Patio Makeover for a Famous Jail-Turned-Hot-Spot!

In operation from 1851 to 1990, the Charles Street Jail of Boston, Massachusetts, temporarily housed some of the world’s most famous people, from Malcolm X to suffragette protesters. Reformed in 2007 as the Liberty Hotel, a luxury boutique hotel set in the Beacon Hill neighborhood, the old jail has become a hot spot for locals and tourists alike. What was once the jail’s “drunk tank,” where inebriated disturbers-of-the-peace were placed to dry out, is now a chic eatery called the Alibi Bar & Lounge. Earlier this year, the Alibi’s general manager came to us for ideas on revamping their patio. Here’s what happened next.

The Alibi’s patio, pre-makeover. Photo courtesy of Alibi Bar & Lounge.


Their Problem? Noise, No Privacy, and Near-Death Plants

The bar has a sprawling outdoor lounge complete with cushioned couches lined up comfortably along its perimeter. But while this patio area was beautiful, the insistent sounds of traffic from the nearby cross street were clearly noticeable (and annoying) to patrons. And the plants lining the patio, which were meant to serve as café barriers and space dividers, were starting to die, despite efforts to maintain them. These are the issues that brought the Alibi’s manager to Artificial Plants Unlimited.

Our Solution? Adding Ambience, Privacy, and Style

Together, the Alibi’s manager and our expert team came up with the idea of using UV-protected faux boxwood hedges in Modern fiberglass planters to act as chic space dividers, privacy screens, and noise suppressors from the nearby street. Not only would these screens serve as functional design, but they would also perfectly complement the lounge’s contemporary design theme. Adding lights to the hedges and customizing them with cutout “nooks” that could hold menus, event bulletins, and other décor would turn these hedges into multi-functional pieces. And the best part? No more watering or maintenance to keep these green beauties looking alive and well all year long!

Patio after makeover! Photo courtesy of Alibi Bar & Lounge.

Design Solutions for Restaurants, Hotels, Theme Parks, and More!

Over the years, we’ve helped hundreds of clients find a solution that meets their design needs, at times working together with sister brand Planters Unlimited to do so. Here are just a few examples of some past projects where we worked together to help our clients reimagine their spaces in both form and function.

The Pelago Restaurant, Chicago, Illinois

This white-tablecloth Italian restaurant needed a more sophisticated look for their outdoor seating area. We replaced their faded wooden window boxes (which housed equally faded flowers) with mahogany Madera fiberglass planters, which complemented the wrought iron railing they were mounted on with their rich, wood-like look and texture. Populating them with realistic faux plants that look beautiful all season, and voila! The perfect backdrop for a fine dining experience!

Pelagio patio before

Pelagio patio after

Wolfgang Puck’s Jai restaurant, La Jolla, California

Seeking to blend the natural environment into the design of this upscale restaurant’s outdoor seating area, the manager of this urban eatery came to us for answers. The result? The Urban Chic Planer was created. These PVC planters were made out of mildew- and rot-proof PVC to withstand the elements of outdoor dining, and their simple, sleek silhouette finished in white and populated by uber-modern bamboo stalks.


Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego, California

An historic hotel’s outer courtyard gets a makeover with a line of large, custom-made PVC planters crafted in a style that highlight’s the hotel’s old-world architecture. The cellular PVC planters were chosen, not only for their aesthetics (they look like wood but don’t wear like wood), but for their exceptional durability, as these planters are rot-proof and resistant to damage in high-traffic environments like hotels.

University of California, San Diego, California

The campus design team wanted an eco-inspired, natural design element for one of their buildings, and came to Planters Unlimited to get the look they were after. Our team worked with theirs and came up with a “tree house” design of suspended wall planters made from beautiful redwood. These custom planters gave the concrete building a rich, organic texture, ultimately leading to the design being honored by the American Institute of Architects.

What Space Do You Want to Reinvent?

At Artificial Plants Unlimited, we believe in “out of the box” thinking and designing, which is why we use our custom manufacturing capabilities to create pieces that exactly fit a space and a specific design vision. Whether it’s a five-star hotel, popular theme park, posh boutique, or private residence, we have the experts, range of products, and customization capabilities to create a beautiful, functional space! Visit us at or call us today at 1-888-320-0626.

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