On Kronnerburger and The Mural


I don’t know if you’ve been reading about this, but I have. It kind of struck me hard because I know firsthand what it’s like to build out a restaurant in an old building, and how devastating some of the surprises can be.

I’m a big admirer of Kronnerbuger chef/owner Chris Kronner and his work. Also, like many people, I think the mural was great. I’m an aficionado of the history of the Key System. It’s a bummer the mural will be gone (and even more of a bummer that the Key System is gone).

That said, I’d like to suggest that it’s pretty harsh to paint Chris as the villain in its removal.

I managed a mural wall at the Linkery for several years, and we always tried to be clear beforehand with the artist and other stakeholders how long they could expect the mural to stay up before it was eligible for removal. It sounds like that wasn’t done here, nearly a decade ago when the building owner, the community group and the artist agreed to put the mural up. Perhaps that’s the ultimate source of everyone’s frustration.

The discovery that the mural wall was in grave disrepair must have put Chris in a real bind. Problems like that are years in the making, but then it’s the new tenant who’s left holding the bag. I hope that folks in Chris’ neighborhood will be understanding what a difficult position that is for a small operator on a limited budget to be put in. Most folks in the neighborhood probably prefer having small, independent operators to corporate or chain stores, and Chris is a thoughtful person who cooks really delicious food, the kind of business operator I think the community will really cotton to. I’d encourage everyone to consider giving him the benefit of the doubt in a difficult situation.

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