News & Politics

Wendy’s at Dave Thomas Circle Is Turning Into a Massive Mural. We Have Some Ideas.

Artists will give the former fast food spot a new look from September 7 to September 17.

The former Wendy’s at Dave Thomas Circle will live its last days as a mural for the DC Walls Festival, receiving a 360-degree makeover from September 7 to September 17. Even with the new look—a partnership with the NoMa BID and NPR—the building at the junction of Florida and New York Avenues is still slated for eventual demise. (The fast food spot served its final Baconater last September.) Designs for the fresco have not been released yet, so we brainstormed three ideas for the incoming art. 

A Frosty spilling into a traffic map

Why not pay homage to the building’s dual legacies of good dairy and bad driving? The chilled beverage provides a reminder to whizzing traffic of what we lost—square burgers served in a triangle-shaped circle—while also providing a public service. With murals planned for each side of the building, traffic coming from all directions could finally understand how to maneuver the locomotive quagmire. 

Punk Wendy

One of the burger joint’s London locations features the red-headed face of the brand donning what the fast food chain described as “flowing emo fringe” to honor the area’s musical heritage. DC boasts a venerable punk history of its own, launching bands like Fugazi and Bad Brains. Perhaps Wendy can pair her flowing emo fringe with throwback merch from the District’s DIY heyday.

Reflections on the year

The mural’s arrival poetically coincides with the one-year anniversary of the restaurant’s closure. Since then, the building has remained an unchanged island amid a sea of events. Sweeping artwork on the blank canvas could remind us of all that has happened over the span of a year (cue Seasons of Love from Rent). We rooted for fugitive zebras, said farewell to beloved athletes, bemoaned Metro’s 7000-series trains, and more. The panorama’s passersby are already in the car—why not make it a trip to the past?


Daniella Byck
Lifestyle Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in 2022. She was previously with Outside Magazine and lives in Northeast DC.