How to Build A Bar (Or, at least how we did it)

As you may or may not have noticed, we decided to add a little bar to the dining room at Punk’s.  It’s a natural extension of what we are already doing, as we’ve been selling you good people a lot of beers for a good amount of time now. Given that we tend to be DIY type people, we decided to build it. Now that it’s finished and still standing, it seemed reasonable to let you know how it went.

We started by sketching up the idea and then heading to Home Depot.  We built the structure with a whole bunch of 2x4s and lots of screws.  Nothing too fancy, just built a base, then framed it out like you would a wall.  This is what we started with. 

We decided to make square boxes at the three corner points for stability.  We built the base and laid it out to make sure our size was right before moving forward.

Typical bar height is 42″ although we went a little bit smaller at 39″ because we wanted it to blend into the dining room a little bit more.  The lower height gives customers better visibility to the grill. So we started framing.

Once the outside framing was done, we rough cut some 8′ x 4′ pieces of plywood and covered the front section.  This all eventually gets finished over, so we didn’t need too much finesse on the plywood cuts.

Next, we brought the structure inside and put it in place.  We then put the cherry paneling on the front.

Somewhere in this process we framed out another row of beams directly parallel to the others, approximately 6″ further in.  We did this for added support and stability.  After the structure was solid, we cut the plywood for the top. We bought higher grade cabinet plywood for the top because we need consistency and a level top for finishes.   This required a little more precision since it becomes the base for the bar top and I think we managed just fine.

We then flipped it around, so it was where we wanted it, and it looked like this.

Next, we threw some plywood on the back side to help seal off any open spaces, which would later get a coat of water resistant paint.

We needed to install some shelving and a sink, which we did without too much trouble.

The next step was the top.  We settled on stone tiles (we’ve never tiled before), so we set them up, and went to work.   We put the tile down, grouted it and left a 2″ rail on the back side for bar mats.  After the tile dried, we put silicone down between the tile and bar mats, and we stained and varnished the exposed wood to help waterproof it.

Finally, we trimmed up all the edges, moved some equipment back there, bought some bar stools and we have a finished product!

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Chain Leader Magazine: Restaurant Design – Stealing Home

In case you missed it, there is a great article about Punk’s Backyard Grill in the July issue of Chain Leader magazine. The piece talks about the design elements that were used to create the contemporary, backyard feel at Punk’s and it has some great pictures of the space for those of you who haven’t made it in yet. Many thanks go out to Lisa Bertagnoli for writing the piece and to our designers at Kathy Diamond Design Associates.

Hold On to Your Patio Chairs

KGI came last weekend and finished their work on the awnings, grill, and exterior sign.  The storefront is looking great since the cleaning crew washed all the windows.

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Just a few more details and the dining room will be ready for guests.  The crew from Jan Ferguson Interior Plantscaping came yesterday to install our ficus trees, window boxes, and potted plants.

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We’re almost ready to fire up the grill!

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Almost There

It’s fast and furious these days as we get ready to open the doors.  Here’s a picture of the exterior taken last night.  There’s still a bit to go — KGI returns this week to illuminate the “Punk’s Backyard Grill” sign and finish installing more awnings.

Consider this picture an appetizer — I’ll post interior pictures next.

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Still Finishing — Week 13

After weeks of anticipation, the KGI team arrived in Annapolis last Friday afternoon.  They worked through the weekend to install the major decorative elements in the restaurant.

Here’s a picture of the dining area with the new railings (picket fence on the right, wrought iron on the left) and giant trellis hanging from the ceiling.  Once we put the tables and chairs together this weekend, the dining area will be nearly complete.

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My favorite part of the restaurant so far is the order counter area — I think the backyard-iness is really coming together in this space.  The picture below shows the striped awnings above the windows, the trellis above the order counter, the “pie window,” the lantern lights, and the garden hose-trimmed menu boards.

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While I have been informed that bathroom pictures are not interesting, I’m posting one anyway.  There is still some work to be done (like installing a faucet), but I think it’s looking good — the tiling, lantern lights, and lattice mirror repeat the design elements of the main areas.

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KGI goes to work on the exterior tomorrow, so we’ll have some good pictures by the end of the weekend.

Finishing Up — Week 12

I’ll blame the delay in posts on holiday events, because there was no shortage of progress on the site over the past couple weeks.  BGC is finishing up — laying the final floor tiles, applying the last pieces of exterior slate, installing restroom fixtures, and painting the patio railing.

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Meanwhile, the Gill Group has been delivering and installing pieces of kitchen equipment.  Here’s a picture of the “Cold Prep” area in the kitchen.  The window on the left looks out into the back corridor, so guests can peek inside the kitchen.

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The focal point of the restaurant is the 60″ grill that faces the dining area.  The grill itself will be part of a larger installation of hooding and custom fabricated stainless steel pieces.  The picture below shows the giant stainless steel hood sitting on the floor waiting to be hung above the grill.

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KGI, the “finishing” contractors arrive on Friday to install the final decorative elements.  They have spent the past few months building our cabinetry, exterior signage, awnings, menu boards, and ceiling decor in their Ohio factory.  So they’ll load up an eighteen-wheeler and haul everything over to Annapolis to begin installation.  Since everything is already built, the transformation over the next three days should be remarkable.