Connect with us

Mark Kissling

Crab Wrap Becomes a Selfie Sensation for Seafood Restaurant

A northeastern crab house pays $4,367 for nearly priceless publicity.

mm

Published

on

The design features a large Maryland Blue Crab and the company’s logo over an ocean landscape on each side.

The design features a large Maryland Blue Crab and the company’s logo over an ocean landscape on each side.

JOAQUÍN ANDÚJAR, AN MLB pitcher in the ’70s and ’80s from the Dominican Republic, once said that you can sum up life in one word: “Youneverknow.”

That “one word” came to mind when I learned about a restaurant generator-turned landmark in Annapolis, MD. Cantler’s Riverside Inn, a crab house highlighting Maryland-style seafood specialties in an old-school environment, is owned by its local founders, Jimmy and Linda Cantler. A five-generation family in the seafood industry — including Jimmy originally working as a waterman on Chesapeake Bay — the couple opened Cantler’s Riverside Inn in 1974.

Over the last 10 years, the Inn’s famous crab generator became a landmark for the area, a secondary sign for the business and a favorite backdrop for visitors. But time takes its toll, and a decade of harsh, coastal Mid-Atlantic weather and sun caused the wrap to crack. To preserve this community icon and a key element of the restaurant’s branding, representatives from Cantler’s reached out to AP Corp (Sykesville, MD), whose website had impressed them, for a refreshed design in February 2022.

AP had not done the previous job and while 10 years is pretty long for a wrap to last, this one was a few years overdue, with major cracks from top to bottom — cracks so wide that they could be seen from several yards away, according to the team at AP. Removing the old vinyl by hand was next to impossible. The material was so cracked and dry that we had to bring in a power washer to blast the old material off, they say. The generator then had to be sanded and primed, followed by a 30-day wait for off-gassing. Installing any sooner would have caused the new wrap material to fail.

Meanwhile, the Cantlers didn’t have access to the photo for the original wrap. “Youneverknow.” So, AP’s design team worked directly with the owners to find an alternative that captured the same spirit. Using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, the design for the generator wrap took 2.5 hours, according to the lead designer, including the time needed to create a template and send both proofs.

Advertisement
This simple wrap has “generated” outsized promotion for the Inn, serving as a backdrop for countless visitor selfies.

This simple wrap has “generated” outsized promotion for the Inn, serving as a backdrop for countless visitor selfies.

The shop’s fabrication team printed five panels (120 sq. ft.) of 3M Controltac IJ180Cv3 Graphic Film on their HP Latex 570 Printer, and applied a matte laminate via their SEAL 62 Pro S Laminator. Using RollePro rolling vinyl applicators, squeegees, wrap gloves, a blow torch, heat gun, knife and more, AP’s installation team of two completed the wrap this past May in 3.5 hours. Total price of this job — $4,367 — a small price for Cantler’s Riverside Inn to pay for its publicity value, as visitors to the restaurant have been taking photos on site ever since.

“But we can’t understate the necessity of keeping an eye on your vinyl wraps,” says Randi Lindsay, digital marketing strategist for AP Corp, on behalf of the whole team. “Weather and time can really do a number on the material, and the longer you leave the failed material on the item, the longer and harder replacement will be.”

And the team at AP offers this final takeaway regarding this project: Anything in or around a business is an opportunity to show off its style. “A simple wrap turned a boring old generator into a local landmark,” Lindsay adds.

You never know.

PHOTO GALLERY (3 IMAGES)

Advertisement

Mark Kissling is Signs of the Times’ Editor-in-Chief. Contact him at [email protected].

Advertisement

Subscribe

Facebook

Most Popular