Facility Design Project of the Month

Each month, FE&S spotlights a project worth talking about, with in-depth coverage from concept through completion including a kitchen equipment floor plan.


2005 Facility Design Project of the Year: Ah Sin at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nev.

Creative design and layout solutions applied to a challenging space and the inclusion of specialties from China, Thailand, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and France with well-selected E&S are among the accolades the judges cited for FE&S' 2005 Facility Design Project of the Year.

Positioned in a long, narrow, ground-floor space in one corner of the 2,900-room Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, Ah Sin is an eclectic restaurant concept where East meets West. Several food-themed sections allow customers to view menu preparation at a satay bar, a sushi counter, an Asian grill and a combination pantry/dessert and dim sum station. Guests also can participate interactively in food preparation at the satay and sushi bars and Asian grill. Though a majority of preparation takes place at these stations, some is also done in a basement kitchen. (The original article about Ah Sin can be found in FE&S April 2004.)

The décor of Ah Sin, which means “always luck” in Cantonese, is as eclectic as the cuisine. Colors of red, maroon, pink, gray and silver are combined in a setting that brings together contemporary Zen elements and modern chic with architectural influences from Old World France and the Orient.

This year's judges were particularly impressed with the creative design and layout solutions applied to a challenging space. The long, narrow dimensions of the 3,600-square-foot room (40 feet by 90 feet), existing steel columns and other structural elements, and the inclusion of several display stations required the installation of specific types of equipment.

The following challenges had to be met:

  • The low-rise portion of the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino is in excess of 49 feet tall and spans several hundred thousand square feet. There is a substantial amount of lateral bracing for this structure in the southwest corner of the building where Ah Sin is situated. At its largest section, the space is 40 feet wide by nearly 120 feet long; the front of the house is 40 feet by 90 feet. The dining room's structure includes three 32-foot-wide X-braces, eight additional I-beams, multiple mechanical chases, an egress stairwell and tube steel supporting the façade.
  • Within 3,600-square-feet, the design includes three exhibition stations, two interactive stations with seating, a bar and service stations.
  • The receiving dock for the property is located on the opposite side of the building, more than a quarter mile away. Therefore, nearly 1,500-square-feet of the garage was used for cold and dry storage for both the restaurant and nightclub above. It also includes a noodle preparation area, a duck drying room, a small production line, a scullery, an office, mechanical space and an elevator and staircase. Because the deck above is only eight feet, six inches, trucks couldn't get into the garage to evacuate the grease trap. Duct sump pumps and grease ejector pumps were used to overcome these obstacles.

JudgesThis year's judges were: Howard Kamau Stanford, principal, Kamau Sage & Associates Inc., Fishers, Ind.; Harry Schildkraut, principal and owner, S3 Consultants, Hawthorn Woods, Ill.; and George Zawacki, principal, George Zawacki Ent., LLC, Arlington Heights, Ill. All Facility Design Projects featured monthly are eligible to win Project of the Year.

Highlights of the ProjectCost of total project (kitchen and restaurant dining area, including seating): $12 million, $5 million of which was attributed to the build-out of the restaurant


Owner: Caesar Entertainment, Las Vegas

Senior Vice President of Food and Beverage, Paris Las Vegas: Robert Zitto

Project Manager, Park Place Entertainment: Glenn Pollack

General Manager Ah Sin: Tim Moy

Executive Chef, Paris Las Vegas: Olivier Dubreuil

Executive Chef, Ah Sin: Yuk Sing Wong

Sous Chef, Satay and Sushi Bars: Thomas Shirasaka

Executive Pastry Chef, Paris Las Vegas: Jean-Claude Canestrier

Architect: Youngblood, Wucherer& Sparer, Las Vegas

Interior Design: Heather Kovacs, Kovacs and Associates, Los Angeles

Foodservice Consultant: Adam Blumberg, Jem West, Las Vegas

Building Contractor: Penta Building Group, Las Vegas

Equipment Dealer: Duray/J.F. Duncan Industries Inc., Commerce, Calif.

Cost of E&S, installed: $727,000 for restaurant; $300,000 for nightclub; $625/square foot

Size: 3,600-square-foot restaurant with 125 seats indoors and 125 seats outdoors. Also, BOH includes 750-square-feet.

The satay and service stations consume 500-square-feet. These include 28 seats and six bar-top Korean satays (barbecues) that allow customers to cook their satay items with the chef's supervision. Three seats surround each grill, so cooking is an entertaining, interactive dining experience. Situated above each grill are three-foot-round V-bank hoods with lights and laminated with stamped and anodized stainless steel.

Also in this area are four radius display sushi cases, two crepe makers, a barbecue display and breakdown station, a charbroiler, refrigerator, dry storage, a server pickup and a service station that accommodates the entire indoor dining facility. This station was placed between two massive X-braces and is angled for the proper perspective view upon entry.

The top and pass shelves of the chef's counter are a solid surface. The customer side is laminated with metal. The shelves and mullions are one-half-inch laminated glass with recessed puck lights to highlight the design and china.

The Sushi bar is about 275-square-feet and includes three sushi stations, a server pickup station, a one-station service bar and 10 seats. This station is also framed by two massive X-braces.

The main indoor dining space holds 100 seats. The seating area is framed by exhibition-style food preparation areas. The main cooking line is on one side and the dim sum, pantry and dessert stations on the other with views of the Las Vegas strip and Bellagio fountains to the west.

The sushi counter's labor-efficient design consists of three self-sufficient stations. Each station measures six feet in length and is equipped with two refrigerated drawers for frequently used items. One refrigerated door serves as a backup and two roll-out shelves house dishes and utensils. Staff operate the hand sinks by using foot pedals. A water trough runs under each station with three two-foot cutting boards. A section of the cutting boards can be removed and become a cutting/scrapping station.

The space features an array of solid surfaces and colors. Station finishes include numerous glass mosaics and subway tiles. Stainless fixtures are clad with NSF-approved, anodized stamped stainless steel. Wall-mounted shelves are finished with solid surfaces and appear to be floating with concealed brackets. Various floor surfaces and water features were used throughout the restaurant.

Honorable Mentions

Borgata Buffet in Atlantic City, N.J.

FE&S judges were impressed by creative placement of E&S in the space; innovations in equipment design and application, including salad area refrigeration and storage lockers behind; efficient traffic flow; multiple use of stations and E&S (such as making French toast on the Mongolian grill); and forward-thinking design and E&S application: “the next step in casino buffets.”

Owner of Borgata: Boyd Gaming Corp. and MGM MirageCEO: Robert BoughnerVice President of Food and Beverage for Borgata: Victor TiffanyExecutive Chef: Ron RossExecutive Pastry Chef: Thaddeus Dubois Design Architect: Mike Stewart, Marnell Architecture, Las Vegas Production Architects: Eric Rahe, architect, Bower Lewis Thrower, Philadelphia; Ian Cope, architect, Cope Linder Associates, Philadelphia Interior Design: Terry Dougall, Dougall Design Associates, Pasadena, Calif.Foodservice Consultants & Designers: John Egnor, president, JEM Associates, Linwood, N.J.; Martin Kozakowski, project manager, JEM AssociatesEquipment Dealer: Baring Industries, Miami; Manny Alvarez, project manager

Executive Orders in the Washington, D.C., Convention Center

Lauding this project for its “great” use of a long, narrow space, judges also noted the use of equipment, including steam griddles, infrared broilers, gas cooktops with refrigerated drawers, induction warmers and prep tables. Behind-the-scenes storage is ingenious and efficient, note the judges.

Owner: Washington Convention CenterFoodservice Providers: Centerplate of Spartanburg, S.C., and National Business Services Enterprises of Washington, D.C.Project Supervisor: Jon Muscalo, vice president, Facilities, Design and Capital Purchasing for Centerplate, Spartanburg, S.C.Building Architect: Mariani Associates, Washington, D.C., and TVS, AtlantaArchitect for Executive Orders: Berger Devine Yaeger Inc., Kansas City, Mo. Interior Design: Kay Pangraze, principal, PK3 Design, Greenville, S.C.; Engineer: Bredson & Associates, Blue Springs, Mo. Acting General Manager for Operations at the Convention Center: Lyn Mayer, CenterplateFoodservice Consultant and Space Planner: John DePaola, principal, Foodservice Resources, Fredericksburg, Va.Foodservice Dealer: Centerplate FacilitiesKitchen Equipment Contractor: Centerplate FacilitiesContractor: Carlson Constructions, Washington, D.C.