The smooth operation of full-service restaurants,
bars and lounges often depends on installing and
maintaining the right bar equipment.
Operators today will find a variety of options and models to choose from, with an emphasis on efficiency to save time, as well as space-economizing sizes in sleek, streamlined designs. In the following bar equipment round-up, we check in with some of the major suppliers on the latest in bar-area refrigerators, back-bar coolers, ice machines, sinks, beverage dispensers, bottle coolers and wine cellar equipment.
Master-Bilt, based in New Albany, MS, has expanded its line of undercounter refrigerators with the Three-Door UC Series. “The undercounter refrigerators are the most popular for bars, as they’re convenient and save on space,” says Lynn Burge, manager of advertising and promotions for Master-Bilt. The three-door system, model UC-72TR, adds more versatility and storage possibilities for operators, he says. The three-door joins the One-Door UC-28 and the Two-Door UC-48 units.
All models in Master-Bilt’s UC series feature a forced-air refrigeration system and two fans for optimum cooling efficiency. The units are self-contained, require no plumbing, and provide temperatures ranging from 33 degrees to 41 degrees for refrigerators and 11 to 3 degrees for freezers.
Summit’s undercounter refrigerator.
For larger bar area operations, Master-Bilt offers its CCG Glass Door Reach-In refrigerator line. “These refrigerators are ideal for attracting customers in the bar, as they can see the beer and wine selections on display,” says a spokesperson. The one-door CCG unit is 26 7/8 inches long and the two-door is 54 inches long; both have a depth of 32 1/2 inches and a height of 82 5/8 inches. In addition, Master-Bilt’s latest product launch, its MRS series modular multi-compressor system, saves on energy and reduces in-store heat and noise and is appropriate for larger operations, according to Burge.
WHAT’S IN BACK?
Beverage-Air offers a full line of undercounter and “worktop” refrigerators and freezers, and an expanded portfolio of back bars in glass door and solid door variations. Back bars have stainless steel floors with a depth of 23 inches and widths of either 48 or 72 inches. While glass doors allow the display of beer and wines to help spur customer interest, solid door models can be laminated to match the décor of any bar, a company official says. These space-saving shallow depth units have interiors that accommodate straight wall kegs without inside coil interference, he adds.
To keep bottled beverages cold, Beverage-Air also offers Deepwell Bottle Coolers. The bottle coolers have black vinyl-laminated steel exteriors and “easy-glide” stainless steel lids and counter tops with built-in stainless steel glass tops. Glass lids with interior lighting are optional.
True Manufacturing has released its Deep Well Horizontal Bottle Coolers (model TD-80-30) that hold a capacity of 30 cases of 12 oz. longneck bottles or 42 cases of 12 oz. cans. It has a removable bottle cap opener and cap catcher.
Glass frosters are also available from several manufacturers, such as Beverage-Air. Its “quick chill” to below 10 degrees produces “maximum frost” on beer mugs. These also serve as excellent plate chillers for salads and seafood appetizers, the company says.
Master-Bilt’s Burge says that chilling equipment in the bar area can serve multiple purposes. “Our Curved Glass DD Series Deluxe Ice Cream Dipping/Display Merchandiser works as a beer mug chiller as well,” he says.
COLD AS ICE
Maintaining the right amount of ice is important to efficient operations behind the bar. Manitowoc Ice offers a wide selection of machines to meet the requirements of operators, ranging from 65 pounds to 1,880 pounds of dice cubes made daily.
In the 65-to-95 pounds of dice cubes per day range, Manitowoc has launched the QM Series, with three models in the series. These self-contained, air-cooled models are designed to fit easily under a counter or behind the bar. The neutral stainless steel cabinet with “Euro design” fits into any bar or lounge décor, the company says. For bars that require up to 980 pounds of ice daily, the company recommends its floor-standing, automatic-fill ice dispensers with patented “push for ice” dispense actuators. Two different units provide storage of either 120 or 180 pounds of ice.
Master-Bilt’s 3-door undercounter refrigerator (right) and its CCG glass door unit.
Manitowoc also launched a new line of higher-volume ice machines this year, the S1400 and S1800 models. The 48-inch wide units provide larger operations with from 1,450 pounds to 1,880 pounds of dice or half-dice inch cubes daily.
Another leading icemaker, Scotsman Ice Systems, suggests that on average, cocktail lounges need about three pounds of cube ice per customer. Cube ice, the company claims, “nestles in the glass for high liquid displacement, which means better quality drinks for customers, less splashing and higher profits for operators.”
Manitowoc’s undercounter ice machine.
Scotsman has a wide variety of cube icemakers, in both modular and self-contained units, with production capacities from 200-to-2,000 pounds-per-day, in widths from 22 inches to 48 inches. Self-contained cubers come in various cabinet sizes and ice forms rectangular, contour cubes and gourmet. The “gourmet” ice cubes have a unique form they’re shaped like a small shot glass. A company spokesperson says these cubes “are attractive and slow-melting, ideal for mixed drinks and gourmet drinks in bars and upscale restaurants.”
Scotsman’s CM3 series of modular cube ice machines provide low lifetime operation costs, the company says, based on its lower water and electrical usage requirements. The machines feature the company’s AutoIQ system, which ensures consistent ice production and reduces operating costs. The CM3 has sleek, contemporary styling and stainless steel finish. Flake and nugget ice dispensers are also available. Another option, its ID Series of ice-only dispensers, in 150-to-250 pound storage capacities (widths of 22 or 30 inches) can combine with any small cube ice machine.
SINKS FOR EVERY BAR
SupremeMetal offers bar sinks in a myriad of shapes, sizes and features. Operators can choose products from three divisions: Slimline, 18-inch series of under bar sinks; Challenger, the mid-range at 21 inches, and its Prestige line for larger equipment. The Slimline series is designed to maximize space around the bar. Basic bar sinks have from one to four compartments and feature SplashMount faucets, overflow pipes and stainless steel drains. The company says its bar sink/ice bin combinations are popular these have ice compartments eight inches deep, and three or four compartment sinks with 24-inch ice bins.
Another combo-unit is SupremeMetal’s Uni-Serve, featuring a 30-inch ice bin, six-inch deep dump sink, drop down glass storage, dual blender recess with four-inch high backsplash and three-pack bottle racks. Also in the SlimLine series is the Super-Serv 15-inch blender/recess sink combination, duplex 120-volt outlet with four-inch backsplash. A Cocktail Workstation unit has 24-inch ice bins that are eight inches deep, 24-inch drain board, with three-pack bottle racks. The company also carries various hand sinks and eight models of ice bins, with or without cold plates, from 8- to 16-inches deep.
Sink accessories from SupremeMetal include a condiment rack that mounts on the backsplash; three-pack bottle racks and stainless steel sliding covers for all ice bins; chrome towel rings that affix to any unit and perforated baskets for hand sinks.
Wunder-Bar offers some of the latest beverage equipment in beer and wine dispensing, liquor management and soft drink “bar gun” systems.
Wunder-Bar says its liquor dispensing systems offer some of the latest technology upgrades and are designed to prevent waste, increase profits, control inventory and track employee productivity. Its Reserve Rack system stores bottles inverted so they drain completely. This eliminates loss resulting from free pours, when some product is lost when the bottle is thrown out, the company says. In an average bar pouring 40 cases a month, the loss could add up to over 1,400 ounces per year, the company says.
Its Cyclone system has pre-positioned, tamper-proof spouts which save servers time replacing empties at the bar while controlling over pours. It records the brand and amount of drinks poured, the number of drinks poured by each station, shift and even employee. The Cyclone comes in three different units, with the basic unit tracking one to 15 brands of liquor with four pour sizes; top level unit tracks up to 150 brands of liquor with four pour sizes. The company also markets its LiquorSoft Reporting System, a Windows-based system which tracks sales by bartender, brand, station and shift.
In the beer area, Wunder-Bar offers Beer Boss, which it recommends for small bars and pubs. Beer Boss draught beer dispensing has a re-circulating glycol system, with 1/3 to 1 1/2 horsepower, and solid-state thermostats. The Stainless One models have a patented faucet (lager or stout) that the company says controls yeast and bacteria growth in the faucet, the loss of CO2 during pouring and the leaching of copper and lead from brass. The Viper Beer Tower (one to four faucets available) retrofits into most existing draft beer dispensers and aims to increase conversation and sales with the solid block of real ice that forms around its tower.
Wunder-Bar’s wine dispenser pours up to four different wines and/or non-carbonated pre-mix flavors at the touch of a button. Buttons are oversized to help prevent bartender fatigue.
As an increasing number of customers opt for wine at the bar, the careful storing of vino becomes crucial. Companies including Summit Appliance provide operators with a variety of free standing and under counter wine cellars. Freestanding units sit above a counter or bar, and one of the most popular is the SWC-1775 two-door wine preserving system, made in Denmark. It carries a temperature range of 43 to 61 degrees and is ideal for the long-term preservation of red or white wines. In the under counter category, wine cellars are auto-defrost and have a cold wall design (the evaporator is hidden behind the rear wall) and come in standard white or black. However, Summit says its under counters can be customized, with operators choosing a finish, doors, handles and temperatures to their specifications.