Lansing’s historic Kewpee Burger is turning 100 this year and to celebrate their centennial anniversary they decided to do a complete overhaul of their storefront. With the restaurant established in 1923 the Weston Family was looking for a classic 1920’s art deco look.
The design process was extensive with multiple custom elements going into this project. The building had recently received a fresh coat of black brick dye and so copper and matte black colors were chosen for maximum visual appeal. Window awnings were created out of two layers of aluminum and matching colors. A sign above the front door featuring the family name and year established was constructed in a similar fashion. A custom plaque was also created highlighting this historic place of business.
The Kewpee doll has been a downtown icon for decades, but after 70+ years of Michigan weather was in rough shape and wasn’t suitable for refurbishment, so a new one was designed and constructed. To achieve that classic 1940’s look we reached out to local artist Ben Corr to delicately hand paint the laser cut aluminum. A crown style medallion was installed behind the doll that was made out of press broke powder coated aluminum.
The largest part of this project was the layered awning and standoff sign. The awning features five rectangular frames made out of 2″ square aluminum tubing and stretches a total of 15 feet. These frames are supported by custom mounting brackets that were designed and cut in house on our Torchmate plasma table. The standoff letters were cut out of stainless steel sheet and mounted to galvannealed backers.
The restaurant isn’t the only business that occupies this lot in South Washington Square, sitting above it is Firefly Hot Yoga Barre. We created an illuminated sign for this popular yoga studio that matches the theme of the new building facade. This sign features laser cut panels riveted onto an aluminum frame with polycarbonate sheets and internal LEDs that light up the block after dark.
From start to finish this project took months to complete but everyone involved couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out! The owners have been flooded with compliments on the updated look, rumor has it that local legend Magic Johnson was so impressed that he stated Kewpee Burger now has the best looking building in Downtown Lansing.
Big thank you to Toby, Autumn, Abbey, and the rest of the Weston Family for allowing Michigan Imagery to take part in this spectacular project!