In my review of the Living Room in Boynton Beach, I talk about how owner Lisa Mercado transformed the restaurant into a highly personal, almost schizophrenic collection of knickknacks and oddities. But one thing I left out was how she inventively altered the men's bathroom.
Get up to go to the commode during a meal at the Living Room and you'll find yourself face to face with hundreds of gorgeous pinup girls. That's because Mercado, a collector of vintage 1930s and '40s pinup magazines, used their covers to wallpaper every inch of the restroom.
In the loo, you'll find mags like Flirt, Whisper, Beauty Parade and Eyeful,
each sporting buxom pinup gals posing lustily. The airbrushed models
seem to call to you as you conduct your business, and it's impossible
not to try to read all the ridiculous headlines. The scene only
furthers the theme that you're in some quirky, antique home rather than
Mercado, who did all of the painting and decorating in the
restaurant herself, is pretty proud of how the baño came out. "I was in
there for hours pasting and laquering," she says. "But I think it looks
There are plenty of other surprises around the Living Room I also
didn't get to mention in the article. Mercado points to an arrest photo
of Frank Sinatra that was gifted to her by a customer. "Most people
don't know Sinatra was arrested for seduction," she says. "He actually
told a woman he would marry her if she'd have sex with him. Then of
course he didn't go through with it, and she pressed charges."
Mercado's other favorite belongings: A hand-crocheted blanket done by
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one of her customers and a set of copper glasses that you can't
actually drink out of.
The surprising finds scattered around the Living Room make a meal in the homey restaurant even more fun. But to be honest, it's that bathroom full of pinup girls that left us with a lasting impression.