Skip to main content

Armando's Gallery House is Half Restaurant, Half Dinner Party

05/25/2016 05:16PM ● Published by Jon Lewis

Show Man Ship

June, 2016
By Jon Lewis
Photo: James Mazzotta

Armando Mejorado’s world was filled with light, color and love. And then it wasn’t. His partner of 20 years, Gary Desmond, passed away two years ago and the Redding artist found himself at an emotional and creative loss.

He didn’t wallow in self-pity very long. A busy man and a hard worker by nature, Armando turned his grief into action. For motivation, he fashioned a sign that he frequently posted to his Facebook page. It reads: “Need a Jump Start, Will Work 4 It.”

“I went into survivor mode,” Armando says. Thankfully, he rejected his initial impulse to sell his belongings and “go somewhere where nobody knew me.” Instead, he decided to give himself a year to find his footing.

For the beginning, he knew he had to leave the home he and Gary, an interior decorator, had shared. The beautiful north Redding house was decorated from top to bottom with Armando’s paintings and the whimsical and unique furnishings the two had collected over the years.

“I knew right from the start that I couldn’t stay in that house because of the memories,” Armando says. Those memories, however, include fond ones of the elaborate dinner parties the pair would host; the soirees were usually based on a theme and often became performance-art events in and of themselves.

Ultimately, Armando decided to move ahead in the only way that made sense to him: start a business that combines his twin passions of creating art and entertaining friends. The result is Armando’s Gallery House, a restaurant and art gallery that stands alone in the North State in terms of originality.

An extravaganza of artwork, knickknacks and distinctive furnishings, the Gallery House is a constantly evolving potpourri that has been delighting customers since the doors opened last summer. 

Sherry Hoyer of Redding likens a visit to the Gallery House to the opening pages of a favorite book. “It’s like ‘Milan’ or ‘The Secret Garden.’ It’s a backdrop to a story and I’m full of wonder and joy. The scene is set and I get to be in the story.”

Lyn Regan also is a fan and enjoys Armando’s near-constant rearranging of the furnishings and artwork. “Armando wants everyone to feel that they are a guest in his home, and he succeeds,” Regan says. “The Gallery is cozy and inviting. I have gone there for a special event where I dressed up, and one night I went in my slippers because I wanted to just relax with a glass of wine in the ambiance of his peaceful and lovely gallery.”

Perhaps the best review was delivered last month when Viva Downtown named Armando’s Gallery House the downtown business of the year at the annual State of Downtown event.

The Gallery House is a slight twist on the dream Armando and Desmond had to open a combination gallery and bed & breakfast. There are no bedrooms and breakfast isn’t served, but guest comfort is still a priority. “I describe it as my home and I’m throwing a dinner party every night I’m open,” Armando says. “They can just come in and feel comfy.”

Armando creates a fixed menu each week for Friday and Saturday dinners. Guests also are welcome to order a la carte or simply stop in and enjoy a glass of wine or a pint of craft beer. Thursday nights are less structured, with appetizers and desserts on the menu. The Gallery House is open other nights of the week by reservation. The Butte Street location has become popular for private parties, Armando says.

Belly dance performances, movie nights, concerts and other themed events are held at least once a month. Guests are served by a pair of waitresses attired in colorful kimonos; Armando says the idea is to emulate geishas, “the ultimate level of service.”

Aspiring artists can buy a blank canvas and work on their own masterpiece while they dine or have a drink. Armando freely offers tips and guidance as his time allows; Thursdays are usually the best for those wishing for more instruction.

“They may say, ‘I’m not an artist,’ and I tell them you will leave with a painting you will be happy with,” Armando says. He urges his guests to outline their works with a permanent marker rather than a pencil to eliminate any second-guessing. “Your first instinct is usually the best,” he says.

A self-taught artist, Armando says he’s had the urge to create since age 5 and he kept returning to it despite the objections of his father. Art became his refuge as a teenager and a means of expression as an adult.

When Armando’s older brother, Bernave, was killed in an automobile accident about 15 years ago, Armando decided to stage an annual event in his brother’s memory and came up with his Charity Art Exhibit. He continued that tradition for more than 10 years, raising more than $120,000 for the American Cancer Society, North State Symphony, Riverfront Playhouse, Another Chance Animal Welfare League and other nonprofit organizations.

Armando continues to turn to art to convey his feelings. Following Desmond’s passing, Armando painted five works, each featuring a circle representing the concept of infinity. The five paintings have a total of 20 circles, or one for each year they were together. All five are displayed at the Gallery House. 

Armando’s Gallery House

1350 Butte St., Redding

(530) 768-1241

Find Armando’s Gallery House on Facebook



Food+Dining, In Print, Arts+Entertainment, Community Armando's Gallery House Armando Mejorado
  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/23/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/25/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/26/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Cottonwood Community Library Book Sale

    01/26/2018
    11:00AM — 02:00PM

    A book sale to benefit the Cottonwood Community Library will be held on Friday, January 26 and Sa...


  • Redding Cultural Cruise - Day I

    01/26/2018
    04:00PM — 08:30PM

    Redding Cultural Cruise is just around the corner, coming Friday, January 26! Participate in t...


  • Wildcard Brewing Co. Foodie Friday

    01/26/2018
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    On Fridays from 5pm-8pm, we bring you the best of both worlds: a frothy pint and a flavorful plat...


  • Sleeping Beauty

    01/26/2018
    07:00PM — 08:30AM

    RSA Theater Booster Club is a Non-Profit organization. It is our mission is to teach our middle ...


  • Redding International Folk Dancers

    01/26/2018
    07:00PM — 10:00PM

    Folk dance is for everyone and for all ages! Our motto is: If you can walk you can dance. We meet...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/27/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Cottonwood Community Library Book Sale

    01/27/2018
    11:00AM — 02:00PM

    A book sale to benefit the Cottonwood Community Library will be held on Friday, January 26 and Sa...


  • Redding Cultural Cruise - Day II

    01/27/2018
    11:00AM — 03:00PM

    Join us SATURDAY, JANUARY 27 for Day II of Redding Cultural Cruise! Visit a number of Redding ven...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Brewhouse Tour

    01/27/2018
    04:30PM — 05:00PM

    Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildcard? Join us for a tour. This is y...


  • Redding Community Contra Dance

    01/27/2018
    07:00PM — 10:00PM

    What is contra? Contra dance is the American cousin to Scottish and English Country set dances. I...


  • Sleeping Beauty

    01/27/2018
    07:00PM — 08:30AM

    RSA Theater Booster Club is a Non-Profit organization. It is our mission is to teach our middle ...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/28/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Conductor and saxophonist Scott Seaton welcomes Terrie Baune (violin) and John Chernoff (piano) f...


  • North State Symphony

    01/28/2018
    02:00PM

    In this more intimate concert, Maestro Scott Seaton on his saxophone joins Concertmaster Terrie B...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/29/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/23/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/24/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Midweek Madness

    01/24/2018
    02:00PM — 08:00PM

    Visit either Wildcard location on Wednesdays and get $3 off a growler fill! Come by the brewery a...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/25/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/26/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Cottonwood Community Library Book Sale

    01/26/2018
    11:00AM — 02:00PM

    A book sale to benefit the Cottonwood Community Library will be held on Friday, January 26 and Sa...


  • Redding Cultural Cruise - Day I

    01/26/2018
    04:00PM — 08:30PM

    Redding Cultural Cruise is just around the corner, coming Friday, January 26! Participate in t...


  • Wildcard Brewing Co. Foodie Friday

    01/26/2018
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    On Fridays from 5pm-8pm, we bring you the best of both worlds: a frothy pint and a flavorful plat...


  • Sleeping Beauty

    01/26/2018
    07:00PM — 08:30AM

    RSA Theater Booster Club is a Non-Profit organization. It is our mission is to teach our middle ...


  • Redding International Folk Dancers

    01/26/2018
    07:00PM — 10:00PM

    Folk dance is for everyone and for all ages! Our motto is: If you can walk you can dance. We meet...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/27/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Cottonwood Community Library Book Sale

    01/27/2018
    11:00AM — 02:00PM

    A book sale to benefit the Cottonwood Community Library will be held on Friday, January 26 and Sa...


  • Redding Cultural Cruise - Day II

    01/27/2018
    11:00AM — 03:00PM

    Join us SATURDAY, JANUARY 27 for Day II of Redding Cultural Cruise! Visit a number of Redding ven...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Brewhouse Tour

    01/27/2018
    04:30PM — 05:00PM

    Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildcard? Join us for a tour. This is y...


  • Redding Community Contra Dance

    01/27/2018
    07:00PM — 10:00PM

    What is contra? Contra dance is the American cousin to Scottish and English Country set dances. I...


  • Sleeping Beauty

    01/27/2018
    07:00PM — 08:30AM

    RSA Theater Booster Club is a Non-Profit organization. It is our mission is to teach our middle ...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/28/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Conductor and saxophonist Scott Seaton welcomes Terrie Baune (violin) and John Chernoff (piano) f...


  • North State Symphony

    01/28/2018
    02:00PM

    In this more intimate concert, Maestro Scott Seaton on his saxophone joins Concertmaster Terrie B...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/29/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/30/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    01/31/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Midweek Madness

    01/31/2018
    02:00PM — 08:00PM

    Visit either Wildcard location on Wednesdays and get $3 off a growler fill! Come by the brewery a...


  • The Peking Acrobats

    01/31/2018
    07:30PM

    For the last 30 years The Peking Acrobats have inspired fans young and old as they defy gravity w...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    02/01/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • ART SALE at Pawz for a Cause Boutique

    02/01/2018
    10:30AM — 05:00PM

    Pawz for a Cause Boutique/ ResQ Animal Coalition will be having a 15% Off All Framed Art SALE for...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Vinyl Night

    02/01/2018
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Vinyl Night! Join us downtown the first and third Thursday of every month. We are going to ditch ...


  • Sparrow's Landing Open to Public

    02/02/2018
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    Furniture, plants, yard art and more! Most items made from repurposed, reclaimed materials. The ...


  • Football Season Is Here!

    02/02/2018
    09:30AM

    NFL Ticket. Sunday all day starting 930am with breakfast! Mon night Football. Thursday night S...


  • ART SALE at Pawz for a Cause Boutique

    02/02/2018
    10:30AM — 05:00PM

    Pawz for a Cause Boutique/ ResQ Animal Coalition will be having a 15% Off All Framed Art SALE for...


  • Wildcard Brewing Co. Foodie Friday

    02/02/2018
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    On Fridays from 5pm-8pm, we bring you the best of both worlds: a frothy pint and a flavorful plat...


  • Redding International Folk Dancers

    02/02/2018
    07:00PM — 10:00PM

    Folk dance is for everyone and for all ages! Our motto is: If you can walk you can dance. We meet...


Enter to win!

 

Check out our sister publication, Enjoy Magazine: South Valley Living

 

Wedding Style Guide 2017
Enjoy Magazine Facebook
Enjoy Magazine Instagram Instagram
Enjoy Magazine Pinterest Enjoy Magazine

Enjoy Our Sponsors