New mural part of Grass Valley Beach Hut renovation |

New mural part of Grass Valley Beach Hut renovation

Photo for The Union by John Hart
John Hart | The Union

The Beach Hut Deli underwent a “beachy” upgrade with the creation of a new mural on its patio wall, the first part of planned renovation for the restaurant’s patio area.

“We are in the process of revamping our patio, and this is the start of it. We’re going to be putting planter boxes, a fountain, some palapas, like a thatch roof umbrella, and putting up kind of tropical plants. It should be ready for next spring,” said Beach Hut Deli owner Cindy Smith.

Smith has been with Beach Hut since 2008 and changed locations from Nevada City to Grass Valley’s Glenbrook Basin in July, which she said has increased profits substantially.

“We’ve had a really good response from the community here,” Smith said. “We’ve almost doubled our business.”

“I wanted to bring Grass Valley into it and the personality into it a little bit.”
— Kristina Letson, artist

Smith said she got into the business after visiting and falling in love with a Beach Hut Deli she visited.

“We found out that it was a franchise and that we could own our own store, so we could do it. It’s a lot of fun,” Smith said.

The artwork, painted by muralist Kristina Letson, features a lake at sunset with a boat and dock with leaves edging the scene to give the illusion that the waterscape is being viewed out of a hut.

“It’s very serene and tranquil,” Smith said.

Letson also added trees and mountains to give the painting a local feel.

“I wanted to bring Grass Valley into it and the personality into it a little bit,” she said.

Letson started the company Bel Murales and has painted murals for multiple Beach Hut locations, including a 700-foot mural for the Thunder Valley Casino location.

“It’s always my favorite company to do murals for,” she said. “Everyone is warm and wonderful, and they just love the art. Cindy was fantastic. She was so much fun and so excited about the store.”

Letson said she appreciates how murals focus on atmosphere and surroundings, a form of art she studied in Florence, Italy.

“It is so inspiring there, and art becomes more about what’s around you and your atmosphere, rather than painting something to be put in a musuem,” Letson said. “That’s why I love doing murals.”

Letson said she enjoys the ability to create an atmosphere on Beach Hut’s patio.

“It’s fun and neat because everyone who sat down has told me that it looks like a different place they traveled,” she said.

To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email or call (530) 477-4230.

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