Back in March we posted a blog about the city of Mandan telling the Lonesome Dove nightclub it needed to remove its western-themed mural painted on the side of the building. The Mandan City Commission said the bar had not submitted the proper paperwork for the display of outdoor artwork.

Today, the owners have said they are prepared for a legal fight. The night club is now working with  the Institute for Justice, a Libertarian legal group.

Co-owner Brian Berube told KXNET that the Lonesome Dove owners didn't file the proper paperwork because they were unaware that they had to. While Berube hopes to avoid a lawsuit, but he said he and the rest of ownership refuses to paint over the art.

The bar, located on Memorial Highway, was first cited for the mural in October. The owners filed paperwork soon after, but the permits were denied by the city commission. The commission cited the city's mural code saying the mural failed to meet the requirements that  "no wall sign or mural shall be painted on any building without prior approval from the [architectural commission]," and that no mural shall convey a "commercial" message.

The mural, shown above, depicts a western scene with the name of the bar at the top. The Lonesome Dove is a western-themed bar.

The owners were advised by the commission to apply for a sign permit, since they deemed the mural a commercial message. They then shot down the bar's sign permit application in December.

This seems like an awful lot of fuss for some artwork that appears to have made an honest mistake with some paperwork. You've got to wonder if there are better and more important issues for the city of Mandan to be spending its time on.

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