RIP King of Pops mural
Sad news: City code enforcement and a hateful coat of white paint have transformed the well-loved King of Pops mural near the corner of North and N. Highland avenues into another blank, white wall.
The mural's disappearance was brought to our attention by the blog Restaurants ATL (now that our office is in Atlantic Station, I don't drive by it every day). They spoke with "Nick" from King of Pops who said the city had swooped in and painted over it while they were on vacation in Mexico.
Not exactly true. The mural was covered up by Jeff Vantosh, who owns the building on which the mural was painted (the laundromat at 599 N. Highland). Vantosh explained to CL today that he didn't want to cover it up, but was forced to after he was cited by code enforcement. The violation, according to Vantosh: The mural constituted an "off-premises sign" — so, because King of Pops doesn't physically operate out of the space, it couldn't have a "sign" (or mural, presumably) on the building. Code enforcement couldn't find a citation on record for that address.
Vantosh said, "I liked it on my building. I wanted to keep it. I even asked the lady down at the city if I could get some kind of variance, but they told me if I didn't get it off, I was going to get fined. I loved the mural."
A neighborhood landmark bites the dust.