Bill Stewart Donates Mural to Local Restaurant

Written by Ashley Leines


Posted on February 15 2023

What do you do when you see your favorite local restaurant/watering hole struggling? If you're Bill Stewart, you jump in and use your artistic talents to breathe new life into the place!

You may know that Bill's got some Southern roots. Born in Kentucky, and proudly claiming the self-appointed title of Kentucky's Greatest Surfer, Bill grew up on fried chicken, okra, and grits. So, when he gets a hankerin' for Southern comfort food (which, let's be honest, is more often than he might like to admit!) he heads over to Iva Lee's, a San Clemente staple for Southern and Creole cuisine.

As a long-time friend of the owners, Eric and Lisa Wagoner, Bill loves hanging at Iva Lee's, enjoying the authentic Southern food, and playing music with his band, Six Ways to Sunday. While on stage, he noticed that the size and location of the stage was all wrong. Bill's obsessive art brain kicked in and he couldn't stop thinking about how he could make it better.

A quick sketch and some mild pestering was all it took to kick his friends into action to revamp their beloved restaurant. They quickly built the new stage based on Bill's design and he got to work painting a mural on the back wall.

Tree with Moss - Bill Stewart mural at Iva Lee's Restaurant

Initially Bill thought he could knock the mural out in one day, but after four long days of painstaking work, the masterpiece was complete. "The more details you put in the painting, the more time it takes," Bill said, "So, I just kept going until I was happy." The new solid wood plank stage blends seamlessly with the dock in the mural, which features a Louisiana bayou scene. Complete with a full moon reflecting on the water, starry night sky, and trees dripping with Spanish moss, the effect is striking. "I was just blown away," Lisa remarked when she first saw it.

The mural was recently featured in the local San Clemente Times. Check out the full story here. And Iva Lee's just took home a gold medal for Best Venue for Live Music in the SC Times Best of San Clemente.

SC Times article about Bill's Mural at Iva Lee's Restaurant

If you haven't had a chance to check it out for yourself, stop in to Iva Lee's for some Southern and Creole cuisine, tasty cocktails, good music, and fun times. Bill and his band Six Ways to Sunday play there often, with their next date scheduled for Friday, February 24th.

Bill Stewart mural at Iva Lee's Restaurant