Intricate mural will greet patrons at District Brew Yards in Wheeling

  • An intricate, black-and-white mural by artist Lauren Asta adorns the north facade of the building that soon will be home to District Brew Yards in Wheeling. Village Manager Jon Sfondilis hopes the mural will be a draw for Restaurant Row, where some businesses have struggled -- and closed -- during the coronavirus pandemic.

      An intricate, black-and-white mural by artist Lauren Asta adorns the north facade of the building that soon will be home to District Brew Yards in Wheeling. Village Manager Jon Sfondilis hopes the mural will be a draw for Restaurant Row, where some businesses have struggled -- and closed -- during the coronavirus pandemic. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • This black-and-white mural by artist Lauren Asta is among the new additions to the building on Wheeling's Restaurant Row that soon will be home to District Brew Yards in Wheeling. The building previously was occupied by Ram Restaurant & Brewery.

      This black-and-white mural by artist Lauren Asta is among the new additions to the building on Wheeling's Restaurant Row that soon will be home to District Brew Yards in Wheeling. The building previously was occupied by Ram Restaurant & Brewery. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 8/11/2022 9:01 AM
Editor's note: The article has been updated to include comments from the artist.

When District Brew Yards' new location along Wheeling's Restaurant Row opens next month, customers will have more than a wide array of beers and good eats to enjoy.

They'll also be able to check out a new piece of suburban public art -- an enormous, black-and-white mural on the north side of the building at 700 N. Milwaukee Ave.

 

Hand-painted by artist Lauren Asta, the intricate mural depicts people drinking and enjoying themselves. Called "Let's Have Anotha," it's done in Asta's unique style, which her website calls "doodle art."

"I love creating public art that is for everyone and makes them feel connected to other people in a light and animated way," said Asta, a part-time Chicagoan. "I find that mural content like this grabs people's attention in a fun way."

Asta's work already is featured at the original District Brew Yards in Chicago's West Loop. To call District Brew Yards founder Steve Soble a fan is a bit of an understatement.

"I love, love, love her work," Soble said Wednesday.

While the mural was completed late last month, interior and exterior renovation work at District Brew Yards is continuing.

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The building last was occupied by a Ram Restaurant & Brewery that closed in 2019.

The interior is changing dramatically, with all the old furniture, fixtures and decor removed and new ones being installed.

Outside, in addition to Asta's mural, the building has been painted gray and black. Excavation work for what eventually will be an outdoor deck and patio is being done this week, too.

Restaurant Row essentially runs along Milwaukee Avenue between Lake-Cook and Hintz roads. The District Brew Yards property is at the northern end of the strip, just south of Lake-Cook Road.

Last fall, Wheeling hired a consulting group to develop promotional strategies for Restaurant Row.

Village Manager Jon Sfondilis thinks the mural will be an eye-catching draw for Restaurant Row businesses, some of which have struggled in recent years -- especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some have closed.

"I really do think this mural represents the rebirth of Restaurant Row," Sfondilis said. "The evolution has begun."

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