Gold City Murals team members Doug Graham, Lauren Bosco, Abigail Glover, Tessa Sentell, Tori Swearingen and Leila Graham show off their work inside the new Bob's Diner location in Kennedy.
By Jamie Wiggan
While for many restaurant owners the coronavirus pandemic has spelled lay-offs, spiraling debt and even closure, growing business demand over the past few years has forced Dané Marshal to upsize her Kennedy diner.
There’s no magic formula behind this, according to Marshall, other than running her business well and keeping customers safe.
“We are doing things right – and we have been fortunate,” she said. “We just need a bigger space to feed all these hungry people.”
The diner is moving over one unit from its original location in the Kennedy Center to the space once occupied by Angelia’s Italian Grille. The move to the larger space created an opportunity for an interior makeover based on two creative principles: vivid colors and local landmarks.
The search for chalk artists led Marshall to Lauren Bosco of Kennedy, who brought in a recently formed consortium of creatives called Gold City Murals. Drawing on a tabletop design from the existing restaurant, the team covered the walls with swishes of orange, yellow and grey, sprinkling in depictions of local landmarks.
Depictions of Mancini’s bakery, the distinct star shape of St. Malachy’s Church and the Kennedy Space Center’s iconic astronaut are all woven into the scene. There’s also a nod in cartoon form to Marshall’s late husband and company namesake, Bob Marshall, who died in 2018.
Marshal said she’s pleased with the result.
“It doesn’t normally happen that you get something in your head and can find someone who
can make it happen, but she did it perfectly,” she said. “Not only is [Bosco] a chalk artist, but she’s also local.”
Bosco said the concept came from her fellow Montour alum, Tori Swearingen, whose familiarity with the family diner made the job easy.
“She’s been coming to Bob’s Diner her whole life and she loves it,” Bosco said of her friend and artistic partner.
Marshal has tried to keep the entire process local, bringing in West End Village-based P2 contracting for the bulk of the work, and other area companies for glass and kitchen installations.
“It was really this coming together of all the local artisans and contractors who came to create this space that I’m really proud of,” she said.
Marshall expects to open in late January, but is waiting on some inventory delays – one aspect of the pandemic her business hasn’t been immune from. When they do cut the ribbon, the diner will also be open for dinner service five days of the week, closing early on Sundays and Mondays.