The entrance to a blue building with a white door.

The Landing: Creating an Experience One Door at a Time

How do you design a restaurant as beautiful as the lake shore in Northern Michigan and as welcoming as your favorite local hangout? How can a restaurant stay as fresh and inviting as its incredible food while battling a high-moisture environment and high-volume traffic? The Landing Waterfront Restaurant in Charlevoix, Michigan, shows us how.

Preston Parish, Owner of The Landing, wanted to create a delightful experience for the community with these goals in mind. He accomplished this by making wise product selections, one commercial door at a time, that would enhance the surrounding ambiance of this favored Northern Michigan destination.

Setting Expectations One Commercial Restaurant Door at a Time

Commercial restaurant doors welcome every visitor. They may seem minimal compared to the food and hospitality created by the hosts of this fast-growing establishment. Still, they are the one building component that every visitor will touch.

A restaurant’s main entrance has many functions beyond separating the inside of the building from the outside weather, temperature, and unwanted visitors. The doors in the main entrance should reflect the restaurant’s brand, whether in size, color, texture, or style.

A commercial main entrance door for a “one-off” restaurant, such as The Landing, may be explicitly designed for that location or the owner’s preference. The selection process may change for a chain of restaurants. For example, a chain of restaurants may want to have a recognizable entrance – or signature entrance – so traveling customers will recognize their favorite restaurants in other cities. Nevertheless, the main entrance must be engineered for high performance, be easy to maintain, and need little to no maintenance. It should be as enticing as the beautifully created meals served inside.

Order Up: A Perfect Restaurant Door Solution

The Landing is home to painted white Monumental Aluminum Stile and Rail Doors manufactured by Special-Lite. These commercial doors feature an inviting, open design that is lightweight, secure, and long-lasting.

Many restaurants have side entrances to perform as exit-only doors. Still, some also serve as access doors to attractive outdoor eating areas. These doors may match the main entrance or have a coordinating design. Although these side openings may not see the foot traffic the main entrance does, they must also function smoothly, be clean, and require little to no maintenance. Staff often need to open these doors hands-free and deliver food and beverages. Seeing what is on the other side of the door is an important safety feature, and a well-placed vision lite can help solve this.

On the lakeside, the owner of The Landing chose to match the front entrance with a painted white Aluminum Stile and Rail door and Mid-Rail option. The painted aluminum surface is easy to clean and offers protection from corrosion in an environment known for moisture.

Located at the back of the building is a restaurant’s service entrance. It is the utility door used for food delivery, equipment, and as an employee entrance. Even though this opening lacks foot traffic from guests, the action it does receive can be abusive. From the rigors of deliveries on handcarts to offering a secure door to keep unwanted visitors out – this commercial restaurant door also needs to be strong, resistant to dents and scratches, require low maintenance, and be easy to clean. This work-horse door must also match the building’s design and is preferably available in extra wide sizes.

An SL-19 Wood Grain FRP Aluminum Door in an Oak Stain Finish.

Customization is Always on the Menu

The restaurant’s owner chose a Wood Grain FRP Hybrid Door for the natural/stained wood look. It has all the advantages of a real wood door but without all of the drawbacks. The owner asked Special-Lite to ‘plank’ the corrosion-resistant FRP bathroom door for that beachy feel. Being easy to clean is a feature all architectural products for this crucial room should have. The Landing owner knew this and wanted more coastal charm on the interior of their restaurant.

The durability of commercial FRP doors extended inside the restroom as well. Bathroom Partitions that are peek-proof, easy to clean, and resist graffiti and scratches were installed as well.

Why Choose Special-Lite

Some may feel that commercial doors are no match for a delicious lobster roll, citrus-cured salmon, or the relaxing social experience of this beautiful shoreline. But at The Landing, even the doors help build a brand and experience Parish sought to create.

“We knew that the location, being near the water with the humidity, could be corrosive and harsh on the building products we used. We also believed the level of activity we generated would place a significant demand on the architecture and facility. These reasons are exactly why we chose Special-Lite for our building entrances and other framing and partitioning solutions,” Parish explained.

The building, the setting, the food, and the friendliness consistently draw loyal patrons, friends, and tourists to this gem located on Lake Charlevoix near the Lake Michigan shoreline. They all enter this experience through a well-thought-out and professionally manufactured Special-Lite commercial door.

Where To Go For More

If you are looking to recreate this highly-rated experience in your restaurant, cafe, or other food business, reach out to your local Special-Lite Rep. They are ready to help you solve your commercial door problems. Need it fast? Check out our Expedited Order Program as an additional option.

Two Wood Grain doors painted white standing side by side underneath a rood overhang surrounded by bright blue siding.
SL-19 Wood Grain FRP Hybrid Doors painted white.