Local Artist Depicts Beloved Mebane Grill in New Painting | Culture & Leisure


Mebane’s A&M Grill closed just over 10 years ago, but a local artist recently released a painting that will evoke the memories the historic restaurant has for so many in the city.

The painting, titled “A&M Grill,” depicts the restaurant in the early 1960s. For its painter, Ambrose (AP) Hill, the work is reminiscent of not only A&M Grill, but everything that has changed in 60 years.

Hill moved to Mebane in the early 1960s, when his father accepted a post as minister of the Methodist Church in Mebane. He graduated from Eastern Alamance High School in 1966. A&M Grill is special to Hill because, on the one hand, he said the A&M Grill was the first place his family ate when they moved to Mebane. .

When he moved to Mebane, the A&M Grill served as a de facto hangout for teens and adults – and that’s what Hill tried to capture in the painting.

“Everyone enjoyed the grill and people are still talking about it today, they would love to have a good barbecue sandwich from there,” Hill said. “We had a lot of connections there, we would meet there all the time after the football games and, in fact, we had our senior breakfast there when we graduated from high school, and I’m sure our class wasn’t the only one. “

Hill’s painting is full of little details that indicate the time it is installed. An interesting detail is the Pepsi sign, which advertises the price of a Pepsi at six cents. Hill included this detail because he remembered how bad it was when the price of a bottle of Pepsi was increased by a dime.

Hill said it was important to him that when people see the painting it brings them back to a different time and place.

“The vintage cars and the guys still standing and the pretty young lady over there with the poodle skirt, that was very popular back then,” he said. “I just tried to take the photo as I remembered it, but it’s been a long time.”

For reference, Hill used a photo he had of the grill when he was in high school. But many aspects of the painting have been taken from his memory.

Hill hopes the painting serves as a permanent reminder of how important A&M Grill was to Mebane in the mid-20th century.

“Everything seems to be changing and I just thought people would like to have an impression with the grill,” he said. “It was so popular with all of us who went to Mebane High School and Eastern, it was a local hangout and Sunday lunch spot, everyone went after church.”

Hill said he was an artist since he remembered it, starting with pencil drawing and working his way up to painting. He specializes in acrylic, watercolor and mixed media.

“For a while I started doing a lot of watercolors and then switched to acrylics and found that sometimes it’s good to mix the media to get the effect you want.” Hill said.

Most of Hill’s artwork is still life, focusing on scenes like the beach and other landscapes. His works also focus on historical scenes, such as A&M Grill and Mebane High School.

At the end of October, Hill will also publish prints of his painting titled “The 7 Lighthouses of North Carolina”.

The painting depicts all of the state’s lighthouses side by side from the same vantage point on the same background. Hill said he tried to make the paint look different from your typical lighthouse paint

“I tried to do them differently from everyone else – I mean, every artist made the headlights,” he said. “But I tried to focus on the architectural design.”

For those who would like to see the paintings, go to www.aphill.com. For those wishing to purchase any of these prints, please contact AP Hill at [email protected]


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