ENCINITAS — The once cherished 100-year-old building that burnt down in a two-alarm fire over three years ago has been replaced by former tenant Jim Shatto with a modern structure featuring a sizeable exterior mural by local artist Kevin Anderson.
After months of hard work, the Shatto Building, located on the corner of Daphne Street and North Coast Highway 101, is nearing the finish line. The longtime Leucadia business owner is hopeful to open by July 1.
Before the fire, multiple tenants, including Shatto & Sons T-Shirts, Mozy Café, Cali Life and Peace Pies, resided in the building.
“The original building was over a hundred years old, and we were here in our family business for 44 years before it burned down,” Shatto said.
The family t-shirt business will not be reopening at the new location, but Shatto has confirmed three tenants have already agreed to move into the building this summer.
Peace Pies, Leucadia Barbershop, and a yet-to-be-determined restaurant from Encinitas-based entrepreneur Mario Guerra, owner of Corner Pizza, Moto Deli, and Valentina, will all be tenants in the new location.
Waiting on the final inspection from the City of Encinitas, Shatto said he wanted to add something special to the building situated in the historic neighborhood. So Shatto commissioned his good friend and local artist Anderson to paint a 70-foot mural on the side of the building facing the parking lot.
Anderson and Shatto have been friends for 40 years since Anderson painted waves on the front of the original building.
“We have a history. I used to cruise by and buy shirts for my wife, daughter, and friends from here,” Anderson said. “They had beautiful T-shirts, and everybody loved them.”
When asked what this painting meant to him, Anderson was honored to do it for such a good friend and paint such a huge space.
“This is kind of a culmination of me, where I’ve grown up, and the people I know around here,” Anderson said. “I feel good being here. This one’s even more spectacular than the first waves I painted 40 years ago. It’s quite an honor to be on a building this big with this kind of visibility for a friend.”
According to Anderson, the mural, based on a painting that first appeared in a calendar the artist previously released of his artwork, depicts a beach scene that is more fantasy than real life.
“Even if it wasn’t the greatest painting in the world, which it will be, the colors alone will attract people,” Anderson said. “This just has a special feel to it. I’ve always liked this one, and it’s one of my favorite paintings.”
Anderson is anticipating finishing the mural in about four weeks, just before the building’s grand opening.
“It’s a labor of love and passion. I get excited when I get up in the morning, and I want to come here to start painting,” Anderson said. “But I always think that it’s going to go quicker. Sometimes I have days where stuff takes a little longer to translate from the scale drawing to a larger format.”
The Shatto building is located at 696 N Coast Highway 101 and is set to open on July 1.