Serving up talent

Fresno restaurant and bar aims to serve good food and spotlight local artists’ talents

Matt Vieira / The Collegian Starving Artists Bistro located at Friant Avenue and Washinton Road, holds open mic nights frequently for local poets, musicians and stand-up comedians.

Matt Vieira / The Collegian
Starving Artists Bistro located at Friant Avenue and Washinton Road, holds open mic nights frequently for local poets, musicians and stand-up comedians.

By Tori West

Starving Artists Bistro is the newest safe haven for local talent to express themselves in front of the community.

The family-owned and operated bistro opened 11 months ago and is big on music and art.

The artworks on the walls are from local artists trying to get their work and names known within Fresno and the surrounding areas.

If you like one of the pieces, you can take it home for a small price, of course.

Almost every night of the week, local artists and musicians debut at the bistro. Open mic nights are a constant reoccurrence where talents like stand-up comedians and musicians take the opportunity to share their passion.

“We wanted a family-friendly bistro with very affordable food and a visual and performing arts atmosphere,” owner Terry Hibbs said.

Hibbs and her daughter, Nykole Sullivan, who graduated from Fresno State’s entrepreneurship program, have been in business together for the past seven years.

The mother-daughter duo first started Meals My Way, frozen dinners to-go based in Clovis.

Hibbs’ son-in-law had the vision for Starving Artists, and the family decided to work together to make it possible. Starving Artists has what Hibbs called a “rehearsal hall” feel to it.

They do not charge artists for their performances, and the only commission is from the tip jar.

Hibbs said local talent constantly seeks them out through multiple phone calls and emails daily wanting information on how to get involved with the open mic.

“People can just come in and play; musicians, comedians, different types of music at all times,” Hibbs said.

The bistro has already developed regulars who come to hear and watch the different lineups each week.

“Starving Artists is a great place to come discover local talent. It gives people more nightlife options that Fresno seems to be missing,” Fresno State student Ed Armstrong said.

Tuesday night is the most popular night for the younger crowd with singers, musicians and stand-up comedians performing different sets.

In addition to entertainment, Starving Artists provides an assortment of food, as well.

From burgers to steaks, Starving Artists has various menu items.

It also offers plenty of drinks, from beers to specialty drinks, as well as nonalcoholic beverages.

Starving Artists Bistro is located at Friant Avenue and Fort Washington Road.