Some are threatening to vandalise whatever replaces it with their excrement.
The day-of-the-dead style mural was painted on Soto over six weekends by local artists Konfucius, Destroy and Idol.
Soto closed earlier this year after going into receivership and the premises is being converted into a bakery run by Cantina 663 owners Alex Cuccovia and Michael Forde, and Paul Aron and John Little from El Publico.
Mr Aron says the artwork has to go because, “it’s just not going to work with what we’re doing there”.
Street art fans online have been scathing of the decision.
“They won’t be getting any of my business,” Jake Elliot posted on Facebook.
“This sucks…will be boycotting this business!” Channy Macshizzles and others said.
The sentiment wasn’t confined to social media. Older readers Bill Bradbury and Peter Lee-Jones phoned the Voice to say they were sad to see the mural go.
Some online punters predicted the new wall would be vandalised: “I foresee a lot of graffiti removal fees for these guys!” John Mac said.
“It’s goin to get covered in shitty scribble and veiny dicks now, what a waste!” Andrew Kent and about 20 others said.
“I’m gonna smear terd all over its wall,” Harvy McMuffin boasted.
A few said the wall was the new business’s prerogative. One agreed the piece should go.
“Good on them for getting rid of trashy work,” Carolina Lunn posted. “Just because people spent a lot of time making it doesn’t mean it’s any good.”
Beaufort Street Network chair John Carey posted his group’s position: “The Beaufort Street Network loves this mural—it’s been a fantastic new addition to the street.
“We understand community anger at losing this great work of art,” but adds “the Network has always worked to be a positive and constructive force on the street—and can’t support the boycott of a local business, whether or not we agree with a local business decision.”
We didn’t hear back from Mr Aron before deadline and the Cantina lads have yet to return our message from the week before.
by DAVID BELL