SOUTHINGTON — Amid the renovation of Anthony Jacks Wood Fired Grill, the owners have donated the artwork that once adorned their walls and shelves to Southington Community Cultural Arts (SoCCA). The local arts center plans to auction these pieces throughout May.
The artwork will be auctioned May 1-31 on the SoCCA’s website, southingtonarts.org. The pieces can also be viewed at the Hopko Performance Gallery at the SoCCA Arts Center at 93 Main St. All proceeds will go to Southington Arts.
Anthony Jacks, located at 30 Center St., has undertaken a total renovation to celebrate 20 years of fine dining in Southington.
“This community has consistently been there for us during recessions, a pandemic – you name it – and we’re so lucky,” owners Barry DePaolo and Cheryl Moran said. “In return, we’ve tried to give back in any way we can. We’ve supported many local nonprofits and civic organizations, held countless fundraisers, and donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in gift cards to the over the years. We are now thrilled that the proceeds from the auction of Anthony Jacks’ works will be donated to such a worthy cause as the SoCCA.
The artwork includes 14 handcrafted metal sculptures of whimsical animal characters, such as ‘Billy the Baby Bird’, ‘Pete the Pig’, ‘Kitty the Cat’ and ‘Ringo the Rabbit’, created by award-winning designer Aaron Jackson.
There are also three paintings on canvas specially created for Anthony Jacks by Southington artist Christine Welch Meier. Marge Chase, Derynoski’s former elementary art teacher, also helped with the three canvas paintings.
Diann Thomson, the new executive director of the SoCCA, said she was “thrilled” to receive the donated artwork.
“It was a very nice gesture from them and a win-win situation for all of us,” she said. “It’s a really great way to help us generate much-needed revenue.”
Anthony Jacks celebrated his 20th birthday on December 3. The restaurant reopened after the renovation was completed on April 13. The facelift included new ceilings, floors, paintings, lighting, seating areas and more.
A highlight includes a focal brick wall, which features the restaurant’s logo and a custom-built back bar with a granite top. There’s also a new staging area to accommodate Anthony Jacks’ growing takeout business, which has ramped up during the pandemic.
“We are so honored and grateful to Southington and the surrounding towns for supporting us from day one,” DePaolo and Moran said. “We were one of the first businesses to open when the Downtown Renaissance project began, and Anthony Jacks was the first restaurant in Southington to request and receive permission to dine out.”
DePaolo and Moran added that they are “very proud” of the fact that they employ 40-50 people and that their restaurant has received “numerous accolades” over the past two decades, including “Best Restaurant in Southington”.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or [email protected]