When Pony Up prepared to close down over COVID-19 at the end of March, the owner reached out to Denver muralist Patrick Kane McGregor and asked for his help making the plywood-covered bar/restaurant look good.
With his utterly adorable yet hip bulldog paintings, McGregor has become a major figure in the Denver street-art scene, with over twenty murals around town. And he was more than happy to help out.
“I painted up their boarded-up windows with the dog and a message to Denver,” he says. The mural reads: “Stay Safe Denver. We Love You, We’ll Be Back.”
As he painted and watched Pony Up give out meals to service-industry workers, McGregor decided he wanted to find more ways to support restaurants hurting from COVID-19 closures.
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So he worked with RiNo print shop Like Minded Productions to make and sell a print of a painting of Louis the XV as a French bulldog that hangs inside the restaurant. Proceeds from the sales go to service-industry workers.
In the weeks that followed, McGregor has also painted the shuttered windows of Meadowlark Kitchen; his artwork is normally on display at that restaurant and at Atomic Cowboy. He's selling prints of his work to benefit the service industry.
Like many artists, McGregor has lost scheduled work through the closures, including a commission to create a mural at Epic Brewery, which he hopes will eventually be rescheduled.
But during this time, he wants to support the businesses that are temporarily closed to dine-in customers and struggling along with the few workers who keep them running. After all, it's these Denver restaurants and bars that have supported his career.