The Hidden Shamrock Chooses Rustic Restaurant Furniture for Remodel!

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When Sean Griffin, General Manager of The Hidden Shamrock, started looking at remodeling he knew he wanted to incorporate reclaimed furniture into the new design. He began searching for the perfect fit for his traditional Irish bar located in Chicago, IL. Griffin soon became frustrated in his search. “I couldn’t find what I wanted and I was really put off by other prices” stated Griffin.

Running out of options, he decided to try the National Restaurant Association Show, one of the biggest annual trade shows for the restaurant industry. It was there that he spotted East Coast Chair & Barstool’s display of reclaimed restaurant furniture and knew that his long search was over. “I loved your stuff and it was shockingly economical,” Said Griffin.

He was pleased to purchase our reclaimed wood table tops and metal chairs with reclaimed wood seats. These products were able to create the rustic, homey atmosphere that he was going for in his restaurant and pub. He was finally able to create the aesthetic that he had been searching for during his remodel.

When we asked him about his experience with remodeling, he told us it’s no picnic. Remodeling is a stressful process and needs to be a labor of love explained Griffin. Owners need to ask themselves if the change is going to enhance the guest experience better. If the answer is yes then do it, if the answer is no, then don’t. Thankfully he decided the reclaimed furniture was going to enrich the patron’s experience and he wasn’t wrong. “People can’t help but notice them,” Griffin explained.

As for aesthetics during a remodel, Griffin suggests keeping it simple. “Don’t go too trendy. Do it because you like it and feel a connection. Know what you want and don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

The seasoned general manager also recommends taking what you think you are going to spend and multiplying it by 1.3. Griffin acknowledged that the restaurant industry is full of surprises and it is better to be prepared for anything that might come your way.

pic3“I would use East Coast Chair & Barstool again. They do a good job and seem to have a good relationship with their Amish vendors who produce their quality reclaimed products.” said Griffin speaking of our Amish craftsmen.

If you would like to incorporate rustic furniture into your restaurants design, these products and more can be found on the company’s website www.tableschairsbarstools.com.

 

 

Review of the 2013 National Restaurant Association Show

Now that we’ve had a chance to digest all the excitement (and endless food samples) of the 2013 National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show, we put our thoughts together to share this brief recap of the 4-day, fun-filled international restaurant and hospitality industry tradeshow.

Walking into the magnificent McCormick Place for the first time was breathtaking. Its design so elegant yet massive, as the floor-to-ceiling windows welcomed in natural light and beautiful views of both a quiet sailboat-painted Lake Michigan and also the urban skyline of nearby downtown Chicago. Long rows of escalators inside the Grand Concourse helped move people up and down the five levels and bring people from the North and South buildings together. (The center actually has four cutting edge buildings, connected by beautiful sky bridges.) With 2.6 million total square feet of exhibit space, 170 meeting rooms, and assembly seating for up to 18,000 people, McCormick Place is enormous and versatile, and it’s a great choice for events, such as the NRA Show.  Decorated with an eclectic art collection, with pieces by artists Dale Chihuly and Tim Prentice to name two, that speak to the city’s architecture and culture, the center intrigues the senses from inside and out.  And I haven’t even mentioned that I saw one McDonald’s, two Starbucks, a few souvenir shops, a market cafe, and a food court that offered convenience to those of us who were planted there for 9-hour days.

South Hall’s Level 3 was clearly the most coveted (and largest) exhibition space with big brands such as Coca-Cola, Rubbermaid, and Anheuser-Busch piquing attendee interest with large, flashy displays and enticing giveaways. Across the hall in the North Building, Levels 1 and 3 were also filled with industry-related exhibitor booths, all vying for the attention of the 58,000+ passer-byes. With over 2,000 booths in over 900 product categories, the tradeshow offerings ran the gamut from cheese, salsa, and wine to rapid cook ovens, silverware, and of course, restaurant furniture.  Whether it was marketing and HR resources or the latest in green technology, a restaurant owner could seek out many new tidbits to help them run an efficient, trendy, and profitable business.  It’s a four day event for a reason; it’s massive!  If you’re breaking ground on a new restaurant or have always dreamed about becoming a restauranteur, we would recommend attending the NRA Show in order to amass the excess of product information, resources, trends, and advice which is contained under one roof.  Beware, the surplus of food samples, types of equipment, flatware companies, industry statistics, and recommendations may become overwhelming (heck the 25 yogurt vendors alone could send you into a tizzy), but the opportunity to sort through all the information can be very beneficial in making educated business decisions.  Plus, you’ll bring home a bag filled with tchotchkes and schwag.

Among the exhibitors, you may find a surprise or two awaiting you. We rounded the corner once and found Captain Sig Hansen of the Deadliest Catch signing autographs and taking photos with big-grinned fans, like our very own Dave DiSanti.

In between walking the endless aisles of exhibitors, the NRA also hosted 70+ educational sessions.  These sessions covered topics such as menu engineering, social and overall marketing, economic outlooks, managing staff within your workplace culture, and just so much more.  Plus, attendees had the opportunity to hear from celebrity speakers, such as Anthony Bourdain and the CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz.

From inside our booth, we were able to survey the show attendees on their need for restaurant furniture either now or in the future. What’s more, we had the chance to really talk with them, form some personal relationships, and get to know our target audience a little bit better.  Understanding their perspective (and long list of balls they juggle on a daily basis) helps us become more than just another vendor to them, but their ally as they start or manage their restaurant, their dream, and the way they make their living. We met many passionate people who are in the business of making great food, satisfying other people, and creating wonderful places to work or dine.  Smart and savvy, with custom options on their mind, today’s customer is helping drive our business where it needs to go into the future.  For those lessons, we’re grateful.

We had such a great time, we’ve already reserved our 2014 NRA Show booth!  We invite you to join us in the windy city next May 17-20. See ya there!

Did you attend this year’s show? Let us know what you thought!

See our photos from our trip here!