On the Wall: Murals at New York Restaurants and Bars

The stories behind 11 of the city’s most impressive—and permanent—artworks.

Adrian Gaut
OF 12

The Monarch Room

Unlike wall-to-wall artwork meant to define an interior aesthetic, the mural at The Monarch Room (opened in January 2014) was specifically designed to juxtapose. Created by Stephen Alesch, of design firm Roman and Williams, the mural—a geometric representation (in the style of artist Sonia Delaunay) of a Monarch butterfly rendered in rich jewel tones reminiscent of royalty—plays on both meanings of the restaurant’s name. As its focal point, the bright, colorful work contrasts with the former garage space’s concrete and dark finishes and fills the back wall of a two-story stairway located in the center of the room. Painted by artist Julia Mecha directly on the stucco surface and glazed with translucent gels, the shiny, textured mural—which Alesch likens to a melted Jolly Rancher—begs visitors to touch its shiny surface as they pass by. 408 W. 15th St.; 646-790-7070; nymonarch.com.