Restaurant Development & Design

July-August 2017

restaurant development + design is a user-driven resource for restaurant professionals charged with building new locations and remodeling existing units.

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J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 7 • r e s t a u r a n t d e v e l o p m e n t + d e s i g n • 5 5 M ain Event Entertainment is not your typical restau- rant. In fact, it's not really a restaurant at all. It's an entertainment concept that offers all the ingredients for a fun evening out: high-quality food, a full bar, bowling, laser tag, a large video arcade and more, within 50,000 upscale square feet. "There's a whole new class of out- of-home entertainment concepts that are redefining the verticals that they're in, whether it's Top Golf that's redefining a golf driving range or movie theaters that have upscale food and beverage with luxury seating," says CEO Charlie Keegan. "There are these business models that for decades have been one-size-fits-all. Now, they're being puffed up with aspirational facilities, high-quality food and beverage, and they're outperforming the traditional business models they come from." Since these businesses depend on affluent guests who know and seek out elevated experiences, concepts like Main Event must be willing to upgrade their look and update their offerings frequently. The company, in fact, recently introduced a new design — its second to roll out in the past 10 years. First seen at Main Event's Orlando location, the new design better utilizes the concept's dining and activity zones while upping the appeal to one of its most important customer groups. For the Young and Young Adults According to Keegan, Main Event's top five customer categories include three that cover high-income suburban families. Overall, the company has been serving these guests well. The single largest group, though, consists of well- off "urban fringe" Millennials and young adults. "They don't have kids to pay for, so they like to go out and spend money at night on entertainment," Keegan says. "We want to do a little better with that group without alienating another." With this in mind, the new design shifts the chain's overall look. The dif- ferent dining and entertainment zones maintain their clear sight lines, though the new design provides greater defini- tion to the spaces while also affording greater flexibility to manage parties and busy dayparts. Main Event's finishes also changed and now encompass rich, natural materials and tones contrasted with bright, vibrant colors, resulting in a look that appeals to young adults and families alike, says Keith Anderson, vice president and chief operating officer of Harrison Architecture & Design. This approach can be seen clearly in Orlando's adult social lounge, a new zone for the company. Featuring billiards and shuffleboard, it's meant to serve as a gathering place for young adult guests, says Keegan. During peak times, "we could be on a two-hour wait to go bowl- ing," he explains. "You may not want to have a meal, but you may not want to sit on a bench. It's sort of halfway in between, transitional seating." This space has many of the elements that define Main Event's new look. The billiards tables are covered with vibrant blue felt, while the lounge offers neutral brown tufted soft seat- ing. Wooden rafters are arranged in an intersecting pattern, defining the space and giving it a sense of intimacy, while the lounge's brick walls are decorated with colorful art, including abstract stars painted directly on the surface. "Those stars link back to Main Event's heritage," Anderson says. "The old logo has those stars, but [the new ones] overlap and cross and are painted on the brickwork, so they seem more timeless and authentic. It creates an urban and cool feel for the lounge." This look can also be seen in an- other zone new to Main Event, the adult bowling area. While the family bowling section features fun, kid-friendly ele- ments — ice-white lanes with interactive images projected on them — the adult bowling area is more sophisticated. The company uses custom seating uphol- stered in black and brown accompanied by cocktail-height tables in dark wood. Rich, deep colors and brick walls help define the space, as do the wood-look flooring and wooden ceiling with lane numbers lit in neon. The adult social lounge features abstract art combined with natural materials and colors, giving the space an energy and sophistication that appeals to young adult customers.

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