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Elan control systems upgrade AV entertainment at Loop restaurants

Elan control systems are at the centre of AV upgrades in three Minneapolis restaurants designed and installed by Xtreme Integration.

Elan control systems are at the centre of AV upgrades in three Minneapolis restaurants designed and installed by Pat McPherson of Xtreme Integration.

The three restaurants, Loop-West End, Loop-Rochester, and Five West Kitchen + Bar, incorporate advanced entertainment systems to meet the needs of customers dining in the evening or enjoying a live DJ set on a Friday night. To enable this flexibility, owner Ryan Brevig, relied on the Elan control system to help continually alter the atmosphere inside the 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 46-65in Samsung TVs, 70in Sharp TVs, and two Outdoor Sunbrite TVs in Loop-West End, 18 46-65in LG TVs in Loop-Rochester, and 25 40-65in 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. 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. “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.

“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,” said Brevig

To ensure that control is quick and easy, two Elan touchpanels and one iPad are securely mounted into the walls. Additionally, each set of employees 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 optimise IR and RS232 control of the system equipment, paired with Panamax and Furman power conditioners. “Xantech centralises 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 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.”

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