Public Art - Index

Misuta Chow's
521 Main Street, Buffalo, NY

Misuta Chow's - Official website (online Jan. 2019)

Restaurant and arcade opened:
Back entrance dragon mural painted:
Dragon muralist: Taka Sudo
Restaurant name meaning:
Mister Chow's.  "Misuta" is "mister" in English.
Chow is Johny Chow
Johnny Chow: "John Mark Bechtel (born February 1, 1972) is an American musician and artist. He is currently the bass player for the band Stone Sour. He is a former bassist for the bands Cavalera Conspiracy, Souls of We, Fireball Ministry, My Ruin, Cortez, Systematic, Maximum Penalty, Echo 3, Pry, and Zero Tolerance." - Wikipedia (online Jan. 2018)
Chow Monstro:
"Chow Monstro is the art done by Johny Chow. The art has been seen in cities all around the world such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Brooklyn, Chicago, Dallas, Austin, Cleveland, Columbus, Memphis, France (Paris), Germany, Poland, Brazil, Australia, and Italy." - Wikipedia (online Jan. 2018)

First floor - Restaurant
July 2019 photos

First floor - Restaurant
January 2019 photos

Main Street entry (detail below:)

First floor bar  (detail below:)

First floor bar

January 2019 photos
First floor bar   ...   "Outdoor" restaurant in back inspired by a Japanese yokocho alley    ...   [In Japanese, yokocho literally means "alleyways off to the side of a main street." But it can also refer to the small pubs and bars that are often adjoined in rows along these narrow lanes.]

July 2019 photos
First floor bar   ...   Ceiling of the same scene above - but now with added decorations

First floor bar decoration

First floor restaurant  decoration

Kimono shop   ...   The first floor creates an outdoor Japanese street scene

First floor sitting area

Hello Kitty on rear staircase   ...  
Hello Kitty: "Hello Kitty, also known by her full name Kitty White, is a fictional cartoon character produced by the Japanese company Sanrio, created by Yuko Shimizu and currently designed by Yuko Yamaguchi. She is depicted as a female Gijinka with a red bow and, notably, no mouth." - Wikipedia (online May 2019)

Hello Kitty on rear staircase

Second Floor - Arcade

January 2019 photos

Front staircase landing    ...  MechaGodzilla  first appeared in the 1974 film Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla as an extraterrestrial villain opposing Godzilla. ...   Mecha (pronounced MECK a): giant robots or machines controlled by people   ...   Two details below:

Names of supporters of Misuta Chow's

Second floor bar   ...     Six details below:

Bar detail #1

Bar detail #2

Bar detail #3

Bar detail #4

Bar detail #5

Bar detail #6

Mural inspired by some of David Bowie 's album covers

Second floor arcade sign

Poster for a movie filmed in Buffalo

Second floor ceiling mural  looking toward Main Street  ...   By Buffalo designer/artist
Chris Main

Second floor ceiling mural  looking toward Washington Street   ...   Details below:

Original images by Chris Main: Five devils(?)

Blast!: European comic book series by Manu Larcenet (French)   …  
Blast!: Private detective seeking revenge for assassinated ex- girlfriend

Skate and Destroy:
"Thrasher Presents Skate and Destroy is a skateboarding video game developed by Z-Axis and released in 1999 for the Sony PlayStation. A Game Boy Color version was also developed, but was later cancelled.

"The objective of the game is to take one of the six fictional skaters and work through a total of 12 levels across the globe, gaining sponsors, decks and clothing, and eventually appearing on the front of Thrasher magazine - from which the game takes its name." Wikipedia (online April 2019)

Gun Love: Jennifer Clement's “Gun Love” is the author's second novel examining Americans ' fascination with firearms    ...   New York Times book review (online April 2019)

Inspired by Big Boy Restaurant logo   ...   Chain founded in 1936 with locations in the US and Japan"H

Skull: Misfits logo:  The Misfits are an American punk rock band often recognized as the progenitors of the horror punk subgenre, blending punk and other musical influences with horror film themes and imagery. Founded in 1977 in Lodi, New Jersey...

Hot Wheels: Hot Wheels is a brand of die-cast toy cars introduced by American toy maker Mattel in 1968. It was the primary competitor of Matchbox until 1997, when Mattel bought Tyco Toys, then-owner of Matchbox   ...   2003 movie   ...   TV series

Hot Rod magazine

A skull with Mickey Mouse ears ...   Favorite image depicted by Johnny Chow in his art work

"MICKEY MOUSE SKULL:  When we first moved to Bangkok, it didn't take long for me to start noticing this Mickey Mouse skull everywhere. And I mean everywhere. We'd be walking down the street and I'd notice it as a small sticker on a stop sign. In another neighborhood, it would be spray-painted as part of a large mural. I even started seeing it when we traveled out of the city in other parts of Thailand. While out of the country, Casey spotted it in Laos.

"Thai street artist  Bon or Mue Bon hoped that the image would stick with people and plastered it across the globe in the form of stickers, stencils and spray paint with a mission to make the masses remember it and hopefully start to question it within their hearts.  If you look closely, you can make out a peace sign within the face of the skull ~ conveying a message of peace in the face of death. "Being reminded of death may make visible peace,"  said Bon on the meaning behind the mouse skull.

"The idea came to him when he was ordained as a monk nearly 10 years ago. He had the realization that peace is possible if we learn to accept that we are all going to die one day, so there is no need to harm others. Since then, he has spread the Mickey Mouse skull around the world - from Thailand to Laos and Denmark to Norway - with no plans of stopping anytime soon." - Travallure (online April 2019)

Atari: Atari was created by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney in 1972 and became a pioneer in arcade games, home video game consoles and home computers

  Far left:  Space Invaders video game images   ...   Black Sabbath:  English rock band, including singer Ozzy Obourne   ...  

 Second from left:  Black Sabbath skulls logo   ...  

Two right panels: 
The Black Spy and the White Spy have been chasing each other around in MAD Magazine for 56 years

Toto: Toto is an American rock band formed in 1977 in Los Angeles. "As a band, TOTO has sold over 40 million albums, and today continue to be a worldwide arena draw staging standing room only events across the globe. With over 39 years together and thousands of credits and accolades to their names, TOTO remains one of the top selling touring and recording acts in the world." - Band History: Toto (online May 2019)

Second floor   ...   Some of the 1980's era video games    ...   Machines take quarters (change machine available)

Second floor arcade

Second floor  arcade

Johnny Chow practicing his game skills

Chow is bass player for the band Stone Sour and now successful entrepreneur

December 2018 photos

Dragon mural

515 Main St., Diver and water mural  at left  

Note window  which reveals part of the second floor neon art ceiling

Left image

Right image   ...   Note door handle on doorway which leads directly into the signature “Hello Kitty” pink sparkly staircase that takes guests upstairs to the arcade room (with bar and stage).

Artist's signature: Taka Sudo

Partial reprint with permission

Sudo’s Dragon Mural
By  Queenseyes
Buffalo rising, November 26, 2018

Over the course of a weekend in mid-November, Tokyo artist Taka Sudo painted a spectacular mural at Misuta Chow’s in downtown Buffalo, as part of a Collective Arts Brewing Company (Hamilton, Ont.) tap takeover.

The Asian-themed dragon mural, visible from Washington and Mohawk Streets, is an action-packed theme that is a welcome eye-catcher in the district. Sticking with what he does best, Sudo took a dull wall and created a vibrant work that will be a real attention-getter.

The wall is found on the back side of Misuta Chow’s, where someday the bar/restaurant owners hope to have some sort of outdoor live music element. Whether that is for temporary street festivals, or a more permanent stage is in the works, remains to be seen. No matter the final outcome, Sudo’s mural will be a brilliant backdrop to the action that is underway at the corner.

The mural also adds to the overall impressive design of Misuta Chow’s, which was built out to resemble Yokocho Alley in Japan. The doorway seen in this mesmerizing mural leads directly into the signature “Hello Kitty” pink sparkly staircase that takes guests upstairs to the arcade room (with bar and stage).

Partial reprint with permission

Tokyo Artist Taka Sudo Paints Mural @ Misuta Chow’s
By  Buffalo Rising
Buffalo Rising November 16, 2018

Misuta Chow’s and Collective Arts Brewing Company (Hamilton, Ont.) have teamed up to bring a Tokyo artist to Buffalo, who is painting a 20’+ mural on the back side of the 521 Main Street building.

Collective Arts is the regional brewery that works with artists from all over the world to create stunning beer labels, while throwing street art-inspired festivals. Misuta Chow’s is one of Buffalo’s newest venues that caters to live music, Asian inspired cuisine and drinks, and arcade games, all set to a fantastic setting that recreates Yokocho Alley in Japan.

The Collective Arts Tap Takeover at Misuta Chow’s will be a celebration of art and culture, our close ties with Canada, Buffalo and Hamilton (two regional cities on the rise), music, art, and brewing.

All weekend long, artist Taka Sudo will be painting the mural at the establishment – visible from Washington and Mohawk streets.

Sudo, a stylized abstract artist who now resides in British Columbia, Canada, was chosen out of four dozen international artists that applied. The artist was selected by the creative team at Collective Arts, and Misuta Chow’s’ owners Christi Allen and Johny Chow (bassist of alt-metal band Stone Sour).

Sudo says that he is inspired by the people that he meets from all over the world. “Through the adventure between reality and abstraction, you may be able to find your own dynamic to start you day bright and with beautiful people,” he notes. This same sort of welcome embrace can be seen in his works that include both neon and neutral colors, newsprint and photo collage. “Those scattered various elements in abstraction are the representation of our environment, existence, daily life, current affairs, information, and each person’s passion and energy,” he says.

Partial reprint with permission

Misuta Chow’s Recreates Yokocho Alley, Complete with 2nd Floor Arcade

The microsecond I heard the news that owner Johny Chow, and co-owners Christi Allen, and Lorenz Wustner, were recreating a Japanese yokocho alley a half mile from my apartment, I was beside myself with joy.

The narrow bar on the first floor took on the appearance of a traditional yokocho alley, complete with the red lanterns, and wooden eaves, reminiscent of the rooftops of Omoide Yokocho (aka “Piss Alley”) in Tokyo, where scenes from Blade Runner were filmed.

The attention to detail at Misuta Chow’s is exceptional. There’s a payphone in the back that has a direct line to the front bar. Christi explained to me that when the phone is ringing, it might be one of the bartenders beckoning a patron to have a drink on the house. There’s also a ‘wish tree’, where customers can write out their wishes the Christi will adhere to the “tree”, in hopes that their dreams come true. These are just a couple of reasons that Misuta Chow’s will be different. I hear that the servers will be dressed in authentic Japanese garb. And the food… I can’t wait to taste Executive Chef Dunbar Berdine’s Japanese-inspired street food cooking, complete with custom bento boxes! Not to mention Chow’s private label scotch, with his signature mouse skull design on the bottle.  
... then it will be time to sample some of their sake infused specialty drinks and cold pressed coffee on tap. Oh, and play a couple of video games at the second floor pub-arcade (with a balcony that overlooks Main Street).

Partial reprint with permission

Misuta Chow’s Comes Alive
by  Queenseyes
Buffalo Rising, July 14, 2018

In a few hours, Misuta Chow’s will be hosting its soft opening to the public. Last evening, some friends and family gathered at the new downtown establishment to express their well wishes, and to see the place in its full glory. Misuta Chow’s did not disappoint. When I first walked in, The Damned (band with Captain Sensible and Dave Vanian) was being piped through the speakers – an excellent sign that it was going to be a fun night. While there was no food (restaurant will be serving food in about a month’s time), the downstairs bar was pretty jammin’. The upstairs bar and arcade was also in full swing. Most of the final design details were finished. The decorative telephone poles and lines are still on their way – to mimic a Japanese alleyway (learn more), but other than that, everything else appeared to be fully functional.

The lighting in Misuta Chow’s is brilliant. From the glowing red neon lips in the back, to the ever-changing LED illumination, the place was aglow with magnificent colorful arrangements. The best part about Misuta Chow’s is the attention to detail. One of the faux alleyway windows has a beat up old air conditioner in it, adding to the authenticity of the design. The back stairwell has been painted with glitter-pink. There are ‘Hello Kitty” designs on the staircase risers (a large pink neon sign is still on the way).

Guests to Misuta Chow’s will find that there are no plastic straws handed out at the bar. Last night, proprietors Johny Chow and Christi Allen handed me a stainless steel straw as a token show of support for the environment. To me, that alone is a telltale sign that these guys are in it to win it. Not only have they recreating a Japanese yokocho alley in the heart of Downtown Buffalo, they care about their customers and the planet – that’s a win-win in my book. Another win is for Main Street. During the sneak peek affair, the 500-block was alive with people, throwing hatchets, sipping cocktails, eating ice cream… for the first time ever, I could fully envision the future of Downtown.

Except for Buffalo Rising photographs, photos and their arrangement 2019 Chuck LaChiusa
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