WICKER PARK — The herd of cows adorning the exterior wall of The Violet Hour since February were replaced on Sunday by a vintage sign advertising beers for 17 cents and highballs for 35 cents.
Before you rush over, be advised that the mural along The Violet Hour's 35-by-11-foot exterior facade at 1520 N. Damen Ave. was created for Sunday's New Orleans style party, "Cure What Ails You." (And the "cure" didn't come that cheap.)
Sign artist Jeff Bashaw, who works at Roscoe Village's SameDay Signs, said the sign is modeled after a Dixie Beer label from 1907. To finish the mural in time for the event, Bashaw worked in the rain under a canopy on Saturday and Sunday.
Held in honor of the James Beard Foundation Awards on Monday, the party was a homecoming for Kirk Estopinal, who worked at the Wicker Park cocktail lounge for three years before moving back to his home state of New Orleans and launching Cure.
Cure is one of five James Beard award nominees for Outstanding Bar Program; The winners will be announced Monday night at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Last year, The Violet Hour won the prestigious award.
Cure partner Neal Bodenheimer created a juice-based cocktail that will be served at the ceremony, according to the James Beard awards team, who asked all of its bar program nominees to create a cocktail inspired by a television show.
Cure crafted a “sunrise-style” drink based on the highly publicized trial (and recent television series) The People v. O.J. Simpson. As he explains, the cocktail is irreverent “because that’s the way we process controversy in New Orleans," the James Beard awards reported.
A spokeswoman for One Off Hospitality was not immediately available on Monday to say if the new mural will stay up as long as other murals.
The Violet Hour, which opened in 2007 and traces its name to a T.S. Eliot poem, camouflages its facade and entry door with artwork every six to eight weeks.