High Dive Bar
11474 Joseph Campau Ave. Hamtramck, MI
World renowned street artist Shark Toof, known for his larger than life street murals, is opening his first bar in Downtown Hamtramck. Shark Toof, originally from Los Angeles, started painting graffiti in 1985 and after graduating from Art Center College of Design, traveled the world creating artwork for clients such as Ritz Carlton, Samsung, Apple, and Heineken. He most recently participated in Detroits 2017 Murals on the Market.
According to Shark Toof, the Carbon Room had been on his radar for several years. Having fallen in love with the creative community in the area he took this as an opportunity to bring something different yet communal and inclusive to the area. He’s brought a completely new experience for the area that is sure to create a buzz!
As a large-scale street artist, his creativity is not confined to the intricate details of just the furniture, décor or paint color but rather encompasses the entire structure of the establishment. His vision for the windows was quite unique. He reached out for help creating these custom, one of a kind door features and we were thrilled to be a part of the transformation. (For more custom solutions, check out past projects here.)
Fabrication and Installation
Shark Toof discovered an amazing set of old, weathered, industrial windows while at a scrap yard this past summer. After consulting with our team, he entrusted us with giving them a new lease on life. The frames, rusted and holding only shattered remnants of glass panes, were up-cycled into fully functioning full view doors. These doors would open up the inside of the venue to the bustling downtown community area.
During the fabrication process, the frames where reinforced to give back some of the shape they’d lost over the years as well as to provide a stable base for which we could mount the necessary door hardware. Of course, in order to truly bring them back to life again new window panes had to be installed. The reinforcements that were made helped create new casings for the glass to sit where the old ones had rusted away. The rust that had built up on the frames over their time was a huge element in Shark Toof’s vision for these doors and therefore their finish was left in as raw of a state as possible.
Overall, this was quite the renovation. A large aesthetic departure from the glass block features that existed before. The once bright blue-faced Carbon Room has since taken on a more historical look that is “borderline burlesque”.
Before his art career took him on the road, Shark Toof spent quite some time working as an antique shop manager. That experience has molded his taste ever since. This bar, crafted completely around his creative and unique artistry, is covered in eclectic antique elements. Internally, the design and soul of the establishment is reminiscent of an old parlor, taking cues from the Eastlake Movement of the Victorian era.
Much like the new exterior façade, the inside will have a revamped look. Art deco lamps topped with hand blown rose-colored glass shades, one-of-a-kind folk art bar backs as well as marble tabletops from the 1880s will fill the space. Separate “rooms” will be created via the furniture and décor. One of these spaces will be a bit more intimate with vintage couches and a fireplace.
Drawing on his previous experiences managing both the antique shop in LA as well as his art career, Shark Toof has shown that he knows the kind of energy and commitment it takes to get this business off the ground. We are so grateful to be a part of this wonderful endeavor and appreciate the opportunity to contribute to this up and coming hot spot!