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The Experience in Edom, A New, Groovy & Totally Cool Spot

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By Barbara Greenbauer

Open the front door to a cacophony of color, fabrics, and the most inviting space imaginable and you’ve entered “The Experience,” nestled in the heart of Edom, just a mere 25 miles from Tyler.

It’s an artisan’s dream come true, and is the vision of Kelli “Cayenne” Holmes and her husband, Don Hendrickson, longtime community collaborators and supporters of Edom. Moving into a much larger space across the main drag in Edom has given Kelli the room to enlarge, expand, and focus on her own personal style and passion; and grow “The Experience” into a space that embraces art, great food, and community. 

“I like to describe it as “fun-shui” says Kelli, who is a fireball of energy, humor, and huge personality combined. The space is definitely an outlet for Kelli’s creativity, love for life, and appreciation of everything with flair and funk. “It’s kind of a mix of 70’s Jimi Hendrix motif, and the signature vignette seating arrangements reflect a kind of bohemian, eclectic style,” explained Kelli.

The Experience begins on the outside patio space where you can grab a cup of coffee or tea and hang out to watch the goings-on in Edom. Beautiful metal sculptures by local artists Jan & Craig Blackmon are featured in the front area with loads of room to spread out and read or play games.

Inside is a tasty treat for the senses, with riotous artwork lining the walls; and the most inviting seating areas, including couches, settees, and an armoire filled to the brim with games and puzzles.

It’s definitely a space that is fluid and organic; every corner you turn has a different feature and feel. Kelli’s own “Buffalo Clover” assortment of frilly, whimsical garments feature repurposed vintage slips, gowns, and bedjackets re-envisioned into edgy, romantic outerwear that are truly masterpieces in themselves. Hand-dyed and lovingly fashioned, they are designed to bring out the feminine, funky version of yourself. You can choose a hat and match it with jewelry and a headband, or pick up a hand-dyed tie if the mood hits you. “No two pieces are the same,” Kelli said, “and I travel all over to find unique embellishments for each one.”

Friends and neighbors Sharon Thompson and Mark Mynatt from the Dallas area were “enjoying this new beautiful space. We have always appreciated Kelli’s taste, style, and uniqueness and are just loving the creativity and openness of this new place,” said Sharon. Sharon and Mark found a treasure trove of items they loved and left happily with original pieces of jewelry and a tie.

No space could be more perfectly named, from the ambiance to the offerings. You can soak up the atmosphere while feasting on some incredible edibles as well. Kelli and Don have brought in chef Michael Smith, affectionately known as “Chef Hobbles,” to work his magic with fresh, creative concepts and food fusions.

“The BrouHaHa Bistro food experience is a mix of Southern California meets East Texas,” explains Chef Hobbles. “It’s a wild and wonderful food adventure, almost a play with food, with lots of different taste options,” he said. Starting the day off with one of Chef Hobbles’ hand-made “Doe-nuts,” available at 6am, including taste sensations like mocha cappuccino, maple, and brown sugar cinnamon, will forever spoil you with their richness and flavor.

“We hope to have the first-ever drive-through in Edom in the near future, where travelers through town can pick up a doe-nut and coffee and start their day,” explained Kelli.

The doe-nuts are incredible, but wrap your brain around some other delights, like breakfast “trucker” tacos named The Three Little Pigs, The Tractor Pull, The Long Haul, and the Early Riser. Tempting Toasts may entrance you with options like Avocado, Green Tomato, and Sausage Egg and Cheese Biscuit. Chef Hobbles cooks all day and night and the neat thing about the menu is that he will cook you almost anything at any time. Fancying breakfast for dinner, talk to the Chef and he will make it happen!

Fresh and delicious sandwiches are what’s on tap for lunch, with fresh meats and cheeses and a soup of the day. Dinner is divine and on the menu are appetizers like sea pig crostini, brushetta, smoked okra, and loaded hummus. Main entrees are magnificent, including spaghetti with marinara or meat sauce, sage and garlic pork chop, chicken picatta or steak rolls. 

Chef Hobbles and Kelli are constantly cooking up new events to showcase their “foodie” ways, including a recent Father’s Day brunch featuring succulent Prime Rib and a “Whole Lot of Italian/Little Bit of Greek Feast with selections like Linguine with Greek Tomato Sauce and Bacon Carbonara. Currently, it’s a BYOB scenario with reservations appreciated for the special event dinners.

So, we’ve covered the art, food and wine…now on to the inner core and the serenity aspects of The Experience. Walk to the back of the space and you’ll be enraptured by the peace, calm, and beauty of the yoga studio.

Shanti Gypsy Yoga is offered in the quiet, calm space. Certified instructors Regie Williams and Linda Crocker offer classes in stretch, chair and gentle yoga that benefit everyone, from the beginner to the more advanced. The first class is free, and subsequent classes are only $10 a session. They can be reached at (281)433-8573 or (903)513-3490 for more information about classes. 

There’s another great space at “The Experience” to explore. An outside relaxing side yard makes for a great spot for live music and is full of plants, bird feeders, a star-shaped fire pit, and seating galore. Kelli has ambitious plans to create an old-time ice cream parlor (the original parlor chairs are already in place), and The Experience will be home to all kinds of hands-on art classes and cooking events in the future. 

Kelli and Don’s philosophy is always centered around giving back to the community, so you will see a variety of featured local artisans and exhibits within “The Experience” setting. “We want The Experience to be a gathering spot for everyone,” said Kelli. 

Take a break, get out of the rush and visit “The Experience” in Edom, Texas.

Take a look at upcoming calendar events on Facebook or call (817)721-7778.

The Experience hours are Wednesday-Thursday 6am-2pm, Friday 6am-9pm, Saturday 6am-9pm, and Sunday 10am-5pm, with brunch served till 3pm. They are closed on Monday and Tuesday.

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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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Around East Texas

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

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.

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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.

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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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