Exeter-based Bartlett has recently concluded the new 950m2 restaurant fit out at Monkton Elm Garden Centre, Taunton which opened for business on 22 April.
Bartlett finalised the design and secured this £500,000 comprehensive kitchen and restaurant project in September last year. The distributor commenced work on site the following month with a 6 month programme of works to take the building from a bare shell to a fully operational restaurant.
Bartlett area sales and project manager Kevin Fidler, who had secured the project, was tasked with bringing this prestigious garden centre restaurant to flower this spring. Due to the size and scope of works on site, he managed and organised the project into five separate elements:
• Building works including flooring and wall cladding
• Coldroom and extract installations
• Kitchen installation
• Servery counter install
• Shop fitting and decorating.
The initial stage of the works comprised of erecting all internal walls and co-ordinating installation of all underfloor drainage and service ducts to carry electrical and water services to the restaurant’s centrally positioned servery counters prior to the first fix mechanical and electrical (M+E) works being completed.
The installation of hygienic white plastic wall cladding to the kitchen and various floor coverings throughout the building then followed. Fidler stated: “We had to work very closely with the M+E contractors throughout the project and at times it was challenging, especially when all have their own deadlines to achieve, but good communication throughout was key and ensured smooth delivery.”
Secondly was the installation of the suite of coldrooms on site as well as the extract canopies complete with service spine. The coldrooms were manufactured and installed by Bartlett’s own in-house refrigeration engineers including what are designed to be low noise refrigeration systems.
The extract canopies were manufactured and installed by Brittania Kitchen Ventilation which incorporated individual fire suppression systems which were installed by a local company.
A primary aim for both Monkton Elm and Bartlett was, where necessary, to utilise specialist services and to award these works to locally-based contractors. Fidler believes this also played a major part in completing the project successfully and within the timeframe, having a swift response and flexibility from the contractors to overcome any unforeseen challenges and small changes to the proposed format and original plans.
Bartlett’s own commercial catering engineers carried out the installation of the kitchen including the dishwash area, potwash, food preparation, bakery, and main cooking suite. Bartlett specified and installed Falcon prime cook equipment and Williams Refrigeration equipment respectively, as it says they are high quality reliable British-made appliances, supplied with 2 year warranties. [[page-break]]
The cooking equipment consisted of two ranges, one a solid top, two fryers complete with oil filtration, two of Falcon’s latest GEM10X steam combination ovens, a chargrill, induction hob and two convection ovens. Williams supplied 11 refrigeration units in total including a blast chiller, under broiler unit and toppings well, as well as a number of Jade range cabinets for various areas of the restaurant installation.
The distributor selected Maidaid warewashing equipment which consisted of a minirack dishwasher with drying tunnel and two under counter dishwashers. The minirack was connected to fully bespoke stainless steel tabling with roller sections.
One of the final stages was the front of house fit out, where Bartlett worked closely with Counterline and local shopfitters for the final design and installation of the servery counters, bespoke shop-fitted displays and the seven garden centre-inspired bespoke fibreglass green leaves suspended from the roof. The biggest of these measured just shy of 4m x 2.7m.
Fidler commented: “I must confess to a couple of sleepless nights hoping the leaves would arrive on site in one piece and that they could be installed as requested by Monkton Elm looking perfect and not autumnal! Thankfully they went up without a hiccup and I have to say, along with everyone who has viewed them, that they look spectacular and are a real showpiece. An excellent job all round.
“I have to thank all of our engineers and contractors, especially Counterline who made what was initially quite a daunting job as easy as possible. The quality of their installation is exceptional.
“It has been a pleasure working to achieve the vision of our client and our thanks to all at Monkton Elm; Mike Lind the MD; Norma Moore, general manager; and especially Steve Butterworth, site manager.”
Lind himself added: “When Monkton Elm Garden Centre embarked on its journey to build a new, state of the art restaurant in the heart of its business in Taunton, Somerset, the directors wanted the project to support as many local businesses as possible.
“We searched to find the best trades and contractors in the South West and were very pleased when we found Bartlett Ltd, based in Exeter. It was appointed to handle all the design and procurement of the kitchen and catering equipment, together with the internal build and front of house fit out.
“Now that the project is completed, the results of their workmanship and attention to detail speak for themselves. The finished building, kitchen and front of house are superb, with customer feedback exceeding expectations. We were pleased to have been able to adhere to our objectives of keeping the build as local as possible, and to have done so without compromising on quality or budget. Kevin Fidler, Bartlett’s project manager was first class, polite, knowledgeable and effective.”