When a paper bag containing fresh baked goods from a local purveyor inspires daydreaming for days, it’s a sign: Get back to that bakery ASAP.
Art’s Café, equal parts bakery and arts center, is a three-story locus for creativity, coffee and baked goods, a brick and tile and bready labor of collective love at 5 East Main Street in the Village of Springville. The business is proudly 100 percent community-owned; anyone may become a community owner of Art’s Café and join in becoming a “Bona fide owner of a piece of Main Street.”
The building, a gorgeous Italianate built in 1880, is nearing the completion of a restoration that began in 2012 after considerable paperwork to free it from neglect, a collapsed roof and two decades’ worth of back taxes. The café is along a vibrant, locally-owned historic business district of restaurants, small shops, and some residential spaces.
Until the work on the ground floor is completed, and it is nearly so as of this writing, the bakery is operating and selling its wares as Backdoor Bakery. The bakery is open Wednesday-Friday from noon to 3 p.m., and on Saturday from 10 a.m.-noon (suggestion: call ahead to confirm the day’s hours). Look for the purple chalkboard sign behind the building and in the large parking lot just off of South Buffalo Street. Enter the purple door and expect to be delighted.
Inside, a wall synopsizes the café restoration project, and lists the day’s cultural and culinary offerings. There are workshops and classes for adults and children happening in the impressive and vibrant lower-level studio space, with more planned for the future. Concerts, open mics, and artist residencies will be rolled out as soon as it’s safe to do so.
On a recent visit the list of goodies fresh from the ovens included breads of the day: Springville Sourdough, and 3-Seed. Highly recommended is their gingerbread, sold in dense, delicious rectangles imprinted with a decorative pattern from a textured rolling pin, and a savory shortbread with rosemary and sprinkles of just the right amount of salt. Cookies, soft pretzels, croissants and scones round out the deliciousness. There are also bagels, good coffee to-go, and souvenir t-shirts for sale.
Art’s Café has been meticulously designed and will surely become an essential cultural hub for the arts-loving community at large with activities happening in the front room that manages to be both spacious and cozy. Lunch, dinner, and appetizer menus are planned and ready to roll: beer and wine are also forthcoming.
It must be mentioned that across Main Street is Springville Center for the Arts (SCA), another thriving village non-profit, and the sister creative space of Art’s Café. The SCA, located in a former church at 37 North Buffalo Street, is also led by many of the principals of Art’s Café.
Art’s Cafe upper level features apartments that help fund the bakery and classes, and the green rooftop is a place for commanding views of the town and hills beyond, a slice of urban nature, and a great place to muse. The building is abuzz with creative energy top to bottom, an inspiring, and restorative place to visit.