The mural we’ve seen so many times at Veselka — never actually in focus, since we’re usually scarfing a burger and chili at 4 a.m. — will soon be gone, manager Jason Birchard tells us. The restaurant is planning to expand sometime between now and spring depending on financing (it’ll be closed for a couple of days while new bathrooms are installed, among other things), and the back wall will be torn down. The biggest loss to Second Avenue since the 2nd Avenue Deli closed? Perhaps. But don’t worry: The mural, which depicts the restaurant at its most hoppin’, can be yours for a price! All you have to do is call Veselka for the number of Arnie Charnick, the artist who has been painting the restaurant’s murals since 1982. No word on whether 1Oak will be selling its Barack Obama mural.
Update: Charnick tells us about “Veselkhiarascuro” after the jump.
Arnie Charnick shares more about the mural, which is titled “Veselkhiarascuro” — he’s selling it in the neighborhood of $15,000, which will go toward the painting of another work. So far, offers have ranged from $500 to $5,000, not counting “drunk chicks calling me up at 2:30 in the morning.” Ha. Charnick tells us he painted the mural by first sketching patrons as they entered the restaurant over the course of about a dozen days (filling in the sketches with black-and-white gouache took another couple of weeks). Regulars were angry that they weren’t depicted, but a group of women who filled in the last of the canvas were angry that they were drawn, and threatened to complain to the manager unless Charnick removed them. Since the work was completed around the time of Valentine’s Day five years ago, you’ll notice some couples holding hands. A nice V-Day gift, then?