KEEPIN’ IT REAL in THE COV: Left Bank Coffeehouse’s Ruggedly Handsome Toilet Paper Guy

Below, Left Bank Coffeeshop owners Russ and Jackie Slone escorted the Ruggedly Handsome Toilet Paper Guy (seen in detail above) to the City's Authenti-CITY awards last Friday. With the Slones is Covington Business Retention & Expansion Specialist Patrick Duffy, whose attire fit the ceremony's theme.

GI Joe is more than ‘Kenough’ for the task

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the third of five articles naming the winners of the 2024 Authenti-CITY awards given by the City of Covington at a ceremony last Thursday to mark the National Economic Development Week. More about the awards can be found at the bottom of this article.)

COVINGTON, Ky. – Jackie Slone knew the soldier was perfect for the job she had in mind, what with his articulating hands, long straight legs, and rugged good looks. As for the soldier himself, well, he was just waiting to be called to duty.

Slone, a talented mosaic artist whose art is visible throughout The Cov, keeps a bounty of potential art supplies at hand, items like shards of glass, marbles, tiles, plates, and more. Among her stash: a GI Joe figure.

“I find inspiration everywhere,” said Slone, who along with her husband and two daughters owns Left Bank Coffeehouse.

In Slone’s skilled hands, the soldier would become a centerpiece of sorts to what is arguably the most fascinating bathroom in The Cov -- its walls covered in the rich textures, hues, Slone’s stunning mosaic work … and what is now known far and wide as the “Ruggedly Handsome Toilet Paper Guy.”

Velcroed to the wall directly across from the toilet seat and backed by a swath of wallpaper that reads “The Many Ways Trees Serve Us,” The “RHTPG” grips a roll of toilet paper between his hands in service to the shop’s patrons.

Granted, his piercing blue eyes might unmoor the unsuspecting first-time visitor. But he is the epitome of an unapologetically Covington brand of hospitality and an obvious choice for one of the City’s 2024 Authenti-CITY Awards.

Diminutive in square footage but vast in aesthetic, Left Bank Coffeehouse has a casual, feels-like-home vibe as well as an off-the-beaten path French café feel. The name itself is a nod to Paris and a good fit when you think about proximity to Covington’s two rivers. There’s generally a local artist or two chilling and sipping on the shop’s front porch or side patio, neighbors and small business owners catching up while they wait for coffee, and young mothers perusing Maison, the coffeeshop’s charming retail shop that carries everything from journals, chic children’s toys, and locally made jewelry to a steady inventory of Harry Styles or Taylor Swift-themed stickers.

There’s a lot to like about this shop, but everyone knows what the main attraction is.

“The standout of the shop is Jackie Slone’s mosaic work,” said Covington Business Retention & Expansion Specialist Patrick Duffy. “But, by far, the most unique, one-of-a-kind thing of all in the coffeeshop is the ‘Ruggedly Handsome Toilet Paper Guy.’ ”

About the awards: The first-annual Authenti-CITY awards were unveiled by Covington’s fun and irreverent Economic Development team in 2021 to celebrate National Economic Development Week in an off-the-wall way.

There were no rules and no criteria – just staffers getting together after hours (maybe over a few drinks, maybe not) and debating fiercely about what businesses, places, events, people and organizations most “kept it real” in The Cov. The fervor had to do with this: Narrowing down the massive list (because, you know, Covington is such a cool place).


# # #