The Rustic Steak House

Sometimes, the main feature of the flavor of food is in its presentation. This can certainly be the case with steak. Fine, hoity-toity restaurants may have excellent steaks, but there is nothing like a rustic steak house to bring the whole atmosphere into line with the great flavor of a charcoal grilled steak. What exactly sets the mood and atmosphere for great steaks? Most restaurant designers say it is all in the design and construction materials. Cedar wood cladding, for instance, often figures largely into the materials that lend a rustic feel to a restaurant. Other finishes include solid table tops rather than tables covered with cloths. Ephemera will often decorate the walls – everything from fishing gear to license plates from autos set the mood, inviting the diner to slow down and enjoy the details.


In the United Kingdom, there are a number of excellent rustic steak houses where you can get a good steak and great ambience. Usually, these places are designed with cedar cladding lining the walls. It is often used in vertical strips around the perimeter of the dining area. This type of cladding is aromatic with cedar being one of the most welcoming scents retaining its qualities for years. Cedar is also good for repelling insects, so that is a good benefit for a dining establishment.

Sometimes, the cladding is installed horizontally along the walls. This causes a great visual effect by making the walls appear longer. The technique is often used in booths, to make the dining space seem larger.

Partitions are also constructed with cedar wood cladding. The additional wall space helps to funnel customers to dining areas and exits while affording even more display space for ephemera.

Wood cladding is usually rough in texture. This can be problematic in areas where people are likely to come into contact with the wood. This is why it’s important to select high quality products for use around traffic areas and in booths. Up higher, toward the ceilings, high quality timber is not as crucial, since no skin will come into contact with the surfaces.

Cedar cladding, especially when used indoors, is wonderfully low maintenance. When it is installed, it may be sealed with a penetrating oil, but usually this is not necessary. Indoors, the timber will not be exposed to the rays of the sun which can fade them, nor will they receive weather damage from excessive rain or strong winds. Since this hardy wood is not exposed to such extreme abuse, it can last a long time indoors, serving purposes for as long as you want it to.

The more cladding is abused, the better it looks. Drive nails into it to hang items, then pull the nails out when you redecorate, and you’ll find that the holes left behind simply add to the character of the wood. Shiny places where people brush against the wood help to establish the sense of rustic atmosphere. All of this can improve the dining experience.

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