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Dazzling Graffiti Murals at Cecil’s Pub and PJ’s in Houston

Updated on April 14, 2020
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

View of Cecil's Pub and fencing with graffiti murals
View of Cecil's Pub and fencing with graffiti murals | Source

Graffiti Murals

Located on West Gray Street in Houston, Texas, is a long-standing neighborhood bar and gathering place by the name of Cecil’s Pub. It is also the location of some dazzling graffiti murals. The address is 600 W. Gray Street, Houston, Texas 77019.

One entire exterior side of Cecil’s Pub from top to bottom is adorned with a mural consisting of graffiti art. If traveling outbound from downtown Houston, it can easily be spotted from a passing vehicle.

I am getting a kick out of discovering various places around town that have good graffiti art. My husband is nice enough to drive and often patiently waits in the car while I take my photos. Local artist Charles Criner has kidded me, saying that he thinks that I have gone over to the “dark side.” Haha!

My husband did not realize that it would take a bit longer at this particular stop. The entire fence surrounding part of the side and back part of not only Cecil’s Pub but also the adjacent PJ’s Sports Bar is covered with eye-catching graffiti art. If you decide to visit this location to see the graffiti murals, be sure and walk around the buildings. There is much graffiti art to be seen and enjoyed!

Notice the Egyptian themed graffiti mural on the portion of fencing below. There is a sarcophagus in the middle with hieroglyphic symbols and two feather-armed people on either end. A person with a wolf-like headdress seems to be looking down upon the deceased.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Egyptian themed muralGraffiti Art on Fencing around Cecil’s Pub
Egyptian themed mural
Egyptian themed mural | Source
Graffiti Art on Fencing around Cecil’s Pub
Graffiti Art on Fencing around Cecil’s Pub | Source

Graffiti Murals by NEKST

NEKST painted the portion of the fencing below. He was a master graffiti artist who was described as an "All-City-King." In 1996 he signed his work at "NEXT." He later changed it to NEKST.

In 2003 the Houston Press gave him the best graffiti artist award. Sean Griffin was reported to be his real name. At one time, he was detained in a Dallas area prison. He did some traditional portraits of fellow inmates using a pencil on paper.

Fencing around Cecil’s Pub with NEKST Graffiti Mural
Fencing around Cecil’s Pub with NEKST Graffiti Mural | Source

His brother, who signs his work VIZIE did this memorial in honor of NEKST seen in the video below.

Cecil’s Pub

This information is what I learned about Cecil’s Pub by reading various online sources, including their Facebook page. In 2011 the Houston Press named it one of the “Top 10 Neighborhood Bars” coming in at #7. The same year, it was named for having the “Best Drink Special.”

Its interior has a vintage charm with engaging bartenders. Cecil’s Pub has pool tables and a dart room along with a small television viewing area. They are known for offering “cheap but loaded drinks.” There is a house cat named Mona. Music from a classical jukebox keeps patrons entertained.

In 2016 the long-time owner, Kimberly Blythe, put Cecil’s Pub and the adjoining PJ’s Sports Bar (initially called Blythe Spirits) up for sale. She is hoping that someone will continue running the operation as it stands today.

Land costs have risen sharply since she first started doing business in 1985. So as is the custom in Houston, these buildings may someday become a part of the past. Anyone wishing to see these graffiti murals or the bars should probably put them at the top of a bucket list not knowing what the future may bring.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cecil’s Pub detail of mural on back of building by graffiti artist KAZY…USCLEF Cecil’s Pub view from side and backDetail of mural on back of building Cecil’s Pub street signGraffiti murals art on fencing around Cecil’s PubDaniel Anguilu painted Cecil’s Pub – Entire side of this buildingCecil’s Pub detailing on the side of the building by Daniel Anguilu
Cecil’s Pub detail of mural on back of building by graffiti artist KAZY…USCLEF
Cecil’s Pub detail of mural on back of building by graffiti artist KAZY…USCLEF | Source
Cecil’s Pub view from side and back
Cecil’s Pub view from side and back | Source
Detail of mural on back of building
Detail of mural on back of building | Source
Cecil’s Pub street sign
Cecil’s Pub street sign | Source
Graffiti murals art on fencing around Cecil’s Pub
Graffiti murals art on fencing around Cecil’s Pub | Source
Daniel Anguilu painted Cecil’s Pub – Entire side of this building
Daniel Anguilu painted Cecil’s Pub – Entire side of this building | Source
Cecil’s Pub detailing on the side of the building by Daniel Anguilu
Cecil’s Pub detailing on the side of the building by Daniel Anguilu | Source

Artist KAZY USCLEF

The graffiti art shown above in the first photo is by KAZY USCLEF, who is an illustrator, painter, and graffiti artist from France. It is incredible how many of these graffiti artists travel the world, leaving their imprint upon so many different locations. Below is a video showing one of his large pieces from start to finish on a building in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Out of This World Art

This portion of the painted fencing shown below brought a smile to my face. The little green men coming from other planets appear in so many different ways. One at the Flying Saucer Pie Company looks quite benign in comparison. He does not threaten to “eat your brain and gain your knowledge!”

Graffiti murals on fencing around Cecil’s Pub
Graffiti murals on fencing around Cecil’s Pub | Source

Artist Angel Quesada

In the middle of the fence below is graffiti art by ArtKungFu. His real name is Angel Quesada, and in addition to being an artist, he is a professional in martial arts and teaches Tai Chi to the public.

Fencing around Cecil’s Pub with art by ArtKungFu in the center
Fencing around Cecil’s Pub with art by ArtKungFu in the center | Source

PJ’s Sports Bar

This next art is on the side of PJ’s Sports Bar, which faces Cecil’s Pub. Both places are accessible from the back parking lot as well as the front. I saw a MEENR_ONE tag below the portion of graffiti looking like a yellow beaked bird.

PJ’s Sports Bar is a two-story building. Originally live bands such as Beans Barton and his Bi-Peds band used to play upstairs. The bar was downstairs. Kimberly Blythe expanded her bar business in 1997 by purchasing the building next door and naming it after her father, Cecil.

According to PJ’s Facebook page, PJ’s offers karaoke on Fridays. In 2012 the Houston Press awarded them the “Best Karaoke” award. Every Thursday is steak night where they serve two steaks, two potatoes, two salads and a pitcher of beer for a reasonable price. That must be a busy night! At other times and seasonally, they offer crawfish boils and dog pictures with Santa, among other things.

Football and other sports can be viewed on numerous flat-screen TVs.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Graffiti murals on adjacent building to Cecil’s Pub which is PJ’s Sports Bar. Another closeup view
Graffiti murals on adjacent building to Cecil’s Pub which is PJ’s Sports Bar.
Graffiti murals on adjacent building to Cecil’s Pub which is PJ’s Sports Bar. | Source
Another closeup view
Another closeup view | Source

Artist Nicky Davis

Nicky Davis did the graffiti art seen on the right in the photo below. A covered picnic area is between the two bars. It used to be an indoor part of Cecil’s Pub but now looks like this after a fire in 2004.

Here is a direct quote from Nicky Davis…“Our notoriety is spreading as a city for street art.” I believe that is true, given what is readily seen around our beautiful city of Houston. Below is a video showing some of what he has created in “Houston Underground.” You might notice a similar painting of the girl on the left in the video below and one on fencing painted by Nicky Davis.

Covered picnic area outside at Cecil’s Pub with Nicky Davis Mural among others
Covered picnic area outside at Cecil’s Pub with Nicky Davis Mural among others | Source

Graffiti Art

Anyone who enjoys good graffiti art will be pleased with the selection shown at this location. There are much other graffiti artist’s works on display, which were not explicitly featured in this post. Head on over to view them yourself if this type of art piques your interest.

I will leave you with some words of wisdom painted on the side of Cecil’s Pub. Not bad advice for the world in which we live!

Detail of graffiti mural at Cecil’s Pub
Detail of graffiti mural at Cecil’s Pub | Source

One piece of graffiti doesn't mean much. Forty pieces of graffiti might mean something... It's all about connecting the dots.

— Kim Rossmo

Sources:

http://www.cecilspubhouston.com/

Nekst: https://www.houstonpress.com/arts/rest-in-peace-nekst-houstons-most-successful-graffiti-artist-6378887

PJ's Sports Bar: http://www.houstonrelocationadvice.com/things-to-do-in-houston/friday-nights-pjs-sports-bar-means-karaoke/

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Peggy Woods

Comments

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    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Randy,

      Nice to have those memories of your musical career. (Smile)

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 

      15 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Yes, my voice isn't what it once was either, Peggy. I played and sang in a R&R band for several decades, but that was some time ago.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Randy,

      No, it is more the time of day. Most karaoke bars are open at night, and the places we have been do not have them operational during the day. I like to sing, although I must admit, my voice is not what it used to be. But I would give it a whirl given the chance.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 

      15 months ago from Southern Georgia

      What would've been "the right time," Peg? A few more drinks to give you nerve to belt one out for the crowd? :P

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Ruby,

      Like you, I have also never participated in a karaoke bar. We have been to places that have them, but not at the right time.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi FlourishAnyway,

      The little green man says, "I'm going to eat your brain and gain your knowledge." At least he looks like he is enjoying his meal with that smile on his face. Haha! Glad you liked this.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Liz,

      Finding out something about the artists or the sites on which the murals are painted makes it more interesting to me. I am pleased that you also find that to be the case.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Bill,

      It would be impossible to drive past this site without noticing all of the graffiti murals. Glad you enjoyed seeing them.

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Ann,

      Your bus shelters down by the sea decorated with animals and seaside themes sound lovely.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      15 months ago from Southern Illinois

      I have never been to a karaoke bar, although I've always wanted to. The murals are fascinating an interesting. We have some graffiti in a small town close to us.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      15 months ago from USA

      I especially like the little green man graffiti. Whimsical graffiti or graffiti with a message, either one can bring energy and a sense of wonder to a side of a building, fence, or otherwise boring surface.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      15 months ago from UK

      You certainly have the knack of tracking down some amazing graffiti. I really appreciate the fact that you don't just put the photos up, but you take the time to find out the background details.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Great art! I love graffiti and the artists who did those pieces are truly talented.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      15 months ago from SW England

      More amazing graffiti! This is fun and gives everyone a talking point.

      We have bus shelters down here near the beach which have been decorated with animal and seaside themes.

      Thanks for showing us these, Peggy.

      Ann

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Rebecca,

      Graffiti, like this, is fun to view. Your school bus graveyard must be quite a sight! There is a place near Amarillo, Texas, that has upended Cadillacs lined up in a row. They also have graffiti on them.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      15 months ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I love the "good" graffiti. We have a school bus graveyard here with art on the old buses. Great article!

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