Whether it’s the big game on a Sunday afternoon, a low-key dinner on Wednesday evening, or a live DJ set on Friday night, Ryan Brevig is determined to entertain his customers in all three of his contemporary American cuisine bar and bistros. When designing Loop- West End, Loop-Rochester and Five West Kitchen + Bar in the Minneapolis area, Brevig sought to incorporate the most cutting-edge entertainment system that could accommodate any party. That’s why he turned to Pat McPherson at XTREME Integration to design and install an AV system that includes impressive technology along with the ability to alter each eatery’s mood, energy and atmosphere at a moment’s notice. To make it all possible, McPherson relied on ELAN- the control system at the heart of each AV upgrade- to help continually transform the atmosphere in each of Brevig’s restaurants.
“In order to survive in a somewhat fickle industry, I knew that my restaurants had to be extremely dynamic,” Brevig explained. “That’s why I had to install an AV system with a central control system that allows my staff to easily alter a restaurant’s atmosphere and mood with audio and visual content. Without ELAN, this vital transformation wouldn’t be possible.”
In all three Loop locations, visual elements are key to the entertainment. To ensure that diners can view a screen from just about anywhere, McPherson installed 20 46-65” Samsung TVs, 70” Sharp TVs, and two Outdoor Sunbrite TVs in Loop-West End, 18 46-65” LG TVs in Loop-Rochester, and 25 40-65” Samsung TVs in 5-West. “For Brevig, it was vital for customers to have television screen access from anywhere in each restaurant,” McPherson said. “This required a significant amount of planning and strategy in developing the layout, but in the end, it guarantees that every diner will be able to watch the game, regardless of location.”
In addition to serving as a community bar and restaurant for customers, all three of Brevig’s restaurants host various events depending on the day and time. On Saturdays, the Five West Kitchen + Bar serves as the official home of the University of Wisconsin’s Alumni Association, where each seasonal football game is proudly broadcasted. “In order to mimic a stadium-like experience for the Alumni Association, I have to keep spirits high during the commercial break,” Brevig explained. “That’s why, on game day, we have an on-site DJ that immediately takes over once the game switches to commercial. Commercials kill the energetic atmosphere in the room," McPherson said. "Obviously, an effective control system is essential to switch between video output to DJ output once that break happens.”
On Friday nights, the restaurant transforms into a club for local Minneapolis youth. “We really crank up the energy in the room so that people can dance and enjoy themselves,” Brevig added. “On Fridayevening, we can watch the dinner crowd slowly transition into the evening club crowd before our very eyes. The technology definitely assists in that seamless mood and atmosphere transition.”
To ensure that control is quick and easy, two ELAN touch panels and one Apple iPad are securely mounted into the walls. Additionally, eachset ofemployees has the ELAN mobile app on their phones to operate the system at will. This allows any employee on duty to assist in switching the inputs over from one system to another, or to simply accommodate a guest’s request. “Waiters have told me that customers think it’s cool when they whip out their phone on the spot to change a song,” Brevig added. “The capability certainly adds an element of interest on the customer’s end.”
With the constant change in mood, atmosphere and purpose, guaranteeing that all of the technology seamlessly connects to each other is absolutely vital. That’s why, along with an ELAN Control System in each restaurant, McPherson also installed Xantech products to optimize IR and RS232 control of the system equipment, paired with Panamax and Furman power conditioners. "Xantech centralizes the point of control and ensures that seamless, guaranteed control is possible for anyone using the ELAN mobile app. Furman and Panamax have always been our ‘go to’ for power distribution,” McPherson said.
Brevig, along with the employees in all three of his facilities, recommend a control system for any restaurant owner looking to achieve success in a saturated industry that’s easy to fail in. “Honestly, I fell in love with the system,” Brevig concluded. “I am going to be installing the ELAN system in two of my other Minneapolis-area restaurants. It helps my facilities look and feel like an entirely different places within seconds- which is what is going to keep restaurants in business in the future.”