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Falls Church Artist Adorns Walls of New Tavern in Vienna

Guests at the newly opened Bear Branch Tavern in Vienna have the chance to check out artwork from a Falls Church-based artist.

The restaurant at 133 Maple Ave E. began serving guests in late February, according to David Barr, who designed three individual works of art that now adorn the walls of the restaurant.

Each work is based on local history and helps to encompass the personality of Vienna, Barr said, adding that he worked with Chris Lefbom, one of the eatery’s owners, on the project.

One mural stretches 18 feet across a wall to tell the story of the Battle of Vienna, which took place in 1861 between Union and Confederate troops, Barr said.

The inspiration for the mural came from a square vintage sketch that Leftbom presented to Barr.

Leftbom said he wanted it to look like “something you would find in someone’s closet,” according to Barr. “They wanted it to look weathered.”

Barr took artistic license to add a “pop of color” and expand the scene.

Two other smaller works include a pop-style collage that fits Barr’s signature style but still managed to include historically important aspects of the town, such as the Freeman Store and the Vienna railroad, he said.

One work features old signage from a 1957 Texaco station. “I gravitated toward old signage because I always love working with texts,” Barr said.

The second painting highlights the Freeman Store, which still stands today and serves as the headquarters for Historic Vienna, Inc. People can visit to learn about the area and shop at the gift shop, the museum’s website said.

People who want to check out the artwork for themselves and grab a bite to eat can visit Bear Branch Tavern. A full menu can be found online a well.

Photos courtesy David Barr 

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