By Laura Tamayo
Nine years ago, one of the FishHawk area’s most loved locations opened its door. Art Monkey, now titled Art Monkey Emporium and run by Eric Soncrant, has been a steadfast component of the FishHawk community where families and friends come together to eat ice cream, create art and much more.
Soncrant was not the original owner, but his family purchased the business in October 2016. “We purchased it to keep its spirit alive as a creative resource to the community,” explained Soncrant.
Though many Fishhawk residents know Art Monkey Emporium for its ice cream and pottery, the organization has recently added many more services.
“Since we’ve owned Art Monkey, we have relied more and more on local makers. Our goal is to be a resource for them and a place where they can showcase their craft,” said Soncrant as he detailed Art Monkey Emporium’s new association with multiple local artists, holding events to present their pieces and sell them to customers.
Aside from this, the company has decided to expand its demographic by adding beer, wine, sangria, mimosas and frosé to the menu for any adults. Similarly, it has widened its crafting opportunities, now offering candle-making, woodworks and painting on canvases. Soncrant also plans to sell homemade candles in-store and on the Art Monkey Emporium website at www.artandicecream.com.
For children, birthday parties, summer camps and art classes are offered, as well as more than 20 flavors of ice cream.
With these past few unprecedented months of chaos, Art Monkey Emporium has faced a strenuous challenge in being able to stay open. Customers have been very scarce, but Soncrant expressed his hope that normalcy is close by.
This business’ eclectic, colorful nature is not something to miss, and now, with social distancing and masks mandated, anyone can visit. Art Monkey Emporium is the perfect place to set aside the stress that the world’s state is causing and simply relax.
Visit www.artandicecream.com to find out more or visit Art Monkey Emporium in FishHawk’s Park Square Plaza at 16144 Churchview Dr., Ste. 103 in Lithia to paint, craft, drink some especially stress-relieving beverages (21 and up) or just eat some ice cream.