American Idols: Tiki Bars

The tiki phenomenon first took root in the United States in the 1930s with the opening of the legendary Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic’s restaurants in California. By mid century, Polynesian pop culture permeated America — in restaurants, home decor, art and fashion — thanks to a confluence of influences that included GIs returning from the Pacific Theater; the Kon-Tiki expedition; and the best-selling book, musical and movie “South Pacific.” Elaborately designed tiki dens of yore offered an escape into an exotic tropical paradise.

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Use 3-D Modeling and Virtual Reality

Customers aren’t the only ones embracing game-changing new technologies in restaurant spaces. Designers, too, are leveraging technology to revolutionize the process of creating, presenting and modifying projects, tapping tools and programs that first emerged in the gaming and entertainment industries to go where traditional restaurant design and rendering techniques can’t — into the interactive, 3-D virtual environment.

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BLVD Glows with Golden-Age Glamour

Opening a new fine-dining restaurant in Chicago’s red-hot Fulton Market neighborhood, where some of the city’s highest-profile restaurant groups now play, isn’t for the faint of heart. Such a move is even bolder if it’s an operator’s very first restaurant. But when the principals of upstart Sancerre Hospitality set out to develop BLVD as their inaugural concept, they took a go-big-or-go-home approach — and the result is dazzling.

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4 Rivers Smokehouse Is On a Mission

This BBQ chain made its first move outside of Florida by turning an old firehouse in Atlanta into a restaurant.

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Stop Chasing a Start Date

As a senior project manager for a general contractor that specializes in restaurant projects, I’ve helped clients open restaurants in several different states. While most of these openings have gone smoothly, I’ve noticed a trend recently that has resulted in some less-than-smooth openings.

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Q&A with Randy Icard, Vice President of Franchise Development at Bojangles

Bojangles has more than 700 locations across the Southeastern and mid-Atlantic United States. 

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