For Pancakes & Booze founder Tom Kirlin, combining free flapjacks, alcohol and art has been a recipe for success.
The L.A. resident first devised his art and carb fest back in 2009 as a side project, a way for the former film and TV cameraman to make use of his studio space that would sit empty on nights he wasn’t working. He started out booking his friends and artists who responded to open calls.
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But the low-key vibe of the art shows, combined with the pancakes and libations — basically, the antithesis of the stuffy wine-and-cheese gallery shtick — made the event stick. Now the 38-year-old has parlayed P&B into a full-time gig, hosting it in more than 30 cities nationwide over the past eight years.
The traveling show hits Tribeca’s M1-5 Lounge on Wednesday and Thursday nights this week.
Why pancakes and booze?
“When I started curating art shows, I wanted to be able to give people an incentive to come,” says Kirlin. “I grew up in Tucson, Arizona, and the only place to go after a night of drinking was IHOP. I always wished IHOP would serve alcohol.” His first idea was to open a restaurant called Pancakes and Booze, but then repurposed it to create the shows.
For each city's rendition, Kirlin sets out to showcase local talent, with an emphasis on less established artists — recent college grads or anybody who’s starting out.
“There’s not a lot of places where young, emerging artists can showcase their work in a fun atmosphere,” he explains.
The two-night showcase will feature nearly 500 works across mediums, from sculpture to paintings to photography, from over 150 mostly New York City-based artists.
Beyond the free pancakes, flipped-to-order, the night will also feature live body painting and DJ sets.
Kirklin expects a big turnout, 1,500 people per night. “People love pancakes and booze,” he jokes.
All art is for sale, with 100 percent of profits going to the artists; prices start as low as $50.
If you go
Pancakes & Booze Art Show
Wed. April 5, Thurs. April 6,7-9 p.m.
M1-5 Lounge,52 Walker St.
$10 general admission, $20 fast-track