Phoenix Int'l Raceway gets a race-themed bar and grill.
Over the last few years, Phoenix, Arizona-based Detail Design & Fabrication (DD&F) produced graphic and signage updates for the Phoenix International Raceway in nearby Avondale, to give the facility a more contemporary look. DD&F’s comprehensive "sign plan" for the raceway took into account venue layout, the position of entry ways, and even race-day traffic.
The raceway was so pleased with DD&F’s work that, in late 2008, it chose DD&F when it decided to add the Speed Cantina, a sports bar and grill located outside of Turn 2 of the raceway. A race fan’s dream eatery, sponsored by cable TV’s Speed Channel, the new Speed Cantina would feature 3300 square feet of indoor space decked out with race murals and equipped with 14 HD flat-screen televisions (as well as a 7000-square-foot patio) so that race fanatics making a pit stop wouldn’t miss a minute of the high-speed action.
Readying for the race
The DD&F team designed, fabricated, and installed most of the Cantina environment, although the logo and the wall murals were designed by John Kenney of Applied Creative of Scottsdale, Arizona. Typically, DD&F handles all aspects of a project, but out-of-house design was necessary in this case, because not only did DD&F print the Cantina graphics, but the company also constructed the outdoor sign (steel constructed with LED-lit and digitally printed Panaflex) and built the interior tables and counters.
Once downloaded, Kenney’s files were output by DD&F onto 3M 180 Controltac vinyl using a Seiko ColorPainter 64S printer and Seiko inks. The wall murals, table top covers, menus, interior signs, carbon-fiber print for the lower portion of the bars, and the large round faces on the two exterior signs were printed at DD&F’s headquarters. Total print time for 1600 square feet of material was approximately seven hours.
DD&F then used a Seal 62 Pro laminator to finish all materials with 3M 8520 Scotchcal matte overlaminate in six hours. Logos were cut with a 4 x 8-foot EZ Router CNC machine and mounted on 1/4-inch black Sintra board. The bar’s large printed menus were mounted onto 36 x 48-inch aluminum Dibond composite sheets.
Wall mural installation was handled out-of-house and took 1.5 days. "The walls were in bad shape. We had to do some basic drywall repair and then add fresh paint. We also added a black rubber baseboard after the mural was complete," reports Shad Bruce, owner and creative director of DD&F.
Crafting a place to hang out
The project was completed last autumn over a two-week period-just in time for the NASCAR Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500.
"We were thrilled PIR choose to work with us again for this project," says Bruce. "This new themed environment adds even more character and appeal to the raceway atmosphere. This is a place where fans can hang out before, during, and after the race."
DD&F specialties include sign-age, interactive exhibits, kiosks, trade show booths, and all aspects of 3-D components for interior or exterior environments, such as retail centers, sales offices, and sports facilities. Some of the shop’s clients include Pulte Homes, Westcor, and Children’s Museum of Phoenix, as well as Chase Field, home to Major League Baseball’s Arizona Diamondbacks (DD&F is the team’s official sign and graphic partner).
In July of last year, the company moved from Tempe into its present Phoenix location, a space three times larger. The new studio comprises more than 9000 square feet, including 6000 square feet for production. DD&F celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2008.
Detail Design & Fabrication