Art is exploding all around San Diego. Large scale artwork and murals are moving into multiple restaurants, bringing colorful energy to the dining experience. Rising up in the California art scene with stunning, conversation-starting works, San Diego is propelling the art movement forward and recognizing some of the incredible talent in the city’s own backyard.
Here are a set of must-see works around San Diego. (Editor’s note: The work included on this list is large scale, not smaller, framed works within the space.)
Common Theory Public House
Art: Hops mural and CT3 Hop Dragon
The scoop: Beautifully combining craft with art, this Convoy Street beer hotspot supports the local art scene by commissioning multiple murals. The hops mural by Konecki covers an entire wall. The dragon piece by Muriel commemorated Common Theory’s recent third anniversary and the CT3 triple hazy IPA that was brewed in collaboration with Pure Project for the occasion. Muriel’s dragon is an homage to the owners’ Chinese heritage and is inspired by the company’s logo.
Common Theory Public House, 4805 Convoy St., Kearny Mesa, commontheorysd.com
Puesto La Jolla and Puesto at The Headquarters
Art: Multiple murals
Artist: Chor Boogie
The scoop: Already known for his work in San Diego over the years, including the San Diego Museum of Art and the Children’s Museum, the San Francisco-based artist is known worldwide for his bold, vibrant and colorful murals. Global clients have included the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Google, Hugh Hefner, Jay Z, and the late Prince.
Puesto La Jolla, 1026 Wall St.; Puesto at The Headquarters 789 W Harbor Dr., downtown. eatpuesto.com
Veladora, Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa
Artist: Damien Hirst
The scoop: Made from actual butterfly wings, this 7-foot by 7-foot work by the internationally renowned Hirst is a stunning work for art connoisseurs, budding entomologists and mariposa fans alike.
Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, 5921 Valencia Cir., Rancho Santa Fe, ranchovalencia.com/dining/rancho-santa-fe-restaurants
Art: Multiple murals
The scoop: Painted by Mexican muralist Neuzz, the eye-catching downstairs work “is a pictorial representation of the merge that took place during European Colonization and Hispano-American miscegenation represented through a native ceremony celebrated by the ritual of fire. Fire represents the fusion of different cultures, knowledge, belief and philosophies. Both cultures intertwined their wisdom and knowledge regarding astronomy, mother nature, healing powers, gods, goddesses, the four elements and food, being fire the new light to guide this new hybrid and enriched culture.” The other not-to-miss Neuzz mural is upstairs in the Arriba Room of the Hotel Palomar hotel - this one depicting a shaman, a curadero.
Curadero, 1047 Fifth Ave., downtown, curadero.com
Art: Floral motif mural
Artist: Celeste Byers
The scoop: Spotted recently at the MUSE exhibition at La Bodega, Byers painted an ethereal floral mural inspired by the flowers which appear on the tables at the restaurant.
Madison, 4622 Park Blvd., University Heights, madisononpark.com
Art: Various, depicting a dragon, cat, and apes
Artist: Kara “KJ” Ashley
The scoop: The artist’s work is spread throughout the restaurant with a gigantic orange and red dragon on the dining wall, a cat near the back door, and apes relaxing among bamboo on the patio.
BLVD Noodles, 8325 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa, blvdnoodles.com
Art: 3D mountain mural
Artist: Barbara Rourke
The scoop: Paying homage to the restaurant’s theme, the mural is comprised of individually, custom carved wood slats that depict the curvature of a mountain landscape.
Campfire, 2725 State St., Carlsbad, thisiscampfire.com
Art: Geometric wood mural
Artist: Jason Lane
The scoop: Stare long enough at this vibrant, multicolored mural, and you will see shapes and dimensions come out of the woodwork, literally. Children of the ‘80s will have a happy flashback to the days of the videogame Q*Bert.
The Haven, 4051 Adams Ave., Kensington, thehavenpizzeria.com
Do you know a restaurant or bar mural not listed here we should know about? Tell us about it in the comments below!