A public art mural depicting luminaries from Gonzaga University has been brought back to the neighborhood and is hanging on an outdoor wall near the intersection of Hamilton Street and Sharp Avenue.
The reinstallation is part of an ongoing upgrade at Scotty’s Doghouse, a popular bar that was once the Bulldog Tavern.
Scott Wilburn, owner of Scotty’s Doghouse, said the mural was brought out of storage because of its popularity and placed on the north wall of the bar at 1305 N. Hamilton St.
“It was something a lot of people liked,” he said.
Spokane artist Tom Quinn, a 1982 GU graduate, painted the original work in 2011 and 2012 on the south wall of the business.
He is currently restoring the acrylic mural by adding new figures and filling in a gap that was left from the original work.
The mural captures images of more than 40 Gonzaga notables in sports, law, politics, literature, education, arts and music.
The group is strung out along the front of a bar with many of the figures holding beers.
Near the center is the trio of former Gov. Chris Gregoire, the late attorney Carl Maxey and the late U.S. House Speaker Tom Foley, all from GU.
To the left is a group of GU basketball stars.
“The mural was a big deal to us to get it back,” said Scotty’s Doghouse General Manager Joey LaRocque.
But the mural also shows a wider range of celebrities, including the late Rev. Tony Lehmann, lovingly known as “Father Tony,” who was a regular on the GU basketball team’s bench for nearly two decades. He died of leukemia in 2002.
Acclaimed Native American writer Sherman Alexie is off to the right in a brown suit holding a beer.
Alexie is next to the most famous Zag of all, Bing Crosby.
Tucked next to Crosby is Ingrid Bergman (not a GU alumna) in her nun’s costume from the 1945 movie, “Bells of St. Mary’s,” which starred Bergman and Crosby.
A trio of coaches – Mark Few, the late Dan Fitzgerald and Dan Monson – hold court to the right.
Julia Sweeney appears as her androgynous “Pat” character from “Saturday Night Live” comedy sketches of the early 1990s.
The mural is getting some new figures.
Among them is the late Judge Frank Burgess, a GU guard from 1958 to 1961 who went on to a career in law and sat on the federal bench.
Owner Wilburn is seated at the bar to the rear, holding a mug of beer as if he is ready to take a gulp.
“It’s become somewhat of a living mural,” he said.
Wilburn, a graduate of Colville High School who earned a GU degree in 1994, has turned his bar into one of the most popular watering holes in Spokane.
On weekend nights and during GU games, the place is packed. The business has found the sweet spot between sports bar and local eatery, with DJ music for dancing on weekends.
“The kids are really loving it,” Wilburn said of the college-age crowd that gathers mainly at night.
The bar at 1305 N. Hamilton is expanding to a smaller building next door at 1307 for group events and game-watching parties.
Wilburn was partners in development of an online game called “Double Down Casino,” which has been sold.
When the windstorm last November put out power across the region, Wilburn invited utility crews to the Doghouse for meals. He was repaying the favor, he said, to the fire crews who saved his Stevens County lake cabin last summer.
LaRocque said, “Scott is that kind of guy.”
Michael Calderon, a manager at Scotty’s, said in an email that other additions to the mural are under consideration and that suggestions are welcome “for additions to this historical wall.”
Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.