Jay’s Local: an artistic debut

A new mural at the restaurant excites students.

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Photo Credit: Photo by Emily Orlich ‘24. New Jay’s Local mural draws positive attention from Muhlenberg students and West End residents alike.

Jay’s Local is a popular hang out and dining spot for Muhlenberg students. Tucked away on the corner of 2310 Liberty Street, it is an accessible cafe. Hardly a three minute walk from Seegers Union, it is a favorite among many Mules. Most speak of it fondly, and some have even commented on the different aspects of the cafe they like. Danna Berro ‘26, an Allentown resident, spoke fondly of it, saying “Jay’s Local is one of my favorite spots for a quick bite in between classes!”

“The atmosphere was nice and the food was a good break from the dining hall!” 

Emma Drake ‘26

This fall, Jay’s Local has come up with a brand new idea to lighten up the streets of Allentown. Over the summer, they realized that the wall on the side of their restaurant was just screaming for attention, so they converted the concrete wall into a canvas for a mural. The multitude of colors used contrasts beautifully with the plain gray background. 

Having been part of the neighborhood for a long time, Jay’s Local has always felt a connection with the community, and decided that having a huge painting would not only brighten an individual’s day, but also add something unique and memorable. Lyell Scherline, the owner and operator of Jay’s Local, spoke about the cafe’s mission with the local community and Muhlenberg students by stating that, “Ever since we opened Jay’s Local, we felt it was our mission to collaborate as much as possible with the local community to enhance the experience of our restaurant, the neighborhood and the Muhlenberg College students and faculty.” 

The mural is extravagant, and one can see the amount of work that was put into it from just one glance. Using the entirety of the wall, it stars three characters, each of a different ethnicity, as they eat ice cream and milkshakes. They are surrounded by a blue background and are posing behind giant letters spelling out “ALLENTOWN.” The fiery orange “ALLENTOWN” letters pop out exceptionally well with the light blue shades, and each character is wearing a pair of blue tinted sunglasses.

That rendition of the milkshake was further used by Jay’s Local, and converted to a signature mural inspired drink one can get on the weekends. 

Jay’s Local partnered with a New York based art company called Dripped On Productions, which specializes in public art and street art. They work with many businesses, large corporations, events and festivals where they provide a variety of artistic services. Scherline commented on the creative process with Dripped On saying, “They were so creative and fun to work with!”

“A fun fact is that the mural was painted entirely out of spray paint.”

Lyell Scherline

Another main reason this mural was painted was because they wanted people to feel welcome and joyous when they entered the street corner, and make something “modern” and “fun” for the West End residents and Muhlenberg students. Jay’s creative director Josh Needle spoke about his experience with the local community, and how the mural is a reflection of that by saying, “We wanted the mural to be something that was modern and fun that would add a welcoming feeling to our street corner. Jay’s Local is a place where Muhlenberg students and West End residents gather to eat, shop and experience all things local and we wanted a mural that would encapsulate that feeling and have it on full display all year round.”

Jay’s Local is a beloved part of the local neighborhood, and the new debut of the mural just serves to emphasize the fact that the little restaurant will always be a special place for both Muhlenberg students and the Allentown community.

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