Restaurants around Seattle are looking for help in making boarded up storefronts less of an eyesore — including one still open for business.
International District dim sum specialist Jade Garden had to put up some more plywood across its storefront recently after a vandal broke one of its windows to the banquet hall (police are investigating the incident, but say, at this point, there’s no evidence the restaurant was specifically targeted). With boards now covering much of the outside, local artists painted custom-made murals Monday, in part to attract customers, since the restaurant is open for takeout and delivery through DoorDash.
Seattle-based photographer Keoke Silvano helped coordinate the effort at Jade Garden after he saw the predicament the restaurant was in. The cost of fixing the window right away would have been prohibitive, and leaving the plywood blank would leave them vulnerable to random graffiti tags.
So Silvano put a call out on Facebook, with the restaurant’s permission, to help create some art out front, and six painters responded to the call, offering their skills for free. Jade Garden co-owner Eric Chan tells Eater Seattle he instructed the artists to reflect the spirit of his family’s restaurant. “I let them have their own freestyle,” he says.
This follows a trend of other restaurants across the city commissioning painters’ services to enliven some of the temporary boards across their storefronts, including Belltown Pizza (which well-known local restaurant artist Dozfy Nyguyen worked on) and Capitol Hill’s Oddfellows Cafe.
There are more projects on the way, too, as Silvano continues to look for restaurants who want some help when it comes to exterior aesthetics. The next one up for mural making is Kau Kau BBQ on King Street, not too far from Jade Garden.
“We have to do all we can do to help these neighborhood restaurants stay open,” says Silvano. “They are such vital parts of the community.”