Face value

After four years of hiding behind a Web site, the man responsible for Mercer Island’s is coming out from behind the curtain.

Ryan Allison, a 1991 Mercer Island High School graduate, is set to open Cellar 46, a retail shop and wine bar in The Mercer building in February. “I felt like with the growth in the community this was the right time,” Allison said. “I think Mercer Island is ready for a place like this.”

He is planning 1,200 square feet of retail space with a focus on Northwest wines, rare vintages and a broad selection of others in every price range. The wine bar he wants Island wine drinkers to think of as “an extension of your living room.”

“It’s a place to stretch your legs, fire up your laptop or whatever,” he said.

Partly to cater to downtown apartment dwellers with limited space, Cellar 46 will also have wine lockers where people can store their bottles in a controlled environment. Allison will even rent you one that comes fully stocked with an instant collection tailored to your tastes.

With ideas like that, what has he been hiding from?

Aww, nuts

Sure, the girls across the lake at Pacific Northwest Ballet are on their tip toes again, dancing their way through another season of the Nutcracker. But so are the girls next door, in the Children’s Dance Conservatory’s production of “Excerpts from the Nutcracker.”

Think of it as the “best of” the Nutcracker, with highlights of Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet, performed by the best of the Island’s dedicated young dancers. Rosanna Bryant, whose 8-year-old daughter Natalie performs in the piece, thinks of the Children’s Dance Conservatory as a highlight presentation of the dance world itself.

“With PNB dancers, it’s all or nothing,” Bryant said. “But here, these girls can play soccer and do Brownies and have a life outside of ballet.” (Though she admits that dance practice is always where her daughter wants to be). And, the “Excerpts” performance is one she knows her 5-year-old can sit through.

Performances run Dec. 16-22 at Youth Theatre Northwest. Call 232-2226 for info and tickets.

Painting the lily

The water lily has got the right idea. It hangs out on the surface of the water, gently floating, casually free. But don’t be fooled — its head may be up in the clouds, but it still has its feet on the ground, firmly rooted in the sea floor.

“I find that a very serene concept,” said Mercer Island artist Marsha Karr, whose latest series, the Water Lily Prints, has immortalized in brightly hued giclees the Cherokee lilies that bloomed in her garden pond.

In her upcoming show, Karr also wants to preserve the memory of her friend Joan Fink, who recently lost a 3-year battle against breast cancer. Karr will donate 25 percent of her proceeds to the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation on Bainbridge Island. The little known form of breast cancer has no tumor and is often diagnosed too late.

Karr’s holiday show of paintings and specially-priced prints will take place this Sunday, Dec. 17 from noon until 5 p.m. at her home, 6829 96th Ave. S.E. For directions call Karr at (206) 992-9948.

Note: In the accompanying box to last week’s article on Peter Davis Builders, the name of Aspen Homes, at 9725 S.E. 36th St., 621-9198, was omitted. The Reporter regrets the error.

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