UPTOWN — A prominent corner in Uptown has received a colorful new look, just as the area’s newest eatery is beginning to offer outdoor seating.
Lucy’s, a Humboldt Park-based burger-and-chicken place that just opened a second location at 4570 N. Broadway, has debuted a mural to match the Uptown diner’s interior retro vibe. Completed late last week, the mural offers a vibrant splash of color to a Wilson and Broadway corner known for its historic terra cotta buildings.
“We knew we wanted to be in Uptown and we liked the location, but the look of the building wasn’t there,” said Damian Warzecha, who co-owns Lucy’s with his wife, Jessica. “It’s to make the corner happier, brighter.”
The new paint job, which wraps around the building to be visible both from Broadway and Wilson, features brightly colored geometric designs and symbols like the peace sign and rainbows. It was done by Chicago-based artist Jeff Zimmerman, who also created the murals featuring 1970s era rock stars that is inside Lucy’s.
The mural seeks to compliment the restaurant’s interior and attract people to the business, which opened a month before restaurants were forced to close their dining rooms to help ward off the coronavirus pandemic.
The mural was supposed to roll out closer to the restaurant’s opening. But with the pandemic severely impacting Chicago’s restaurant industry, Warzecha said he waited on the project until his business got a solid footing.
“It was scary,” Warzecha said of opening right before the virus forced business closures. “It was kind of unreal that we had to shut the doors.”
The business ramped up its takeout and delivery service, running promotions on third-party ordering apps that many restaurateurs — Warzecha included — say take a huge portion of an order’s profits. Now, Lucy’s is rolling out cafe seating.
New yellow banisters mark off Lucy’s cafe seating area, a slim stretch of the sidewalk on both Wilson and Broadway. Warzecha said the restaurant is starting slowly with the seating, keeping tables six feet away and following city guidelines on re-opening.
“We’re pivoting and adjusting, which is what we do best,” he said.
Despite the initial hurdles, Warzecha said he is excited that his vision is coming together.
“Uptown deserves it,” he said of the mural. “It’s growing and we want to grow with it.”
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