Thursday, May 2, 2013

MPM Supplies Equipment for Howells & Hood Restaurant in Chicago’s Tribune Tower

MPM Supplies Equipment for 17,000-Square Foot Howells & Hood Restaurant
in Chicago’s Iconic Tribune Tower

“MPM had nothing but solutions for a project
where there was nothing but questions.”

CHICAGO – MPM Food Equipment Group this month worked with the restaurant group Bottleneck Management to source and supply the equipment for Howells & Hood, a 17,000-square foot restaurant in Chicago’s Tribune Tower that features two extra-large cook lines and a prep line, three bars (each with 120 faucets that pull beer from an enormous beer cooler), and three walk-in coolers.

“This was by far the most ambitious that we’ve had at Bottleneck,” said Jason Akemann, co-owner of Bottleneck Management. “MPM had nothing but solutions for a project where there was nothing but questions.”

“We worked with the team at Bottleneck for seven months to ensure that Howells & Hood would be a success from the moment it opened its doors,” said David Fallon, Director of Sales – Food Service.

“Because of the location, the NBC and Tribune pavilion, with all the pedestrian traffic, they needed us to work around rush hour schedules. That meant that we had to bring equipment down by 6 a.m. and be out of the pavilion by 8 a.m.,” Fallon said.

MPM sourced and supplied the equipment for three kitchens and three bars, as well as building three walk-in coolers. One of those coolers is a glassed-in beer cooler holding 720 barrels of beer that supply 360 draft faucets – 120 each in the three bars.

“We installed the largest draft beer system in any restaurant in the world to our knowledge,” said Jason Akemann, co-owner of Bottleneck Management, “and MPM was there for us every step of the way. They were able to guide us to not only the right cooler that not only was large enough to house the beers but efficient enough to make it run. Our system holds 720 barrels for 320 pour faucets with 114 different beers. And with their recommendation, it is all working seamlessly.”

It took 171 pieces of commercial restaurant equipment to supply the cook lines and bars. MPM worked with the Bottleneck team to find the right pieces, which were brought to MPM’s warehouse, uncrated and inspected, assembled and rewrapped, delivered and set into place in Howells & Hood. The MPM team worked with Coker Service to install the equipment.

“This is our fourth project with MPM [including Sweetwater Tavern, Old Town Pour House, and South Branch Tavern and Grille]” Akemann said. “With MPM’s help, we created a kitchen with two full cooking lines and a prep line that can serve 700 people at once.”

“Coordinating a project of this scope while dealing with the location and the age of the Tribune Tower presented a unique situation,” Fallon said. “We spent two weeks delivering – five to seven truckloads per week. We had to deal with the city, the traffic, and the pedestrians. We also had to be very careful with the pavilion, so when we were delivering, we had to bring in a lift truck that had right tires that wouldn’t mark – white rubber tire designed to go over the white concrete surfaces.”

The size of the beer cooler and the stock cooler, which is a room-sized cooler in the basement of the Tribune Tower, also presented unique challenges, Fallon added.

About MPM Food Equipment Group

Larry Nicholson founded MPM Food Equipment Group in 2003 with the mission to offer the highest-quality food equipment and design services while providing the best customer service in the industry.

MPM represents the finest food equipment manufacturers in the business. The company teams with a large group of trusted partners to provide support, design, installation, product training, and service to deliver projects on time and on budget. From supermarkets to churches, commissaries, schools, and government, MPM has provided solutions to all different markets.

For more information, visit MPM at or call 1-800-976-6762.

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