After the extreme success of high-tech San Diego restaurant Juniper & Ivy, owner Michael Rosen and celebrity chef Richard Blais set out on a new venture – an organic, locally sourced, fast casual restaurant neighboring J&I – The Crack Shack. However, with no doors, windows or walls surrounding the new open air eatery’s dining area, the restaurateurs needed a way to secure the space during the off hours. The Rosen team, once again, turned to local integration firm Paradise InfoTech to provide The Crack Shack with a custom-designed automation system centered around an ELAN Entertainment and Control System.
“We worked with the same management team on a past project at the popular restaurant Juniper & Ivy,” Owner of Paradise InfoTech, Zack Paradise explained. “They really liked the technology system that we installed in that space, so they called us again for the new project. We designed a system for the outdoor space centered around an ELAN g1 and gSC10 control system to integrate advanced security, lighting control, audio, a 2x2 video wall and more.”
When designing the system, Paradise InfoTech put security at the forefront. A DSC Neo Security Panel was connected to Luma Surveillance Cameras and network video recorder to make monitoring the outdoor space easier than ever. “The owners love being able to log into the ELAN App and see how the restaurant is operating even if they are not there,” Paradise stated. “They can see what the crowd is like and how many people are at the restaurant.”
When The Crack Shack closes each night, an advanced security system is set to protect the outdoor, open-air venue. Working with a private security company, The Crack Shack utilizes motion detectors to keep the space safe. If there is motion detected after the restaurant closes, a notification is sent from the security panel to Paradise and his team and a series of events is triggered within the ELAN system. First, the security lights are turned on via ELAN lighting control, then audio is played through the speakers warning intruders that the restaurant is a private space and that security has been dispatched. Next, the system sends an email out to the security company, who can access the video cameras to see if someone is actually on the premises. If it is something that requires action, the company can dispatch personnel to the venue to handle the issue.
When the restaurant is opened for business, patrons can enjoy locally sourced food, beer and wine on tap. While basking in ideal San Diego weather, customers can listen to music through two distinct outdoor zones of audio – one in the trellis area and one surrounding the bocce ball courts – connected through a Niles MRA6430 multi-room audio controller. “Using outdoor, weather-proof landscape speakers and subwoofers, we were able to provide a nice full sound in both areas throughout all hours of operation,” Paradise added.
Inside the kitchen, staff members have access to their own zone of audio through the ELAN App on an iPad. Keeping spirits high while working in the fast paced kitchen, crystal clear audio can be heard through SpeakerCraft AIM272 in-ceiling speakers. What’s more, Paradise InfoTech set up a microphone in the kitchen, so The Crack Shack team members can entertain guests with occasional chicken-themed jokes throughout the day. “The system is set up through a 4 Bus Behringer mixer in the rack to play it over the Niles MRC-6430 controller,” Paradise explained. “When the Sense Gooseneck Microphone is in use, it plays over the same speakers that are used for the music, so everyone in the restaurant can easily hear the team members joke.”
To further engage patrons, Paradise InfoTech installed a 2x2 Video Wall by the outdoor bar along with two additional TVs. “Integrating the video wall into ELAN was a little bit different for us,” Paradise continued. “We created custom interfaces within the ELAN platform to make sure the walls could be operated through the system.” Additionally, the bar backs have the ability to change the TV channels for patrons easily through the ELAN App on iPads, while patrons can hear the audio through SpeakerCraft AIM272 in-ceiling speakers by the bar and in the bathroom area.
Designed by Bluemotif Architecture, The Crack Shack is quickly becoming a hot-spot in the San Diego area. Combining the restaurant’s simple chicken and egg concept menu with the fully automated, 4,000 square-foot open-air venue, The Crack Shack was built for success.
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