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The Paint Corner Art Bar offers people seeking an “alternative night out” a chance to experiment with art, starting and finishing a painting in a couple hours over snacks and wine. (Image: Paint Corner Art Bar)

The Paint Corner Art Bar offers people seeking an “alternative night out” a chance to experiment with art, starting and finishing a painting in a couple hours over snacks and wine. (Image: Paint Corner Art Bar)

Cambridge’s “art bar” has its grand opening from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, providing an alternative to a typical night out drinking.

“This is a totally different kind of downtime. It’s relaxing, fun and social, but a step above just sitting in a bar talking,” said owner Leslie Roberts Belkner, an artist, graphic designer and former museum teacher at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston’s Fenway area.

Belkner

Belkner

She brought the concept for her Paint Corner Art Bar and its “alternative night out” to the License Commission in April and May, winning permission for a 20-seat establishment near Ana Sortun’s Sofra Bakery in West Cambridge. The casual, light-filled space is equal parts studio, wine bar and snack bar, with a menu including nine beers and ciders, 10 red and white wines, three kinds of Vietnamese spring rolls and seven flavors of fancy popcorn.

As seen in similar businesses in South Boston and Newton, the idea is for Belkner to give step-by-step acrylics painting guidance that lets amateur artists start and finish a painting in two or three evening hours while enjoying light, prepared food and a glass or two of wine.

“Absolutely no art experience is necessary,” Belkner said. (But online registration is. The reservations page is here.)

“People come in as skeptics of their artistic ability, but leave amazed at what they are capable of,” she said.

Paint Corner is aimed at corporate and social groups, as well as individuals needing a night or creative three-hour kids’ birthday party, and Belkner has plans for’ outings to paint on Martha’s Vineyard.

Paint Corner is at 31 Belmont St., near the Watertown border. For information, call (781) 526-6048.