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Banter freshens up ‘Friday’

Bistro serves up slate of artists for monthly mixer

Downtown Denton will be a little more bustling just before the weekend. The First Friday Arts Mixer packs local galleries with artists, musicians and people who love both at the monthly gallery walk.

Banter Bistro, a cozy Oak Street eatery and popular open-mic spot in town, has been participating in the monthly mixer for nearly as long as the event has been happening.

“I always book family-friendly music on Friday nights, and actually we have a PG-13 rule here for our entertainment because we want everyone to feel welcome and comfortable here,” said owner Ellen Ryfle.

Ryfle said First Friday guests will get to take in her new Friday show, featuring local artists Lori Martin-Garner, Michael Leza, Megan Ramon and Jen Bailey. The bistro’s Friday night lineup begins at 6 p.m. with jazz vocalist Grace Wright, with Allison Maurine and the Big City Tumble at 8 p.m., and Honest Shaun at 10 p.m.

The bistro used to be the second location for Oxide Gallery, a local gallery that showcases work by Denton area artists, but art shows predated that arrangement, and the shows continued after Oxide acquired a new space on Cedar Street.

First Friday includes: Oxide Gallery, at 211 N. Cedar St.; UNT on the Square, 109 N. Elm St.; A Creative Art Studio, Denton Square Donuts, SCRAP Denton and Circa 77 Vintage — all on Oak Street west of the Square.

Banter is located at 219 W. Oak St.

For more information, visit http://firstfridaydenton.com .

— Lucinda Breeding