If you visited Minsky’s Pizza on Southwest Boulevard and 31st Street during late November or most any time in December of 2020, you undoubtedly noticed some colorful activity taking place on the south exterior wall of the restaurant.
That activity was artist Ruthie Ozonoff painting a massive new mural celebrating Southwest Boulevard in Kansas City. A full 22 feet wide and 13 feet high, the bright and bold mural depicts a Minsky’s Pizza as a stylized sun – radiating out vibrant waves of orange and pink sunshine across Minsky’s restaurant – and beyond!
The bright mural is topped off with customized typography, created by Ruthie, greeting all who drive by: “Welcome to the Boulevard!” and “Kansas City” – and, of course, a “Minsky’s Pizza Café & Bar” logo. According to Minsky’s founder and president Gregg Johnson, “That intersection is really one of the most traveled entrances to the Southwest Boulevard area, we wanted to welcome visitors to this really vibrant area of Kansas City in an equally vibrant way.”
Johnson continued, “We reached out to artist Ruthie Ozonoff as she had recently completed a mural for Minsky’s and our other two restaurants – eggtc. and Osteria IL Centro – at South Plaza and asked her if she might like to take on the project. Even though the seasons were changing and cooler weather was moving in, Ruthie said, yes, that she was in. I know there had to be some pretty cold days painting out there, but she got it done – and her new mural is spectacular. It’s exactly what we wanted.”
Beyond recognizing Minsky’s, the new mural also pays tribute to another business that calls Southwest Boulevard home: Boulevard Brewing. The center of the mural features a larger-than-life bottle of Boulevard’s 30th Anniversary Pale Ale – complete with popped bottle cap and frothy suds foaming from one of Kansas City’s most iconic adult beverages. On the far right of the mural a frosty can of Minsky’s own Burlesque Lager is featured (also slightly larger than actual size!). The two beverages bookend a refreshing top-shelf Minsky’s margarita and a few brighter-than-bright neon green lime wedges. The margarita glass also features an inscribed welcome in Spanish across its salty rim: “Bienvenidos!”
The mural was designed and painted by local artist, Ruthie Ozonoff. Longtime fans of Ruthie’s work recognize her as the creator of the iconic “Kansas City I’m so in love!” mural in the Crossroads area. The new Minsky’s mural at Southwest Boulevard is the second Ruthie has created for Minsky’s – the first being her bright blue and white, “Eat. Play. (Love) South Plaza” mural at Minsky’s South Plaza location at 51st and Main in Kansas City, Missouri.
According to Ruthie, the Boulevard mural is one of her largest murals to date – and certainly the brightest. Said Ruthie, “I wanted to use a bright color palette on the Minsky’s Boulevard mural – to pay tribute to the Latin community and Latin feel of the area. Using the pizza as a bright and shining sun just felt right, and the orange and pink rays blazing from the pizza-sun really popped.”
Ruthie continued, “It’s one thing working on a small layout for a mural – but bringing it to life at scale can be a little nerve-wracking. I’m just really pleased with how this turned out. The weather cooperated and the final art really depicts what I think we were going for. And working with Gregg Johnson and the Minsky’s team has been great. They gave me a lot of freedom in painting this really bold and bright art on the side of their restaurant! It makes me happy to do something like this for what has always been my favorite pizza place!”
Ruthie Ozonoff is an artist and illustrator in Kansas City where her murals have become popular backdrops for countless Instagram selfies. She is likely best known for her “Kansas City, I’m So In Love” mural at 2010 McGee, and her “Where Kansas City Plays” mural in the West Bottoms. More of her work can be found on her Facebook and Etsy pages as well as her Instagram: @designedbyruthie.
Why not check out Ruthie’s newest work in person? Stop by Minsky’s on Southwest Boulevard, order up your favorite Gourmet pizza and pair it up with a top-shelf margarita, Pale Ale or Minsky’s Burlesque Lager. And, while you’re at it, show Ruthie and Minsky’s a little love by taking a photo, posting it, and tagging us (@MinskysPizza) and Ruthie (@designedbyRuthie) on social! (We might even reward your post with a FREE large Minsky’s Pizza!)
Minsky’s would like to offer a sincere “Thank You” to Ruthie for creating this one-of-a-kind work of art for one of our restaurants – Ruthie, you are the best! (And, you never know, another mural may be in the works!)
Browse the gallery below – or click on our video interview with Ruthie on the occasion of completing her latest mural!