A former dive bar turned public art project on Main Street destined for demolition finally met its demise last week as construction crews reduced the building to rubble amid the fond remembrances of those who recalled the short-lived Discoteca lounge and its transition into an ever evolving canvas for local artists.
Dubbed the Discoteca Demolition Project, the doomed edifice of the former bar first garnered widespread attention and icon status last year when artist Kevin Bate painted a mural of movie star and Chattanooga native Samuel L. Jackson on the building. The mural also served to jumpstart Bate’s art career and his murals now appear all over Chattanoooga, including his latest of Dr. Martin Luther King on MLK Boulevard.
“I had no idea that would spark so much attention,” Bate said, referring to the Jackson mural. “What a year that wall had.”
Many other artists, both professional and amateur, adorned the building with their own art, graffiti and imagery, eventually overlapping and covering the works of former artists such as Bate as the demolition was delayed. The destruction of the building also caused an outpouring of sentiment for the former club.
“Many have their own reasons to wax poetic about it’s destruction and get teary-eyed, and I have mine,” said Pulse Publisher Zachary Cooper. “I saw a lot of great shows there. It was at once the dive of all shit dives and a special, magical snowflake. What our local artists did to transform the building, post-Discoteca, made the memories even sweeter.”
The site is now being developed for a new tenant, the Center for Integrated Medicine.