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Palace Grill Gets New Blackhawks Mural for Big Series

By Alex Nitkin | June 3, 2015 5:50pm
 Mural artist Ches Perry says he'll return to re-paint the mural if the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup this year.
Mural artist Ches Perry says he'll return to re-paint the mural if the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup this year. "I'm thinking they'll win in five games," he said.
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DNAinfo/Alex Nitkin

WEST LOOP — There are hardly any surfaces at Palace Grill sandwich shop that aren't covered in Blackhawks decorations. 

The walls of the West Loop restaurant are lined with signed jerseys, pennant streamers span the ceilings and nearly all the patrons and and wait staff are wearing red and black for Wednesday night's first game of the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

But as of Wednesday morning, one surface — the wall in front of the building — was still blank. Ches Perry came to change that.

Perry, a mural artist of 45 years, offered to turn Palace Grill's gray street-facing wall into a 12-by-25-foot Blackhawks rally poster. While he said a mural that size normally takes more than one day to complete, Perry arrived at 6 a.m. to make sure it was done in time for the 7 p.m. puck drop.

He got to work fresh off painting a similar mural Tuesday in Roscoe Village, which was even larger. All told, both projects took more than 30 hours. Perry, a diehard Hawks fan, offered to do them both for free.

"I've been busy with a bunch of other projects, but I promised that if the Hawks made the finals, I'd come out and do this," said Perry, a lifelong hockey player who moved to Chicago from Newfoundland, Canada when he was 19. "Painting is just my passion, I love to be out here doing this...it's like therapy."

Perry owns a small Chicago-based sign-painting company with his son, Alex. Together they've been invited to paint murals and advertisements all over the country.

Alex said that the Palace Grill mural, which says "We want the cup" in anticipation of the playoff, will probably change after the series is over.

"We're thinking that if the Blackhawks win, we'll probably come back and paint over it that same night," Alex Perry said.

And if they don't win?

"I don't think we're really worried about that," he said. 

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