These side panels were designed and installed by our Kover-it installation team for a restaurant cafe. Before they had the side panels, they were unable to really utilise the beautiful gazebo space for the majority of the year. This was due to cold weather, winds, and the impracticalities of keeping the area swept and clean. Whilst they considered adding something more permanent to solve their problem, they still wanted to have the ability to keep the area completely open for the summer months. Hence waterproof side panels for this restaurant enabled them to transform the space into an outdoor room which still benefits from beautiful views and an alfresco vibe.
Since each side panel can be fully rolled up and clipped up individually, it is very quick and easy to open the entire space up for Summer. They can also choose to keep certain side panels rolled down where the wind would otherwise bellow in. Waterproof side panels for a restaurant can be a game changer in footfall and customer satisfaction, as this restaurant found out.
Since the textile is 100% waterproof (so not air permeable) when all side panels are rolled down, heat can get trapped, and so in winter months it is ideal with use of just a few heaters to create a cosy dining space. Hence this cafe restaurant is now able to accommodate more diners all year-round.
Cosmetics to blend into the environment
One of the main priorities for this project was keeping the cosmetics in-keeping with the surrounding environment; Which is why we actually manufactured using 2 colours of PVC-ST- brown for the bottom half, and high gloss cream for the top of the side panels as per preference from the cafe. From afar the side panels look fab in place, and from the inside the high gloss cream helps the light bounce inside.
All of these waterproof side panels were installed via keder along the top. We firstly screwed the alloy keder track along the face of the top beam, and then slid the restaurants side panel into place via the keder bead at the top of each side panel which fits into the tracks mouth. Each panel then overlaps the posts on the outside, and so strong marine grade elasticated shock cord is used through the eyelets each side, when secured down the cord is hooked over the cleats. The galvanised cleats are ideal for when it is shared between 2 side panels as it has lots of surface area to hook behind. The elasticated shock cord absorbs a lot of the stress and pressure from the wind, and allows the panel ability for some movement- which is best for wooden structures.
Whilst the majority of the side panels had eyelets/shock cord/cleats each side, there are a couple of side panels with a slightly different design. Since the doorway/entrance is always in constant use, and needs to be accessed from both sides, we used the method of keder/tracks/zips each side (instead of cleats/shock cord). This design does mean the curtain is permanently fixed each side, however during installation “body” was allowed within the curtain to ensure it was not drum-tight, and to allow for some movement over time. See below the entrance side panel (currently rolled up) has the keder tracks each side, and the side panel next to it has the cleats/shock cord.
Easy to use doorways: the importance of practicality
In a commercial setting such as this it is very important to have an easy to use doorway which is often kept rolled up so customers know where to enter and exit. This doorway is a good example of a zipped doorway which is very practical in size. As rolled up it is large enough for multiple people to pass through, yet not too large to allow rain or wind gusting inside. The design makes it very easy for the staff to use, so when leaving the restaurant it is easily secured down, and so the whole restaurant is kept dry, clean and protected from the weather.