Spectacular restaurant mural depicts village in a western desert

“Lizardpool,” a mural by Elliott Mattice and Kathy Maio in the dining room at the Limp Lizard BBQ, 205 First St. in the village.

“Lizardpool,” a mural by Elliott Mattice and Kathy Maio in the dining room at the Limp Lizard BBQ, 205 First St. in the village. Mindy Lee Tarry

— Creative artwork allows its viewers to look at something they see every day but in an entirely new way.

That’s precisely the effect when you gaze at the dining room mural at the Limp Lizard BBQ whimsically depicting the village business district as a desert-bound Southwestern outpost.

The 5-by-20-foot acrylic painting by Elliott Mattice and Kathy Maio aptly complements the Tex-Mex ambiance of the restaurant owned by Chuck Orlando, Scott Schimpff and Liverpool native Mike Rotella.

As the team readied the restaurant for its opening in April, Orlando suggested that the artists include several Liverpool landmarks and businesses in the mural.

“We thought that wasn’t the most exciting theme for a mural,” Mattice said. “But we thought that by twisting reality a bit, it would make it more amusing.”

Mattice and Maio titled their finished work “Lizardpool.”

The painting’s perspective draws the eye inexorably into its center, down Lower First Street past Washington Park to Heid’s standing at the end of the road.

A violet-blue sky feathered with crimson cirrus clouds fills the mural’s p half while the bottom features yellow sand dotted with green cacti and brownish buttes surrounding Nichols Supermarket, The Retreat, the Washington Park gazebo and of course, the Limp Lizard.

“To us, it was important to give the place a cowboy vibe,” Mattice said, “more of what you might find on Route 66, not down South. So the color schemes, decor, props were chosen to push that western feel.”

Kathy Maio, who graduated magna cum laude from Syracuse University majoring in design and illustration, has partnered with Mattice for eight years.

“She’s good with details and color and overall atmosphere of commercial interior jobs,” Mattice said. “I like to bang things out and she adds the fine tuning. Since she’s joined me, we’ve got the combined abilities to tackle larger, more complex work.”

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