Nice Guy Eddie’s Loses One Kiss Mural, Gains Another

IMG_0171Stephen Rex Brown Chico at work today.

The original Kiss mural at Avenue A and East First Street has been wiped out, and Antonio “Chico” Garcia is busy creating a temporary replacement that depicts the band comin’ home to New York City.

The new design is on a woodshed outside of the former Nice Guy Eddie’s, which is getting a gut renovation by the new owner, Darin Rubell, who also owns Ella and Gallery Bar. When finished in the next day or two, the mural will show the band arriving on a train to the city.

IMG_0175Stephen Rex Brown Michael DeNicola with the design planned for a wall outside of Nice Guy Eddie’s.

Chico is also planning a mural on the western-most portion of the wall dedicated to Whiskers Holistic Petcare on East Ninth Street. “The guy’s been around forever,” said Chico, referring to one of the store’s co-owners. “I figured I’d give him some advertising.”

Michael DeNicola, one of the artists behind the Centre-Fuge designs on Department of Transportation trailers nearby, is also painting a mural next to the woodshed outside of Nice Guy’s.

“Chico’s awesome,” said Mr. DeNicola, 28. “He just sat there and eyeballed it for an hour, looking at pictures from the Internet and visualizing what he was going to do.”

Mr. DeNicola joked that Chico’s methods were completely different from his own, which involved dividing his mural into quadrants and then recreating a design that he had already done on paper.

IMG_0172Stephen Rex Brown Michael DeNicola and Chico at work on their murals. The final remnants of the original Kiss design is on the left.

Though Chico has told The Local numerous times that he might retire from the Lower East Side scene, it seemed highly unlikely as he enjoyed the praise of numerous passersby this afternoon. “It gets really, really hot in Tampa,” he said. “New York calls me. My heart is here.”

And would he paint another mural on the restaurant that will replace Nice Guy’s and perhaps open as soon as September? “Pay my ticket, brother, and I’m here,” he said.