April 11. 2013 9:54AM

From restaurant to art gallery

Kathy Remillard, k-rem@comcast.net

Patrons of downtown businesses will once again see a familiar face, as Steve Pascucci, former owner of the Village Trestle, begins a new venture – an art studio and gallery in the space formerly occupied by the Sad Tomato cafe.

Pascucci made it clear that his is no longer affiliated with the High Street Farm House, which opened in December.

“That’s really all I can say,” Pascucci said of his departure from the restaurant.

But he has plenty to say about the opening of Art Made Easely, which will open on April 16.

It will be part art gallery and part studio, and Pascucci will showcase the works of local artists and offer painting lessons to the public.

“For years, I’d been doing lessons out of my house,” he said.

While Pascucci said he has had no formal art training, he describes art as his passion, and is excited about the prospect of sharing it with others, especially since warmer weather is arriving.

“I want to get people outside and painting,” Pascucci said. “There’s nothing better. The natural light is really nice.”

Pascucci won’t limit art classes to just paint and canvas, however. He may offer courses in quilting and sewing, and perhaps expand into guitar lessons as well.

He is hoping that art will serve as the medium for people downtown to gather, and wants the shop to have the same kind of welcoming vibe as the Trestle.

“I just want people to come and hang,” he said. “If you see a light on, come in and check us out.”

Pascucci said he is excited about the shop’s location in the heart of Main Street activity.

“It’s a great, great location,” he said. “I’m happy with what we’ve got,” he said. Many won’t recognize the former breakfast and lunch café, which is now missing a couple of walls and its signature counter space.

“Everyone has been so supportive,” he said. “People are happy for me.”

While he is still working on a formalized offering of courses and even business hours, Pascucci said he plans to get the shop open and see how things progress.

“I like seeing people get excited about art,” Pascucci said. “Seeing the satisfaction on their faces makes me happy that I can bring that out. I wish I’d done this a long time ago.”