WACO, Texas (KWTX) A new mural created by a group of Baylor students as a sort of wrap that now adorns an outside wall at the original George’s Restaurant at 1925 Speight Ave. is all about Georges including country music legend George Strait, boxer George Foreman, comedian George Lopez and former Presidents George Washington, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
“It puts a smile on people’s faces and they walk in the restaurant with good conversation,” said George’s owner, Sammy Citrano, who in 1993 took over the iconic restaurant which opened in 1930 as Harry Bs and became George's in 1966 after George Betros bought it.
The artwork was the brainchild of Baylor students Bradi Zapata, Britian Scago and David Humphrey.
The students, led by Senior Journalism Lecturer Carol Perry, came up with the concept, design and then worked with area-businesses to get the final product ready to place on the exterior of the iconic eatery.
Perry said it was a project that she left in the hands of her students.
“I did not intervene. I did not go with them to meetings,” Perry said.
“They went and met with the clients. They entered the phase with designs and then they worked with getting bids for making the piece that went on the wall and had to get it approved by Sammy.”
“It’s a lot of steps back and forth but they'll be doing that kind of thing in the real world so it was great for them and Sammy's happy. All God's children are happy,” Perry said.
Citrano said he loved the idea of putting a face, or faces, behind the name of the popular restaurant.
“Everyone wants to know who is George? I’m not George. Who is George?” Citrano said, laughing.
As for his favorite George?
Citrano said it would be hard to top the president he’s personally served through his restaurant for more than a decade.
“George W. Bush is my favorite, no doubt,” Citrano said.
“We got to cater for him for eight years in Crawford. We got to go to the White House, got to go on Air Force One. He just treated us with a lot of class and I still work with him with the Wounded Warriors Project,” he said.
Zapata said it’s a project she’ll never forget and one she hopes will withstand the test of time.
“Several years from now, I’m going to take my kids to George’s and show them how proud I am to have my name on a wall,” she said.
“It feels wonderful knowing that I have left my mark on Waco.”