Pied Piper sweetens history with new mural

What is it: Pied Piper guests soon will be able to learn a bit of history while enjoying their treats at the Huron ice cream shop.

Made possible in part by an Erie County Destination Development Grant, Pied Piper owners Tony and Pam Frank have commissioned a local artist to design and paint a new mural on the west side of the Huron Street business. The business has two existing murals, both of the piper himself, so this will make for a third design.

“We are very appreciative of the Shores & Islands grant program,” Tony Frank says. “If it wasn’t for Shores & Islands, none of this would’ve transpired.”

Mural design: While the Franks aren’t quite ready to reveal the specifics on the mural, Tony says the plan is to incorporate Erie County and Ohio landmarks that reflect the area's rich history. About a dozen landmarks will be featured on the mural,which will stand at 5 feet tall by 25 feet wide.

“The new mural is going to be historical and educational,” Frank says.

He and Pam did extensive research about the history of the area and even went as far as to get permission from those associated with the landmarks to make sure they approved of their inclusion in the art piece. In fact, the Franks had to go as far as contacting a great-great grandson of one of the mural features to request permission.

“The Pied Piper is in its 72nd year in business, and when people heard we wanted to put their landmark on our building, they were excited to be a part of it,” Frank says. “Every single person we asked for permission was very excited.”

The artist: Local artist, designer and painter Darcy Berardi is in the process of starting the mural and hopes to have it completed by the end of the school year, Frank says. The Franks chose Berardi as the artist after admiring a commissioned mural she painted at the corner of Standard and Main streets in Huron.

“When we saw her work, we tracked her down,” Frank says. “We proposed it to her and she accepted right off the bat.”

How to get involved: Customers can enjoy their Pied Piper treats while they watch Berardi’s progress on the mural. The Franks will rope off the west side of the building “so customers can sit at the picnic tables and watch her do her thing,” Frank says.