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Around East Texas

The City of Edom, An Oasis for Artisans

By Barbara King

Just a scant 20 miles outside of Tyler lies a quaint, flourishing artisan community where you will find an eclectic mix of modern funky design and old-time Southern hospitality.

Edom, a one-stoplight town, is chock full of things to see and makes a great getaway just a stone’s throw from everywhere.

The one main street is lined with shops and restaurants, in quaint, old refurbished stores that encourage you to amble around, take your time, and browse a myriad of wares from antiques to pottery to apple pies.

Coming around the bend into Edom, the first thing you’ll see is the infamous The Shed Restaurant, renowned for their all day breakfasts, 7 days a week. No stop at The Shed (“Get Fed at the Shed” is their motto) is complete without tasting the chicken-fried steak, finishing up with the decadent coconut cream pie, showcasing the graham cracker crust, and topped with shredded coconut. The menu appeals to every taste, ranging from appetizers like jalapeño poppers, Shed’s signature hand-dipped onion rings (a meal in themselves), mozzarella cheese sticks, or Texas Toothpicks. Pancakes, build your own omelets, burritos, sandwiches, burgers, and fresh hand cut steaks complete the choice options. There is a kids menu too, so if traveling with the family, the kids can choose from chicken tenders, corny dogs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, or grilled cheese sandwiches. The atmosphere inside The Shed is laid-back and friendly, with a huge sit-down counter and lots of seating for larger parties.

Meander next door to Gypsy Rose Antiques, the brightly painted pink antique and vintage store, owned and lovingly operated by Emily and John Parker. This haven of vintage antiques and collectibles is a must-see, with troves of treasures displayed throughout the store. You will find carnival glass pieces mixed with vintage memorabilia, including newspapers, birdcages, oil cans, lamps, and jewelry. “We are not a thrift store,” explained owner Parker. “We travel around the country, looking for interesting finds and special pieces.” It is truly a trip back in time, and folks come in and spend hours, finding memories in every corner.

You can’t visit Edom without a visit to the whimsical world of Arbor Castle Birdhouses. Step inside and be whisked away to a fairytale world of yore, filled with fairy castles, bird castles, chimes, hummingbird feeders, and walking sticks. The birdhouses are breathtaking and almost surreal; each a sculpture on its own, fashioned from Red Heart Cedar with elaborate details including metal roofs, turrets and bells, hand set stones, leaves, vines, sconces, and finials. Each birdhouse has its own unique character and is signed and dated by the artist, Joseph Hopps.


A new and funky fresh recent addition to Edom is Buffalo Clover, “a combination of fun and fine art” – all the creative genius of Kelli Holmes. The name is derived from the fusion of Texas and Celtic roots and is the Indian name for the bluebell. The store is an in-your-face fusion of color and style, and the walls are adorned with Holmes’ original artwork and award-winning art. Anyone familiar with Holmes has seen her line of Frilly Pepper repurposed lingerie and outerwear, glitzed up and ready for anyone to rock. You can also find one-of-a-kind hats, rings, headbands, and all sorts of fun and funky apparel too. “I am so blessed to be here in Edom,” said Holmes, “and to be able to be a part of and support local artists and this unique community.”

Potters Barn is one of the cornerstones of the Edom community, with artist Don Brown arriving in 1971, joined by wife Beth in 1992. The partners in life and art produce stoneware pottery, with clays from Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia, and North Dakota. After years of trial and error and hard work, they have created the beautiful jewel tone pottery that is the trademark of the studio. The front of the store displays the glazed pieces that range from kitchen sinks to butter-keepers, egg cookers, custard dishes, and yarn bowls. In the back, you will find the studio with Don and Beth hard at work putting the finishing touches on their one-of-a-kind creations.

Zeke & Marty Studio is on the same side of the street and is yet another pillar of the art community in Edom, establishing their studio in 1976. Zeke and Marty’s handmade jewelry are a stunning combination of found objects, natural materials, and some rare stones. Their pieces are infused with love and spirit and as Marty explains, “We use the freedom to explore and be influenced by our materials and incorporate the joy and excitement of each new and different creation.”

Zeke and Marty’s studio behind the storefront is a beehive of activity with Katy the shop cat lounging on the worktable as the couple grinds and solders their sterling silver into magnificent works of jeweled art. Their travels around the world bring back rare finds that they transform including wooly mammoth teeth, onyx, amber, and gemsbok. Their collaboration and partnership make for an exquisite mix of spirit, passion, and love for their art, which is truly apparent in their unique jewelry.

Ready to take a break, relax, and regroup for the rest of your Edom experience? Yesy’s Café is a great place to feast on just about anything you can imagine. Breakfasts are supreme, with omelets, burritos, tortas (egg, cheese, and refried bean sandwiches), migas (fried tortilla strips topped with two eggs), pancakes, and French toast. Lunch includes chicken fried steak, hamburgers, sandwiches, and new Mexican food entrees, including street tacos and tortas. Fridays and Saturdays Yesy’s

Lunch includes chicken fried steak, hamburgers, sandwiches, and new Mexican food entrees, including street tacos and tortas. Fridays and Saturdays Yesy’s features barbecue meat sandwiches, brisket nachos, loaded potatoes, and pizza by the slice. The kids are welcome here too and can have grilled cheese or chickens strips or a small plate (meat with two sides.) New manager Yesy Bazdan says, “We are thrilled to be able to offer some new menu items along with a friendly and welcoming place to come, sit, and stay.”


The Firehouse Gallery, the dream of Jeff & Judy Gottesman, is an eclectic mix of art, photography, custom framing, and a coffeehouse that features local musicians in a small, intimate setting. The transformed firehouse is a concert venue for original acoustic folk music as well as a venue for the showing of first-run independent films. See our article about upcoming concerts on page  11.

The Vintage Edom Coffee shop is also home to live music concerts every Saturday from 12 noon-3pm featuring local singer/songwriters. From 3-6pm, it is turned over to the Songwriters Circle for more original tunes. You can enjoy wonderful barista coffee drinks, bakery treats, and lots of great shopping too.

Edom is a haven for art, music, food, and special events throughout the year, including Saturday night “Cruise Nights” for vintage car enthusiasts, an April Street Fair, and a Fine Arts Festival in October.

As the sign in front of Zeke & Marty’s studio attests, “Open Most Days, Closed Others,” the schedules of shops fluctuate according to season and patronage.

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Around East Texas

Upcoming 5Ks, 10Ks, Marathons, Tri’s & More

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Downtown Tyler welcomes the Beauty and the Beast Bicycle Tour

More than one thousand cyclists will be pedaling their way through the brick streets as the largest cycling event in East Texas returns to Downtown Tyler.

On Friday, Feb. 7 at 6 p.m. at ETX Brewery, the Tyler Bicycle Club will announce the routes, present the new logos and the new “beast” that cyclists will have to slay!

“Downtown Tyler and its merchants have embraced this event,” said President of the Tyler Bicycle Association Bill Lewis. “We anticipate 1,000 cyclists in attendance to see the beauty of the Rose City and celebrate on the Downtown Square.”

The tour name, Beauty and the Beast, depicts a beautiful bike ride in the rolling hills of east Texas, with the “Beast” being a hill on Old Omen Road as you leave Lake Tyler. Participants earn a medal if they can “slay the Beast” and pedal to the top of the hill.

The Bicycle Tour features three routes of 26, 43 and 62 miles that will begin at College Avenue and Erwin Street at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 14th. The City of Tyler Transit buses will be running early that morning to help cyclists get to downtown to ease parking issues. The cyclists will make their way east of town and head toward Overton.

This is the 32nd year of the event and the tour’s roots go back to the late 1980s when Lance Armstrong made an appearance and was the largest cycling event in the state.

Proceeds from this year’s event will go to support the Salvation Army and the maintenance of the Mountain Bike Trails at Lindsay and Faulkner Parks.

For more information, contact Bill Lewis at (903) 372-4511 or

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Edom & Ben Wheeler: Explore the Arts & Delicious Food

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Around East Texas

Date Night: From Fancy to Simple, Tyler Offers a Lot of Romance

stanleys bbq tyler tx eguide magazine

By Holli Conley

In Tyler, the city of roses, it’s not hard to find a romantic spot to take that special someone. Whether you’re celebrating an anniversary or simply spicing up a free weekend, these are the best date ideas for fun, quality time with your significant other.


Paint A Pretty Picture

Locally at Pinot’s Palette, located at 322 ESE Loop 323 next to Plato’s Closet in Tyler, you and your date can paint together! The studio has really neat, two-part mirror pieces that transform upon completion into an intricate design. You can also complete your masterpiece right there in the studio by picking a frame to suit your style for $35, making it possible for you, the proud artist, to walk away with your creation ready to hang.

One small step inside the front door of Pinot’s Palette and you will feel your creative fire burning and want to put palette to canvas. The large, colorful painting area is jammed full of workspaces just waiting for the next budding artists.

Something also really unique at Pinot’s Palette is the opportunity to paint your pet. Send the studio your pet’s likeness and they can laser it onto canvas, then you can finish the creation with paint in the studio.

A Night on the Town

Downtown Tyler is a great spot for a romantic evening. Start the evening with dinner at one of Downtown’s restaurants. For a fine dining experience try one of Tyler’s newest restaurants: Jack Ryan’s Steak & Chophouse. Take advantage of the free valet parking and really wow your date.

There are also a couple of options for more casual dining such as Don Juan’s on the Square.

Next, take in a show with VIP box seat tickets at the historic Liberty Hall. The box seats are the best seats in the house and will be a little more intimate for a date night.

End the night with a cocktail or dessert and live entertainment at Rick’s or Jake’s.

All of these are conveniently located within walking distance of one another and make for a great night out on the town.

studio movie grill tyler tx

Dinner and a Movie

You can never go wrong with dinner and a movie, but sometimes you’re in the mood for something a little more exciting. Spice up this classic date idea with some of Tyler’s unique theater options.

Grab a picnic dinner, lawn chairs, and watch a movie under the stars at SkyVue Drive-In Theater. This theater offers tickets for $6 per person and shows a double feature.

One of Tyler’s newest theaters, Studio Movie Grill, is another interesting option for a movie night. Studio Movie Grill is a one-stop-shop for dinner and a movie. You can eat dinner while watching a movie, or have a dessert or cocktail while you watch. Studio Movie Grill also offers classic date night movies for $3 a ticket on select nights. Check their website for details.

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Enjoy Live Music

Tyler comes alive with the tunes of good music around every corner. Whether you are interested in a specific music event such as the Red Dirt BBQ & Music Festival or listening to a local band, Tyler has a variety of acts to satisfy your musical tastes.

Some of our favorite places to catch local bands are Cork Food & Wine, Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ, XLN, and Republic Ice House – just to name a few.

Downtown Tyler offers several fun acts as well on the weekend at Jake’s or Rick’s. Or for a more classical night you might choose to see a performance by the East Texas Symphony Orchestra.

No matter if you want to dance the night away or enjoy a cocktail with music in the background, Tyler has what you’re looking for.

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Go on an Adventure

There’s something awfully romantic about going on an adventure together, and there are plenty adventures to be found around town.

Try hiking, biking, camping, or water sports at Tyler State Park or one of Tyler’s many public parks.

Runners might consider doing a color run or mud run together in the area.

Animal lovers can enjoy Caldwell Zoo or Tiger Creek Wildlife Refuge.

For the thrill seekers, try one of Tyler’s newest attractions: One Way Out. If you are a fan of puzzles and problem solving, this game is for you. You will be locked in a room where your team will use clues, hints, and teamwork to escape before time expires. Working together to solve the clues is a great way for a couple to get to know each other better and build a stronger relationship.

tyler rose festival3

Love Don’t Cost a Thing

Let’s be honest, dating can be expensive. Luckily, in a beautiful city like this, romance is not hard to find on the cheap.

Tyler is home to several free museums that would be great for a date. Visit the Goodman-LeGrand House & Museum or the McClendon House to tour these romantic historic homes.

For the history buffs, you might enjoy the American Freedom Museum just outside of Tyler in Bullard, or the Half Mile of History Walk in Downtown Tyler. While you’re in Downtown, stop by the Gallery Main Street, which features a new exhibit of original art approximately every eight weeks.

Tyler also hosts several cheap or free events throughout the year. Events will include everything from movies in the park to concerts and art walks.

Finally, when talking about budget-friendly date options, we can’t forget a stroll through the Tyler Municipal Rose Garden. With 14 acres, 32,000 rose bushes, and more than 500 varieties, this is the largest rose garden in the United States. The Rose Garden is free and open to the public year-round. This is probably the most romantic location in all of Tyler and a great place to bring your love.

With all of the fun options in Tyler, it’s not hard to find exciting date night ideas. Whether you want an expensive night out or a date on a budget, these ideas will help. Sometimes it’s fun to break away from the norm and try something new. With all these ideas, we encourage you to get creative and get out on the town with your significant other.



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