Bakova Gallery, a venue that combined cutting-edge artwork with its cocktail bar and event space, has closed its doors, and set its sights to re-open in Greenville, S.C., according to a statement released by the gallery’s owners.
Bakova was the brainchild of owners Anna Scherbakova and Nicholas Baldridge. It opened in December 2019, adding new flavor to an already rich arts scene in downtown Hillsborough. Their business model included traditional gallery sales and services, but also offered a place to gather among art with cocktails, coffee, and events. Bakova Gallery represented emerging and internationally recognized artists.
It’s first Last Friday Art Walk was a huge success, as crowds packed the gallery at the corner of Churton and King streets. The owners were optimistic about their small business and their decision to include a bar as a key part of their business plan.
“Unfortunately, like many entrepreneurs across the states, they were blindsided by the onset of the pandemic and their operations were brought to a dramatic halt,” said the statement. “At first, this simply paused their growth and they were given a sense of hope to hang on and endure the following months. Fast-forward to today, Anna and Nicholas have been forced to face reality: they are unable to maintain their original gallery model given the continued restrictions on art centers, bars, and event venues. They have learned first-hand how much policy plays a role in the life of a small-business owner, no matter how committed they are to operating safely within CDC guidelines.”
Bakova’s owners will join forces with Baldridge’s brother, J.B., to open a boutique, curated art supplies store to support the needs of the growing arts community in Greenville.
“The result will be an active art studio and mecca for artists, designers, and other creative professionals who are in need of a supportive environment. Bakova will continue to promote national and international artists as their business expands. While 2020 has given them plenty of trials, Anna and Nicholas are choosing to carry out their belief in what will ultimately win: creativity over politics and freedom over fear,” the statement continued.