The District is a restaurant specializing in contemporary American cuisine. Its owners conceived The District as a venue that proudly supports local agriculture and sustainable, local fishing practices. It only made sense to include as one of its focal points a concrete countertop made from local natural resources to complement its overall ambiance.
For this renovation project, at an existing site that had previously housed a restaurant, Michael Littlefield was given free rein. The client agreed to his recommendations to polish the existing floors and color them with a penetrating walnut dye. For the bar top, Littlefield used an integral sand-colored pigment on a 4-inch-thick, 30-linear-foot bar. He used the same grinding and polishing technique for this job as he did on When Pigs Fly.
“Redoing the floors and bar top totally changed the look of the place,” Littlefield says, “and really makes it what it is.”
As a special touch, Littlefield included four little wells along the edge of the bar to hold mirrors and floating candles. The client has since found multiple uses for them, using a variety of décor to fill them based on seasonal themes or special events.
Project at a Glance
Client: The District, a Portsmouth, N.H., restaurant
Contractor: Custom Concrete Design Inc., North Berwick, Maine
Scope of project: Renovate an old restaurant by dyeing and polishing the existing floors and building a seamless cast-in-place 30-linear-foot bar top with four built-in circular recesses to hold floating candles
Materials Used: Local ready-mix concrete with 3/8-inch aggregate; L. M. Scofield Co. integral-coloring dye in a sand color