Mahogany Grille Finds the Cure for Chilly Customers

By Rod Barker | May 15, 2008

The front windows of the Mahogany Grille in Durango, Colorado provide an excellent view of the city's scenic downtown. Unfortunately, they also create cold, drafty dining conditions inside the restaurant during the winter and customers would regularly request a table away from the cold windows, despite the view.

In January 2007, the Mahogany Grille solved this problem by installing two new windows with Thermique heated glass at the front of the restaurant. Today, guests no longer shy away from window seating. In fact, the most requested seat in the house is Table 10, right next to the heated glass.

The Mahogany Grille was the first restaurant in North America to adopt heated glass technology for windows. Installation was completed in a single morning before the restaurant opened, so the project did not have any effect on normal business hours.

Founded in 1887, the Strater Hotel is Durango's most prominent downtown landmark. Since the Mahogany Grille is in a historic building, replacing the windows was a delicate task. The retrofit project could not alter the authentic period appearance of the window or building. Adding fans, motors, or duct work was not an option. Fortunately, all electrical components in Thermique heated glass are hidden within the window frame. There was no change in the appearance of the building.

In addition to keeping customers warm, Thermique heated glass offers the added benefit of condensation control. The Mahogany Grille's front windows will never fog up or frost over while the heat is on, so guests will always experience a clear view through the glass.

Keeping Customers Happy
 
Not only are the Mahogany Grille's patrons thrilled with the change, but so is the staff. The restaurant's hostess station is located directly behind one of the two heated windows. The location was previously very chilly, leading to many complaints from the shivering hostesses, who typically wear short-sleeved or sleeveless dresses.

Now, all complaints have disappeared. The staff even takes pride in showing off the windows to new customers, who have typically never before seen heated glass technology.

Operating the heated windows is a one-step process. When employees turn on the lights to the restaurant, they also flip on the heated glass with an ordinary wall switch. In addition to the on/off switch, there is a Thermique controller hidden behind a small wall panel. Floor managers can use the controller to raise or lower the temperature of the glass as desired. Based on the controller setting, glass temperature can range from 70 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

The heated windows have functioned flawlessly since they were installed fifteen months ago. Eliminating the chill near the windows has increased the floor space available to customers for dining (and thus the revenue potential for the restaurant). The problem of cold drafts and cold customers has completely disappeared.

Thermique heated glass and controllers are designed and manufactured by Thermique Technologies in Chicago, Illinois. Only Thermique heated glass is UL approved for use in architectural windows.

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