Howley’s Restaurant in West Palm Beach Hosts Contest for a New Mural

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

West Palm Beach’s favorite diner, Howley’s Restaurant, is giving local artists another chance to go down in history.

A Palm Beach County landmark, Howley’s Restaurant was opened in April 1950 by Patrick J. Howley and has been able to keep up with the times thanks to restaurateur Rodney Mayo’s takeover in 2004. Turning it into a retro diner with a hipster edge, Mayo has ensured that the traditions of Howley’s remain the same: amazing comfort food made from scratch and a unique aesthetic that pleases the eye.

Mayo preserved the diner’s best features, such as the terrazzo floors, open grill, and Formica-topped tables, and added a modern flare with local art and red barstools. However, it was years before Howley’s exterior got a makeover. In 2009, local artist Amanda Valdes painted the restaurant’s first mural of her signature dolls donned in waitress uniforms with the Howley’s slogan, “Cooked in sight, must be right,” perched above their heads. Valdes’ style fits the vibe of Sub-Culture’s chain of restaurants and nightlife spots so well that her designs can be found in many of Mayo’s establishments.

In search of a new perspective, Howley’s is hosting a mural contest to fill a different space on the patio wall, a spot that many people face while dining or drinking at the restaurant. The contest is open to the public, and it doesn’t matter if you are a professional artist or just someone who loves to doodle. Howley’s isn’t picky. It welcomes any design as long as it suits the culture of the restaurant.

“I would say we are a little funky, so don’t be scared to do something off the wall,” says Brea Burney, one of the managers at Howley’s. “There’s no experience required. We’ve had entries from 6-year-olds before, so whatever you think will look good — we’ll take it!”

And there’s plenty of room to use your imagination to the fullest, as the patio wall can fit a design that is five feet by eight feet. Interested candidates are encouraged to submit their ideas via email to breahowleys@gmail.com or stop by and bring a small-scale sketch. Although the deadline for submission is Sunday, May 31, at 11 p.m., it is strongly encouraged to start submitting your ideas now. You can even determine your competition on the restaurant’s Facebook event page.
So, what’s in it for you? The winner will receive $200 cash, free art supplies, and instant recognition for his or her efforts. Considering how popular murals are in South Florida, from West Palm Beach all the way to Miami, your artwork is sure to turn heads. Who knows? We may even be writing about your design in the near future.

Howley’s Restaurant is located at 4700 S. Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach. Call 561-833-5691, or visit sub-culture.org.

Gillian Speiser is a contributing writer for About.com’s Cookbooks & Food Writing page. Follow her on Twitter

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.