WEST SEATTLE ART: Businesses battle over 35th/Henderson mural

(WSB photo, July)

That’s how the mural on the north-facing wall of the business building at 35th/Henderson looked when we reported on it in July. Here’s how it looks now:

Part of it has been painted over, while part of it has been altered. This all has its roots in a dispute between neighbors – the Birdhouse coffee shop, which commissioned the mural, and CoCo and Co. salon, which has added to, and painted over, part of it. We’ve talked with both in the last several hours, after Birdhouse contacted us today about the situation, followed by tips/questions from multiple readers.

If you’re not familiar with the building, note that the Henderson-facing wall with the mural is alongside the salon, which faces 35th, while Birdhouse faces Henderson, west of the section of the building that holds the mural. Here’s a wider perspective, from Google Maps Street View:

Both businesses are tenants. Both said the coffee shop had talked with the salon and with the building’s owner before the mural project – which the Birdhouse called its “love letter to the neighborhood” – and no objections were raised by the salon until after it was painted in July. The dispute has simmered over the ensuing three months. The salon says the mural’s prominent feature of birds, among other things, gave the impression that the coffee shop was the sole tenant. In an email to the Birdhouse and the building owner three weeks ago, the salon wrote that “we continue to have customers believe we have moved, closed or downsized, which is unacceptable to us.” So the salon offered, in that email, what they called a compromise, saying the mural could stay if some elements were removed, including “the two (2) black colored birds, the coffee cup, the color red (sun/moon?) and the name ‘fre-mann’ from van license plate.” (That’s the Birdhouse owners’ company name.)

The coffee shop did not respond; they told us the building owners advised them not to. The salon provided an email from the building owners, dated mid-August, suggesting the two parties should work it out – “we cannot decide for either of you.” The salon set a deadline of last Thursday for a response, saying otherwise it would repaint the wall. Still no response, so the salon made some changes to the mural earlier this week: “Our intention in updating the mural was to add inclusivity and remove specific branding. (We added) BLM. RGB. Rainbow feathers so the bird was no longer the Birdhouse logo. Trans symbols. First responders.”

After that, the salon says, they were threatened, and their security cameras were broken. A police report was filed. They blame the coffee shop, which told us they take responsibility for the cameras. As a result of that, the salon then decided “the mural was not worth dealing with” and started painting over part of it today. The Birdhouse filed a police report about that.

So what now? The salon says, “We will work on a solution to the current situation.” As of a phone conversation this evening, the coffee shop had no next steps planned.

–Tracy Record, WSB editor

307 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE ART: Businesses battle over 35th/Henderson mural"

  • Wutang October 20, 2021 (10:09 pm)

    Wow. How petty. Work it out, be professional. Hardly seems like enough time was given between resolving the matter and just trashing a cool mural with black paint. Feel bad for the artist(s) and their hard work. 

    • idontmissthebridge October 21, 2021 (11:31 am)

      Three months with no response seems like a long time. And it sounds like they worked with the artist on modifications. The black paint only came after the coffeeshop got violent and broke their security equipment. It’s understandable to want to avoid that kind of threat.

      • Fauntleroyliving October 21, 2021 (1:13 pm)

        Where are you getting that the salon worked with the artist? They defaced this work because they were upset about something they agreed to and the unilaterally decided to change. The salon is in the wrong and is also abusing inclusive symbols as a weapon to make any future alteration look anti LGBTQ+And then after taking a childish approach they decide to just start painting over someone else’s work that they already defaced. IMO The Salon deserves bad press and no one’s business.

      • lilyws October 21, 2021 (4:16 pm)

        Three months in which the property owner (who has final say) is fine with the mural and has advised the coffee shop not to comment. Pretty critical detail there. The fact that after the building owner didn’t side with them they took things into their own hands and deface the mural with black paint shows how childish they are. 

  • DumplingGirl October 20, 2021 (10:10 pm)

    This is just so sad and pathetic. That mural was an absolutely gorgeous addition to the neighborhood. Too bad the salon had to make it into a dispute instead of embracing the beauty. 

    • CoCo October 20, 2021 (11:34 pm)

      CoCo has never disputed this mural. We simply asked that the mural painted on our building not be branded with The Birdhouse logo. That doesn’t seem unreasonable. I can’t imagine anyone would appreciate their neighbor painting whatever they wanted, without permission, on the side of your house. 

      • Childish October 21, 2021 (12:50 am)

        You approved the painting on your building though. And if the Birdhouse commissioned it they should be allowed to place what they want. Sad that this art that probably had hours poured into it was destroyed instead of just putting up a sign for Coco’s entrance on the side. I’m sure the piece also took awhile to paint, so the design didn’t sneak up on you. 

      • Sad October 21, 2021 (12:50 am)

        I own my house, it’s not quite the same. Im surprised this wasn’t thoroughly discussed in advance between the businesses and landlord, but honestly, it never occurred to me that the birdhouse was the “sole” tenant. I just thought it was beautiful.

      • Constance October 21, 2021 (6:59 am)

        As a customer at your salon, your defacement of the mural and subsequent response are appalling. I live in the neighborhood, and never considered the mural a depiction of the Birdhouse logo.

      • Sam October 21, 2021 (7:23 am)

        It’s bad to have the birdhouse logo because ___

      • JES October 21, 2021 (8:18 am)

        But they had permission?

        • s October 21, 2021 (10:44 am)

          What a pathetic display of immaturity and pettiness from both businesses. Coco defacing the art, Coffee Shop admitting to breaking security cameras. All on display for all to see. Good thing there are a lot of other salons and coffee shops in West Seattle. 

      • Jean Carpenter October 21, 2021 (9:45 am)

        I needed a haircut and saw this story.  No business from me.  As an artist, I am appalled

      • dhg October 21, 2021 (10:24 am)

        I can see that this is a branding issue but I also think there’s a better solution.  Coco has a large window embedded in the mural. That window can be used for their own branding and it would be very useful for increasing their visibility.  Metro Market once advertised their cookies using a material that looked almost like a poster from the exterior, but walk inside and the material looked transparent, looking out.  So Coco could keep its views but have a lovely design in the window that is bright and white and advertises their business.  As an aside, I don’t think the crow is an advertisement for the Birdhouse so much as it is a recognition of our surrounds.    

      • Molly woodruff October 21, 2021 (10:48 am)

        It’s not only unreasonable, it’s illegal to alter another artists work. You are inappropriate and wrong. We neighbors do NOT appreciate what you have done. 😡

      • grapevine October 21, 2021 (1:10 pm)

        Except that it isn’t actually the birdhouse logo?  Crows are a huge fixture of Seattle, and their logo is exclusively a specific silhouette design of a crow that is not the same on the wall.But also ,  y’all aren’t even the same kind of business so what does it matter? I’d maybe have more sympathy if Birdhouse was also a salon and in direct competition with you, but y’all have totally different clientele —- if anything Birdhouse is doing you a favor by increasing the foot traffic around your shop.You have a giant and obvious branded sign in your store front — I wouldn’t blame a mural with crow on it for a lack of business….

        • sw October 21, 2021 (2:19 pm)

          This is correct.  The bird in the mural is not the same as the branding for the coffee shop nor the branded items they sell.  

      • Jake Dimmock October 21, 2021 (6:01 pm)

        Coco, you had absolutely no right to vandalize another man’s work. You lowered yourself to being a criminal by yourself actions. After reading several responses, I see the community is supporting The birdhouse and are condemning your petty behavior. You had years to come up with with a creative idea other than your signage in front or your barbershop. Extremely unprofessional of you. You have not brought the community together but rather divided our loving community by your criminal behavior. I hope you will make this right and restore our beloved neighborhood mural. 

      • Mths October 21, 2021 (10:10 pm)

        What logo? I see a bus and crows and some Seattle icons.

    • CoCo October 20, 2021 (11:44 pm)

      CoCo has never, ever disputed this mural. We only asked that, because it was being painted on our wall, no specific branding be included. That it would be specifically community focused. Unfortunately that request was ignored and a seven foot Birdhouse logo was painted on our building. A building that is completely separate from the Birdhouse. We don’t feel that asking for no specific branding was unreasonable. We also don’t feel like the threats, intimidation and property damage we have endured is reasonable. We can’t imagine that any person would be okay with their neighbor just going ahead and painting whatever they wanted on the side of their house.  Are we wrong? Would you be fine with that? Is the fact that I can’t walk to my car without fear okay? That I am concerned about the safety of my grandchildren because of a mural – is that acceptable? 

      • S.A. October 21, 2021 (3:41 pm)

        You did “dispute the mural” – the story above quotes a list of things you object to (including “the color red” – seriously?)  And suggesting that your grandchildren are living in fear because you graffiti’ed over the mural is really a sad effort to make yourself out to be the victim in the situation.

      • BP October 21, 2021 (8:13 pm)

        I love this mural and it breaks my heart to see it defaced; It was perfect just the way it was, and the business specific branding complaint that CoCo is trying to float just doesn’t hold up. How many renters would kill to lease a space like this? CoCo blew an opportunity to embrace the spirit of the artwork and instead they disrespected the artist and disrespected the neighborhood they run their business from. Also, as a gay man I’m embarrassed by CoCo’s co-opting of pride symbols to try to make their argument against the mural’s content. It is so tacky, and wrong.

        • Reapectfullydisagree October 22, 2021 (10:36 am)

          As a nearby neighbor and member of the queer community, I respectfully disagree. I think if the Birdhouse had actually received feedback from the community ahead of the mural, they would have seen that there are diverse neighbors living in this area. I would have appreciated the diversity of our community represented on the mural, or really anything specific to the community, rather than a large ad for the coffee shop. 

          • BP October 22, 2021 (3:22 pm)

            I respect your perspective, and we probably share an equal appreciation for diversity and inclusion in public art. But CoCo admits that their problem never had anything to do with an absence of diversity and inclusion in the original piece. They repeat, over and over, that this has always been about the bird. So what I take offense to is pride symbols being introduced into this dispute, and weaponized to deface the artwork. It shows that CoCo is willing to corrupt those symbols of diversity and inclusion that you and I cherish, as long as it helps them in their beef. 

          • Rock Glass House October 23, 2021 (8:41 am)

            I am sorry but I will have to disagree with the extremely far reach as to using the symbols to “Weaponize”. The owner of  Coco is gay… so you don’t get to manage how he use the symbols, The irony is you are using it to hurt him by turning those symbols into weapons your self.  The trans representation comes in support of the employees who work in that’s intersection. When these people took over The coffee shop last year last year they squeezed out all of their queer employees. Their actions were as clear as they could be by taking  down all representation including the stickers Safe Pace environment  and the HRC that CoCo added to the mural.

      • Cait October 21, 2021 (9:10 pm)

        That is clearly not their logo and crows are a huge part of west seattle. I never associated that with their shop. Regardless of what your issue was with the content you NEVER paint over an artists work. Ever. 

      • Cait October 21, 2021 (9:23 pm)

        I’m wondering if they advised not responding because they knew their tenant was difficult and they didn’t want to incite a scenario like this. 

      • JB October 22, 2021 (5:41 am)

        There was branding? I know the birdhouse is there, but never saw that as overt branding. I also never had the impression that CC&C was no longer there.  I just saw it as a callback to birds. As a neighbor, I love walking along 36th Ave after I get off the C-Line and hear the birds singing in the trees. Your response was blown out of proportion and sadly a mural that brought joy to the community has been ruined by you. Not cool. Please make it right. 

      • Pam October 22, 2021 (10:07 pm)

        I drive up and down 35thbat least 2x per day and have for a few years. I couldn’t believe how beautiful this mural was and I was obsessed with it. I looked forward to arriving at this corner every time I drove on 35th. I really never thought of it as branding for the coffee shop. What I will say is that it was the first time that I ever really noticed that there was a salon there because I spent so much time looking at the wall and therefore everything around it. I agree that this salon missed an incredible opportunity and defaced s beautiful piece of art that would have drawn people to their property and brought attention to their business. Put a sign out front with some fun balloons on it if so customers seem to think you left. I don’t really get that as you blended in for years and then you had this magnet to draw attention to you. I am sure it’s been hard for both parties and the salon certainly shouldn’t have been vandalized and you shouldn’t have to live in fear, that’s just wrong, but you missed a great opportunity and now you might want to move so you aren’t the ones associated with ruining such a beautiful mural. I mean change up your colors, put a bird or a bike on your logo and ride that wave! You just completely missed the opportunity and now you are well known by everyone but not on the way you wanted. 

    • Bird and art lover October 21, 2021 (7:18 am)

      Completely bizarre. That side of the building has always felt more like the birdhouse than Coco anyway. We are Bird patrons and LOVE the respectful and kind owners. I’ve even had to confront amber about a concern and felt it was handled well. The mural was approved beforehand by both tenants? Sore feelings afterward launching Coco to take it upon themselves to paint over the artist’s mural? Super disrespectful. I will definitely NOT be recommending Coco to anyone. I fear their actions are going to hurt their business more than any mural could have! 

  • Deirdre October 20, 2021 (10:10 pm)


  • Jort October 20, 2021 (10:33 pm)

    I see that the bicycle, of course, is among the first things to be painted over. 

    • heartless October 20, 2021 (10:53 pm)

      A perfect joke, how many years in the making?  Well played.

      • Jort October 21, 2021 (10:46 am)

        I commented upon its unveiling that the mere sight of a gigantic bicycle would trigger people into a rage, perhaps even going so far as to reflexively slam their vehicles into the building (“it came out of nowhere”), but I suppose this is close. I was also waiting for, “But why isn’t the crow wearing a helmet?!?!?”

    • CoCo October 20, 2021 (11:48 pm)

      We love bicycles and are avid riders! There is no statement about bicycles in this whatsoever!

  • Awful October 20, 2021 (10:57 pm)

    What a terrible waste of a great mural.  I don’t think this is the way to drum up more business for your salon. 

  • Smh October 20, 2021 (10:58 pm)

    I don’t see how this resolves the salon’s issue about not looking open. Perhaps some attention to the actual salon sign along 35th over the salon entrance would help. The poor mural doesn’t look very cohesive now. Should have talked with the artist to see if they could have brought their desired elements in. Seems a bit silly and immature. Now they’ve got a dull front sign and a strange half mural. 

  • WSCurmudgeon October 20, 2021 (11:08 pm)

    Both businesses have positive reputations among my family and friends.

    May I suggest arbitration? Each of you choose a party you trust to negotiate a solution, and those two people choose a third they both trust. The 3 come to a solution and offer it to both parties, who can accept, reject, or discuss it further.

    Both managements should understand that neither I, nor several
    friends and family, will be taking our trade to you until we read in the WSB, or learn from an equally reputable source, that there is a mutually satisfactory solution to this dispute.

    • CoCo October 21, 2021 (12:30 am)

      Normally I would say absolutely yes. However, we have been personally threatened, harassed and intimidated by the Birdhouse owners and their customers. They have made phone calls, sent emails and posted defamatory and false reviews online. As a woman I am now scared to be alone at work. I am afraid to walk to my car. I am concerned for the safety of my grandchildren who live in West Seattle. Antonio feels targeted as a gay man and an immigrant. All we asked for was that the Birdhouse remove their branding from the mural. That’s it. Is it okay that I do not feel safe at my place of employment? Because of a mural? 

      • WS Native October 22, 2021 (7:25 am)

        The worst part about this is that Coco is unwilling to take any responsibility for ruining something that West Seattle loves. And now they are making this political – “I’m a scared woman, Antonio feels threatened because he’s gay” –  come on, knock that crap off. Apologize and fix it. 

      • g October 22, 2021 (6:44 pm)

        this is a real slap in the face to your salon.  I find the new birdhouse owners to be rude and won’t go there…and they should not have just taken the entire side of your business from you….they should have painted only the side of their business and that is something the owner of the building should grow a pair about and tell the that.  its not fair to a business that has been there for many years to have the new tenants think it is ok for something like this.

      • g October 22, 2021 (6:52 pm)

        this is a real slap in the face to your salon.  I find the new birdhouse owners to be rude and won’t go there…and they should not have just taken the entire side of your business from you….they should have painted only the side of their business and that is something the owner of the building should grow a pair about and tell the that.  its not fair to a business that has been there for many years to have the new tenants think it is ok for something like this, I MEAN YOU ARE THE TENANT OF THIS PART OF THE BUILDING..NOT THEM

      • D-Mom October 22, 2021 (10:14 pm)

        I call bullcrap on this threat of intimidation. I know Amber and Todd personally and they do not have a mean bone in either of their bodies. They have been screwed over in the past in a business deal gone wrong and still walked away gently.  I know they would never intimidate anyone and stand for diversity and equality for all.  So please do not believe these claims.  They add to the community every day. 

  • Mkl October 20, 2021 (11:09 pm)

    Antonio (owner of CoCo), what a shame. You could have embraced this gorgeous piece of artwork and enjoyed the new focus on the building. By getting defensive and going on the attack you’ve just dinged up your reputation in the neighborhood. The landlord bears almost as much responsibility for the mess. It was on them to confirm the terms of their leases before granting approval but once they did, they should have stood up for their decision.  Ironically they and Antonio could have commissioned the same artist to do something on the 35th side and doubled the impact.

    • CoCo October 21, 2021 (12:17 am)

      To be clear – the landlord agreed provided that CoCo approved the mural because it was proposed to be painted on our wall. We approved as long as it was not business specific. Obviously, it is very business specific. 

      • Molly October 21, 2021 (8:31 am)

        It’s a picture of a bird, but that’s not specific to anything (even bird on a wire). There are about a billion crows out right now. It was a beautiful mural and in my opinion you all are acting childish. You should’ve embraced the mural (which includes big parts of Seattle- biking, camper vans, the space needle, rain, and beautiful flowers which look like poppy flowers, which are a symbol of rebirth/regeneration).  You’ve butchered it. 

        • Melissa October 21, 2021 (9:38 am)

          Every time we drove past that mural on our way home, we thought about how nice it was to have art on the wall. We have crows that congregate in Lincoln and Fauntleroy Parks, so we saw the crows as a tribute to that, not as an ad for the coffeeshop. And the license plate? We never would have noticed it if you hadn’t created this hue and cry. So dang childish. So sad. We would never patronize a business that engaged in this pettiness.  

      • T October 21, 2021 (8:52 am)

        Dude this is insane.  That mural is one of the most beautiful things in southwest Seattle!  Say thank you not ‘what about me’!  I pass this corner many times a week and never even noticed the branding.  It in fact reminded me that your salon was there at all since I spent more time admiring the corner. 

      • dhg October 21, 2021 (3:02 pm)

        IT IS NOT business specific.  Your problem is of your own making.  You have dark windows, you have a boring awning, you are not making use of your exterior to advertise your business.  It is possible that a bright and colorful mural made some people think you left the building because it doesn’t advertise your business.  It also does not advertise coffee. Consult with someone who knows how to make stunning window displays that you can light up and make the most of your window space.  I’ve seen so many business die on the vine because they favor tinted windows (I’m talking to you, Cask).  Black windows are just a black hole. Enliven it with light and color.

      • Not seeing it October 21, 2021 (10:59 pm)

        I have zero stake in either side, and from what I can tell, it’s far from “obviously” branding. I have no idea where you see branding in that beautiful mural. I’m honestly kind of shocked that the two businesses can’t find some compromise but it sounds like things have gotten personal, so maybe there isn’t a lot of listening happening.

    • CoCo October 21, 2021 (12:21 am)

      We certainly embraced the mural. We simply asked (many, many times) before it was painted that it not be brand specific. Our request was blatantly ignored. We did commission the artist to create a mural for our second location – which she did and we love it. 

      • Mellow Kitty October 21, 2021 (9:47 am)

        So. What you’re implying is that you had no idea what it was going to look like? You saw no plans? You saw no outlines going up? Was the side of the building shrouded as it was painted? I don’t understand how, all of a sudden, now it’s a problem. This looks very – arrogant – on your part. You didn’t commission the artist, and it seems you weren’t interested in the final product until well after it was finished. Why didn’t you get together with the coffee shop to commission a mural for both if you were so concerned about what the thing would look like? Why not chip in on the cost and have some say instead of acting like a petulant child and vandalizing the mural after the fact? It doesn’t make sense. 

        • raywest October 21, 2021 (2:08 pm)

          Mellow – The fact that CoCo allowed the mural to be painted on “their” wall, for which they pay rent, was “chipping in” for the cost. They had a right  to say what should not be included. Their wishes were not honored. We don’t know when CoCo complained about the design content or if it was somehow altered after the fact. It may have been while it was being painted and their objections were just ignored. Perhaps CoCo could have been more attentive, but they clearly vocalized what they did not want to see and trusted Birdhouse to honor their request. 

        • What a shame October 24, 2021 (11:31 pm)

          Bird had shirts made up with the artwork on it long before it was painted on the wall. It was very clear what was going to be on the wall before it was painted. Unless the stylists are all non-coffee drinkers and avoided the shop next door, I don’t see how they could have not known. What a shame! Cc&C it’s sad you resorted to such childish and disgraceful actions. It makes me so sad. If anything it seems that most began to take notice of your shop because of the mural. I hope it can be repaired. 

      • Cait October 21, 2021 (9:17 pm)

        Even if you grant Coco the stretch of imagination that this is branded… you aren’t competing businesses! Hair salons and coffee shops probably have a symbiotic relationship more than anything. So even if it was branded… why not just put up your own branding as well?! The argument about people painting on “your home” doesn’t hold water if you don’t own the building and the owner and yourself approved it. You didn’t ask to look at the final concept art? 

  • newnative October 20, 2021 (11:15 pm)

    What a bizarre dispute over a building neither business owns. 

    • CoCo October 20, 2021 (11:55 pm)

      Correct – neither business owns it but the building the mural is painted on is leased by CoCo. Birdhouse is a completely separate building and they did not paint a single thing on their own space. Does that seem okay? Painting on your own building is fine. Painting your logo on another business is disrespectful. 

      • newnative October 21, 2021 (7:14 am)

        If it was beautiful, sure it would be okay. I don’t see how vandalizing art makes you the good guy.  I would never go to your business knowing you’re that level of petty. 

      • Beepee October 21, 2021 (10:06 am)

        If the mural brought new patrons to the coffee shop, wouldn’t you think or expect it might also bring mew clients to the salon ?

        • AbyssAndOvblivion October 22, 2021 (6:25 pm)

          The tshirts with the mural’s design were sold before the mural was painted. Everyone saw the design way before the wall had any work done. 

      • neighbor October 21, 2021 (10:08 am)

        Does your lease even cover the outside of the building? Presumably both leases are for interior space, and the exterior of the building belongs to the building owner, who gave his/her/their permission.For what it’s worth, I didn’t look at this mural and see it as brand-specific in any way. Even if it had been, wouldn’t it have been better to ask if there was a way to also incorporate your logo and share the cost of the mural? The salon’s actions really seem almost indefensible in my opinion. Even if they felt wronged, painting over part of the mural was the wrong response.

  • TJ October 20, 2021 (11:19 pm)

    Wow… Sad to see adults acting like children over a mural. There was no need to be petty and vindictive and destroy property. 

  • idontmissthebridge October 20, 2021 (11:25 pm)

    Both said the coffee shop had talked with the salon and with the building’s owner before the mural project” – but were they involved in the design process? were they given the design plan, and appropriate time to review it?  Coffee shop seems like bad neighbors.  Not responding to concerns for three months and then breaking their security cameras? and it seems their plan is to continue to ignore the salon.  Imagine if your neighbor did this to you.  I feel bad for the artist. I don’t love the salon taking paint into their own hands, it seems really disrespectful to the artist’s work.  But I can chalk that up to ignorance, whereas the coffee shop seems to be behaving with intentional malice. 

    • CoCo October 20, 2021 (11:50 pm)

      We did talk with the artist! And we commissioned her to do a mural for our other location. We absolutely did not want to disrespect her work. We think she’s amazing! 

      • Concerned Artist October 21, 2021 (9:53 am)

        Coco — you may not have intended to disrespect the artist’s work, but you did. Hours were spent on creating this. You could have talked this out with the building owner and the coffee shop as opposed to resorting to vandalism. Shame on you. Imagine spending hours giving one of your clients the most amazing cut and color of your career only to have another salon dump black hair dye over the client’s balayage you spent hours on right in front of you. As far as the cameras are concerned — two wrongs don’t make a right. So y’all start acting like the adults you are, get this worked out with the building owner, pay to fix the mural once a solution has been decided on with the design, and then get better at marketing your business so you don’t feel this threatened by a damn mural and make another bad decision like this in the future that will inevitably impact your business negatively. 

      • WSNoraa October 21, 2021 (10:27 am)

        You may not have wanted to disrespect the artwork, but you absolutely did.

      • Adam October 21, 2021 (2:02 pm)

        You also disrespected the neighborhood.

    • FormerDweller October 21, 2021 (11:59 am)

      I agree. Most are against the salon for painting over but seem to be completely discounting everything else. My first thought in reading this was, was the mural and what exactly it would look like shown exactly to the salon beforehand? If it had been it wouldn’t be happening the way it is, so I’m thinking it’s a no. Why does one business in a shared building get the final say on what a mural on a shared wall will look like? And the fact the coffee shop smashed their security cameras? Are there teenagers running that place? While I don’t think painting over was thee solution, everything leading up to that and after, was completely wrong. Sounds like a judge needs to settle this because clearly no one involved can.

    • K E M October 21, 2021 (2:20 pm)

      If I remember correctly, Birdhouse had the mural design posted at the register and on a sweatshirt in advance of it being painted. 

  • JM October 20, 2021 (11:29 pm)

    It’s absolutely ridiculous that we would be focusing on a mural when hundreds of thousands are dying of Covid, we have lost a third of the police force in Seattle, the republicans are blocking essential programs, Haiti is in crisis, 142,000 children have been orphaned in the US, and on and on. Really? Is this the most important thing we have to focus on? 

    • RW October 21, 2021 (4:05 am)

      JM – I have no connection to either side of this argument. Your comment is a “false equivalency,” and has NOTHING to do with what is being discussed here, nor is it helpful. Is every dispute going to be brushed aside because there are more dire concerns in the world? I think not.  Someone’s business and their livelihood is being affected here and they have a right to object to what is causing it.  Hopefully the situation can be settled amicably. Jeez.

    • T October 21, 2021 (8:55 am)

      and yet you’re here s–tposting about it.  What else is on your virtuous agenda for today?

    • Jort October 21, 2021 (10:48 am)

      Did you know that people can care about multiple things? Some big things, some small things, and that it’s OK? 

      • Boop October 21, 2021 (12:38 pm)

        True. Kind of like some people like bikes, and some like cars. 🤷🏻‍♂️

      • DLX October 21, 2021 (2:21 pm)

        Interesting you say that.  Does that also apply to cars and bikes?

    • Momo October 21, 2021 (11:43 am)

      Just waiting to see when and who would bring politics into this. 

    • Stuck in West Seattle October 21, 2021 (1:44 pm)

      This is irrelevant to this conversation.

  • ktrapp October 20, 2021 (11:58 pm)

    Really seems like the building owner should step up and settle the dispute.  Clearly the whole “work it out between the two of you” strategy is not working.  You can either mediate a settlement between the two of them, or end up with two tenants continually feuding with each other until one or both leave, leaving a horrible taste in the mouth of a bunch of people in the neighborhood, who might decide not to frequent any business that lands there.

    • FormerDweller October 21, 2021 (11:53 am)

      The fact the owner said not to respond but didn’t respond either just made the situation worse. And the Birdhouse listened to them like they were some lawyer? Please. It shouldn’t have gotten this far, but ignoring concerns never ends well.

  • Julia October 21, 2021 (12:08 am)

    JM, is commenting on a local blog helping with any of those issues? Maybe you should walk your talk.

    • JM October 21, 2021 (12:14 am)

      Oh, I am walking my talk. Are you?

      • Matt October 21, 2021 (7:52 am)

        Boy, did you miss the point. How is scolding readers of a hyper local blog walking your talk? Don’t you have some orphans in a burning building to save?

    • Rick October 21, 2021 (9:22 am)

      Any and all means to slam the non-left. Surprised President Trump wasn’t somehow included. Also, doesn’t Mr.  Coco’s signage on the canopy occupy the frontage of the building? Like the old slogan used to say, “Where’s the beef?”.

  • Awful October 21, 2021 (12:17 am)

    I don’t understand how coco would think this would make people want to visit their business.  People visiting the birdhouse or just the Mural is foot traffic and great advertising for both.  Ruining a beautiful addition to the neighborhood is just sad, bad for both businesses and feels like borderline vandalism.  Especially after they agreed to the mural.  Really disappointing.  

    • Steve October 21, 2021 (7:14 am)

      They blame the coffee shop, which told us they take responsibility for the cameras. “

      The coffee shop takes responsibility for broken cameras… Are you kidding me?!

      @Awful, I sympathize much more with Coco than Birdhouse–they set incredibly simple, basic boundaries that Birdhouse couldn’t honor, had their safety threatened and cameras broken, and now are cast as the “bad guys.”

      • FormerDweller October 21, 2021 (12:07 pm)

        Agreed. Coco had an extreme reaction to the actual problem (ie, painted part of the mural because the mural was the problem) but Birdhouse literally smashed their property that had nothing to do with the original problem. It seems had the exact contents of their mural been approved by both (and clearly the final design was not shown to the salon) this all would have been prevented, or perhaps the salon could have taken this to court rather than paint over part of it. But when the Birdhouse smashed property in retaliation like they were some rebel teenagers, that ruined it for me. How anyone can completely side with them after that, as if ignoring that even happened, is mind boggling. 

    • KB October 21, 2021 (8:01 am)

      Agree, I think the mural enhanced both businesses and increased foot traffic!  I find it sad that the salon would think public art detracts from their business.  The many times I’ve driven or walked by, I smiled at seeing the mural and never viewed it as an advertisement.  If the salon wanted creative input, they should have offered to split the cost of the commission and requested to be involved upfront prior to it being painted. 

    • CoCo October 21, 2021 (8:31 am)

      CoCo agreed to a mural but not to the mural that was painted. We have tried for three months to work out a compromise with Birdhouse and they have refused and/or ignored us completely. The painting was an emotional reaction to intimidation, threats and harassment perpetuated by the Birdhouse owners and their friends. It’s a sad situation for all of us and we hope to resolve it quickly

      • Adam October 21, 2021 (2:03 pm)

        I think you mean “shameful” reaction. 

      • Bartonboy October 21, 2021 (3:29 pm)

        Please, help us all understand how a bus, some flowers, and a bike is “branding” for a coffee shop. We’re all dying to hear this connection. 

      • S.A. October 21, 2021 (3:48 pm)

        You need to learn to control your “emotions” then. You don’t go out and buy paint and vandalize a mural without planning and preparation.You’re so “emotional” you see things that aren’t even there.  “Two” black birds?  Where’s the second one?  A cup of coffee?  Where?  “The color red”?  What on earth? You owe the artist the cost of restoration, you owe Birdhouse an apology for smearing them, and you would have been far better off improving the look of your awning and windows than fixating on an imaginary wrong you’ve been done due to having your building enhanced with a beautiful mural.

  • idontmissthebridge October 21, 2021 (12:53 am)

    they agreed to a mural that wasn’t business-specific, which this turned out to be.  They tried multiple times to have the business-specific aspects addressed, and when they made the adjustments themselves (apparently with the collaboration of the artist), the coffee shop broke their cameras (<—that is *actually* vandalism)

    • JES October 21, 2021 (10:22 pm)

      They did NOT work with the artist on covering the mural with black paint, that is vandalism and the salon did that on their own. Why would you ever think it’s ok to vandalize an artists work like that?? Insane.

  • idontmissthebridge October 21, 2021 (1:00 am)

    Tracy Record, if the comments in here from Coco are true, it seems like you have left out some important details from this story, namely: 1) that Coco specified their approval of the mural was contingent on it not being business-specific, 2) that Coco has been working with the artist on changes to this mural and even on another mural. 

  • Scubafrog October 21, 2021 (1:45 am)

    Oh gosh, a lot of people are shaming CoCo.  This meanness needs to stop.  I don’t know CoCo, for what it’s worth — I’m neutral.  This is getting out of hand, and the attacks don’t paint the other business in a colorful light (even though the lashing out doesn’t appear to be from the other business).  Let’s give compliments instead of cat scratches.

    • FormerDweller October 21, 2021 (12:10 pm)

      And seem to be completely discounting the fact the Birdhouse smashed their security cameras! I’d love for someone to state why they think that was ok to the point they are defending that company so hard.

    • Yup October 21, 2021 (5:45 pm)

      Absolutely!   We have just become judges and executioners over the last several years, and that’s part of what has torn everyone apart.   And I really hope we don’t somehow manage to throw out a member of our own community.  Of course you don’t have to patronize a business that has done something you consider horrible, but forming a lynch mob and tearing them to pieces… not a good look on anyone.  I think reacting with vitriol and rage just adds to the problem.  There may have been huge problems with the two businesses just gathering steam over the years and it just came to a head.  Who acts gracefully and rationally when they get to that point?  These are human beings… who make mistakes.   More rage and ugliness is only going to end up hurting more people in the end.  Possibly employees who have kids to feed?  If people hadn’t shown me a lot of grace over the years I don’t know where I would be right now, and I don’t want to know.  

  • Yma October 21, 2021 (3:04 am)

    Coco – you defaced a work of art.

    • HW October 21, 2021 (9:13 am)


  • Andros October 21, 2021 (3:57 am)

    I think this is the craziest story to ever be on WSB.  I don’t even know how to respond…it’s just totally wild!

  • Meeeee October 21, 2021 (4:06 am)

    Ugh, tawdry and tacky actions from both businesses.  And to the Coco business you DID disrespect the artist by painting/changing a part of their work.  But the coffee shop is no more classy with their responses.I won’t give business to either.  And now think about it,  for anyone searching either business online this ridiculous kerfuffle will show up.  The internet never forgets.Building owner should end this dispute by stepping up and being the party with the final say.  Especially since both sides seem to have dug their heels in on any sort of compromise.  

  • Ookla the Mok October 21, 2021 (5:09 am)

    This is pretty petty stuff, CoCo.  There is nothing about this that is brand specific.  And to unilaterally deface something that the entire neighborhood has embraced and welcomed is just selfish and sad.  

    • FormerDweller October 21, 2021 (12:12 pm)

      It’s almost as if this article was written to give facts so people can read and form opinions from such. If you think Coco is the only one to blame here or that this is only about painting over a mural, you haven’t read it. It should have never come to this. Everyone in this situation did something wrong.

  • raywest October 21, 2021 (5:19 am)

    I do not know anyone connected to this dispute, nor have I ever patronized either business. It seems that the Birdhouse violated the spirit of the project by injecting obvious references to their business . Two birds, a coffee cup, and the owner’s license plate name? I mean, come on. The huge blackbird is practically identical to the Birdhouse logo.  The mural isn’t on any part of the building that the Birdhouse occupies. What the Birdhouse did was blatant passive/aggressive behavior, so shame on them. Spare me any arguments about artistic aesthetics that this mural enhances the neighborhood. This was a self-serving endeavor to advertise the Birdhouse at CoCo’s expense. The building’s owner should paint over the wall, and Birdhouse should foot the bill. Sorry, but CoCo has every right to be outraged. 

    • Matt October 21, 2021 (9:41 am)

      Yes, for that matter, let’s paint over every bit of art in public view. What should we use: beige? Gray? That’s clearly the only way to prevent art from assaulting the innocents. This is why we can’t have nice things.

      • raywest October 21, 2021 (10:53 am)

        Matt – What are you talking about? Your response has nothing to do with this particular situation. We are not talking about “censuring” art from public view.  This is about something that was deliberately done in bad faith and is impacting someone’s business and not about what anyone sees. Get a grip. 

    • FormerDweller October 21, 2021 (12:18 pm)

      Agreed. And from statements from Coco, they agreed to a mural but not this one. If a company wants a mural to represent just them, they need to own the building themselves. If you share it with another business take that into account and either include them in the mural too, or just make a general mural, especially if it was, “for the community”. What’s funny is that businesses come and go all the time. Are they really that narcissistic to think they will be there forever to the point a giant mural of their business should be there? Yeah right. Coffee houses and salons are a dime a dozen. They should have made a general mural, otherwise, like you said, it’s just blatant self-serving/advertisment.

      • neighbor October 21, 2021 (1:43 pm)

        If this mural is an advertisement then it’s the worst advertisement ever, because I and apparently many others have looked at it as a representation of West Seattle, not of any particular brand or product. Would love to hear from the artist about how she envisioned this, as art or as a commercial advertisement. My guess would be art.

    • TheCrowsHaveEyes October 21, 2021 (10:20 pm)

      Agreed 100%! This mural is a HUGE advertisement for Birdhouse. I can’t believe people can’t see that! It’s a bird!! What this WSB story and the comments gloss over is the blatant violence by Birdhouse committed against CoCo. Let’s see…paint a wall after you’ve tried to negotiate and were not heard for a mural that was painted on the wall you pay rent on or…..smash cameras and intimidate people? SMH. 

      • MrP October 22, 2021 (8:23 am)

        This ⬆️⬆️  The article said the license plate on the car had the birdhouse owners name and a cup of coffee. How is that not branding? This is on the wall that CoCo leases and pays rent for not the birdhouse. The design agreed upon by CoCo was not the design carried out.The owners of the birdhouse prior to this, also placed a sign outside on the sidewalk informing patrons that they had to move their tables and chairs from in front of the large window (into to salon) because CoCo didn’t want them there. Talk about a petty and inappropriate defamatory approach. Simply moving them without a large sign would have sufficed. The building owner should have spoken up sooner to resolve this conflict.  

  • Jeepney October 21, 2021 (5:20 am)

    This is America in the year 2021.

  • A Different James October 21, 2021 (5:51 am)

    What a time to be alive! Here we are, watching West Seattle’s version of Bad Art Friend unfold.

    • DogMom October 21, 2021 (10:04 am)

      Comment of the day. Thank you for the lol. :-)

    • cait October 21, 2021 (2:49 pm)

      But the crow donated a kidney (bean)!

  • JW October 21, 2021 (6:22 am)

    Actually that mural has soooo much going on in it that I don’t think of it as promoting either business.  Seems like an unnecessary  fuss.

    • Ms. Sparkles October 21, 2021 (10:30 am)

      JW – Exactly!  I keep looking at the pic of the original mural & I can’t find a coffee cup or a full second bird (I see what looks like the bottom half of a bird on the upper left side, but the head disappears).  I’m not familiar with either business, so I’ll take it on faith that the big black bird matches the coffee house logo, but just passing by it doesn’t make me think of coffee, even bird house coffee.Ultimately the blame goes to the landlord.  They should have run the design by CoCo before the mural was started.  They tried to delegate their responsibility and it’s resulted in bad press all around.  But that said, Birdhouse attacking Coco’s cameras is enough to make me side with CoCo.

  • Anonymous October 21, 2021 (6:43 am)

    What was offensive or brand specific about the orange flowers?

    • WS Girl October 23, 2021 (12:11 pm)

      There was nothing offensive  or brand specific about the flowers. The issue is the large crow that is almost identical to the Birdhouse logo, a second bird, an image of a cup of coffee, and the Birdhouse owner’s name on the bus which were integrated within the design.  The flowers just got painted out because because they were at the bottom of the mural and within easy reach.

  • Hope October 21, 2021 (6:46 am)

    The original mural gave me so much joy. I am sorry to hear it is the cause of so much animosity. 

  • johnny October 21, 2021 (6:59 am)

    I honestly assumed that Coco had left their space and that Birdhouse had expanded into the Coco space – since the mural went up…

    • Rick October 21, 2021 (5:51 pm)


  • David October 21, 2021 (7:01 am)

    The line crossed was putting the logo on the mural. The salon has every right to be upset about that. The fact that no one showed them a sketch of the mural or no one noticed what was going up while it was being done is kinda odd. That being said they are right….you can’t use the entire side of a building that’s not yours to advertise your business. I’m very surprised the owners of the building allowed this. 

    • Matt October 21, 2021 (9:45 am)

      “Kinda odd” indeed. I’m sure the mural took days or weeks to rough out and complete. So Antonio waited until it was finished to say, “Nah, Imma need that 20 ft tall bird removed.” There is no way for Coco to come out of this looking anything but petty and vindictive. 

    • Ookla the Mok October 21, 2021 (12:09 pm)

      Sketches were available. I live in this neighborhood and saw representations of the final mural before this started.  CoCo basically admits defacing it.  They escalated this beyond a reasonable dispute to petty childishness.

      • J October 21, 2021 (1:40 pm)

        Yep it took several days to paint and wasn’t hidden. I have a hard time believing CoCo never saw the design as there would have been plenty of opportunity even if they had never seen a sketch, which is also hard to believe. Easily could have made a better choice than defacing the work. Court, a new sign on 35th, embracing the mural. Lots of options that were overlooked for a paintbrush and the cover of darkness. I knew it was fishy when I saw people out painting at night. I wonder how much this will effect a business that seems to rarely have clients anyway?

    • PNW Raven October 21, 2021 (12:31 pm)

      I think you bring up an interesting point that this may be considered as “advertising”. I wonder if it is violating the city’s signage code. Was this a sneaky attempt to circumvent going through the proper process and avoid paying fees in order to promote their brand?

    • S.A. October 21, 2021 (3:57 pm)

      Logo.Mural.Yes, there’s a bird in a similar (not identical) pose. It is not the “logo” of the business – the logo is a silhouette of a bird on a wire. It is not holding a letter, it is not riding a bike, it does not have visible eyes or feathers or highlights. There is red in the logo; there is also black and white. There is no orange or yellow, like in the mural.  “The Birdhouse” is nowhere in the mural, nor the titular house that forms the “H” in the logo.Frankly the whole “people come in asking if we’ve closed” story is hard to believe – Coco’s logo is on the awning, and if their storefront looks “closed” to people, that’s their own choice to have their windows blocked off and no sign of activity inside.  It’s not due to the mural.  How petty, to deface what was such a lovely piece of work.

    • ekjg October 21, 2021 (4:49 pm)

      As a friend of the artist who did this mural, I can say with certainty that Coco did see the sketch both times mock-ups were presented. It was approved by CoCo both times. 

      • RW October 23, 2021 (7:14 am)

        It would be interesting to see what the mock-ups looked like compared to the finished mural. Did it change? If so, then CoCo had a right to object.

      • WSLover October 27, 2021 (9:22 am)

        Exactly. This is the whole issue. they knew it and approved then decided they didn’t like it later. Sorry folks, in real life, you can’t say yes twice then change your mind months later. Not how life works.

  • flimflam October 21, 2021 (7:19 am)

    What a silly waste of time. Regardless of who may be “right”, to paint over the work of the artist is extremely rude and in incredibly poor taste. Does the salon think they’ll gain favor in the neighborhood by turning this wall black? Wow. The landlord didn’t do anyone any favors here either…

  • The Mama October 21, 2021 (7:24 am)

    Birdhouse rocks! They’re kind and friendly, they have great food and drinks, and the community loves them! The mural was such an incredible addition to the area. From what I know, the Birdhouse did all the work to hire the painter and designer. A gift to us. We are grateful. Pettiness over branding seems like the coco “brand” will suffer (replying to comments is also petty. You made your bed). Birdhouse didn’t need help with branding…let the birds fly! Hint: their basic burrito minus sour cream, add arugula is the bomb! :) 

    • Ms. Sparkles October 21, 2021 (10:45 am)

      They’re kind and friendly…. except to their neighbor’s security cameras?  Yeah, that tracks

    • PNW Raven October 21, 2021 (12:33 pm)

      Do you mean they are “kind” and “friendly” as long as they get their way? It’s one thing to treat your customers a certain way, and another to disrespect your fellow vendors.

  • Ann October 21, 2021 (7:25 am)

    Now, now children.  There are bigger issues in life these days.

  • Tracey October 21, 2021 (7:31 am)

    I love the original mural and it made me notice all the buildings in that complex which before I didn’t even really know existed.  I don’t frequent any of them, but after this fiasco, I am sure to buy a coffee at Birdhouse and walk right past the salon.  What a shame !

  • Suzanne October 21, 2021 (7:39 am)

    I am not a customer of either business although I am well aware of both as I drive through that intersection frequently. When I first saw the mural I was delighted. I did not associate it with either business but only viewed it as a community mural and a beautiful piece of art.

    If the Birdhouse truly did not include CoCo in the design process, that was a big mistake. CoCo painting over objectionable parts of the mural, even with the artist’s permission, was just plain wrong.

    In this case, 2 wrongs do not make a right – all it did was ruin a great piece of art. CoCo said they made changes in part to add inclusivity. I don’t quite buy that reasoning as that was never part of their initial complaint – it was all about the supposed branding. I am very much in favor of inclusivity being represented in artwork, but not if it’s just an excuse to justify your actions for a completely different motive.

    • flimflam October 21, 2021 (9:04 am)

      The salon painted over parts in a childish act of petulant foot stomping in my opinion…

    • Rick October 21, 2021 (9:26 am)

      Aaahhhh yes. Inclusive, accepting, etc. As long as you agree with me.

    • sam-c October 21, 2021 (11:10 am)

      Very well said, thank you

  • Eller W October 21, 2021 (7:41 am)

    They wanted two black birds removed, a license plate, a coffee cup and the color red? I only see one black bird in the original.  The color red, the one black bird I can see, and the coffee cup remain in the second picture. I can’t make out the license plate.  However, the bicycle and a lot of flowers have been really defaced.  I can’t see how bicycles or flowers negatively impact a salon.  Nor can I see how the color red could offend the salon.  It seems that perhaps there is more than a dispute about a mural going on.  After all, a brightly painted mural draws the eye, and can attract many a future customer to noticing the building in the first place, and nothing distracts from the very large awning with salon logo on the front.  As a driver-by I had assumed that the salon painted the mural and was pleased to see a positive representation of a crow, a ubiquitous Seattle bird that I love.  The disagreement seems to be a personality issue, not a mural issue, and that’s just disappointing.

  • All this over a mural? October 21, 2021 (7:50 am)

    Well I know where I will not be going for salon services, how petty…. give me a break. There is a clear sign for the salon and people think because there is a mural with a bird on it that the salon moved? Wow.

    • Mellow Kitty October 21, 2021 (9:53 am)

      Agreed. I’m not interested in spending my money at either place. I’ll take my money elsewhere. 

  • k October 21, 2021 (7:55 am)

    Where is the birdhouse logo? I see a bird on a bicycle with a letter in its mouth and one on a speaker, but that’s not their logo according to their punch cards and website. That’s just a bird. Are all birds now a brand? What do Carrie and Fred think?

    • PNW Raven October 21, 2021 (12:45 pm)

      The big bird in the mural bears more than a striking similarity to the bird in the Birdhouse logo. Just take a look at their website. It’s pretty obvious.

  • HS October 21, 2021 (7:56 am)

    This is disappointing to read. A play on “Co-Co” could have been added graphically toward that edge of the mural. Painting out the mural… . listen, that is not an architecturally attractive building and the mural helped significantly by refreshing and making it fun. I even brought friends over because it felt like a better place to hang out versus meeting elsewhere. Perhaps a better solution would be to pull the mural color onto the front of the building. A new awning, perhaps with a more volumous vertical line, in keeping with street art cartoon shapes, yellow or orange (mural flowers) with business name in black or gold lettering and a horizontal repetition of new orange painted metal exterior sculptural lights on the building would have been a better solution.

    • Gyngersnap October 21, 2021 (11:12 am)

      The mural always reminds me of a psychedelic nervous breakdown involving a crow and a bicycle. But it’s better than a painting of a covered wagon or pioneers arriving at Alki in canoes.

      • HS October 21, 2021 (2:27 pm)

        Haha! Too funny. To me it leans more toward comic and pop art. The bright flowers were my favorite. I walk a lot and for some reason that corner and block are always darker than surrounding areas so I appreciated the bright pops of color since it’s such a graphic mural. Plus it’s cute to see little kids “wandering amongst gigantic flowers” when people are milling around – such a great play on scale. I don’t mind the older style quality of the other WS murals but you’re right in that they feel less interactive and more scenic. You never know what people will interact with (ahem, the gum wall).

  • JES October 21, 2021 (8:02 am)

    Wow, ruining a beautiful mural without permission? How disrespectful and petty. Not a good look CoCo. Also does the salon think they’re in competition with a coffee shop for customers? No one considering getting their hair done sees a mural and decides to get a coffee instead 

  • helpermonkey October 21, 2021 (8:03 am)

    Wow, so Birdhouse can destroy a neighboring business’ security cameras, and no repercussions? I personally think the mural is beautiful, but I can 100% understand CoCo’s stance that it’s a complete erasure of their business. I hope they can come to a resolution, but it seems to me that Birdhouse is mostly in the wrong here from the get go. 

  • Better Than Graffiti October 21, 2021 (8:08 am)

    I’m glad a mural painted by one of our tenants on an alley wall in the Junction hasn’t stirred up such a fuss! (7 other tenants are in the building)

  • Justin October 21, 2021 (8:11 am)

    What a truly insane and disappointing move by CoCo. I’m confused how they interpreted that the orange and yellow flowers signified “coffee shop,” to the point they needed to deface a beautiful, community-enhancing mural. Same with the bike being covered up. I’m very unclear how that is a coffee-shop-only element. Just lunacy. Hopefully CoCo pays for the artist’s work to be restored.  

  • J October 21, 2021 (8:16 am)

    For shame, this is horrible on coco’s part. If you’re goal was shredding your reputation, congrats, you did it!

  • A business owner October 21, 2021 (8:31 am)

    As a salon owner(not an west seattle) and coffee shop lover I have gone to bird house many times before and after the mural and always thought that it was odd that it did take up the space of the salon while not representing anything of the salon business, I always dumbly assumed birdhouse owned the building and had a right to the space.I can tell you this neighbor is not sad about the mural and is more upset that birdhouse felt that they had a right to something that was not theirs,I can also tell you I will no longer be going there because their attitude towards this has been immature and disrespectful to another business and another person’s livelihood and how they put food on their table, our industry has been hit hard enough in the last year and a half we don’t need bullshit like this from a company that doesn’t even make their employees wear masks.from my point of view if anybodys still going to birdhouse you’re encouraging criminal behavior. A business that will purposely go in and mess with another businesses security cameras is rude disrespectful and not a business I want to support in my community.

    • j October 21, 2021 (9:00 am)

      Okay coco… 

      • A business owner October 21, 2021 (12:47 pm)

        Nope I work in Ballard.But live in West Seattle.and have had to fight tooth and nail for the last year and have to keep my business going and I’ve seen many people leave this industry.so for a business to be upset than a mural was put on their space that is an advertisement for the next door business I  100% understand where they’re coming from.And birdhouses behavior through this is literally criminal, if the salon was broken into they would have no footage and FYI Salon break-ins are up in the city, so I do see this as one business attacking another one on a criminal level. 

        • Hillary October 25, 2021 (10:08 pm)

          Agree with you on all points. I own my own spa business and Covid has been hard. I’m much more appalled by the vandalism. I think the new mural is still really pretty and not defaced at all. 

  • Disappointed October 21, 2021 (8:35 am)

    Coco’s awning looks like it is still prominent outside of their business store front, I’m not sure why people would think they were closed.  Painting over the mural seems so disrespectful to the artist, and such a immature way to handle the situation.  I absolutely loved those orange flowers (and the bike)!   Also, painting the bird in rainbow colors makes it stand out even more, so if you were concerned the mural was representing the other business because of the bird, that didn’t change.  Sounds like such a petty argument, and not handled well by either party.  

    • Adam October 21, 2021 (1:46 pm)

      Yea, right!  Seems they just wanted to be petty and came up with a ridiculous excuse. 

  • Blinkyjoe October 21, 2021 (8:39 am)

    Seems like CoCo is out of line here. You can’t just unilaterally deface art because you don’t agree with the perceived message it sends. Meet together, come up with a solution, move on. 

  • Luvsseattle October 21, 2021 (8:41 am)

    The saddest part of all this is that a beautiful piece of art, and hard work put in by artists, has been ruined by pettiness. It was such a great addition to the neighborhood and now it seems forever tainted.

  • Sunshine H October 21, 2021 (8:44 am)

    I know it’s too late, but instead of removing birds and other stuff, how about adding something “CoCo” related cool materials to the wall…?  I really liked the mural… sad. 

  • Longtime WS-er October 21, 2021 (8:56 am)

    I didn’t see this as advertising for the coffee shop, but as a beautiful addition to the neighborhood. It was a bright spot to drive by and see. Instead the salon has managed to make this “exactly” what West Seattle has become — a polarized argument instead of a neighborhood who cares about each other. Black-washing the art is disrespectful to the neighborhood. You are placing anger over the people in the community. If this is the way the salon is going to behave on the outside, I can only imagine what the inside of the salon is run like. And yes, perceptions matter. A beautiful piece was destroyed that gave beauty to the neighborhood. For what, too large of a bird riding a bike? That’s also synonymous with all of the birds and bikes we have around.I read the salon’s arguments above. They are excuses for bad behavior and not a positive resolution. 

  • Lynne October 21, 2021 (9:06 am)

    Team Birdhouse.

    • Adam October 21, 2021 (1:45 pm)

      All the way!

    • JES October 21, 2021 (10:33 pm)

      1000% I haven’t had coffee there before but definitely will support now!

  • T Rex October 21, 2021 (9:07 am)

    The whole thing seems a little petty to me. So it has a bird on it, the art on this is beautiful. Celebrate it and use the mural to somehow advertise your own business. When people are asking for directions, tell them what to look for.  Name the damn bird CoCo! I loved watching this completed. And I have a question for CoCo, when they asked you if you cared did you ask what it was going to look like? This mural celebrate many aspects of West Seattle. I think after awhile, if I was the owner of the coffee shop I would stop responding as well. It’s not about the Birdhouse, it is about West Seattle.  Stop Whining. 

  • Gyngersnap October 21, 2021 (9:10 am)

    Not all the neighbors “embraced” this mural. Many of us who have lived here for decades were appalled that the (out of state) owners allowed the mural to be painted directly on the bricks of this old building, destroying its integrity. There are many points of this mural project that should have been clarified and handled differently along the way. Now we have a big mess, both literally and figuratively. May peace prevail for all concerned.

    • Mellow Kitty October 21, 2021 (9:57 am)

      Why does it matter that the owner of the building is out of state? Would the mural be more or less acceptable if the building was owned by a local person? 

    • neighbor October 21, 2021 (10:18 am)

      How does paint destroy the integrity of brick? Not trying to be snarky, just trying to understand what you’re saying. Was your objection to paint being applied to the building at all, or did you find something in the mural objectionable?

      • Gyngersnap October 21, 2021 (2:11 pm)

        That building is 100 years old and I know – big deal – it’s no beauty. But once you paint brick there’s a chemical reaction and it is never the same. There is room for a piece of art that could be affixed to the wall rather than painted right on it, including the pipes etc. 

      • bill October 21, 2021 (3:02 pm)

        Neighbor:  I don’t think paint literally destroys the brick’s structural integrity. Paint can’t be removed from brick, so the building can’t be restored to it’s original appearance. But why would you want to. That building was (fill in the epithet of your choice) ugly. Look at historical images in Google Street view. 

        • Rick October 21, 2021 (5:58 pm)

          Have you ever used muriatic acid? Works great for restoring bricks and decomposing bodies. Do some homework before gaslighting.

    • Renee mar October 21, 2021 (10:44 am)

      Yes 👏🏾

    • Adam October 21, 2021 (1:44 pm)

      As a current neighbor, I loved the mural as it was intended my the artist.  And paint doesn’t ruin brick, that’s laughable. 

  • wssuperfan October 21, 2021 (9:13 am)

    So petty on the part of the salon. I can’t believe they’d paint over the mural, commissioned and paid for by another business and most importantly approved by the landlord. People thinking they were closed sounds like a petty excuse once they were unhappy with the mural that they had already approved. 

  • K2thaSea October 21, 2021 (9:18 am)

    Before we toss two upstanding businesses under the bus, let’s discuss some solutions. For current customers thinking the salon is boarded up, the salon likely has a robust email and social presence, let customers know you’re still there and thriving. Current customers I’ve talked to guessed when they opened the new location, that this one was closing. The other problem (especially for new customers) is Coco’s windows. Shaded black to keep the stylists and customers from getting blasted by the sun. Plus mirrors hanging in the windows that to the outside look like flat panel TVs. Why not decorate the windows — custom artistic decals or air brush paint — to add even more artistry to the otherwise drab storefront?  Also, there was room to make the corner end of the mural a bit Coco-ish with some sort of artistic representation. As for the security cameras, “taking responsibility” is a bit vague, I’d love to hear the Bird’s side before casting judgement. Finally, let’s all agree why we are passionate about this. The mural added some color, charm and character to an otherwise drab corridor, let’s face it, all the new construction is making West Seattle very basic. Beyond Easy Street, what other charm is left here? And White Center will be next. And then we’ll live on a peninsula with beautiful views and really clustered, condensed and utterly boring architecture. Until then, we have the Bird — a non-chain place to get some treats. Paired amazingly with an Indulge Dessert BTW. There are five business on that block — let’s find ways where they can support each other and we can all support them. 

    • Adam October 21, 2021 (1:42 pm)

      Totally agree, they ought to sue for the cost of restoring the mural. 

    • HS October 21, 2021 (2:35 pm)

      Well said. I’m going to patronize both businesses because I want to keep businesses in my neighborhood. We are all “doing our best” right now and this situation got out of hand. The cookies are delicious, I’m ready for a coffee and it’s time to schedule a hair cut.

  • WA Attorney October 21, 2021 (9:18 am)

    Antonio should have looked at the legal code before he did this. His actions qualify as malicious mischief in the 2nd degree, which is a class B felony in Washington state. Bird House may not own the building, but they do own the mural, which is why this very likely meets the legal requirement for malicious mischief. I’ll be reaching out to Bird House so they know their options for next steps.

    • helpermonkey October 21, 2021 (12:33 pm)

      Be sure and look up how messing with someone’s security cameras is also malicious mischief, WA Attorney! Maybe one of your colleagues can let CoCo know what their next steps are. Seems to me the camera vandalism happened before CoCo painting over the mural. 

    • PNW Raven October 21, 2021 (12:49 pm)

      You bring up interesting and valid points. Will you also be discussing the with Birdhouse owner about their vandalism of the security cameras? I am also wondering if this mural was a sneaky attempt to advertise their business and if it skirted any city signage codes?

      • neighbor October 21, 2021 (4:19 pm)

        Just as a point of reference, we haven’t heard from the Birdhouse owner as to whether he/she/they actually vandalized the cameras. We only have the word of the Coco owner that Birdhouse “took responsibility,” which could mean anything. Maybe they just said “Listen, we’ll replace your cameras.” If they actually did commit a crime then yes, they should be prosecuted. My point is just that based on the information we have, that’s not certain. I would imagine attorneys are lining up on both sides of this debacle, and Coco’s attorneys will probably tell their client that public admission of a crime isn’t a great strategy.

        • WS Native October 22, 2021 (4:13 am)

          Neighbor – Just to clarify. Birdhouse does admit in the letter posted on their website that they are responsible for smashing CoCo’s security cameras, and have since paid to replace them. Both sides are at fault here, and hopefully, this can be resolved amicably and to each party’s satisfaction.

        • Rick October 22, 2021 (9:13 am)

          I wondered about. Some of the best advice lawyers give their clients at the onset of anything is “Shut Up!.

        • Hillary October 25, 2021 (10:17 pm)

          I saw video of him smashing the cameras and cussing Antonio out. He did it.

      • WA Attorney October 21, 2021 (5:22 pm)

        The decision to destroy the security cameras does complicate the situation. If they file a civil suit against Antonio they’ll likely be hit with a counter suit, also known as a counterclaim in small claims court (I’m assuming less than $10,000 in damages to the mural).Arbitration would probably be the best course of action given the circumstances. I’m sure neither party wants to incur exorbitant legal fees. Arbitration clauses are oftentimes included in a lease agreement, however this is usually in the context of resolving tentant-landlord disputes, and not necessarily disputes between tenants. 

    • johnny October 21, 2021 (5:06 pm)

      Pls stop with this ridiculousness!  This is why lawyering sometimes gets a bad rep! 😺

    • Good thing it not my Attorney October 24, 2021 (12:12 pm)

      You can’t vandalize your own property. I have a lease which makes me the monetary owner until that lease expires. They do not have a lease and they do not on the business that is why when the police came out they got checked abs told to leave me alone 

  • John Smith October 21, 2021 (9:21 am)

    Nothing says “love letter” like vandalizing your security camera.

  • Ant October 21, 2021 (9:25 am)

    I was going to the salon but thought they closed because I saw a mural with a bike…. said no one ever!

  • Long time West Seattle October 21, 2021 (9:48 am)

    This is petty and ridiculous on all sides, way to ruin the chances of any more boring walls being becoming interesting. I  think in the end this will become a death sentence for both businesses. They should have worked this out privately before this all got out. They need to repaint the whole thing immediately, it looks ridiculous now. As a long time resident of west Seattle, I have been here before these two businesses were here and it looks like I will be here after. I have no desire to visit such establishments, I have enough drama in my life as it is. I give them both the rainbow bird!

  • eric October 21, 2021 (9:50 am)

    Wow look at all this!  Everyone wants to play mediator. This is a private matter between two people. Leave them alone to figure it out.  I personally think the wall should be all natural brick. I’m tired of all these ridiculous murals that may have been rare 40 years ago, now they’re everywhere and tiresome if not irritating and distracting.

    • Rick October 21, 2021 (6:00 pm)

      Then buy your own damn brick wall!

  • Matt October 21, 2021 (9:55 am)

    You wanted the brick preserved? A plain brick wall? Would you consider moving to Pioneer Square?

  • John October 21, 2021 (10:07 am)

    What’s lost is this is a residential neighborhood and a not a commercial district. I assumed the mural was meant to add a little sparkle in a very dismal times. Frankly, both businesses have added considerably to parking and vehicle traffic. Given the circumstances, why did both businesses think they are so entitled to turn this into a s–t show. Obviously, you both need to stop and find a way to be a good neighbor. Don’t be a stranger.

    • Rick October 22, 2021 (9:21 am)

      I moved there (5 blocks west) over 50 years ago and thought this mural was unique, different and all that but felt it be a plus for the neighborhood. Of course I would prefer West Seattle to be the way it was over 50 years ago….oh well.

    • raywest October 26, 2021 (6:52 am)

      John – The entirety of 35th Avenue is a commercial district with a residential area attached to it. Nearly every block along this corridor has some sort of enterprise operating on it and there are a number of other businesses just down the street from CoCos and Birdhouse, including where I get my own hair cut at another salon at the opposite end of that same block. At the other end is the convenience grocery store. It’s like me saying because I live one street over from California Ave. that my neighborhood has been ruined by the businesses that operate there.  Sorry, but that argument really is not valid.

  • The 70s October 21, 2021 (10:16 am)

    Some can argue that it’s “urban legend” but when I see a pair of high-top sneakers hanging from a wire like that I leave the area & don’t come back.  To you it’s 21st century urban art … but for me it’s the 70s in an area I grew up in … & that I would rather forget.

    • JES October 21, 2021 (10:38 pm)

      Damn you must have to move a lot, that sounds exhausting

    • Sean Hemp October 23, 2021 (1:51 pm)

      Urban Legend.

    • WS Girl October 26, 2021 (7:05 am)

      Tennis shoes hanging from power lines has multiple meanings. One, which you seem to be alluding to, is that is represents areas infested by drugs and gangs. However, it is also what young people, usually males, do to commemorate some significant milestone in their lives, such as graduating high school, going to college, or losing their virginity.

  • sw October 21, 2021 (10:24 am)

    Well, this is a kerfuffle.  I for one love the mural, and think we need more art in our environment.  I have driven past this building hundreds of times, and nothing about the previous brick facade was noteworthy or had historic integrity.  It would seem the current situation is the result of poor communication between the two parties – both of whom are at fault.  Birdhouse for not fully vetting the art with the primary building tenant before the work was done, CoCo for stirring things up in responding to forum commenters (NEVER a good idea) and the childish act of defacing the mural.  Additionally, you can clearly see the COCO branding in all the photos above – their claim that the mural is harmful is a little shaky.  I would suggest the two parties get together and work out a solution on the mural and perhaps work out a joint promotion such as “get $1 off a coffee with a haircut” and “buy 5 coffees, get $5 off a haircut” or the like.  Use this publicity for the benefit of both businesses instead of being a public spat that divides the community.

  • Appalled October 21, 2021 (10:46 am)

    I’m not interested in having petulant toddlers make my coffee or do my hair.  Both businesses survived the pandemic and shutdown that shuttered so many small businesses, then they act like this?  I wish we could trade some of the awesome businesses that didn’t survive for these two.

  • Renee mar October 21, 2021 (10:46 am)

    How about just making it a beautiful piece of art ? Take away the political virtue signaling , acronyms ,etc .. and just let it be 

  • Crow October 21, 2021 (10:48 am)

    Aloha kākou! I frequent BirdHouse, and I very much love the mural. I loved the fact that inclusivity was brought into the mix as well; the rainbow crow is gorgeous, and I appreciate the clear TLC it took to paint into the design, rather than over it (at first) . I’m not quite understanding why the poppies are being covered, why anything is being covered now, however I see this as symbolic; there is a present energy that doesn’t want a rebirth to occur here; a rebirth that is possibly more inclusive, loving, acknowledging, and embracing of all resident and neighborhood wishes. Crows are a Seattle staple, and I agree with those who’ve pointed out the majority of the artwork references other Seattle staples; it’s beautiful, and gives a heartfelt representation of colonized culture in this city. I also agree that it appears as though Birdhouse has advertised for their shop in a dominating way, considering that their logo includes corvids, and is a coffee shop (coffee drinking astronaut). I understand why Coco is struggling to feel as though they’ve been included, as it sounds like they would appreciate the ability to have more input now than they knew they’d want before.If you’d like my input, I’d be grateful to have a word in! I know there are marginalized groups in Seattle that are in need of representation. I know that we all Love, we Love W. Seattle, and we want to express that Love for where we are. I personally intuit that we are collectively (as humans) moving in a direction that is directly impacted by the reclaimation of indigenous sovereignty and culture.I appreciate the artist’s hard work, and I’m grateful to hear that they’ve been given an opportunity to paint for Coco in another space! So maybe this is an opportunity to start fresh, hire a new street artist (a neutral party, who’s just coming onto the scene), possibly a Native, who has inherent love for this land, who is inclusive of all people’s and wishes to represent and include the marginalized groups in this city, and who wants to embrace a collaborative vision that asks everyone involved about how they feel in each stage of the process. Yeah, this way might take a little while. It also might ease the suffering of many; if everyone is willing to suffer a little (not getting their way and only their way), no one has to suffer a lot. I say, let us create something that lasts the tests of growth. Let us Love each other and work together to create something that honors community ♥️

    • Antonio October 24, 2021 (12:46 pm)

      These are the edits that I made that warranted criminal retaliation compromised safety… What’s so bad about what I did here if it’s a community wall for Artist to express themselvesThank you for your kind calming and sensible words. When I added the equal rights campaign sticker the acronym BLM and RBG I also wanted to represent the trans community as we have people who work in that intersection who are members of that community. It breaks my heart to know that I had good intentions but have been contorted into something negative my hart and intentions are in the right place. I feel the need to use my voice and my platform for my brothers and sisters who are more focused on surviving as I am thriving. All I wanted to do was thank the first responders who have been there for us through this whole pandemic which is why their emblem is now on the car. I want to be part of the solution of our cultural divide,  which is why I added the BLM on the emergency vehicle. It’s so hard to believe how me wanting to include minorities has evolved into so much hate. On the audio of the cameras that Todd destroyed it’s very evident he has a conflict embracing people of color. My intention was not to upset anybody I did not realize that Todd would react so violent, I never saw this coming, people who know me, know my heart is in the right place I don’t have malice intent. I would like to humbly apologize if I hurt the feelings of the art community, I took their bate and had an emotional reaction. Please keep in mind, this last incident where I start painting the wall was the 3rd time Todd had Assaulted me and crossed inappropriate boundaries.  

      • I believe you October 26, 2021 (12:31 am)

        Antonio, I don’t know if you will see this, but I believe you and wish you well. Honestly, everyone needs to back off and give these folks some space to figure it out. 

      • rw October 26, 2021 (10:19 am)

        I don’t know if anyone noticed, but the photo clearly shows Birdhouse’s tables and chairs set up in front of the mural and on CoCo’s property. As I read here, Birdhouse was asked to not use CoCo’s space for their customers, but continued doing so and even after police intervened and told Birdhouse they could not do this. There seems to be a pattern of Birdhouse ignoring CoCo’s requests.Maybe one compromise to help settle this: Birdhouse changes the mural as CoCo specified, and in return, CoCo allows Birdhouse to use the space for customers.

  • Dave October 21, 2021 (11:01 am)

    Not everyone thinks this “art” is beautiful. Remember, art is subjective and this is a giant piece in the middle of a neighborhood. Let’s have a neighborhood pressure washing party!!! Brick is beautiful.

    • J October 21, 2021 (1:54 pm)

      This is not an architecturally significant building. It’s a boring cinder lock wall. You may not like the mural but it is objectively better than cinder blocks.

  • Arbora October 21, 2021 (11:04 am)

    I saw this as art in our neighborhood. I’ve been to both businesses and was happy to see this addition but am very sad to see art defaced.  

  • JWinWS October 21, 2021 (11:07 am)

    Seems like both business owners need to sit down together with a mediator and come to a mutually agreeable solution before taking any further steps. 

  • cocobirdfight October 21, 2021 (11:25 am)

    WOW, I am surprised at how much hate is being thrown at ONE of two businesses who are acting childish. It seems like people should be outraged about broken security cameras as well as painting over a mural, but it sounds like fair warning was given before one of these acts. Been to Birdhouse, it was good. But there are a million other local coffee shops that as far as I know don’t resort to property destruction.

    • lilyws October 21, 2021 (1:35 pm)

      Ok Coco – so if “fair warning” was given to you that something you paid for would be defaced you’d be fine with it? Incredibly childish to destroy a mural because you don’t like it after it’s been approved by the building owner. 

  • grapevine October 21, 2021 (11:25 am)

    wow the pettiness from Coco is pretty unbelievable.  How does a mural that features many Seattle staples ( crows being one of those), hurt a salon business that literally has their own rather large sign/branding in the front of their shop?  Why would a mural suddenly make folks think they’re closed or had moved? Don’t blame a piece of art that everyone in the community loved and was happy to see, just because you seem to have trouble maintaining your clientele on your own. smh.  If anything, people lining up to get coffee at Birdhouse actively brings more people around ( I literally wouldn’t even know Coco exists if I didn’t get coffee at Birdhouse ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )

  • BB October 21, 2021 (11:27 am)

    wow…you ruined that beautiful mural.

  • Utterly Disgusted October 21, 2021 (11:28 am)

    I’m just blown away by the lack of respect Coco Salon has shown through this all. I find it completely ironic that they took it upon themselves to illegally repaint the mural with messages of inclusiveness all while disrespecting the artist, all the volunteers that helped paint this, and the building owner and coffee shop. I personally helped paint this mural with my children. It took a week of work by many hands. The crow, which is more representative of our local fauna than branding, was marked out from day one. That would have been the time to raise concerns. The mock up of the final mural was posted on their salon window the whole time, so it’s not like the final design was a shock to them. This sounds like a case of buyers remorse that they decided to take into their own hands in a very childish way. Unfortunately, the way that this was handled will impact the salons’ business way more than having a crow on the building would have. What a shame! 

    • FormerDweller October 21, 2021 (1:08 pm)

      And you knew all the details while you were helping to paint? You knew exactly what was discussed between parties? And you think it’s ok the coffee house smashed their cameras? These comments are blowing my mind.

  • Lolz October 21, 2021 (12:03 pm)

    Imma gonna throw a cell site up on that roof and make it even more attractive! Hey Landlord want to make some money?!  

  • SM Westside October 21, 2021 (12:19 pm)

    I think Tracy should shut down the comments on this story and everyone involved should act like adults and come up with a reasonable solution for all parties involved, including the artist. This is crazy for people to take sides and for the 2 parties in dispute to retaliate with each other. The saying, “can’t we all just get along”, is for this situation.” children, work it out!” (comment from a long time westsider)

    • Reed October 21, 2021 (6:43 pm)

      Disagree, this is too entertaining.

  • Another Neighbor October 21, 2021 (1:00 pm)

    Coco is making a stink about this but I haven’t heard what the other businesses think? What about The West Seattle Fish House, Bay Nails and Indulge Desserts? 

  • Case October 21, 2021 (1:02 pm)

    Wow! This is crazy! Birdhouse owner thinks she owns that block! I remember she told me to “park my car somewhere else” so that her customers could use the parking spot. I am pretty sure these spots are first come first serve, and you are welcome to call parking enforcement if you have a problem. I feel vindicated! 

  • FormerDweller October 21, 2021 (1:05 pm)

    My question is why did the Birdhouse feel the need to put a mural on a building they aren’t even in and have it focus on them as a business rather than the community at large? They claim it was for the community but then include everything about themselves in it. Then smash security cameras of the salon (were they planning something else they didn’t want to get caught doing?) Look I’m all about supporting art but the way this all went down was ridiculous. At this point it’s probably only solvable in court, each paying a portion to the other. What I think is really wrong is the fact that, according to these comments, the salon owners are facing threats over this AND their security cameras are gone now. Over an art piece. How ridiculous. If this community was anything they pretend to be, they’d rally to have a mural that can represent either both businesses or the community at larger, helping everyone in this. Not get huffy, stomp their feet, and threaten people, only focusing on one as the “bad guy”. Talk about petty.

  • KT October 21, 2021 (1:58 pm)

    The obvious “bad guy” in this situation is the Landlord who should have worked with both tenants.

  • Lagartija Nick October 21, 2021 (2:04 pm)

    Frankly, every single party involved comes across poorly and is responsible for this fiasco. The building owner for not making sure every party agreed to the initial design. And for advising the coffee shop not to respond to the salon’s concerns (this more than anything else escalated the issue). The coffee shop for not expressly getting the salon’s approval for the design, vandalizing the security camera and following the building owner’s awful advice not to respond to the salon’s concerns. The salon for not making sure they had approval rights for the initial design and defacing the mural without permission. And finally, the artist for agreeing to paint over the mural without the coffee shop’s approval. What a mess.

  • CurrentlyBill October 21, 2021 (2:12 pm)

    The one really at fault here is the landlord. They own the building. They own the piece of art. They are the one that ought to resolve this. Is this violates the lease with Coco, then Coco may have a legal remedy there. If  the landlord is fine with the art on the building they own, it gets to stay. Is not, then it should change.To throw up their hands in this dispute between two tenants about how the landlord’s building should be decorated is highly irresponsible.

  • LG October 21, 2021 (2:29 pm)

    Let’s be clear though, the Birdhouse did not just commission the mural, they paid for it. If it has some subtle advertising in it for their business – so what?  Nothing about the old version of the mural suggested that CoCo is closed.  Nothing about the salon makes it seem closed either.  If that was TRULY the concern a simple OPEN sign (or a cute creative one) in the window would have done far more to address that than changing the mural.  I actually like the rainbow feathers and the sneaker addition.  I also think some cute scissors or a blowdryer would have been adorable. But in the end CoCo does not own the building and didn’t pay for the mural.  The whole argument seems like its far more petty and NOT worth the clear damage to CoCo’s business which this WILL definitely spark.  Also, how awkward for salon employees who just want to get their coffee fix lol. A shame though the cameras were smashed, that is just as childish as trying to paint over the mural. SMH

  • WSNoraa October 21, 2021 (2:36 pm)

    For all the comment mediators, I think there’s some information that’s missing that you should know before you drop your enlightened views in an attempt to solve this issue.

    The first photo in the article is from July, before the mural was completed. That’s why you don’t see everything that people are talking about.

    The third photo is from Google Maps, showing the complete mural.

    And from the context and timeline WSB provided in their narrative, I assume the removal of the orange flowers and the bicycle is because: “As a result of that, the salon then decided “the mural was not worth dealing with” and started painting over part of it today.” What you’re seeing probably isn’t because CoCo objected to the flowers or the bike. It’s because they’re now objecting to the entire thing, and attempting to erase all of it.

    (Which, in my opinion without any further info, is the worst offense of this whole mess. But that’s just my opinion.)

    • pkg October 21, 2021 (4:21 pm)

      I agree that painting over the artist art work is incredibly egregious. Painting over someone’s art is a slap in the face of the artist and incredibly disrespectful. In my opinion both the coffee shop and CoCo are acting like petulant children. I also think CoCo owes the artist an apology for defacing her/his work. As for the owner of the building shame on them for  being cowards and letting it get this far. 

  • Auntie October 21, 2021 (3:18 pm)

    While I sympathize with the sentiments of Coco, it looks to me like they just took some black paint and rolled randomly over the bottom of the mural like a little kid who doesn’t like what they see. Mine, mine, mine! I’ll wreck it for everybody! Why not invite the original artist over to adjust the pic to be more inclusive and call it good. Play nice, kids.

  • West Seattle Resident October 21, 2021 (3:54 pm)

    As a West Seattle Resident and transgender person, I’m really disgusted that Coco Salon would use the trans flag, and other important symbols, in their petty dispute. Keep our very real and important issues out of your ridiculous and pointless nonsense.

    • WSNeighbor October 21, 2021 (9:46 pm)

      While I agree with you that bringing in trans and BLM symbols into the dispute seems, on the surface, to be manipulative and inappropriate, I am aware of some details that are not included here, and I’m wondering if the owner of CoCo was trying to make a very real, and very important statement of support for our community. I know that former employees have shared that when the current owners of Birdhouse took over, all pride flags and BLM signs were removed from the coffee shop, despite employees requesting that they stay. The owner of CoCo, from my understanding, is part of the LGBTQIA community. I don’t know if the coffee shop still refuses to display support for members of those minority communities, or if that has since changed, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some real significance to the additions made by the salon. Definitely not the right way to go about it, this whole situation is ridiculous. But if what I’ve heard from former employees at birdhouse is accurate, I also have no sympathy. The salon also apparently added something in support of first responders, and I can tell you from experience (along with experiences of at least 3 other people I know) that the staff of birdhouse are not wearing masks despite the mandate. Still doesn’t make the actions of either business ok, and I also agree that using those symbols/flags/representation of minority groups as part of the response to an escalating situation is not the way to support the community. Both of these businesses need to do better!

    • Fully inform yourself October 23, 2021 (3:42 am)

      As a member of the LGBTQ plus community I am offended that you are taking stance with hate and xenophobia. There are serval cover messages in this mural. CoCo is a big advocate for our community They also have a platform and privilege so Theu are fighting  a culture war on your behalf so you can  be simply a critic. There are several transgender people who live on the our community  and feel there are being honored. Our community is under attack and being turned into a culture war, make sure you’re on the right side. I don’t understand how adding representation form first responders,  BLM, equal rights campaign, and representing the trans community can be found as offensive. take a seat look around and know who your allies are. It’s not the people at that coffee stand. 

  • what kind of bird are you? October 21, 2021 (4:07 pm)

    You choose to wear all beige, someone stands next to you wearing a striking colorful outfit, which makes you feel like a wallflower. So, logically you attack the person next to you and destroy their outfit?

    How about rethinking your style and revamping your wardrobe instead next time?

    There are ways to spruce up your storefront and windows, Coco, if you want to. Get inspired, not angry!

  • johnny October 21, 2021 (4:12 pm)

    I am for team Coco.  C’mon – that mural is an advertisement for their cafe.  A gift to the WS community… Gimme a break!

  • Too Much Hate October 21, 2021 (4:53 pm)

    I am an employee of CoCo & Company and I am absolutely appalled by this entire situation. We are all just trying to work and support our families There are months of backstory that led to this that isn’t worth rehashing here but tells a much different tale than this tiny sliver. I am frankly surprised that the WSB would decide to write this story in such a slanted way. The owners of both businesses are responsible for where we are but the landlord is the actual person at fault. The businesses and employees are not. I do have absolute knowledge that the Birdhouse blatantly ignored the requests regarding the mural that were made by CoCo’s owner. I know that CoCo’s owner had spent the past three months attempting to get the owners of Birdhouse to work out a solution. I know that the landlord wrote to CoCo’s owner and told him that “Todd and Amber” (the owners of Birdhouse) were fine with CoCo’s presence being added to the mural provided that CoCo work out the design and cover the cost. I know that the owner of CoCo sent a letter to the landlord and to the owners of Birdhouse telling them of his intention to paint the wall and gave a date. I know that there was no response whatsoever. I know that I personally liked the changes made to the mural (before the blackout). I know that the reaction of the Birdhouse owners was frankly, scary. The baseball bat to the security cameras, the threats made to CoCo employees, the harassment and the intimidation all perpetuated towards CoCo’s owner AND EMPLOYEES was inexcusable. The actions CoCo’s owner took in reacting were emotional and unfortunate but not completely without reason. He had simply had enough and just wanted the problem gone and the problem was the mural. There was never any intention of painting the entire mural. The flowers and bike were not targeted. It was a regrettable and unplanned action. No one wants to see the mural gone. However, the current hostility and hate being stirred up makes me, as a resident of this neighborhood, kind of just wish the mural would go away and we could have the boring old brick back. That brick never pitted neighbor against neighbor or caused any irreparable harm to small businesses or to the people who work at them. 

    • 👀🙅🏻‍♂️ October 23, 2021 (3:30 am)

      • what kind of bird are you? October 23, 2021 (7:43 pm)

        That is a pissed off pappa.

        Wondering if the security cameras just recently installed? If so, they may have been installed as an afront to Birdhouse, because of their disagreements, which may be why they were smashed in retaliation.

        Neither party is guilt free, but who caused a rift in the first place, and then first escalated it with destructive actions?

        • what kind of bird are you? October 23, 2021 (8:00 pm)

          There must be a deeper history of animosity/bad relations here, right?Whatever the history, hope they can find a path to peace. Wrongs should be righted on both sides.

  • Kd October 21, 2021 (4:56 pm)

    I have been a client of Co Co and company since they opened years ago . It sucks seeing a lot of you  bash him. He is a good person . There are two sides to every story . He did try to negotiate . He was ignored . You weren’t a client in his chair one day when the bird on the wire owners came over and yelled at him in front of his costumers using Profanity because he had to shut the water off for a minute to fix the hot water that they shared and frightening one of his customers in his shop . Maybe you all feel it wasn’t the right thing to do paint the wall but that wall is attached to his shop not theirs. If you didn’t like something on your building that you were paying rent on you would change It too if your neighbors weren’t agreeing to fix it . Then to bash in his security cameras on his business is out of line! He only painted over on his business he never damaged there’s!  

  • CroCro & Co. October 21, 2021 (5:07 pm)

    I’ll be generous and say that the mural could be depicted as a very loose advertisement for the coffee shop. But, the logo is clearly not in the mural anywhere, not sure why that’s the hill coco is choosing to die on. Shame on you for taking the matter into your own hands and defacing a beautiful work of art.

  • Too Much Hate October 21, 2021 (5:39 pm)

    It might be important for people to know that both Urban Artworks and the original artist were contacted after the mural was painted to inquire as to whether they would like to be part of figuring out a solution. UAW declined saying they had just helped facilitate it for the artist. The artist also declined stating that she could see both sides, did not want to get in the middle and didn’t have emotional ties to the mural because Amber (owner of Birdhouse) told her exactly what to include so the artist didn’t feel like it was “her” art anyway. The owner of CoCo then hired the artist to create a mural for his second location. There are no hard feelings or bitterness or anger or anything of the sort between CoCo and the mural artist. I just wanted to point this out because it seems like people are just assuming that the artist would be upset without actually knowing that to be true. 

  • LyndaB October 21, 2021 (5:59 pm)

    Reddit has this one thread called AITA. I love reading it but sometimes I’m not sure if the stories are real.  The descriptions of people’s interactions with one another just seemed horrible sometimes.  It’s weird to sew this unraveling in WS.  I hope both two sides sit down and arbitrate with their landlord.  Y’all are adults. 🙏

  • STS October 21, 2021 (6:13 pm)

    Sadly, the innocent & undeserved victims in all of this are the artist @glam.dusty, nonprofit @urbanartworks, and all of the extra helpers who put in so much time, effort, energy, and joy into creating this mural. My understanding is that Birdhouse collaborated with the artist to help fundraise for nonprofit Urban Artworks, and then Urban Artworks teamed with the artist to help bring the mural to us. From what I gather, some of the fundraising proceeds were to go to the production of the mural. I was just looking at the @glam.dusty & @urbanartworks Instagram posts from this past summer, and seeing all the excitement & energy they all had about (and while doing) the project. If you’re unfamiliar with Urban ArtWorks and the great work they are doing, check ’em out! https://urbanartworks.org/
    Creators, if you’re reading this, just wanted to say thanks for all the work you all put into making this piece! I haven’t been to either of the businesses involved here. I’m just someone who passes by here on my daily grind. Even if I just catch a quick glimpse of it going thru the intersection, it’s a piece that has always brought me a spark of joy- no matter how bad of a day I might be having. It was something about the flowers that got me! I’ll miss seeing them!

  • A Neighboring business October 21, 2021 (6:14 pm)

    I also own a business on this block. I can’t even believe what I am witnessing. I am distressed by everyone involved – including all of the people making negative comments and behaving in such a dreadful manner. I have also had issues with the owners of The Birdhouse. Many of us have. Todd is unpleasant and angry and seems to enjoy intimidating people. I cannot imagine that any negotiations with him would have been pleasant or fruitful. We, along with others, were not particularly thrilled to have a Mural so clearly weighted forwards one particular business and owners. None of us were asked to take part or to comment or be included in any capacity. I fail to see how this is a community mural when the very closest community members were totally left out. Maybe the solution is to repaint a true inclusive mural where we all get to contribute. 

  • Marty2 October 21, 2021 (6:51 pm)

    I hope both parties can reach an amicable solution, we need more art and less arguing.

  • Lexy October 21, 2021 (7:03 pm)

    This whole thing seems to petty and ridiculous. I get coffee at the birdhouse often and love the mural. I also was planning on booking an appointment at Coco this week. However now that I’ve seen how horrible this has become I don’t want to support either business. They both need to grow up, take accountability for handling this poorly and go to arbitration. That fact that this made it to the blog makes both businesses look really bad. I love supporting my local businesses but until these businesses decide to be better examples for the community I won’t be supporting either of them. 

  • what kind of bird are you? October 21, 2021 (7:08 pm)

    Suggestions for sprucing up Coco’s store front…

    Paint windowpanes and or door, either a bold color, or something more demure like gold silver, or soft pink.

    Nice bench out front.

    New lighting feature above door or in windows.

    Planter with a beautiful plant or topiary by the door.

    How about a classic sandwich board promoting Coco’s on the corner.

    Fix mural.

    The two businesses agree to offer a discount to each other’s customers, as someone else suggested.

    Problem solved?

    • TeeTee October 21, 2021 (10:17 pm)

      CoCo: this is my neighborhood, everyone who lives here loves the sign, it made us all smile during Covid and no WSB. Entry to your “storefront” is on 35th. Bird entry is on Henderson. Maybe you could spruce up what is a less than attractive CoCo signage and storefront and let the neighborhood enjoy the mural, which you actually defaced. Shameful. BTW before Covid and even now the coffeeshop is packed and CoCo maybe has 1 customer whenever we walk by. Unbelievable. The neighbors are horrified by what you’ve done.

      • Gyngersnap October 23, 2021 (4:03 pm)

        Tee Tee, I live about 40 steps from the site of this mural and I can assure you that all the neighbors do not love this mural or even like it a little bit. Believe it or don’t, but I know my neighbors. To say that Coco has maybe one customer when you walk by is blatantly ridiculous. There are about 4 hairstylists working at Coco’s who are busy all the time. He has so many customers that he has opened a second location. Get your facts straight.

  • WestSeattleLife October 21, 2021 (7:11 pm)

    Honestly, at least based on some of the additional information in the comments, both businesses are to blame, and this is completely out of control and I’m super disappointed that this is happening among local West Seattle businesses. Birdhouse should have been a little more flexible with the design. CoCo should have voiced their concerns, but if Birdhouse wouldn’t budge, CoCo should have dealt with it and added signing to their window. I honestly don’t know anyone that viewed the mural as a Birdhouse logo. And even though I’m not a customer of the salon, I never once thought it had moved due to the mural. I still knew it was located there! I would be incredibly surprised if the mural was truly resulting in the salon losing business.

    The coffee shop should have responded to the letter, or even better, the owners should have talked in person, and resolved the situation like responsible adults, but regardless, the salon shouldn’t have responded by making their own edits to the mural. However, since they did, the coffee shop should have dealt with it. After all, they didn’t respond to the notice letter stating that they objected to the proposed changes. The fact that they retaliated and escalated the situation with threats and property damage is disgusting and pathetic. The salon should have let the police deal with it at that point, but instead, continued to add fuel to the fire by painting over the hard work that the artist put into this mural.

    And here we are. We have a damaged mural and a childish local business feud. As someone who dedicates a lot of time to supporting local businesses, and bragging about how great our West Seattle businesses are, I am truly disappointed with the way this situation has escalated, and the response by both businesses.

  • Embarrassed_for_you October 21, 2021 (7:38 pm)

    CoCo needs help. Looking like a tall order though. Something for professionals. Crash & burn in progress. From what their employee states, it’s been going on for months. Grow up! The petty, narcissistic behavior, and energy would be enough to wear a healthy person out. The negligent actions of painting over the mural is a performance of a lifetime for a small salon. Do better. 

  • The Birdhouse October 21, 2021 (7:55 pm)

    We have made a letter to West Seattle that is posted on our website to acknowledge what has transpired. It’s under the Community Page if you would like to read https://www.thebirdhousews.com/community.html#/

    • johnny October 21, 2021 (8:38 pm)

      Nice letter – very conciliatory.  Hopefully both sides can work through this situation.

    • lilyws October 22, 2021 (10:55 am)

      Thank you for taking the time to post this. Seeing that you’re paying for the security cameras and genuinely apologetic is reassuring. 

    • Linda October 23, 2021 (10:23 am)

      Yes  lovely letter. The neighbors are very supportive of restoring the art work. Let’s us know if we can help with any fundraising. Also as a member of the LGBT community I personally want to apologize for the artist’s work being defaced with LGBT symbols. Not cool. 

    • raywest October 23, 2021 (3:17 pm)

      Birdhouse – I read the letter you posted, but I feel it glosses over some details.  Why, when initially conceptualizing the mural design, was it decided to include the large crow that is so prominently placed?  What was it supposed to represent? In addition, the mural contains reference to your name as well as a few other coffee/bird references (according to what I read). Why were those included? Did CoCo realize beforehand what your logo looked like? What was your interpretation of CoCo’s request that there not be anything brand specific.  I’m not trying to be snarky here. I’m just wondering about the planning process. It is mentioned in the letter that CoCo didn’t provide much input or feedback, apparently trusting in the process, but was the spirit of their request honored?

      • what kind of bird are you? October 23, 2021 (6:59 pm)

        Think the crow was simply meant to represent a crow.  Lots of crows in West Seattle. Obviously the cafe likes birds, and so do many other people.

        Also in the letter, it states CoCo’s didn’t provide any input our make requests until after the mural was complete. Even though they had been invited to be a part of the process along the way.

        • raywest October 24, 2021 (5:59 am)

          It is already quite obvious that the Birdhouse “loves” birds. According to CoCo, they did participate beforehand by  requesting only that the mural not be brand specific, then trusted Birdhouse to create a pleasing work of art. I would say that the Birdhouse failed to honor that request and engaged in a rather sneaky, passive/aggressive manner to add subliminal, self-promoting images to the mural. Obviously the crow is not “just a crow,” and strongly resembles their logo. Anyway, I posed the question directly to Birdhouse, and would like them, not any surrogates, to respond.

        • bothsidestoblame October 24, 2021 (1:05 pm)

          You can’t seriously think that the crow was not intended to draw attention to the Birdhouse business. It does not have to be the exact logo to look like advertising. The mural is cool but it blatantly centers around ONE business in that building.

        • RayWest October 25, 2021 (12:38 pm)

          What Kind of Bird Are You? – I’m posing the questions to the Birdhouse and only want their explanation about how the process came about. Other people posting their opinions is meaningless because it’s only speculation on their part.

  • Yougoglen October 21, 2021 (9:27 pm)

    When Birdhouse took over the Bird on a Wire space they pulled down the pride flags and they ripped the black lives matters stickers off the tip jars. We also noticed in the height of the pandemic that their workers weren’t wearing masks which made us feel unsafe. Some of their actions imo come off as hostile. I still miss Bird on a Wire, which never made people guess about their political leanings. 

  • WS Art lover October 21, 2021 (10:27 pm)

    Holy hell. I have never been to either business but thought the art was delightful and a welcome addition to my area of the city that I pass often abd had become curious about. There is so little good street art in WS. This petty dispute is so myopic. Be grown ups. Talk it out. Fix the art. As now, it looks like sh*t. Coco – you should pay to fix it just like Birdhouse took ownership for their mistake in breaking your cameras. It’s your turn to be a decent neighbor. Be ok with making a mistake you regret, learning, and owning it. FFS.

  • My neighborhood October 22, 2021 (12:38 am)

    Here is the thing, this string of businesses along 35th and Henderson ALL need attention, which is what the mural did. A covert logo in the mural? Big deal. Bird House gets more popular and you get more exposure. I don’t think it made their specific business more popular, but it DID create more focus on that corner. Coco is 50% of that corner. Hello advertisement. I never once thought you moved and they expanded. I loved this mural and what it brought to the neighborhood. Sad to see this happening.

  • EdSane October 22, 2021 (1:13 am)

    My partner and I would frequently walk by the mural and it always made us smile. This small joy felt extra special during covid at a time when we’re all struggling and hoping for normal to return. Thanks CoCo for taking away our smiles and reminding us how crappy life can be.

  • Greg October 22, 2021 (6:44 am)

    Art inspires.  Great art is controversial.  This original art inspired uncharacteristic moments of violence, counter-art, and thought provoking blog-art!  What a marvelous gift of art that befell our sleepy little hamlet…  I hope that all the artists and business owners alike take note of what is happening here.  Although messy, art in the community is inspiring and exciting and this neighborhood is screaming out for it.

  • Lashanna October 22, 2021 (7:06 am)

    I’ll drink my coffee and a coffee shop that welcomes everyone. New ownership and anti masking keep me far far away. To coco’s salon, sorry you’re getting the thrust of wyte seattle….. sorry that your safety has been so additionally compromised. WSB y’all could have done better here… 

    • Kase October 22, 2021 (2:25 pm)

      100% agree, the birdhouse owners thinks they own that block and they write a letter trying to gaslight. Bye

    • wssuperfan October 22, 2021 (3:24 pm)

      Antimask? Birdhouse isn’t even open indoors, window service only. I don’t think you’re actually familiar with the business in question here. 

  • A casual observer. October 22, 2021 (7:26 am)

    While two wrongs never make a right, after hearing both sides it is clear that one wrong was premeditated for months and quietly carried out, while the other was a “heat of the moment” gut response to the unnecessary destruction of a beautiful work of art, and it is worth noting that one person is sorry for what they did and is paying for the damage they caused, while the other isn’t. Hmmm…

    • S.A. October 22, 2021 (12:59 pm)

      Well-summarized. And yet the party refusing to acknowledge the damage they caused is positioning themselves as the “victim” here.

      • A casual observer. October 22, 2021 (2:30 pm)

        Right?? Based on the salon’s responses here, they seem to think that they are not or should not be responsible for the destruction of the mural simply because they provided advance notice of their intent to destroy it. That’s not how any of this works. There are appropriate legal avenues to seek remedies; you can’t just do whatever you want so long as you warn people first. If I tell you today that your car parked in front of my house is ugly so I’m keying it in 30 days, because making it even uglier seems like a really productive solution, and being a person of my word that is exactly what I do, I am still responsible for that damage to your car. The blame doesn’t magically shift to you just because I told you I was going to do it. Per the cafe’s response on their website, the salon was offered the opportunity to participate in the design, but declined. And they were also shown the final mock-up before painting started. Wouldn’t THAT have been the time to say that the design is so problematic for them that they will literally paint over it if it moves forward? And then apparently it took at least a week to complete, during which time changes possibly could have been made, but they still said nothing until after it was completed. I don’t know, I call shenanigans. The cafe is paying for new cameras and the salon should be paying for the damage to the mural. Hopefully, both parties will be able to mend fences, but it seems unlikely when one side has made it pretty clear that they have zero remorse.

  • JR October 22, 2021 (8:16 am)

    Another example of the selfish time we are living in.  The mural was a gift and love letter to the West Seattle community (literally the Bird has a love letter in it’s beak). The decision of Coco ownership to then deface a mural, on a building they do not own, is not only disrespectful to the artist/s it’s disrespectful to the community.  It’s a shame that the Coco ownership see this situation only from their own shortsighted point of view rather than considering how it impacts the greater community.   Coco destroyed it & it looks terrible.  

  • I need coffee & a haircut October 22, 2021 (8:51 am)

    As someone who has not been to either business, the mural visually drew my eyes to that corner, and I thought it was great! The Birdhouse branding may have felt overt to Coco, but since I’m not familiar with their brand, I never would have seen the mural as marketing for their business. For example, the Birdhouse owners name on the license plate, maybe 1% of people would catch that reference. It just felt like an ode to Seattle. The oddest part of all this is that a coffee shop and hair salon are not competing businesses. I hope the mural gets fixed! 

  • Jethro Marx October 22, 2021 (8:56 am)

    I will happily step in to arbitrate.  This one’s easy; the mural will be repainted, but must feature the following:

    1. An ominous and shadowy OUT of STATE landlord.  (Probably a whale or walrus.)

    2. The two business owners (I see CoCo as a toucan, Birdhouse a bat-wielding raven), wrestling for control of a dripping paint roller while money falls out of their pockets.

    3. A crowd of protestors with signs saying wacky $#!7 like “PAINT RUINS BRICK” and “A BIRD ON THE WALL IS WORTH TWO IN A LOGO”

    4. Coyotes on bikes chasing some rabbits while gorillas in diesel trucks try to run them into the ditch. (that’s for Jort)

    Boom, arbitrated.  I’ll take my fee in a lifetime supply of americanos.

    • Molly October 22, 2021 (11:06 am)

      This is the way

    • raywest October 22, 2021 (11:29 am)

      Or . . . maybe a better solution is for the section of mural that was painted black to be redone in a way that prominently includes CoCo. (I didn’t care much for the flowers.) Also, as someone previously suggested, CoCo (and also the other businesses down from them)  should spruce up the exteriors. I agree that CoCo’s looks a bit drab and tired. New exterior paint, brighter colors, potted plants, benches, better lighting, logos in the window, etc.  Make this entire little section a shining jewel. If necessary, start a GoFund account to help make this happen. Get this resolved and live in peace.

  • Nearbyneighb October 22, 2021 (10:29 am)

    Sounds like we are the only ones that thought the building was much more charming and cute before it was painted? I guess since so many people enjoy the mural then is for the best.The Birdhouse says this mural was a gift to the community, was there any input gathered on what the community would like to see represented in the mural? I live nearby and do not recall any such opportunity. Also, they can say what they want, but this mural is clearly associated with the Birdhouse based on the large black bird. I think that the Birdhouse ignoring Coco for three months with no response likely left Coco feeling deeply disrespected. Coco has been in the neighborhood for way longer than the Birdhouse. Violently destroying the property of Coco, in my opinion, says a lot more about the owners of the Birdhouse than painting on the mural after three months of being ignored says about Coco. 

    • Gyngersnap October 22, 2021 (1:54 pm)

      Bird House guy smashing Coco’s security cameras with a baseball bat no less! Picture that!

    • Kd October 22, 2021 (3:14 pm)

      Totally agree with you ! It’s his side of the building not anyone else’s . It doesn’t belong to birdhouse or the neighborhood. He pays for the rent there ! If he doesn’t like it he should be free to do what he wants and not get all this back lash ! He didn’t take a bat to there property or do any vandalism. He simply painted on his own space ! Bird house is in the wrong here for being so violent !!! I don’t see why people want to side with the birdhouse. What they did is criminal! 

      • A neighbor October 22, 2021 (4:43 pm)

        He doesn’t own the building and the landlord allowed the mural. It’s not his property and so his actions are absolutely vandalism. Birdhouse was also wrong but apologized and is paying to make it right – all I see from the salon is doubling down on insisting they’re the victims. Not a good look for Coco at all. 

        • PNW Raven October 23, 2021 (6:49 am)

          Neighbor – CoCo may not own the building, but they pay rent to be there. That gives them rights about what is done with the wall and how it could affect their business. Yes, Birdhouse apologized and paid for the security cameras they broke, but as someone else pointed out, they  likely  knew they’d been caught on videotape while vandalizing them. Saying that  CoCo is “doubling down” and still acting as “victims”  is inaccurate as their initial objection over the mural’s content violating the agreement between the two parties remains unresolved.

          • what kind of bird are you? October 23, 2021 (11:01 am)

            Please explain how a commissioned art mural that the community has largely responded positively to and now draws more attention to the building, was negatively impacting their business?

            It sounds like CoCo’s might be looking for something to blame for their lack of business, and unfortunately, this fiasco isn’t likely to help. Though might draw a handful of new anti-crow-bike-street art clients?

            Do feel for the stress all businesses have endured with this pandemic, though.

          • WS Native October 26, 2021 (6:33 am)

            This is to “What Kind of Bird are You?” – How do you know that CoCo has a “lack of business.” Too many people here are stating opinions that are slanted and not fact-based. Everyone needs to be objective and consider both sides of the argument based on the merits and not emotions or personal bias.

          • what kind of bird are you? October 26, 2021 (8:59 pm)

            Thought I had read that CoCo’s felt the mural was detracting from their business, that they were losing business because people were assuming the salon had closed or moved. Maybe I had this wrong.

            And I would agree that both sides should have a voice and be considered respectfully.

            Think what happened here with this story is we knew more about the offense caused on one side, which is quite visible, and impacts the neighborhood (not just Birdhouse), and we didn’t have enough context from CoCo’s side to be more empathetic.

            The mural destruction is still not okay, but knowing more can definitely help better inform and soften attitudes.

            As I said in another comment, think Coco’s should write their own letter to the community as well, if they haven’t yet.

  • WS resident October 22, 2021 (11:40 am)

    The irony here is that I noticed your salon for the first time because of this stunning mural. What a shame I will never be going there after this. Get this fixed asap. 

  • QanonMeanie October 22, 2021 (4:11 pm)

    Frankly, I find it offensive that the artist would glorify such a savage and disrespectful predator of lawns like the crow. How dare you!

  • Brian October 22, 2021 (5:39 pm)

    So sad and petty. How vindicating it must have felt to paint over those offensive flowers (not). Maybe the two businesses could do a trade with each other – coffee for haircuts. Perms for pastries? Nothing worse than hating someone you work next to every day. I’m curious what the salon’s feelings are about the fun and whimsical bubble machine?

  • Mary Enslow October 22, 2021 (6:03 pm)

    I love this mural. My favorite part is the rainbow bird which is a collaboration, ultimately, between the two businesses. I hope they can work this out. Running a small business is hard enough as it is. 

  • Sad October 22, 2021 (6:27 pm)

    I feel so bad for the employees of both businesses that have nothing to do with either of the owners actions. I can’t imagine how stressful it must be to be in their shoes. 

  • rr October 22, 2021 (8:10 pm)

    People opining the loss of the flowers along the bottom of the mural and assuming its some sign of the persons malicious intent are over looking the obvious, it was the easiest portion to reach with a roller in a fit of annoyance/despair at the lack of a solution by the landlord. Art lovers need to realize that art has as much the potential to divide as unite. The art work was nice, and well done but not every one has to like it and more importantly, where it is placed is the point of the story and issue here. I think people need to stop acting like this is an issue that impacts the larger community. It is first and foremost a property rights issue. As a private property owner I can paint whatever art I like on my house but I’m not immune from my neighbors not liking it. Now if a neighbor came over and defaced my art on my property that would be illegal. But this property is owned by neither party and should have been arbitrated by the actual owner. That said, it seems to me that Coco is the renter of the building this was most directly painted onto and should have had more sway with the landlord. I just cant believe that so many people are not more upset by the actions taken by the owners of the coffee shop – that was violent and speaks more pertinently to his character. The owner of coco seems to have taken his albeit questionable actions after many months of petitioning the appropriate parties to no avail. My point is, I think the community that supports the mural need to stop thinking they have a stake in it. I’m sorry if it made you happy and now you”re sad that its changed. Its not public art because the public can see it, any more than your neighbors unfortunate choice of exterior paint scheme is anything to do with you whether you approve or not. Its a matter of private property.I dont personally  find it very satisfying that the owner of birdhouse apologized for smashing the security cameras…after all it would’ve been him captured on them causing the damage. 

    • And yet October 23, 2021 (1:30 pm)

      Systematically starting from the bottom in a tidy way with a roller doesn’t sound like a highly emotional response. It sounds methodical.

      • rr October 28, 2021 (11:31 am)

        Hiring a painting company or renting scaffolding would be methodical. 

  • wsneighbor October 23, 2021 (12:29 pm)

    Days later and we can see The Birdhouse is apologetic and moving forward, with an apology letter and signs out about working to restore the mural, while Coco stays in the comments here refusing to take any responsibility and claiming that they own the wall and there’s no such thing as public art. Plain to see that one side cares about the neighborhood while the other is holding a grudge and comes off looking terrible. 

  • dnd October 24, 2021 (9:04 am)

    i love ws

  • IMissTheBridge October 24, 2021 (12:48 pm)

    I’ll start off by saying that I don’t think what CoCo did to the mural was right by any stretch. Beyond that, I’m not going to make any negative comments about them.This is a matter that should be dealt with in a legal setting. That would allow for full the timeline to be made clear. I’ve read the Birdhouse statement on their website, but that’s a one sided view of the timeline and I’m not going to trust that just because they seem honest and nice. I’m not claiming they aren’t those things. This just isn’t the place to prove or disprove actual facts related to how the events unfolded and the communication or lack thereof of from one or both parties over the course of this saga.As many others have mentioned, I feel sad for the artist and everyone involved in this effort. The mural was/is gorgeous and I look forward to when I see it next.I do find it sad how much people are willing to overlook the security camera attack. It seems like peoples emotional attachment to the mural is letting them rationalize a physical outburst from the owner of The Birdhouse. I too am outraged that CoCo defaced an amazing community mural. That was wrong! It was not right! It was a bad decision! They destroyed a beautiful piece of art, not okay. But that’s not equivalent to a physical attack on someone else’s property. I hope some of you think about that and try and hold the birdhouse owners to a higher standard as well. Nice people can do bad things, and they need to be held accountable. An apology and fixing cameras doesn’t feel sufficient to me.

    Damn it mobile comments, there goes my formatting :(

  • I’mcoveredinbees October 24, 2021 (10:08 pm)

    Well! It really seems like communication was not great between these two businesses to begin with, if the comments above are to be believed. Abhorrent behavior by both businesses and just incredibly selfish actions by CoCo. This mural was the best addition to story old West Seattle. It makes me so sad. If CoCo had wanted to weigh in, they should have carefully reviewed the mock ups and collaborated, BEFORE it went up. And while I appreciate Bird apologizing, this might be a good time to say: put the Pride and BLM signs back up, wear your masks, and stop being so arrogant. They should have put their differences aside and collaborated. Do people know how to compromise anymore?It pains me that this mural was defaced. CoCo: go to Tucson. There are murals everywhere and some are even branded! Gasp! And I, too, did not see this as an ad. So. Petty!

  • lainavere@gmail.com October 25, 2021 (12:50 pm)

    I’m so disheartened by this as the full and objective story has been left out. Due to this “half” reporting, the owner of CoCo has literally received death threats. The actuality: the mural idea was from the coffee shop. They ran the idea past CoCo and said they’d incorporate their ideas in exchange for utilizing the space that is on CoCo’s property. However, when the mural was painted, all of CoCo’s ideas (which had been approved) were left out. CoCo wanted to portray inclusion. After it was painted, CoCo’s owner asked the coffeeshop owner to please incorporate the items that had been left out, and they refused. Once things escalated, the police were called and a report was filed. If you refer to that, you’ll find that CoCo was in the right and the coffeeshop was in the wrong. Additionally, the coffeeshop encroaches onto CoCo’s property daily. The police told them they’re not able to do so, but they went right back to using CoCo’s property after the police left. This has escalated beyond what should have, in part because of this post which left out key information. If you were to talk with CoCo’s owner, you’d find that he is a loving and patient person who has had several months of disrespect from the coffeeshop. Is it possible to follow up with him and update this article to reflect the actual story?

    • what kind of bird are you? October 25, 2021 (4:12 pm)

      Maybe CoCo should write a letter with his side and the history. It does seem there must be a history and more to the story. And you’re right that it would be fair for all voices to be heard. It’s easy to choose a side, harder to try and understand and empathize with both, but maybe we could all take a step back and try.

      • Scroll up... Way up October 26, 2021 (12:35 am)

        He did, but it is a reply, so is posted pretty far up from the bottom. No one should be getting death threats or fearing for their safety, that’s insane.

  • Artists rights October 25, 2021 (6:38 pm)

    The Visual Artists Rights Act was created as an extension of the 1976 Copyright Act in 1990 in order to grant statutory moral rights to artists over their work. Having a “moral” right in a work may sound odd, but it essentially means that an artist has control over the integrity of the work. You must give the Artist 90 days notice to make any changes. Should you deface the mural or change it in any way, you can be sued. 

  • Hillary October 25, 2021 (9:35 pm)

    I feel like this narrative has gotten so convoluted. The new mural is beautiful and it has not been defaced or ruined in any way. The owners of the coffee shop literally vandalized property. Why is this being ignored? That is really not ok. It is also on the building that CoCo leases so it should have been approved beforehand. I think it’s a stretch to say the art was defaced. The new mural is beautiful and represents diversity. I don’t think the intention was to disrespect the artist but to be inclusive. I think it’s much more awful to vandalize someone’s property. I’m shocked how many people aren’t commenting on that. I won’t be going to that coffee shop EVER. 

  • raywest October 26, 2021 (3:20 pm)

    Hillary – Both parties share responsibility here, though I think CoCo is the more wronged party here. However, they did cover the bottom portion of the mural with black paint, leaving an unattractive blank space, and that is technically defacing the mural. They should not have done that. Did you see the photo after the change?

  • Lk October 29, 2021 (12:51 am)

    Many aspects of this story were inevitable. You just can’t paint a mural on a wall that two tenants share. You just can’t. Birds. Or no Birds. And this should be on the landlord for allowing such. Yes it was a spectacular mural. And yes…

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