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LA’s Restaurant Community Pays Tribute to Kobe Bryant With Stunning New Murals

Murals of the late basketball star continue to appear throughout Southern California

Kobe Bryant mural at Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles
Kobe Bryant mural at Grand Central Market
Courtesy of Jonas Never
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

At Staples Center today, 20,000 fans, friends, family, and those who secured tickets through a lottery attended the memorial service for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, who both tragically died in a helicopter crash on January 26. It’s a somber time for the city, but LA restaurants hope to keep their memories alive with new murals popping up throughout the Southland, including a stunning tribute at Grand Central Market.

At the time of this writing, artist Jonas Never’s Kobe mural is hours away from completion. Impossible to miss, it’s stationed right next door to Sari Sari Store, and directly across from Nicole Rucker’s temporary dessert stand, Fat & Flour. Or when walking into the market from the parking garage entrance, the painting is front and center.

The mural borrows an iconic moment from the 2010 NBA Finals, when the Lakers beat the Celtics in game seven. “ I didn’t want people to see a sad memorial,” says Never. “I wanted people to come and feel the power and passion that was Kobe and Los Angeles. Kobe speaking multiple languages, being a Laker, (and) being from here. And Grand Central Market being such a melting pot of foodies, workers, and tourists, this is the perfect spot. The 2010 championship was one of those moments where he brought people together. The entire city was cheering for Kobe and the Lakers.”

Never was approached by Grand Central Market’s business development manager, Andrew Daneshgar to complete the task. “I was a fan of (Jonas). For us, this mural is bigger than sports, LA, and this market. To have Jonas who is an Angeleno himself, and who takes so much pride in his work, it was perfect. He’s as humble as he is talented.”

If heading to Downtown isn’t possible right now, go to the Beverly Drive outpost for Alfred Coffee, where artist James Goldcrown completed his mural in late-January.

The Hotel Figueroa commissioned a mural from artist Paul Daniels. It’s right across the street from Staples Center on Cottage Place next to the car wash.

Kobe Bryant Mural by artist Paul Daniels at the Hotel Figueroa
Kobe Bryant Mural by artist Paul Daniels at the Hotel Figueroa
Courtesy of Modern Currency PR

Artist Kate Jensen’s mural depicts both father and daughter at the Argyle Hollywood.

Artist Downtown Daniel produced the Holiday Bar’s tribute in Boyle Heights.

And over in West Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard, artist Jules Muck’s Kobe mural resides on the side of the Pink Dot building.

Know about another restaurant/bar Kobe mural? Drop the location in the comments.

Veranda Bar at the Hotel Figueroa

939 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90015 (213) 627-8971 Visit Website

Grand Central Market

317 South Broadway, , CA 90013 (213) 359-6007 Visit Website

Alfred Coffee {In The Alley}

8509 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (424) 288-4126 Visit Website