“We don’t really see this trend ending anytime soon,” said Marci Freede, who opened the Paint Place on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in 2014 and added a second location, in Astoria, Queens, last year.
Whether run by franchisees or sole proprietors, the classes have a similar structure: An artist offers step-by-step instructions on how to paint a predetermined image. While they paint, customers enjoy an alcoholic beverage of their choice (or, if they prefer, coffee or water). And when they finish, they get to keep their creations. Classes can cost $35 to $65 a person, depending on location and format.
Cathy Deano, a founder of Painting With a Twist, which is based in Mandeville, La., said that most participants had not done much painting, if any, before taking a class, and that having a few sips of wine helped tame what she called the “white canvas anxiety” that novice artists can feel when starting a painting. “It just relaxes them,” she said.
“I tell my husband, ‘It’s like going fishing,’” said Susan Jean, the proprietor of Painting With a Twist’s Bentonville location. “You drink a little, talk a lot and bring something home.”
Ms. Jean, 59, said she had always wanted to run her own business and had decided on a paint-and-sip shop after taking a class with her sister. She is not an artist herself: “I can’t paint a wall,” she said with a shrug.
She hires local artists to teach the classes, while she and her daughter, Katie Collins, run the business. Some classes are open to anyone; others are geared toward couples or “girls night out” groups. Companies also schedule classes as team-building exercises or fund-raising events.
The paint-and-sip trend has been driven in part by a generally heightened interest in wine, said Ben Litalien, an instructor in the franchise-management…