Guerrilla street artist Yescka brings in the crowds—and authentic Oaxacan flavor!—to Espita Mezcaleria.
“I first saw Yescka’s work on the streets in Oaxaca,” says Espita owner Josh Phillips of the artist, whose murals for the restaurant draw on traditional Mexican motifs.
Foodies are flocking to sample the mole, sopes, and ceviches of Shaw’s Oaxacan-inspired Espita Mezcaleria. But while the hand-pressed heirloom corn tortilla tacos bring them in—and the extensive mezcal menu keeps them lingering—it’s the colorful interior that transports diners to the southern Mexican region. “When I think of my time in Oaxaca, I think of three things: mezcal, food, and art,” says owner Josh Phillips. “We had mezcal and food covered, but to recreate my version of Oaxaca, we needed art from Yescka,” a Oaxacan street artist whose work Phillips had admired during his travels. After a series of emails and one request (to include a version of Yescka’s iconic “Punk Frida”), Yescka arrived in DC with his friend Cesar Chavez, a fellow member of the political-art collective ASARO. “We really appreciate the symbolism in Yescka’s work, mainly his consistent feeling of fighting violence and corruption with art, so he had creative control,” says Phillips. Two weeks and three murals later, Yescka had left his mark. Espectacular! 1250 9th St. NW