After more than a week of painting, Boulevard Brewing and the Roasterie's shared "hometown brews" ad/mural on the side of 1712 Main has been covered with a new mural promoting the Major League Soccer All-Star Game that Kansas City hosts July 31. At the risk of committing Kansas City beverage heresy, I think it's a nice face-lift for the Crossroads.
The view from my desk overlooks the intersection of 17th Street and Main, and I'd estimate that over the last two years, two or three people walking down Main stop each week to pull out their phones and snap a picture of the old paint job. For whatever reason, people really liked the painting of a bottle of Boulevard and a mug of Roasterie. (I asked one longtime Kansas City resident how long the mural had been up. His response: "Forever.")
But the fact is, the previous mural wasn't being maintained. The light colors were beginning to bleach out, and the dark colors were fading. The ad had come to look like it was a relic of two old, long-forgotten Kansas City businesses rather than a dynamic promotion in the vibrant Crossroads community of two of the city's most popular brands.
This new mural is current and colorful. It pushes Kansas City as "The soccer capital of America," a burgeoning point of pride for the city. This painting also does draw the middle of the city into the local soccer movement. Soccer's growth in the area has largely been a suburban phenomenon, and this is a splashy way of welcoming city folks into soccer fever. (Plus, it's a nice mark to put on the city for Sporting Kansas City employees who just moved into new offices that include a roof deck with a perfect view of the mural.)
When I tweeted a photo of the repainting in progress, one commenter complained that losing the Boulevard-Roasterie image was a "travesty." But advertising is supposed to be impermanent, and what's more, soccer is becoming iconic around here, with Sporting a brand to match Boulevard or the Roasterie. It's ready for this large canvas.