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Kevin Ahern

By: Kevin Ahern on December 28th, 2023

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Creative ideas for restaurant renovations in Connecticut to enhance the dining experience

Commercial | Commercial Remodeling

Heavy use of a restaurant space can quickly lead furnishings and fixtures to show wear and tear. Restaurants need regular updates in order to maintain their beauty and value. Upgrading your Connecticut restaurant on a regular basis can keep customers coming back for more. 

Before beginning a project, it's important to have a goal. Below are some inspiring ideas to help you plan your next restaurant renovation in Connecticut. Following restaurant trends can help you decide what's worthwhile and what's not. Once you have a goal and know what you want to do with your restaurant, it's important to find the right contractor for the job. Finding the right contractor is one of the most important things you can do to make your CT restaurant renovation a success. 

Upgrade the Bar Area

The bar area is a fun place to be if it's comfortable and attractive. Watch for signs that your bar area needs an update. Broken seats, scratches on the bar and fixtures in need of regular repairs are all signs that it may be time to renovate. 

Update the lighting. Bar lighting draws attention to the beautiful glasses and drink options. Lighting helps set an ambiance that keep customers happy. Consider colored lighting to strike a mood. If your bar doesn't have cabinet lighting, now may be the time to install. 

Install new seating. Look for bar stools made from unusual materials or sporting interesting textures. Not all your bar stools need to match. Varying stools can give your bar an eclectic appeal, but be sure to choose models that coordinate with each other as well as the decor. 

Create a Unique Focal Point

Creating a focal point gives customers something to look at and think about during pauses in conversation. Focal points can take many forms, from textured walls to striking pieces of art. Here are just a few suggestions. 

Install unusual flooring. Look for flooring material that makes a statement with it unusual coloring or tile formation. 

Create an accent wall. Unusual wallpaper, a striking paint color, a mural or a painted pattern - all of these things can be used to create an accent wall. Pick the location for your accent wall carefully to coordinate with your restaurant decor and to give the most customers a chance to enjoy it. 

Install an unusual light fixture. Light fixtures are like art. Installing an unusual light fixture in a strategic location, such as over the main dining room or in the doorway of your restaurant, can give your customers something to look at in wonder.  

Draw eyes upward to the ceiling. Install tin ceiling tiles to add texture and beauty to the ceiling in your restaurant. This is welcome addition to restaurants with an old-fashioned aesthetic, but even modern restaurants can benefit from this funky building material. 

Expand to Outdoor Dining

Outdoor dining has been particularly trendy since the COVID-19 pandemic, but even now, outdoor dining has its appeal. Outdoor spaces have casual beauty that draw customers, and expanding to outdoor spaces gives your restaurant the ability to accept more customers at times of year when outdoor dining is possible. Think your restaurant doesn't have space for outdoor dining? Think again! There are many ways to create outdoor eating spaces.

Create a patio. Have a contractor install a deck or patio, either in back of or to the side of your building. If possible, keep the deck or patio away from loud spaces like noisy streets, to ensure the best dining experience possible. 

Dine on the roof. Work with a contractor to reinforce your roof and add appropriate guardrails to create a rooftop dining experience that your customers will love. 

Dine on the sidewalk. Sidewalk dining has become immensely popular since the pandemic. Work with your city or town to ensure that sidewalk dining is allowed, and that your restaurant follows the ordinances regarding sidewalk dining. 

Give Your Outdoor Dining a Face Lift

Maybe your restaurant already has outdoor dining, but it's been a while since you addressed cosmetic and functional problems with your outdoor dining space. These suggestions for upgrades can help you get the most out of your outdoor dining area. 

Cover the space. Install a retractable awning or cover that can provide shade and shelter from rain, snow and other types of precipitation. Install café lights to use at night. 

Install a fire pit. Install a fire pit that will generate heat and add visual interest to your outdoor dining area. Work with a contractor to ensure that the fire pit is installed safely and according to local building codes. 

Install an outdoor bar area. Ramp up the fun with an outdoor bar area where customers can sit, talk and enjoy drinks. Consider installing outdoor televisions to give customers something to look at as they sit back and relax.  

Heat the space. Connecticut can get cold outside in fall, winter and spring. You can extend your outdoor seating season by using outdoor heaters. Your contractor can install permanent heaters on the overhang or walls of your building, or you can purchase moveable heaters for more flexibility.

Invest in Your Business

Ready to get started with a restaurant renovation? Litchfield Builders has published many online resources to help you choose the right contractor and plan a successful improvement project. Download our free guide to hiring a contractor, or check out our other resources in our online library. If you have questions, you can also contact us to discuss your upcoming CT restaurant remodel

How to Choose a Professional Home Remodeling Contractor


About Kevin Ahern

Kevin is the Co-Founder of Litchfield Builders, an award-winning, industry leader with a reputation for managing projects others shy away from. They are known for their high-quality work, customer service, and reliability and though still relatively small in size, Litchfield Builders now competes with some of the areas largest firms in both the residential and commercial arenas.