Business

Lexington’s favorite Big Ass mural is going away. Find out why.

Kaaylub Britt, 15, of Lexington passed a mural Thursday at the former Big Ass Fans building, 800 Winchester Road. The mural is expected to be painted over by the building’s new tenant, bella bliss.
Kaaylub Britt, 15, of Lexington passed a mural Thursday at the former Big Ass Fans building, 800 Winchester Road. The mural is expected to be painted over by the building’s new tenant, bella bliss. aslitz@herald-leader.com

In 2003, the 40-foot wide mural depicting Fanny, the donkey mascot of the Big Ass Fan Co., annoyed a Lexington council member so much that he wanted the Winchester Road sign outlawed.

A city attorney opined that the government is limited in its power to legislate taste, and the mural stayed put on the bricks of 800 Winchester Road, even after Big Ass Fans, now Big Ass Solutions, moved to another building.

But now, the building on which the mural resides has sold for $1.6 million to EFM Holdings LLC, and upscale children’s clothier bella bliss is moving into the building.

And the mural is going away, likely to be painted over with bella bliss’s own sign by Jan. 1, company founder Lisa McLean said.

Bella bliss now operates at 209 North Limestone. McLean said in an email that the company will move its operations to the Winchester Road building by the end of the year.

“Having outgrown our current location, we have been in search of a new warehouse for many years, so we were thrilled to find a building large enough to serve the current fulfillment needs of bella bliss while accommodating our continued growth,” McLean said.

“We are just excited that our corporate offices will sit directly next to our warehouse(s). ... It will help our staff work more efficiently and ensure that each collection meets the quality and standard of its original design.”

Part of the warehouse will be leased to another company, McLean said.

Bella bliss will have a warehouse sale to introduce its new location and store on Winchester Road from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 6 to 8. The company plans to open the new storefront by late spring or early summer.

The building was the headquarters for Big Ass Fans from 2003 to 2006, according to Big Ass Solutions spokesman Scott Sloan, and it had been vacant for “a number of years leading up to its sale.” Since 2006, the company has used two other Lexington buildings, with the current company headquarters located on Innovation Drive.

“The iconic mural of company mascot Fanny will be repainted in the future as a mural inside the company’s headquarters,” Sloan said in an email.

The Winchester Road corridor is booming: Already a former auto repair garage at 780 Winchester Road is being transformed into the new home of Griffith Catlett Hampton Insurance. Across the street, at 801 Winchester Road, Koller Warner Construction shares a building with Synergy Home, which has installed solar panels to power a free electric car-charging space and decrease its energy bill.

Cheryl Truman: 859-231-3202, @CherylTruman

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