[Photo courtesy of Brian Canlis]
"We're putting in a new drive-thru window with car wash," Brian Canlis replied when Eater asked what the hell was going on in the restaurant's parking lot. In reality, the family is putting up a new sign. And it's huuuuge. "We don't do anything half-ass."
Why a new sign?
Every night, people drive by our restaurant and get really frustrated. Once they built the apartment building next door, you could no longer see our sign on the corner. So suddenly, people were getting upset because they couldn't find our restaurant.
This will be the third sign for Canlis in 60 years. The most recent one (photo after the jump) was erected in 1996. The original one hangs on the wall inside the restaurant. And that big wood structure you can see from Highway 99? It's just a temporary shelter for the workers. No car wash included.
In addition to the mega-sign, there is landscaping being done along the perimeter of the property. Says Brian, "When the whole thing gets done, it's going to be gorgeous: trees, lights...the sign itself is gorgeous." The sign will be a 7' x 50' slab of black aggregate that will be part of a 170-foot board form concrete wall. As it turns out, the contractor is also the same artist who designed the Canlis salad carts, door handles, macaron boxes, and other pretty things.
He had to develop a technique to pull this sign off. For us normal people, it will look like a shiny black wall. For concrete nerds, it'll be extraordinary.
This technique he had to invent requires the assembly of 1,000 little screws on these little threads. Our staff does it. We get a big box of bolts and screws and we all thread after service.
The sign should be ready for its official unveiling first of the year.
"It has a big neon thing that blinks and says 'Eat Here,' which is awesome."