Whether it’s the big game on a Sunday afternoon, a low-key dinner on a Wednesday evening, or a live DJ set on a 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 an entertainment system that could accommodate his customers. Brevig worked with Pat McPherson at XTREME Integration to design and install an AV system that has the ability to alter each eatery’s mood, energy, and atmosphere through AV. McPherson installed ELAN as the control system at the heart of each AV upgrade.
“In order to survive in a somewhat fickle industry, I knew that my restaurants had to be extremely dynamic,” said Brevig. “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 in the venue, McPherson installed 20 46-inch to 65-inch Samsung TVs, 70-inch Sharp TVs, and two Outdoor Sunbrite TVs in Loop-West End; 18 46-inch to 65-inch LG TVs in Loop-Rochester; and 25 40-inch to 65-inch Samsung TVs in Five 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 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.
Added McPherson, “On game day, we have an on-site DJ who immediately takes over once the game switches to commercial. Commercials kill the energetic atmosphere in the room. 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 said. “On Friday evening, 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, each set 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 said. “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 important. 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," McPherson said. "Furman and Panamax have always been our ‘go to’ for power distribution.”