On April 15, 2008 we closed on a 1955 Mid-Century Modern home in Merriam, KS that was custom designed by the late Donald R. Hollis of Hollis + Miller Architects. We will be sharing our journey as we update the house to make it our own, while trying to stay as close to the original design as possible.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Black Dog Bar (in Theory)

Over 7 years ago, LD bought a wooden sign that adverstised "Black Dog Bar and Guide Service". Two of our dogs are black labs, and one of Morgan's nicknames is "Black Dog". She is the type of dog that would be quite happy just hanging out, so LD loved the idea of setting up a bar and calling it "Black Dog Bar". The funny thing is that LD doesn't even drink! That did not deter her, however, and she began her obsession with finding black dog bar memorabilia.

A search on ebay led her to discover Spanish Peaks Brewery. Spanish Peaks Brewery (at that time in Bozeman, Montana) had incorporated the owner's black lab, Chugwater Charlie, into their labels. She fell in love instantly, and started buying specific items from Spanish Peaks Brewery. The only problem was that the brewery had gone out of business and their merchandise was only available through on-line auctions. It was fun to sit on the sidelines and watch collectors become involved in some heavy bidding wars!

Spanish Peaks Black Dog Ale Label

Over the years, LD bought several beer taps, glasses, coasters, a banner, and several tins. Her Holy Grail, however, was a neon sign. The first time she came across one, it sold for over $500.oo which was way too much for somebody on a graduate student salary. It would be at least 5 years before another one emerged on ebay. The seller, however, was in California and would not ship. LD decided to ask my sister if she would be willing to pick it up for her, and hold onto it until we could drive to California to pick it up. My sister was gracious enough to go pick it up, and hold on to it. That sign completed her collection, but we did not have the space in our previous house for a bar!

When we walked into this house, LD knew that the"mid-level" room was going to be the future home of her Black Dog Bar. The previous owner used it as a dining room, but we are not really dining room people.

Since we bought the house, LD has had a difficult time trying to figure out what the bar should look like. She wants it to match the style and spirit of the house-Organic. But all the bars she has seen so far are too traditional and visually "heavy". So she figured she was going to have to design it herself.

Well, LD finally figured out one of the main components of the bar, which would match the interior of the house perfectly. She found some resin/acrylic plant panels to use for the base of the bar with a soft backlight. This would work extremely well, especially since LD worked with native warm-season grass.

At this point in time, everything is theoretical. She showed me some photos (see below) of what it could look like, and the idea is quite stunning if she can pull it off. Time will tell.

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