Located across the street from Nashville’s legendary Ryman Auditorium, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge became an equally iconic watering hole where fans and country-music celebrities rubbed elbows. According to legend, then-owner Tootsie Bess used a bejeweled hatpin to pierce unruly customers.
Steve Smith, the current Tootsie’s owner, decided to expand its legend to the Florida Gulf Coast, and opened a second Tootsie’s in Panama City Beach. They hired Boardwalk Designs (Panama City Beach) to build three signfaces to identify the property. Each assembly comprises stacked, ¾-in.-thick PVC, which creates a drop-shadow effect, and that’s topped with cut-to-shape, 1.5-in.-thick Corafoam HDU. Boardwalk fashioned the “orchid’s” top layer from routed HDU that’s laminated with 3M 78 polystyrene insulation-foam spray. Its base layer comprises several layers of 2-in.-thick polystyrene foam that was shaped by handheld grinders.
After completion, each orchid element was hardcoated with multiple layers of Styrospray 1000 polyurea hardcoat. For heightened details, Boardwalk sanded the orchid by hand and airbrushed it with acrylic-latex paint.
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