A new wall painting in Union City may be retro, but it is also the shape of things to come.
To celebrate its 110th anniversary, the city worked with the Birmingham, Alabama-based Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United to restore a historic but faded mural.
Applied to the side of the Styles by Monica salon, an image saying “Welcome to Union City” and urging viewers to “Drink Coca-Cola in bottles” now faces city hall next to a 2016 Arts and Music Festival companion piece.
The company commissioned William Mitchell of Atlanta-based Squared Away Sign Co. to design and paint the mural, at a cost it chose not to disclose.
At its unveiling Aug. 17, attended by city and state officials, Mayor Vince Williams called the landmark “monumental” and thanked the bottler and the Georgia Beverage Association.
“This has been a long time coming,” Williams said. “We’ve talked about this for a number of years, reinvigorating or bringing that logo back to life in downtown Union City.”
The 9-by-15 foot mural also symbolizes unity, he said.
“We look forward to a long, healthy history with Coke United,” Williams said.
It will continue with the company’s new 500,000-square-foot sales and distribution facility, under construction and slated for a fall 2019 opening near South Fulton Parkway.
Earlier this year, the company met with residents in Union City and South Fulton who had concerns about truck traffic, flooding and other issues.
“We did have some pushback from some of the community with Coke United coming in and it’s because we didn’t get an opportunity to sit down with some of those folks to help them understand the relationship,” Williams said. “Coke is going to be a great community partner. All of those things have been worked out. Everybody’s happy. Coke is already doing what they said they would do.”
Steve Futral, the company’s sales center manager, said the largest privately held bottler in North America will have 650 workers at the new plant.
“We are so excited, Coca-Cola United, to be a part of this unveiling of the mural today and we are excited to continue to be a part of this community,” he said. “Many of our folks who work for us live in this community. They’re excited.”
District 64 State Rep. Derrick Jackson, D-Tyrone, and District 39 State Sen. Nikema Williams, D-Atlanta, no relation to the mayor, also applauded the Union City facility.
“Coca-Cola has been a strong partner,” Nikema Williams said.
Others in attendance included city councilwomen Christina Hobbs and Angelette Mealing, South Fulton Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dyan Matthews, and Rising In Community Excellence Awards CEO C. Chandon Carter, who said the nonprofit will give a RISE Award to Vince Williams on Sept. 29.
The city had planned to celebrate its birthday with more creativity at its third annual Arts and Music Festival the following day, but the threat of inclement weather moved it to Oct. 13.