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Online Exclusive - TAP at MGM Grand Detroit

Sep 21, 2013

TAP, at MGM Grand Detroit, is where local sport fans become acquainted with the city’s industrial past. “It’s not only a great local bar, but it’s a Detroit bar that nods to its local heritage while aspiring to create a new history of its own,” says designer Amelie Hicks of Costa Mesa, California-based Richard McCormack Design, which collaborated with local architecture firm Hamilton Anderson Associates on the design.


Visible from the casino floor, the entryway’s steel windows, reclaimed wood walls, and polished concrete floors recall the industrial boom. “For a striking and playful entry,” Hicks adorned a wall with 75 multicolored, hand-distressed wood and metal beer taps illuminated by barn lights and Edison bulbs that add warmth and reinforce the old world theme.


In the bar and dining area, lights made from steel, rope, seeded glass, and pulleys enhance the aged aesthetic. “Our goal was to create the experience of visiting a decades-old neighborhood bar,” explains Hicks. Classically styled booths and mismatched wood chairs further this concept.


Made of reclaimed wine barrel wood, tabletops that retain their original wine logos and naturally occurring marks were finished with the TAP brand. “We used three different styles of chairs for an eclectic feel and to give the impression that the space had evolved over time,” says Hicks. Blackened steel plaques at each booth base depict a year that was significant to Detroit’s sports history.


Situated alongside the booths, a memorabilia display exhibits distressed sports trophies and plaques. “I was happy with the outcome of the memorabilia wall,” comments Hicks. “It provides a showcase for many of the prized items.” A metal lattice offsets the concrete wall, while wooden shelves hold both framed and three-dimensional memorabilia—all relating to Detroit and Michigan sports and often sourced from local sports collectors and archives. Atlanta based-hospitality art firm DAC Hospitality filled in open spaces with historic images.


Inspired by turn-of-the-century sports locker rooms and old world bottles, the bar walls are finished with reclaimed wood wainscot and faux distressed concrete. “The heart of TAP is the bar,” says Hicks. “[It’s] a sports bar that looks and feels as if it has been there for decades—an authentic, comfortable destination for sports fans to watch a game and a place for local athletes celebrate after an event.” The concrete bar top complements a front tie made of aged wood locker faces, complete with locks and tags. Above the bar, the canopy uses applied ceiling tiles for a rustic effect while the back bar boasts an angle iron construction and wood shelves.


“I feel the overall success of the space was created through the durable and timeless materials inspired by Detroit’s industrial age, and the layering of finishes and memorabilia to show how the bar may have evolved over time,” says Hicks. “Together, this provides a casual, comfortable, and authentic experience for the guest.”


hdtalks: the interviews

During HD Expo 2014, Hospitality Design’s Michael Adams sat down with HBA’s Michael Bedner to talk about his half-century in the hospitality design industry. View the video.



Produced by: Emerald Expositions
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