A muse is descending on Willow Lawn.
Muse Paintbar, a company that offers painting classes while students enjoy wine, beer and food, plans to open in February a 2,500-square-foot storefront in the West End shopping center.
Stan Finch and Ray Weaver launched Muse Paintbar in 2012 with a location in New Hampshire. They now have 10 locations either open or in the works. Finch said it could cost up to $1 million to open the Richmond location, Muse’s first outside New England and New York state.
Finch said Muse is focusing on expanding its presence around Washington, D.C., and Virginia.
“We thought the population was attractive both for its quality and density,” he said of the area around Willow Lawn.
Muse customers typically sign up for a painting session ahead of time. It costs about $35 to participate. They don’t need an art degree to feel comfortable: The painting sessions are led by instructors, and no prior skills are needed.
There are 650 different paintings to choose from, and canvases are provided. Breaks are built into each session, and drinks and tapas-style food are available to order. Class sizes range between 10 and 50 people. Students get to take home their finished paintings.
The architect for the space is Connecticut-based Phase Zero Design, which Muse uses for most of its locations. A general contractor has yet to be selected.
Richmond has at least two other ventures that offer social paint classes. Wine and Design at 2707 W. Broad St. and Spirited Art in West Broad Village both opened in recent years.