Supra has the distinction of being D.C.’s only Georgian restaurant, and now, it also has a mural from a famed Georgian street artist on its walls.Giorgi Gagoshidze, who works under the pseudonym of Gagosh, was inspired by the name of the restaurant, which means an abundant feast in Georgian. The mural blends old and new aspects of Georgian culture.
One wall shows a supra with guests in traditional garb, hewn closely to the style of another famed Georgian artist Niko Pirosmani. Pirosmani’s work can be seen in Georgian restaurants around the world, according to Supra owner Jonathan Nelms.
Gagosh painted fish, khinkali dumplings, melons, and of course, cheese-filled khachapuri bread, which is Supra’s biggest seller. A second mural is more modern and based on the artist’s friends in Tbilisi. Gagoshidze says that his friends initially didn’t want to be painted, “but I told them, ‘You will be in Washington, D.C.,’ and they were like ‘OK, yeah’.”
Nelms spotted Gagoshe’s work on a research trip prior to opening Supra. He had seen and admired his work in Tbilisi before meeting the artist in person.
The mural rounds out a selection of various artworks from Georgia on display at the restaurant. Designers also selected a wall of ceramic plates modeled on traditional tablecloths created by the Tbilisi-based White Studio and a copper piece graced with the Georgian alphabet. Ceramics in particular are an important part of Georgian art history. “If you go in Tbilisi streets, you can see a lot of old mosaics and ceramics,” Gagosh says.
While in D.C. to complete the mural, Gagosh worked through the night so as not to interrupt restaurant service. As a street artist frequently working under the cover of darkness, he doesn’t mind. “Usually, I work at night,” he says.
Supra, 1205 11th St. NW; (202) 789-1205; supradc.com