The brewery restroom was initially going to be transformed into a college dorm room. Right Proper Brewing Company's new Brookland production facility and bar (opening Thursday) has a larger than average loo, and co-founder Thor Cheston didn't want all that space to go unused. So, he planned to decorate the unisex bathroom with cheesy posters and bunk beds, complete with porn hidden under the mattress.
His employees were not so enthused. "They were like, 'Please God don't do that,'" Cheston says. "They were just worried about it being disgusting." (People having sex in bar and restaurant restrooms is enough of a problem without a mattress present.)
But Cheston still wanted to create an environment that would give people pause. They'd walk in and see the mirror, sink, and toilet, but as they turned the corner, there'd be some kind of surprise.
Then, another inspiration struck: "What if you're pooping in your grandmother's foyer?"
Now, as patrons turn that corner, they'll see patterned wallpaper, candles, floral stained glass, and most notably, a piano.
Cheston bought the instrument for a few hundred bucks on Craigslist. A buddy who's a professional musician and sound designer tuned it, "so it sounds wonderful."
As for it getting grimy, Cheston isn't too concerned. "If the guest is worried about the cleanliness of the piano, then don't touch the fucking piano," he says. A framed sign reads, "Pianists must wash hands before returning to play."
Of greater concern may be the lines. Who knows how long people take do their business and play "Chopsticks." But Cheston expects it to be self-policing: "Anyone that's in line is going to know what the delay is because they can hear it."
Photo by Tammy Tuck