Doc's Cantina tapping talent from local artists to decorate rest - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Doc's Cantina tapping talent from local artists to decorate restaurant

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Chris Chappell, a Louisville artist, works on a mural for Doc's Cantina. Chris Chappell, a Louisville artist, works on a mural for Doc's Cantina.
Monica Mahoney, a Louisville artist, is creating a 11x15 foot light fixture that will hang in the entrance of the restaurant. Monica Mahoney, a Louisville artist, is creating a 11x15 foot light fixture that will hang in the entrance of the restaurant.
Brett Davis, one of the partners behind Doc's Cantina, says bringing in local artists was key to transforming the old Tumbleweed on River Road. Brett Davis, one of the partners behind Doc's Cantina, says bringing in local artists was key to transforming the old Tumbleweed on River Road.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A new restaurant along River Road is giving local artists a chance to show off their skills.

For Chris Chappell the wall is his canvas.

"Aerosol's a quick medium -- a really quick medium -- and I can paint pretty fast," Chappell said.

The self-employed artist has been putting in many nights helping to transform the old Tumbleweed building along River Road.

 "About 30 hours so far on everything, and there's plenty more to do," Chappell said.

Now, as Doc's Cantina, the restaurant has a different vibe, and a much different look.

"Kinda things you may see on the street," Chappell said.

Murals are being drawn around the building before it officially opens to the public that have a street art look to them.

Chappell has been drawing a donkey downstairs in the restaurant, and two ladies in the stairway, with a "day of the dead" theme.

He isn't the only local artist leaving a mark on the restaurant.

Monica Mahoney is creating a 11 x 15 foot light fixture that will hang in the entrance of the restaurant, that will have a south-of-the-border concept.

Mahoney says her inspiration comes from an agave plant.

"This is what they make tequila out of, and mescal," Mahoney said. "When you cut all the leaves off, it creates this pena. It's the heart of the agave and I'm going to make those into pendant lights hanging down."

Mahoney is primarily a painter, so creating such a piece has been a new challenge for her.

Part of the design is made from PVC pipes that she molded with a torch. The pendant lights hanging down will also catch your attention.

"I probably will have LED lights in it that change color, so that they can have fun with that," Mahoney said.

Like Chappell, Mahoney has also been busy making sure the design is ready for opening day. It's all part of the process to transform an old building into something completely new.

Brett Davis, one of the partners behind Doc's Cantina, says bringing in local artists was key.

"We like giving back to the artists," Davis said. "They say 'Keep Louisville Weird.' We want to keep Louisville weird."

With the restaurant expected to open by the end of January, the artists are hard at work creating paintings and sculptures that will leave a lasting impression.

"I think Louisville just has too many blank walls," Chappell said. "We have tons of blank walls out there and I want to be here to do something about that I guess you could say."

Doc's Cantina was expected to open this past fall. Due to issues with the exterior wall, it was pushed back to late next month.

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