The Factory Bar unveils colorful mural at 2nd anniversary event

Inaugural 'Best of Richmond Contest' launches
The Factory Bar mural (Photo credit: Mike Kinney)

By Mike Kinney

The Factory Bar at 12517 San Pablo Ave. unveiled its new mural on Sunday, the same day it celebrated its second anniversary in business, and also the City of Richmond’s 117th birthday.

The mural, an artistic rendering of “Richmond,” features the works of eight artists, each of whom were tasked with painting one letter of the word, according to The Factory Bar owner Tom Lyons. Contributors included Malik Senefru (the letter R), Haven Hibser (I), Deonta Allen (C), Beatriz Dominiguez (H), Michelle Guest (M), Torryanna Barley (O), Michelle Silva (N) and Zack Bowen (D).

Over 500 people attended the anniversary event for The Factory Bar, which boasts both indoor and outdoor spaces, specialty cocktails, craft beer, wine and Whiskey Wednesdays. About 100 attended the mural unveiling. The mural was initially blocked from view by a truck from Fire Station 66. But when given the signal by Michelle Seville of the Public Art Grant Fund — one of the mural’s sponsors — a firefighter drove the truck to reveal the mural to excited attendees.

Seville joined Mayor Tom Butt, who called the mural “beautiful,” as one of the event’s keynote speakers. At the reveal party, the Factory Bar presented Richmond’s NIAD Art Center with a check for $1,250. The funds were raised from the business’ promotion of Betty’s Gin and Tonic, a drink that The Factory Bar named after legendary former National Park Services Ranger Betty Reid-Soskin. When the Factory Bar contacted Soskin, it asked Betty what her favorite local non-profit was and she stated NIAD.

The Factory Bar also held a raffle for the House of Loving Hands, a non-profit that works with victims of domestic violence. The raffle included donated gifts from East Brothers Beer, Del Cielo Brewery, NIAD and other community partners. At the end of the raffle, over $600 was raised for the House of Loving Hands. 

Topping it all off, two local cowboys showed up with their horses to the delight of the attendees.

“The only reason we were able to celebrate our second year serving our community is because of our community,” Lyons said. “We want to thank you all for helping make The Factory what it is today. “