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Aug 08 2009

Cracker Barrel Shocker!!!

There are almost 600 Cracker Barrel restaurants in the United States and I’ve been to most of them.  Well…not most, but a bunch.  The kids like the food and there’s a lot of miscellaneous stuff on the walls that we can use to play, “Who can find the _______?”  When you drop a whole cup of milk on the floor (like this morning) they don’t bat an eye.  At least you always know what to expect…every Cracker Barrel has basically the same menu, the same “country store” selling stuff my kids can’t live without, the same rocking chairs and checker boards on the porch, and the same entrance doors.

When we went to Cracker Barrel about 700 miles ago, I told Chip that he shouldn’t bother coveting a position on the entrance doors, because those doors ALWAYS have Von Duprin 88’s with a mullion, and the Quiet Doorman panic bar retainer.  They’re always wood doors and the hardware finish is always US4 (satin brass).  Until today.

We stopped at Cracker Barrel for breakfast and there was an audible gasp when I opened the door.  I think my husband thought one of the kids was vandalizing a parked car again, but it was so much worse!  Another manufacturer’s exit devices and a different manufacturer’s closers, installed on faux wood doors!!  What is this world coming to??  Is this a disturbing trend, or a freak accident resulting from uncontrolled value engineering?!

The way it should be…



The Earth has spun off its axis!!

cb-panic cb-closer


On a more positive note, during a visit to a science museum this morning, I saw an application that I’ve been trying to get architects interested in for years – closers painted to match the doors.  The closers at the museum had obviously been painted on-site which isn’t recommended because the paint doesn’t stick to the powder coating very well, but LCN offers closers in almost 200 different colors for a reasonable upcharge.  It’s a great alternative to concealed closers, or plated closers which are very expensive and do not withstand corrosion as well as powder coated closers.  LCN also offers a bright metallic powder coat finish which looks a lot like satin chrome plating for a fraction of the cost.

Look how well they “blend”:

img_1778 img_1793 img_1779

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7 Responses to “Cracker Barrel Shocker!!!”

    • Lori says:

      Yes! Thank you Johnny. I didn’t want to ask you again for the name of the dohickey since I’ve already asked you at least twice.

      – Lori

  1. Bob Caron says:

    The painted closers – yes, they blend but my first impression is that the painter was too lazy to cut around it. I prefer matching hardware.

  2. Debbie White says:

    Why stop at closers, the exits probably could have used a coat, but then that may effect actually seeing the device on the door, after all if it all matches, it could be missed altogether. Is that allowed Lori,can exits be painted? I have yet to see any. Have a safe drive with Chip the adorable kids and your hubby. Your hubby is with you right, I haven’t heard anything about him yet, lol. Be safe.

    • Lori says:

      Hi Debbie –

      It’s a judgement call whether the devices can be painted. I had a post about Inpact devices powder coated the same as the doors (…I’ve seen this application quite a few times and I’ve never had a code official who had an issue with it. It’s not much different from a dark bronze panic on a dark bronze storefront door. Egress doors and operating hardware have to be visible, but it depends on the code official’s definition of “visible.” Doors painted with murals or painted to look like the adjacent wall are not acceptable if they are egress doors.

      – Lori

  3. Jess says:

    Lori, about the old hardware for cracker barral, I HATE WHEN places do this as well, most recent of that (i think i have told you already) was a bank i go to, they USED to have was Masonite door (9 pane window) LCN 4010 with EDA arm monarch push bar, so back in march i go to the bank and what do i see,

    now: new Masonite door (same model and design, monarch push bar (newer model, not sure of series) and RYOBI (not sure of the series, but looks alot like something used on 7-11’s) I mean I hate when they “upgrade” to something that just plain looks cheaper!! I see a point in it if there was something majorly wrong with door or closer (I think theres a reason why some pro’s say they are the “Last Closer Needed”, makes alot of sense here)

    another case of the “cracker barral shocker” high school i went to from 1998-2002, first 2 years, was all great, custodians took care of things, knew their hardware, all LCN or 7700 norton series closers (all on push side) then beginning of 11th came around (sept 6th 2000) i get off my bus and open the door, i notice it felt weak (easier to pull as if i just opened a screen door on a house) i then look up thought i was dreaming i seen was a dorma 7900 series (now 8900 series) “heavy duty”

    superintendant of schools and building principal had the guts to ask me “how do you like them” I said “ok am I dreaming or did you just remove something perfectly fine for this…….whatever it is it looks like a child’s toy of a closer?” where’s those LCN’s that were here last year!”

    long story short (sorry I know a long post from me)

    3 or 4 years later they realized what I was talking about (quality of hardware)and went back with LCN when doors were replaced with new ones 2 years ago.

    now I just hope the local animal hospital is not next place for same thing (hardware “upgrade”), that would really bring me to boil with voicing my opinion on what they did. (how can you resist seeing a 1932 corbin traditional door closer…)

    speaking of LCN, nice shade of blue on the blue left hand swing door!

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