Winning project in the Pub Sector category at this year's CEDA awards was Olympic Catering's highly efficient, mobile, circular bar in the centre of the Royal Opera House's impressive floral hall. Not only does it blend in with the surroundings but all six duplicated segments, plus a wheel chair access segment, are of Olympic's design and manufacture offering maximum exposure to the customer demand during short performance intervals. The entire bar can be dismounted and wheeled away within 10 minutes when the whole floor area is required for other purposes - the perfect answer to the client's requirements.
"It's stunning, a masterpiece, a wonderful centrepiece", says David Saffery, Customer Services Manager of the new Royal Opera House. "It's the first thing people see when they walk in. And when there are special performances, talks or masterclasses, it can be dismantled and moved out of site to allow extra space."
The original bar was effective enough, but not easy to remove, or efficient enough in terms of storage or service. When the Opera House management cast around for a replacement, BarOlympic stood out for its mobility, versatility and design.
The Vilar Floral Hall bar is composed of six separate arc-shaped units mounted on wheels; when wheeled into place and fastened together they form a circle 6.5 metres across, around a central display island.
The counter is a solid surface material with graphite effect, and is designed with a low-level section, which is fully accessible to customers using wheelchairs.
The bar is designed to have four workstations, with all bartenders having everything they need to hand, without getting in the way of the others. Featuring all-stainless-steel construction, there is a comprehensive selection of under-bar 'stations', including glass storage units, bottle dumps, speed rails, ice chests, tills - and even a sink!
One of the trickier problems faced by Olympic's design team was that of offering water and waste services in a mobile system. Running water is supplied by an integral water tank, while the waste water is held in a container that is easily removed for emptying and cleaning.
"It's the most efficient bar I've known," adds Bars Manager George Georgiou. "We can easily serve 400 people an hour, or a thousand in an evening if we wanted. One man can take it apart and wheel the units out of sight in ten minutes, and we can bring it back again just as quickly.
"It's so flexible we can use it as a banqueting or dispense bar if called upon."