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You may have noticed some vintage-looking posters of giant red popsicles around town, alongside the usual band posters and graffiti. Look closely and you’ll see that the street art is promoting Pleasant Pops Farmhouse Market & Cafe, which is coming to Florida Avenue and 18th Street NW.
A street marketing campaign from the guys behind Pleasant Pops food truck to promote their new brick-and-mortar locale, you say? Not exactly. Pleasant Pops co-founder Roger Horowitz says the posters were hung against their wishes. “They were all up already when we found out about it,” says Horowitz. “They’re actually not affiliated with us.”
That’s not completely true. Pleasant Pops did in fact commission the posters from local artist Anthony Dihle, of design-print company Fire Studio, as a gift to people who pledged $100 or more to their Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the new market and cafe. But Dilhe also decided to hang up some posters, as he does with other music posters he works on. “As a bonus service to these guys, I wanted to have a few of these up on the street,” Dihle says. “I like it when posters can serve as posters and not just souvenirs or merchandise.”
Dihle says this is the first restaurant poster he’s ever posted around town. Most of his posters are for bands, film, or counter-cultural festivals. (He recently created one for the DC Record Fair.) He makes a point to say he hangs the posters in places where he feels it’s “nice and legal”—-empty buildings and temporary construction barriers—-and that he won’t step on the toes of business owners or the city. Horowitz says the legality of pasting the posters in public was one of his concerns. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs spokesperson Helder Gil says hanging the posters at such sites is not legal and can potentially result in fines.
That Pleasant Pops wants distance itself from the public poster-hanging isn’t stopping Dihle. When it gets closer to opening, he says he plans to put up even more.
Want one of your own? They’ll be for sale for $30 at the Pleasant Pops shop when it opens in August.
UPDATE: Dihle tells Y&H he no longer plans to hang additional posters.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery