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2017 Facility Design Project of the Year, Honorable Mention: Mango’s Tropical Café Orlando

Entertainment, restaurants and bars come together under one enormous roof.

Two cascading staircases lead to the stage at Mango’s Tropical Café Orlando. The circular grand staircase at right connects the main floor with the second floor, where banquets and private dining events are held.

Mango's Tropical Café Orlando Facts

  • Opened: Dec. 18, 2015
  • Scope of Project: Renovation from ground up; space includes multiple atmospheres, including 9 bars, a restaurant with seating and views to the stage, an outdoor patio, lounges, a main kitchen with a catering kitchen within, and a support kitchen for catered events on the second floor.
  • Size: Total, 55,000 sq. ft., which includes 14,136 sq. ft. for kitchen/bars, warming kitchen on second floor (1,196 sq. ft.); 8 beverage areas (1,728 sq. ft.), 9 bars (3,569 sq. ft.); kitchen (6,145 sq. ft.), prep/ banquet kitchen (928 sq. ft).; banquet prep (570 sq. ft.)
  • Seats: A capacity of 2,000 with a projected additional 900-person capacity on the rooftop restaurant to open in 2017
  • Transactions/Daily Covers: N/A
  • Average Check: $40
  • Total Annual Sales: $15 million, projected
  • Hours: Happy hour, 3 p.m.; dinner and show, 7:30 p.m. until 2 a.m.
  • Menu Specialties: Latin and international continental comfort food that includes tacos, steaks, Cuban entrees, pizzas and flatbreads
  • Staff: 281 employees
  • Total Project Cost: $32 million
  • Equipment Investment: $2 million
  • Website: www.mangos.com/orlando

The Mambo Bar, designed as a complete copper and steel sculpture, offers guests a Caribbean experience.

The Mango’s Tropical Café Orlando Team

  • CEO, Mango’s Tropical Café South Beach and Orlando: David Wallack
  • COO, Mango’s Tropical Café South Beach and Orlando: Joshua Wallack
  • Senior Manager: Mauricio Cardoso
  • Executive Chef: Armando Abreu
  • Architect: L2 Studios Inc., Orlando, Fla.; Jeffrey Lurie, AIA, LEED AP, project architect
  • Interior Design: David Wallack and L2 Studios Inc.
  • Foodservice Consultant and Designer: Galvin Design Group Inc., Winter Garden, Fla.; Tom Galvin, FCSI, president
  • Equipment Dealer: Johnson-Lancaster and Associates, Clearwater, Fla.
  • Construction: U.S. Construction Corporation, Miami

The main kitchen’s assembly line features the cold line at left and the hot line on the right.

Worth Mentioning: The Judges’ Comments

  • Overall, the design was clean and neat. There was not a lot of waste.
  • Great interiors with extraordinary paintings and art objects.
  • Good job selling the concept in the design.
  • A well-thought-out kitchen, good flow in and out, and redundancy built in for efficiency.
  • Good thought and planning into warewashing.
  • Good use of centralized features like oil and water filtration.
  • The attention to detail throughout this project shows up in areas like the floor drains.
  • The design allowed for extra prep and equipment space where it was needed.
  • Excellent sight lines from all the bars to the stage.
  • Thoughtful bar design.
  • Masterful coordination of a variety of venues.
  • Consistent bar design helps make for better use of labor if staff has to rotate from one to another, and this also helps with speed of service.

 Objectives and Goals Set and Met

  • The main and banquet prep kitchen contains elements of a European cooking platform, fryers, two tilt skillets, a banquet broiler and a four-burner range with a conventional oven beneath.Mango's Tropical Café is a Miami Beach, Fla.-based company that has expanded to the heart of the entertainment district located on International Drive in Orlando. This Latin-themed restaurant and nightclub was designed to attract large convention parties, tourists and the local population.
  • The project goals included bringing to Orlando the largest, themed nightclub venue with a South Beach flair and Las Vegas-style entertainment.

Project Design Features

  • Working with an existing building, instead of building this operation from the ground up, created many challenges. Drawing plan resolutions included relocating the kitchen and dance stage and redesigning to accommodate nine bars. The whole building had to be gutted to the exterior walls and existing columns to properly design what the client envisioned. All plumbing and electrical had to be redesigned.When food is received, team members distribute it to its proper location. For example, fresh fruit has a designated walk-in refrigerator, which sits across from a 13-foot bank of sinks. At these sinks, which come with cutting boards, staff prepare the fruits for different juices and then place the liquids back into the fruit walk-in refrigerator.All walk-ins and dry storage sit in the proper kitchen or banquet area for easy access.The kitchen sits between the main stage and elevators to the second-floor function rooms and future rooftop observation area. The dish room sits strategically outside of the main kitchen to avoid cross-contamination.Walk-in beer/wine and fresh fruit refrigerators sit near the main stage where most of the bars are located. The main walk-in cooler has one door for deliveries and the second door that opens into the kitchen walk-in freezer and dry storage area, which sits next to the main kitchen.The large kitchen features a
  • European-style setup. Team members prepare proteins the night before, cooking them in a low-temperature cook-and-hold cabinet to produce the highest yield. As a result of this procedure, staff can plate all menu items in less time, and products are perfectly cooked.The 55,000-square-foot facility contains dual cooking platforms to accommodate volume and provides zones for the menu items to flow easily from the chef's table to the servers. This setup allows the large kitchen to handle the large volume of customers in the live entertainment area, bar areas and private party areas without compromising food quality.The prep kitchen sits next to the main kitchen, allowing team members to use it for backup cooking and providing space for additional chefs on an as-needed basis for increased volume.The high-efficiency cooking equipment's quick recovery allows an increase in labor efficiency throughout production.Pull-down retractable electrical cords offer greater flexibility for countertop equipment and work-area expansion.Each bar contains identical layout and equipment to enable quick turnaround times for high-end cocktails — team members can work in any of the bars without learning new procedures. Ice makers sit next to or near each bar. Several beverage stations in key areas allow team members to serve guests soda, tea or coffee easily and quickly.All walk-ins have LED lighting; Energy Star–rated equipment is used where appropriate; equipment is gas efficient; and all paper, plastics and glass have a designated recycling area.In the dish room, a trough collector food-waste system eliminates food waste that goes to the dumpster. A looped water system saves on waste water.

Since the Renovation

"Mango's has brought a new dimension of entertainment to the Orlando area with its high-energy live performances, colorful Tropicana feather costumes, singing, dancing and true nightclub Vegas-style special effects, late-night DJ dancing every night, specialty drinks and outstanding food selections," says David Wallach, owner. "Customers enjoy coming in and either sitting in the dining areas or the nine bars where they can enjoy the entertainment. Each bar was created by a different artist, so people are intrigued by the decor and design."

 

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