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SAM's Corner Bar & Grill gets new mural

Mural artist Kyle Holdridge (left) and Grain Belt/Schell’s distributor/salesman Jeff Thompson stand in front of the newly painted mural on the south side of SAM’s Corner Bar & Grill. (Photo by Dave Newman)

Anyone who has driven through downtown New Richmond this week has most likely seen the progress and completion of the new mural on the south side wall of SAM’s Corner Bar & Grill. 

The mural, which depicts the “history of New Richmond,”  features a large SAM’s Corner Bar & Grill logo along with scenes from the history of New Richmond with a sunset backdrop in varying shades of orange. The mural was designed and painted by Minneapolis artist Kyle Holdridge.

“The mural is kind of a history of the town and how it was built,” Holdridge said. “There are a lot of farms around here and that is in the painting along with a Grain Belt logo since there is a lot of history of that in New Richmond, too.”

The idea for the mural came from Jeff Thompson, a salesman for Needham Distributing, whose family has been involved with Grain Belt and the distributing of beer in western Wisconsin since the end of the prohibition.

“When I saw the wall on the side of SAM’s I knew it would be the perfect place to put a mural,” Thompson said. “As far as what would go on the mural, I wanted to incorporate the the City of New Richmond and its history into it. Grain Belt was the only beer available in New Richmond for a long time back during World War II. That is one of the reasons I see the mural as a piece of art and not an advertisement.”

SAM’s Corner owners Sarah and Mike Moore opened the bar and grill in February and were hoping to use the mural to brighten up the outside of the restaurant as well as pay respects to the City of New Richmond.

“We really wanted to change the restaurant completely after we took over,” Sarah Moore said. “We wanted to go with something bold for the outside and something that was completely different than what was there before. It was also a way to honor that city and bring back some of the tradition that makes New Richmond special. Personally, I like the ‘The City Beautiful’ slogan that we made part of the mural.”

Planning for the mural started a little more than two months ago, but it wasn’t until three weeks ago that Holdridge came into the picture. Holdridge, who specializes in large scale murals, is well known for his many murals all over the country, including murals in Sturgis, S.D., Key Largo, Fla., Costa Rica, Wisconsin and Minnesota. He even did work at Target Field for a mural of Kirby Puckett in the Legends Club at Target Field.

“I’ve been painting murals for about 25 years and done well over 1,000 murals in that time,” Holdridge said. “All of the murals I do are different from each other, but I really like this one at SAM’s because I really like doing sunsets. The thing that stands out the most about this one is orange color because it is really bright and looks cool.”

Sarah and Mike plan on having a mural christening party at SAM’s on Oct. 5, from 7-10 p.m. to celebrate the completion of the painting. There will be a chance for visitors to meet and talk with the artist as well as win prizes.

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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