A great example from the Epicenter of how living and working in a community as designers can have positive impact for all involved.

epicenter:

(In honor of Taco Tuesday and blog posts with TMT [too much text], we’re posting this second post today regarding our local haunt, La Veracruzana. Enjoy.)

When asked “So what do y’all do on Friday nights?” we’re never quite sure what the answer is. Immediately after “Why Green River?” is typically a realization that there isn’t a ton of stuff to do around here on the weekend nights. Our contemporaries in San Francisco, Chicago, or Brooklyn (a visitor via Amtrak/inaugural Epicycles customer yesterday was one of these exact people asking these questions) are given options of various free music shows, museum galleries, or other nightlife. They have the luxury of knowing of something to do and deciding to stay home.

So, since we don’t ever have examples for how to answer the “so what do you guys do” question, we’re starting a new series: This is what I did on Friday night in Green River.

Let’s begin.

Friday 1 April 2011: Crew Members Justin, Jack, and Maria quit work at 4:12pm to head over to La Veracruzana, the Mexican restaurant with awesome tacos. Earlier that week, Justin and Jack offered to paint the front of the building, free of charge, in an effort to give better cues as to what the restaurant currently is and gain more business (note the confusion between the old Ben’s Cafe signs and the La Veracruzana signs in Exhibit 1).

Why does it matter to us to spend 4 hours painting? We’ll give you three reasons:

1. The food is extremely good.
2. The owner is pressured to offer “American” options because she has people coming in asking for cafe-style food, confused by the signage.
3. Painting is easy & colors bring attention. And they already had the paint from the text signage.

It really boils down to a self-interest: we want this place to stay open offering authentic Mexican food so we can continue to eat it.

AND, the existing siding already had an incredible opportunity to create slashes and arrows (two of our favorite symbols).

You aren’t able to see the zig zags up top being painted red, as we continued on into the darkness on ladders. You’ll just have to see this for yourselves. Surely no one will be confused anymore… unless they think it’s Italian.

At 8:38 Justin, Jack, and owner Elias, who joined us, were done. We went inside and were treated to a large meal and some recently acquired Dos Equis Ambar, in the presence of a large group from London who wandered in ( /were lured in by the red and green) a little earlier. We left at 10:08, the restaurant lights turning off as we biked away, proud of ourselves for being out in town until after “double digits.”

Today we’re happy to report Sara and Elias are very pleased with the new paint job and have said they have gotten many compliments. Plus, the American options have been removed from the menu. And when we were there for lunch today, the restaurant got a call from a local asking about the Taco Tuesday special. Lastly, we now have a small side job helping out there Saturday nights from 6pm to close, which we’ll share between us. BAM!