Dinning Room & Buffet

We are looking into expanding our delco operation into the available space next door to our current store & I am looking for some opinions & advice from other vets.

I am specifically looking for advice on finsih-out of the flooring, walls & such. We are on a tight budget & I am trying to get the most bang for my buck. Does anyone have any photos or materials they used in the finish-out that saved money & came out looking good they would be willing to share?

need any buffet equipment or dining tables?

We are in the process right now of finishing our new location. Laminate flooring can be a good option in a couple of places. Im not sure what you have close by as far as home improvement stores but home depot often will have a laminate on special for about $.68 a square foot. We also used a laminate on the wall that supports our counter top. Its designed to look like ceramic tile and unlike painted sheet rock it is easy to clean and will not dent and ding when people kick them. The laminate for that ran a little more at $1.69 a square foot but we needed much less and it was well worth it. I will post some pictures as soon as i get a chance.

We are in the market for everything at the moment. We are in a college town & I am trying to pull off the cool factor without spending an arm & a leg. Has anyone uses stained concrete in a store?

Does anyone have good sources for restaurant furniture or Used equipment auctions?

I was @ a place that had stained concrete a few years ago…they had a few minor problems with the initial install/stain, but its a good surface if done correctly, but not for work areas…

What type of equip are you looking for?

We are looking for the buffet equipment, some reach in coolers, bar draft equipment, coke fountain, ect. We also need booths, tables & chairs.

Main thing I am looking for is great finish out ideas.

This is the wall we did the flooring on.

Here’s a few things we did:

  1. Stained concrete floors with saw cuts. Assuming you are working with a slab this is the next cheapest thing to cheap carpet and looks waaaay better. We used saw cuts to create large diamond shaped tiles.
  2. Concrete overlay (stamped). You put down a small coat of overlay product and then use matts to stamp a pattern. This can be colored. We did this to create a brick road from the back door to the front and in the bar.
  3. Drop those ceilings - but not all of them. Changing elevations in your restaurant creates a dramatic effect with little cost. Soffit half the restaurant and leave the other half exposed. Or, you can build the entire ceiling grid but only install some of the tiles at random intervals. Also, IMO, 2x2 tiles look better than the rectangular ones. Also, you can randomly drop in some of the faux tin-ceiling panels to create a cool effect.
  4. Tag your logo. We had a stencil made of our logo for $40.00. We used it to create tag art on large, empty walls.
  5. Consult an architect. There are lots of solo architects hurting for work. Consult with them for basic finish ideas. My architect was fantastic at recommending creative and inexpensive solutions to give us a really cool restaurant. Things like - lamp posts in the restaurant (bought them for $80 each at a surplus store), fire hydrant, a wall that divides the bar that is a half wall with a full window, transom and sidelights on top of it. I bet you could have an architect talk to you about ideas for a few hundred bucks - well spent money IMO. If you can afford it, hire him to design the whole room .
  6. Involve your customers. As an example, since we are next door pizza, we started out with 30 antique doors we got from an architectural salvage place. We gave doors to anyone that wants one, they decorate it, bring it back in and we give them a free pizza. This has been wildly popular. We have had some amazing pieces of art with which we line our walls. And now, those guests have an emotional attachment with our restaurant!
  7. Have a theme. An architect can really help with this. But if you don’t want to hire one, pick a theme and beat it into the ground on paper. Sit with family and friends and beat it into the ground. Post it on the forums and let us beat it into the ground…
  8. Z-brick. I put this stuff in my basement. It’s real brick but only 1/4" thick or so. It goes on like tile so you can do it yourself. Tiling a wall in this stuff makes a really cool impact, even if it’s a half-wall.
  9. Don’t use pre-made casing or stick on baseboards. Instead try some dimensional lumber with but joints (assuming it fits your theme). We used rough pine 1/2x4 for a lot of our trim. It’s pretty cheap and looks a little trendier than std. casing.
  10. Look at other restaurants and make notes. Ever been in a chipotle? They do some really cool things with stuff you can find at Home Depot. If you’re handy and have some creativity you’ll find lots of non-traditional uses for building materials

I’m sure I’ll come up with some more, but that’s all I have for now. Hope it helps some.


I knew I was in trouble when I asked Patrick where the restrooms were and he said the 27th door on the left! Damn art doors! :stuck_out_tongue:

Patrick thanks for the ideas!