Cafe Tallulah’s mural of a worker and oxen in Cuba’s sugarcane fields has been restored, and the upscale cocktail lounge and cafe on 71st Street and Columbus Avenue¬† is set to open its doors within weeks.

The bas-relief sculpture had originally been created for Victor’s Cafe, a Cuban restaurant in the same spot. When Victor’s left for midtown, owners of subsequent restaurants kept the mural up. But Greg Hunt, who plans to open Cafe Tallulah, didn’t think the mural worked with his plans, and he fought preservationists’ attempts t make him keep it. In the end, however, he agreed to leave the mural up.

“Although we weren’t crazy about it at first, over time it grew on us. We gradually came to the realization (especially over the last few days) that it is unique, quirky and fun,” the restaurant’s facebook page said.

The Times, in an article on the mural today, says the spot is now set to open on December 1.

The mural has now been restored with a fresh coat of white paint (though the Times says it will eventually be off-white.)

There’s also been a ton of work done to the building’s exterior, as well as a completely new sidewalk (it’s actually smelled like chemicals around there for weeks as they remade the sidewalk).

See a picture of how the mural used to look below. Tallulah was one of the 10 upcoming Upper West Side restaurants we previewed in September.

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