Painting and Wine Make Better Art at Pinot’s Palette

Directed painting workshops – paired with wine drinking – have been popping up all over the place. I attended one that I found to be fun and relaxing earlier this year as a special event at The Play Destination. But now there is a local place anybody can go for this fun night out – Pinot’s Palette in Westlake Village.

row of paintings 2

Occupying the space that once was The Pump Station in the plaza at the corner of Agoura Road and Village Glen, Pinot’s Palette is a place where you can take a painting class and purchase wine, beer, and snacks. It’s as simple as that!

wine and canvas

  • Pick the date and painting that works best for you and/or your group.
  • Make your reservation online in a few easy clicks.
  • Show up on the date and get ready to enjoy painting!
  • Purchase wine and beer from our fully stocked bar

Two-hour classes cost $35 per painter, and 3-hour classes cost $45 per painter. Drinks and snacks are extra (but you can bring your own snacks). You can view the schedule – and what you’ll be painting – online and choose according to the art or your availability.


I’ve often heard of these workshops as great Girls’ Night Out events, but since Pinot’s Palette invited me to be their guest on a scheduled date night, I brought my husband along. I didn’t tell him what we’d be doing in case he thought he’d be the only guy. Not to worry – there were plenty of men in attendance and everyone seemed to have a lot of fun.

husband and wife at pinots palette

At Pinot’s Palette your name is drawn at your seat in chalk on a chalkboard painted table, and everything is there for you: canvas, palette of colors, brushes, water, and paper towels.



All you have to do is buy a drink at their little bar, don an apron, and settle in. They’ve taken a lot of the thinking out of the process for you–a trained expert leads you step-by-step through the night’s project. Or, you can opt to just paint whatever you want. The trainer on media night had a great sense of humor and encouraged us to hit the bar for more drinks if we were nervous. Of course, you don’t have to drink the wine or beer, but it did make it more fun, especially with local wines being poured that night.

row of paintings

My husband and I both followed the exact same directions, but the final product was very different. Our children were delighted and each claimed a painting for his bedroom. (Not sure how appropriate it is…but they appreciate our art!)





We both really enjoyed the evening. The class was 2 hours long, and afterwards we strolled over to Casa Escobar for a lovely dinner. Date night achieved! I recommend this for pals, dates, and even private parties. No kids, though – this place is only 21 and over.

IMG_9315Even the signage on the storeroom door has a sense of humor.

Pinot’s Palette
2879 Agoura Rd
Westlake Village, CA 91361
(805) 379-9963

Some photos (the really good ones) courtesy of Pinot’s Palette.

Cronies Restaurant: It’s Not Just For Beer

It’s a family restaurant! Read to the end for the $50 gift card giveaway.

cronies review giveaway pinterest

A few weeks ago, my family went to Cronies for dinner – it was the night the restaurant was donating 20% back to the kids’ school if you presented a special flyer. My younger son had had a baseball game, and I walked up and down the bleachers handing out flyers, hopefully inspiring people to visit this family restaurant/sports “grill.”

When we got there, we saw at least a dozen other families from our school. Their kids had had baseball games and softball games, or they were just hungry and they wanted to support the school and have someone else make dinner. Win-win.

The truth is, Cronies looks like a sports bar from the outside. The word “Cronies” and the many neon beer signs will steer you to that impression. But what Cronies’ management wants you to know is that the restaurant is actually a family place, where you can gather, find something on the menu that will delight everyone, let the kids goof around and be kind of loud, and also, you can drink a beer. A very, very cold beer.

just some taps

Come on, Agoura Hills. Don’t we need that kind of place around here?

What used to be Angel Cafe, full of booths and Italian food, is now Cronies, anchoring the CVS/Vons plaza at Kanan Ave. and Thousand Oaks Blvd. There is plenty of parking, and a Goodwill book store nearby.

Cronies family restaurant and sports grillThe wings are delicious

Cronies is open from breakfast through late night, and you can always find a friendly face there. Manager Wayne Smith will greet you with a handshake and his bearded smile, and if you engage him in conversation he will point up to a photograph on the wall taken in the (I’m guessing) early 80’s: that’s me, he’ll say, the child in the owner’s arms.

Because Cronies goes way back. Its original location is in Ventura, and the owners branched out to Agoura because let’s face it. We needed them as much as they need us.

Since its opening several months ago, Cronies has supported neighborhood schools, the Great Race, and a family that lost its mother in a tragic car crash. The bartenders have served up countless drafts, they have hosted Superbowl parties and March Madness happy hours, and opened its doors for breakfast and lunch. Cronies wants us to become like them – cronies in the best definition of the word: lifelong friends.

Yeah, yeah, it’s great for blowing off steam after work or a baseball game. “But how’s the food, Kim?” you ask. And I’m glad you did.

The first time I went to Cronies it was for lunch. The place was nearly deserted. “Bingo!” I thought. “A great place for meeting a friend, or conducting business over a meal.” I’m thinking PTA meetings. (Amirite, ladies and gents?)



The food didn’t disappoint. Beyond the basic bar food of burgers and fries – which are solid, dependable choices – Cronies has a great list of salads to choose from, my favorite being the “protein salad” which has tuna salad, sprouts, and nuts over a bed of greens. Our family also tried the chicken wings, both the hot wings and the barbecue sauce version. I could eat them all by myself if necessary. And my husband had a pulled pork sandwich which he generously shared – it was sweet and savory and delicious.

frozen beers

Cronies serves beer in giant ice cream bowls – I believe they are referred to as “schooners” but I can totally imagine eating an ice cream sundae out of one – and the beer is super ice cold. They don’t have a full bar and even though I like wine (hey it’s me you’re talking to here…) I prefer to drink something closer to beer so I usually choose a Mike’s hard lemonade or cranberry which they will serve over ice, mimicking a cocktail. Good enough!

The bottom line is: go to Cronies for breakfast, lunch, or dinner in a relaxed atmosphere where you can watch the game, pawn your kids off on the quarter-hungry machines, and be kind of loud. It’s perfect for team parties, or lunch with your friends where you can hear each other talk, and then run into the grocery store to pick up a few things before getting back to work or picking up the kids. Happy hour is from 2-6 – that is a LONG happy hour, designed to “beat any crowd,” and there’s always a promo running, so check them out.

5687 Kanan Rd, Agoura Hills, CA 91301
(818) 889-0889

Giveaway: Cronies has offered a $50 gift card to a lucky Agoura Hills Mom reader. Just leave a comment here and tell me what your favorite Cronies drink or dish is, or what you’d like to try. One comment entry per person. Make sure your email address is entered (will not be published). For an extra entry, follow @agourahillsmom on Instagram and leave your handle in your comment. Winner will be drawn at random from all qualifying entries received by 11:59 PM, Friday April 24.