Perlick is proud to work on any project, from corner bar to Madison Square Garden! No project is too small for us, but we will admit, there is a certain excitement that comes with a large venue project.
The planning that goes on behind the scenes of a large venue bar design is a true art form, and it takes many talented and creative people to design the high-end bars and foodservice stations we have come to expect at sports arenas, concert venues, amusement parks, and other high-volume facilities.
BAR DESIGN AND CONSULTING
Today we are highlighting S2O Consultants in Illinois. S2O provides a broad range of specialized foodservice design and consulting services to the sports, corporate, educational and hospitality industries.
Peg Galie and Joe Mora are Project Managers at S2O. They are experts in their field, and have worked on some impressive projects, many of them including Perlick products. Let’s learn a little bit more about what takes a bar design project to the next level.
Perlick: Tell us about your background and how you got into bar design.
Peg: I came to S2O through Kristin Sedej, S2O’s majority partner. We have been friends since the 90’s when we met waitressing and bartending. I have a background in construction and the restaurant business, so it was a move that made sense. I have never looked back and love the business.
Joe: I am relatively new to S2O, but I have known Harry and Kristin for years and welcomed the opportunity to work with them. It is a team of friends with a common goal. I am working with the team on the large facilities projects that we are engaged on.
LARGE VENUE OBJECTIVES
Perlick: That’s perfect Joe, since we are focusing on large venues. What are some of the key objectives when working on a large venue bar design?
Peg: First, determine the beer/liquor goals. Draft beer? Cocktails on tap? Packaged goods? Where are server stations required to support table service? What do the interiors people want as a final “look”? Is it realistic? Is the design the most efficient for staff and operators? Minimize long beer runs. We have seen a move away from long beer runs as operators do not like the cost of line cleaning and beer waste.
Joe: The key for large venues is to ensure that we are providing the proper systems and equipment for the clients to be able to deliver their offerings in a fast and efficient manner. Getting the product to the transaction point, whether it is food or beverages, is imperative to meet the project goals. Cold beer and beverages, fresh food and convenience items must make it from the loading dock to the customer with a thoughtful attention to the process and handling.
Perlick: How long have you been working on projects that involve Perlick products? What do you like about working with Perlick, especially for larger venues?
Peg: I have been working with Perlick since I started 7 years ago. They are always there to support the design and work out any challenges associated with the venue. Their wide variety of underbar and back bar products and consistency makes using their products easy to specify.
Joe: I have been working with Perlick for more than 20 years. I was pleased with the reception of the Tobin Ellis units, it appears that there is a real intuitive approach to the design of them. I remember the first time I incorporated the cocktail stations in a project at Disney, the bartenders responded really well and the production process was amazing to watch.
Perlick: Can you tell us a little about a favorite large venue project that involved Perlick?
Peg: Chase Center in San Francisco. The location is on the Bay and provides magnificent views. The beer system had to support very long beer runs which was rather challenging.
Joe: I have had to solve some tricky installations, for two bars at Universal’s new water park we had to make them look like Chinese ships. We had to run the beverage lines underground and weave them through the structure holding up the sails. In the end, the bars function flawlessly.
Perlick: Is the market recovering post-COVID? What are you looking forward to most when it comes to future projects?
Peg: We really did not slow down during COVID. Large venues are pivoting their designs to accommodate the “new” normal, i.e., more packaged goods, cocktails on tap, less draft beer or use of direct draw units. It is nice to see fans able to access the facilities again. So much time and thought go into the designs it is nice to see them being used. The biggest challenge we have is the supply chain issues taking place. We are really looking forward to the supply chain getting back to “normal”. There are a lot of discussions on self-serve beer markets and Just Walk Out technology. It is always fun to dig into and implement new technologies.
Joe: I see the future of our business making a strong re-start. The high material costs and factory production times are a big issue to deal with, but the lockdown has changed the way consumers and operators look at business delivery models. This will change the industry, but in a good way.
Perlick: Finally – what is it like when you see your finished work on display, and people at the venue enjoying you design?
Peg: Seeing the finished touches on our design is really a thrill. Finishes and function coming together to provide that “Wow” factor. Love it!
Joe: I still remember fondly the first time I saw a built design that I had worked on. It was while I was still in college. I worked for an architect in Houston. We had finished a restaurant project and I was thrilled to see things that I drew built. That feeling continues to this day with working in 3D. I had a client express delight in the fact that the restaurant looked exactly like we showed them during the design process.
Wow, that must be a great feeling! We at Perlick are so proud we can play a small part in bringing the joy that comes from a bar design well done. You can find bar layout and other design tools on our new website.