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!!
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”: