Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

MAY 2017

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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well as special events. The line features double-stacked combi ovens for cooking proteins and bread, a tilt skillet for soups and sauces, a four-burner range with an oven beneath, a steamer for vegetables, a cook-and-hold oven and live Maine lobsters that sit in a tank in the front of the restaurant. "We didn't have a tilt skillet or cook-and-hold oven until we moved," Thomashunis says. "Production is much more efficient with these pieces of equipment." The hot line sitting further toward the service line features two six-burner ranges, two convection ovens, a salamander and another six-burner range and salamander. Culinary team members grill steaks on a flattop griddle and chargrill while preparing fries, calamari and chicken wings in the fryers. "We order fish daily," Paige says. "At the end of the night, we don't mind if we run out of a specific species because we want fish to be fresh every day." Across from the saute station, a custom-built chef's table features refrigeration, hot wells and heat lamps overhead. Built-in soup wells and bread warmers con- tribute to the team's efficiency. At the end of the line, culinary staff finish off plates and assemble sides and appetizers. The expediter stands on the opposite side of the chef's counter, which contains ice wells for garnishing stations. POS, Dishwashing, the Full-service Bar and Transition The restaurant uses a POS system that Paige says "has been terrific for us." The waiter takes orders from the guests and transmits the order to the production sta- tions from two different locations. Two additional POS stations sit in the bar. Enhancements in the dishwashing area include larger dish tables and a more efficient dishwasher and glasswasher. "Enclosed dishwashing in the kitchen elimi- nates cross contamination," Galvin says. The full-service bar is popular with diners who want drinks before they move to the dining room and guests — many of them local residents — who want to visit the bar only for drinks, appetizers and items from the main menu. "Our old bar had one long line and just one exit, while this one has two exits, which is ex- tremely helpful because the bartenders can come and go more easily and don't get bottlenecked on the line," Paige says. The beer system upgrade also contributes to the operation's efficiency. The kegs now sit in a beer cage in the back of the house. The liquid is pumped through a nitrous system that allows beer to come through at 29 degrees F to a new beer tower. "The beer tower is much more eye-appealing and more functional because bartenders don't have to up-tap and re-tap," Thomashunis says. "And no one is getting hurt by picking up kegs," Paige adds. Making a transition from the old restaurant to the new required the entire team's dedication to reviewing every detail so they could keep what was working and make appropriate changes to adapt to a new space and welcome in a new gen- eration of guests. With the exception of a six-week transitional period, the opera- tion remained open during construction. Back to the Project's Start An antiquated retail shopping center housing the original Aqua Grill was designated for a major redevelopment project. Phase one of the redevelopment was to rebuild stores such as Publix and CVS and expand the shopping center with more retail shops. Aqua Grill sat in a major cross-section of this space. "Building a new shell for Aqua Grill and relocating the restaurant to another part of the development was included in phase two," says Meek, who worked as owner's agent for the project developer during phase one and then served as Aqua Grill's owner's representative and construction manager for Aqua Grill during its transition to the new venue. MAY 2017 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • 119

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