Monica. In combination to all of the growth, finding a location available right next to the historic Pine Ave. sign was an additional perk noted.

Monica and Mark want to create an atmosphere that is a respite from the craze of the day and fosters the flow of creative juices. And painting is their tool to achieve this, and the wine helps a bit, too! With a custom-built bar and manned by a bartender serving beer and wine for each class, Pinot’s “paint and sip studio” seats up to 48-50 individuals with painting classes offered in the evenings and weekends through registration online. Accompanied by music to contribute to a comfortable and entertaining atmosphere, each class is designed to be completed in a two-hour sitting. “A blank canvas can be very intimidating,” commented Monica, “but we help you get over that very quickly, and our classes are made for all ranges of experience.”

Guests can bring in food to the studio and will eventually be able to purchase sandwiches and other meal items in the coming months. Presently, Pinot’s alcohol license does not allow anyone under 21 to participate, but Monica believes they will have an expanded license in a few months, as she is keen to offer painting classes to families and youth.

In addition to floral and scenic canvas projects, they’re self-portraits inpop style, black light with fluorescent paints, paint your pet, and more in the works. Team building classes are also offered with painting rounds of musical chairs like the game, and jigsaw painting, where each person paints a portion of a design. For groups larger than 50 or for private parties, Pinot’s does have a mobile offering. They’re prepared to handle any major milestone event: engagement, birthday, anniversary, and more.

When asked what message she wanted to share with the community about Pinot’s, Monica responded, “that we’re a comfortable, friendly place to come and destress, feel safe, and let to let out creative juices.” She also shared her philosophy on the healing powers of painting. “Painting does something to you. It releases endorphins. People are physically doing themselves good.” Elaborating further, Monica addresses that she and Mark wanted to “bring something to the community that was healthy, and really good for the soul. Something that fosters an experience for people to connect and interact with one another.”

Located next to Romeo’s Chocolates and a few doors down from The Pie Bar, Monica hopes Pinot’s can leverage some of the evening sweet tooth foot traffic to continue their evening at Pinot’s. Positioning painting as an additional evening activity to just dining and drinking, Pinot’s can provide Long Beach with a fun and social pursuit of an alternative type.

For more information or to register for a class, visit:www.pinotspalette.com/long-beach. A calendar of available classes with images of the corresponding paint projects is accessible on the website.