Mix some paint with some wine, and you have a night out with friends.
That's the concept behind Paint and Sip, a new franchise category. It's a business that combines happy hour with an art class.
Houston-based Pinot's Palette is one of several franchises offering a two- or three-hour painting class, where guests can drink wine while an art instructor helps them each create the same painting on their own canvas.
"Paint and Sip is a fun night out," franchisee Emma Harvey told CNBC's "On the Money" in an interview. "You get to come learn a little bit of art, have a drink and have some fun." She and her husband, Chris, opened a Pinot's Palette location in November. Their studio is in a main street storefront in suburban Ridgewood, New Jersey.
"Sometimes you just have to put the phone down, get away from the screen and reconnect with your friends and your family," Chris Harvey tells CNBC, "a couple hours out with your friends, get a little tipsy, do something active."
In an interview with CNBC, Pinot's Palette CEO Craig Ceccanti says got the idea for the company in 2004.
"It was really my Mom's fault," Ceccanti explains. Over the holidays, his mother took the family to a painting class in New Orleans. He and his brother didn't want to go, but "since in Louisiana, you just bring beer wherever you go, we packed a cooler of beer and had a blast."
Ceccanti says the concept of combining art and drinks "sat on my mind" for a few years.
That is, until he and two co-founders agreed it was a good idea and decided in 2009 to launch the company. Since then, Pinot's Palette has grown to 120 franchise locations in 33 states.
Ceccanti says about 60 percent of franchises are licensed for beer and wine, the remainder are BYOB (and wine) depending on state and local laws.
Franchise owner Emma Harvey says the wine "gives people a bit of a break. Sometimes people come in, they've never painted before in their lives. It kind of loosens you up a little, gets you in the mood."
When asked if the company has had any liability problems with the clientele drinking too much on premises, Ceccanti told CNBC that "fortunately for us, we've never had any issues."
He explained: "Pinot's Palette is not like a bar, where you're just coming to drink, and that's the focus. You're painting and there's other activities going on. You're sidetracked from just pounding wine."
Costs per person per class range between $25 and $45 and include paints, brushes and the canvas. Ceccanti said locations also host corporate and team-building events, along with kids' birthday parties and painting classes for families.
Emma Harvey said that when guests come in, "they're a little nervous in the beginning. But once we turn that music on, and once we start painting, it's just such a great atmosphere and you really have a great time."
"It's trying something new," she added, "and realizing, 'Wow, I can paint. Hey, I can do this.' "
"On the Money" airs on CNBC Sundays at 7:30 p.m., or check listings for air times in local markets.