By Terry Duffy
Third Street in Niagara Falls continues to transform - with new businesses, improved housing and ambitious plans for the future. One new face is the 24 Below Gallery and Café, which opened its doors at 435 Third St. last May.
Owned and operated by Falls resident Andrea Megan, 24 Below is a unique experience, offering visitors a relaxing setting of eclectic art, neat happenings and some tasty eats. Housed earlier in the former Niagara Club on nearby Buffalo Avenue, this artists cafe relocated to join in the resurgence of a go-to Falls area that offers locals and tourists alike an enjoyable mix - street vendors to live art, musical entertainment, nightlife and more.
At 24 Below, you'll find the works of select artists on display, including many from the nearby Niagara Arts and Cultural Center. Current works come from Bruce Verbeck, Mary Grace O, Brook D'Angelo, Jay Carrier, Kim James Yarwood and a host of others from the Western New York arts community.
That's not all.
24 Below also offers a host of unique creations for sale; a selection of homemade prepared lunches and dinners; great desserts; equally great coffees, teas and smoothies; wine and beer; and a literal host of arts-oriented happenings with appeal to all ages.
"Great food, art work and shop merchandise. Another bright spot in the City of Niagara Falls!" said Maria Dugan Kowalski of the Town of Niagara on a recent visit.
How about an impromptu art beat drum circle session? Or how about a painting and sipping night with abstract art? Or maybe a paint-pumpkin party for all ages? These and more are a part of the 24 Below experience.
Upcoming at 24 Below is "A Haunted Night at the Gallery," 6 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 17. Donations from the evening's events go to benefit the Food Bank of WNY.
"Murder in Niagara" - the 24 Below speakeasy dinner mystery - is 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Oct. 23 and 24.
Check out a 24 Below preview:
"The year is 1928; it's the Prohibition Era, and the City of Niagara is not coping well.
"With the mayoral election imminent, the current Mayor Haddit Cummings announces now is a good time to crack down on city gangsters. The very next day, he is shot dead on the steps leading up to City Hall.
"The mayor's unfortunate murder has intensified the pressure on those of us running Niagara's organized crime, making normal 'street business' impossible. Mayor Cummings' murderer must be found! Come and see the cream and not so cream of society here at the 24 Below speakeasy. With gangsters, politicians, dolls and molls, this event will be the bee's knees!"
The evening features an Italian family-style dinner, dessert and two drinks from the speakeasy. Tickets are now on sale and advance reservations are required.
More upcoming happenings are a Halloween night at the Gallery, 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, and a kids art event - tissue paper canvas paintings - at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 8.
Inside 24 Below.