Monday, May 23, 2016

Design things: Themed bars and restaurants

So, I've got a bunch of ideas for themed bars/restaurants knocking about I thought other people might like or have ideas for. I figure I'm probably never going to get to build them myself so I actually don't mind sharing, even if it's just as a humorous hypothetical. The first I came up with on my own, the other two owe at least some inspiration to a variety of sources including the gaming themed 42 Alehouse. (To those not local to Milwaukee, it's a bar/restaurant with walls lined with everything from the full VHS sets of various Star Treks, to all manner of gaming books, to Risk and Settlers Of Catan and everything else. The bar TVs, if there aren't sports on, feature anything from LotR to Star Wars to Wii Games played by patrons).

First up, one I've had for a while, the Legitimate Establishment. It's a 'secret' 1930s speakeasy, a brewpub with the main floor playing a super saccharine, inoffensive restaurant. Main place is something like Mom's, specializing in roasts, stews, and generally homecooked hearty meals. In the basement through one of several secret entrances is the Legitimate Establishment, with dress code (at least a tuxedo T-shirt. Failing to have at least that gets you brought to the back to get "roughed up" and receive a commemorative shirt for the occasion), member's list (On The Dole, the military/police/firefighter's discount). Probably back rooms that can be rented or reserved for private use, poker night or gaming or whatever. Jazz on the jukebox, or played live if possible. Probably some historical cocktails from the period such as can be found. Upstairs would have the "secret" brewery, with tours and classes and such. A number of such places exist, although not quite this exact setup.

Up next is the Adventure Tavern. It's themed like the tavern that every fantasy tabletop RPG starts in, with big imitation monster heads on the walls, old fashioned weapons of various sorts, and so on. TVs would be disguised as everything from magic mirrors to scry spells floating in flames. Food is sports bar fare, simple and hearty, with a rotating menu featuring foreign cuisine from "edible loot". Hawiian, Thai, African, Jamaican, the theme is food, spices, and recipes brought in by adventurers and merchants from distant locales. If there's a jukebox, it's disguised as a crazy gnomish contraption or similar. Special events include Tale Tellin', wherein you share the tales of your adventures, either solo or as a group, in a similar thing to karaoke. Gaming would of course be encouraged. 
This bottle opener tetsubo is actually the jumping off point for the Adventurer's Tavern, from trying to figure out what bar decor would make that fit in.

Finally, there's the Cyberpunk themed bar. Hidden back in a basement somewhere, lots of cables on the ceiling, glowing neon all over the place. Prices might be listed in the 'currency of the future', such as Nuyen (used by the shadowrun universe and largely equivalent to dollars), or they may just be regular. I think everything in the place will be controlled via phone/tablet apps (Hacking's always a big thing in cyberpunk). Possibly one of those food conveyors, some secret back rooms for gaming for "runners". Food, I'm not sure. Possibly a super robust vegetarian menu since most cyberpunk stuff assumed in the dystopian future, everything would be soy based? The decoration is easy, figuring out extra things for it is hard because it's so close and yet so far from where we are today. Probably gaming tournaments and such?

If you've got thoughts to expand on it, or your own zany bar/restaurant you want to discuss/flesh out, comment away! I might doodle up some concept art for more realistic things for what I'd try to build.

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