Dazzling Graffiti Murals at Cecil’s Pub and PJ’s in Houston
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.
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.
His brother, who signs his work VIZIE did this memorial in honor of NEKST seen in the video below.
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.
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!”
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.
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.
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.
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!
One piece of graffiti doesn't mean much. Forty pieces of graffiti might mean something... It's all about connecting the dots.— Kim Rossmo
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