Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Artificial fireplace in coffeehouse

When Caribou Coffee opened a coffee shop right next to my workplace, I was thrilled. It is the perfect place to take my work break. The decor is pseudo-rustic, supposedly to evoke the woods of Minnesota where Caribou Coffee originated. There is an irregular brick wall and in the wall is a fireplace. There is no fire there, which would be hard to maintain and most likely unsafe. But there was, at the beginning, a simulated fire in the fireplace that was so realistic that I thought at first that it was giving off heat. There were glowing logs that changed intensity, just like real ones. And there were flames, flickering above the logs. Only when I stared for minutes at these "flames" did I realize that their pattern repeated every ten seconds or so, as it was on some sort of projection loop. They were still realistic to the casual onlooker. During the summer, the simulated flame stopped working and only the glowing logs are left now. I am told that Caribou will be replaced by a "Peet's" coffee shop next year and the new owners will probably re-do all the decor including the artificial fireplace. 

I drew this on my work break. The artificial fireplace has an irregularly shaped concrete slab in front of it where people can put their coffee and stuff. There are comfy chairs and a round coffee table, as seen in the foreground. The customers are the usual upscale urbanites with their computers and iPads and iPhones. Note the stylized caribou head silhouette in artificial wood above the fireplace. Simulations in a coffee context don't bother me. I hope Peet's does something attractive with the decor.

Pitt black technical pen on sketchbook page, about 4" x 5", 20 minutes work time, November 11, 2013.

1 comment:

MKS said...

I'm in Minnesota. Our Caribou's have real fires. :-)