When asked to transform an outdated restaurant on a tight budget of $150,000 for construction and FF+E, Chipman let the creativity fly for Houlihan’s Restaurant Group’s new concept, TBD Bar + Social. Chipman was challenged to use their architectural and design services to create an environment that felt like a backyard BBQ, transitioning from family fun in the afternoon with a 21-and-over clientele after 7pm. The goal was not only to create a new identity for the restaurant, but ultimately to engage a younger clientele in an environment that kept them engaged for multiple hours, therefore leading to larger ticket sizes.
While branded elements within the space were kept to a minimum, the emphasis for communicating the design concept was placed upon furniture selections, visual merchandising and accessorization. In order to ‘bring the outdoors in,’ the CDA team designed a space that featured turf flooring, picnic tables (modified for ADA compliance as well as customer comfort) and mid-century lounge chairs, as well as Tivoli lights strung under suspended patio umbrellas. Oversized childhood games crafted out of wood juxtaposed the feeling of whimsy with authenticity, allowing the customer to relax and enjoy themselves.
Different experience zones were laid out to give the customer a choice when it comes to their dining and bar experience. Without a traditional host stand, customers place orders with servers who supply them with GPS buzzers, allowing guests the freedom to wander and engage in game playing, while still being served food and beverage. While the traditional dining and bar milieu line the perimeter of the restaurant with expandable four tops, the casual lounge environment can be experienced in the middle where the whimsical, exposed ceiling and umbrella treatment lends to the outdoor mood, regardless of the weather. Of course, the highlight of the space in terms of seating is the vintage, yellow camper which originally belonged to a member of the band, America.