‘Don't be a basic batch': University Park officials say café murals must go

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A new family-owned cafe in University Park was trying to catch the eye of SMU students with their playful murals.

But in the process, they also caught the eye of city officials who say the murals must go.

The newly opened Biscuit Bar in University Park has next-level comfort food with a creative twist catering to the SMU crowd.

The creativity extends to the outside of the café with a mural that says: “Don’t be a basic batch.”

“I think it's hilarious,” said patron Lisel Cane. “I think it is a total inclusion of this twenty-first-century motto.”

Millennials know "basic" means someone totally uninteresting. Replace "batch" with a word that rhymes with "witch," and you get the idea.

“We are kind of making fun of ourselves a little bit about the fact that we jumped on the wing bandwagon,” explained Biscuit Bar co-owner Janie Burkett.

The owners say they spent $6,000 to hire an Austin artist to paint the mural and an adjacent one facing inside their covered patio that says: “Don’t worry. Be tappy.”

“Nobody has certainly complained to us,” Burkett said.

But the city of University Park says the murals violate the city's sign ordinance because both can be seen from Hillcrest Avenue and must go.

“It deals with the linear space on the front and side back of storefronts that dictate how big signage can be,” said city spokesperson Steve Mace. “And signage, by definition in our ordinance, extends to things like murals.”

“I think it's really sad,” Cane said. “This is an area that I feel like is notorious for stomping on some art, but I think this is a great expression of the restaurant.”

Burkett came up with the idea for Biscuit Bar with her husband after losing a child at birth. She admits they didn't know about the ordinance when they had the murals painted. But she says they just wanted to infuse a little fun in their labor of love and hoped others saw it that way too.

“We have the utmost respect for cities and their ordinances,” Burkett said. “It seems like sometimes there should be a little bit more thought to go, ‘Ok, that's not really a sign. That's art. That's certainly not advertising anything.'”

Burkett plans to cover up the murals on Friday.