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Bring Your Own Hammer: Maker Bars and Restaurants

Bring Your Own Hammer: Maker Bars and Restaurants

Bring Your Own Hammer: Maker Bars and Restaurants

Have you ever wanted to sit down, pour a glass of wine, and just create? If the Maker Movement has taught us anything, it’s that you’re not alone. Luckily, many businesses have carved out a place to call home in this niche. In fact, some restaurants and bars have implemented a new menu which can help you get creative while you enjoy a beer or a cup of coffee. Oh and don’t worry, it’s not actually BYOH (bring your own hammer).

The recipe is the same: sit down, order a drink, and start a craft. Ranging from small plant pots and concrete coasters to nail and string art to longer projects of wrapped bracelets and succulent terrarium gardens, the options are endless and the only skill you need is the desire to learn. These craft opportunities tend to run anywhere from $20 up to $50, depending on how much time it will take and supplies you’ll need to make it. Oh and as a bonus? That first drink is also usually included.

DIY Bar, Portland, Oregon

Places like DIY Bar in Portland, Oregon hand over a single menu as you enter the bar, but on this menu, you’re expected to make two selections: what beer you would like to drink and what project you would like to make. With “Craft-Tenders,” who work as bartenders as well as craft coaches, the bar has everything in place to make sure you’re able to complete your project while double-checking your glass isn’t empty. The walls of the establishment are painted white but covered from ceiling to floor with different colors of paint, string, and wood stains, making their location a true Maker paradise.

Tiffany Prochaska-Nemr (right) shows off her creation during one of many craft nights at Mr. Zub’s Deli in Akron, Ohio

In the Highland Square neighborhood of Akron, Ohio lives Mr. Zub’s Deli, a restaurant and bar where you can disappear for a few hours and just create. Creating an atmosphere that is truly a one-of-a-kind restaurant experience, they’ve integrated wildly popular craft nights. Tiffany Prochaska-Nemr, one of the owners of Mr. Zub’s, explained her thought behind opening their space to DIY activities: “We wanted to create an environment that could engage a person on multiple platforms; we invite you to hang out, be creative and have dinner or a drink.” Their most popular events feature DIY shot-skis, succulent pots, as well as flower arranging workshops and creating small house planters. The cost of events like these will typically run you $15-32, which pays for supplies for the event.  The restaurant also teams up with local companies for their DIY nights, giving neighborhood businesses a chance to network and sending guests home with free merchandise.


In many other cities that don’t have specific restaurants designated for making, another solution has gained popularity. Organizations like PopCraft out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania cater to bringing crafts to you. Though PopCraft tends to relocate from place to place to conduct their crafting time, they can be booked at certain locations consistently and their online sign-ups go up to a month in advance. PopCraft offers many of the same crafts that other maker bars and coffee shops offer, however, they also offer many take-home projects so that crafting can continue later. They come to each location with all of the necessary supplies in order to make sure everyone can make their project…and we’re not just talking about fabric or nails, either: they even bring tools like hammers, leather shears, and more.

Thankfully, Maker Workshops aren’t the only places where people have the opportunity to create. Bringing making into local bars and coffee shops–places everyone already feels comfortable in– can make a huge difference in creating a maker community that is welcoming and communal. For those who don’t tinker on a daily basis, it provides a creative outlet to relieve stress and make new friends. And with the maker movement gaining more and more popularity, we’re sure this is only the beginning.