FatGuy Barbecue mural to be covered for not meeting Gateway guidelines

FatGuy Barbecue Owner Ray Clark tells customers to capture their final pictures of the mural painted on the side of his business at 904 NW Broad St.in Murfreesboro. He’ll soon paint over it to comply with city codes.

FatGuy Barbecue owner Ray Clark is telling customers to snap their final photos of the businesses’ 5-month-old mural.

Clark said that he was told by Murfreesboro officials as the city states that it does not comply with Gateway guidelines. Requests for comments from the Murfreesboro Building and Codes Department did not receive a response by press time.

Clark said the mural has become quite the attraction for the smoked meat fans that come to his eatery inside the Kwik Sak gas station and convenience store of 904 NW Broad St. in Murfreesboro.

“I push barbecue,” said Clark, who said he was initially told that the mural was classified as unauthorized additional advertising.

The mural depicts children chowing down on hot-off-the-grill goods while a character based on Clark mans the meats still cooking on the barbecue.

Behind the grill master is a red barn with the business name and logo on its wood-paneled side. An American flag billows in the background’s spray-painted breeze.

Clark broke the news of the mural cover-up to customers via Facebook last Wednesday.

The idea for a mural was an artistic decision that came after many mornings spent painting over words and phrases on the building’s exterior. Clark, a former Old Time Pottery employee, said the introduction of a mural would an effective means to keep the unwanted graffiti at bay.

“You know, you’ve got kids that do that, and I’m not exaggerating. Once a week I’m out there with a roller because, you know, guess what, I don’t want people reading that on my building,” said Clark.

He contacted Vincent Mosley, one of the artists behind a series of Domino’s Pizza murals in Rutherford and surrounding counties. Mosley added the logo-dressed barn, inspired by the “See Rock City” barns locals have seen while cruising on the highway.

“I like the mural, and not only that, I think it looks good. I think it brings something to the community,” said Clark. “There’s not a week you can’t go out there and see people taking pictures in front of it, and once again, I just think it’s a piece of art.”

Clark said he visited one of the Domino’s to ask if it had been required to get a permit for its painting. He said he was told “no.”

“That was the extent of me going and checking what I could do,” said Clark.

About a month after the mural had been finished, Clark said he was contacted by the city regarding advertising concerns.

He said he was told that the likeness of his image, the barbecue smoker and the logo would be considered unauthorized additional advertising. He asked if it would be possible to paint over just those portions of the design to be in compliance and was told that the city’s legal department would have to give a definite answer.

He said A few months went by before he was contacted during the first week of November by the Building and Codes Department. He said that department told him that the entire mural would have to go based on the unapproved “color code,” according to his social media post.

Clark said he “doesn’t want to stir anything up with the city” and has agreed to paint over the mural within the next week.

He said the greatest negative impact of the mural going away will be the potential for the graffiti to make a comeback on what will, once again, become a “blank canvas” outside.

He views the addition of the mural as an improvement to a building that has lived many lives and housed many businesses over the years.

“There should be something being said for that, I think,” said Clark.