Sam's Sports Grill reigns supreme as the best sports bar in the Nashville area for the last 12 years! Their food is made fresh daily and all of their televisions and audio systems are high-definition and state of the art so ever restaurant patron has the best seat in the house. Basically they're good restaurants where people like to spend an evening or watch a game.
There are six Sam's locations in Tennessee including Sam's At The Cove located in Old Hickory, Tennessee right on the Cumberland River. It's actually located right on a marina so part of the restaurant extends out onto the river. They have a great deck that extends onto the water that, although it is covered by a roof, is mostly open air. Right smack dab in the center of the room is the restaurant's giant cooler. The owners thought is was a bit of an eyesore so they wanted to either find a way to disguise it from diners or turn it into a really cool focal point of the restaurant. This led them to the idea of making it look like a freshwater aquarium with a vinyl wrap to match the on-the-water vibe of their location.
They came to us because their fellow restaurateurs at Amerigo's had worked with us before and recommended us to them. And we're grateful that they did! Sam's provided us with photographs of an aquarium one of the owners had taken. One of our designers, Chuck, photoshopped all of the little imperfections, like glare off the aquarium's glass, out of the images. He then asked one of his fisherman friends what sort of fish you can actually catch here in Tennessee to keep the types of fish on the cooler authentic to the area—bass, bluegill, etc. He then searched for those specific fish breeds on various image sites and added them to the underwater scenario.
Because the cooler is semi-outdoors, it will be exposed to a lot of moisture and some sunlight during specific times of the day. We chose to use 3M IJ35 vinyl with an Oraguard Gloss laminate to help protect the wrap from the elements. IJ35 is a permanent adhesion vinyl that can handle a fair amount of moisture, and the Oraguard laminate is a type of UV laminate that helps protect the wrap from sun damage.
After printing and allowing the laminate to cure a little bit, Chuck and one of our installers, Ian, headed out to Old Hickory to install the mural. They both said that the installation went really smoothly! Ian said that because we printed such high-definition images it was easy to make the whole thing look good. Even though it was a smooth install, Ian says that it's generally easier to wrap a car with its curves than it was to wrap this totally even-surfaced cooler. Why? The cooler's surface was slightly textured so getting a seamless, smooth finish was slightly more challenging. They were able to do it in a snap, though!
To get full coverage of the cooler, Chuck and Ian had to remove a lot of the cooler's hardware before applying the vinyl. This meant everything they could take off, came off: door hinges, locking systems, thermometers, switch plate covers, etc. After applying the vinyl, everything had to be refastened on again!
The end result looks great and the restaurant owners are happy with the way it turned out! Hopefully the groups of people headed to Sam's At The Cove to watch World Cup soccer games love it as much as we do!
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