CPM HELPS BIBAS REKINDLE SWINGING SIXTIES WITH MAR
A sophisticated new restaurant, which celebrates Barbara Hulanicki's iconic 1960's fashion boutique Biba, has opened in Bristol's burgeoning waterfront area.
Situated on Welsh Back, Bibas Lounge Bar & Restaurant has been lovingly created in authentic art deco style by owner Costa Kkolos, and incorporates genuine memorabilia from the original Carnaby Street boutique.
Among the chrome and beveled mirrors, which form part of the £550,000 spent in developing the new infrastructure, is the type of Martin Audio sound reinforcement system you might expect to see in any of the world's leading dances venues.
Trevor Brooks, who runs local pro audio specialists CPM, was brought in to carry out a site survey after Mr. Kkolos heard the Martin Audio system installed by the contractors at nearby Barcelona Bar. The CPM proprietor and his freelance sound engineer Alan Crane knew immediately how the sound could be optimised for diners in the formal 54-cover restaurant (with additional seating for 30 around the cocktail bar).
Aware that the ceiling had already been insulated with 18in thick acoustic material to prevent sound leaking up to the residential apartments above, Alan Crane proposed two pairs of W8LMDI downfill line array enclosures in view of their directionality (20° vertical dispersion). Bass extension would be handled by a pair of ground-stacked Blackline S15 subs, and the entire front of house system is powered by Lab Gruppen amplification.
Mounted on the suspended ceiling (via bespoke Powerdrive brackets) the W8LMDI enclosures deliver absolute clarity for the cool lounge jazz that wafts over the diners at low level from a multi-play CD, while retaining Martin Audio's signature hi-fi sound when the venue reverts to live jazz sessions from pianist and stand-up bass.
'We knew that by using the Downfills any potential problems regarding noise spillage would immediately be eradicated,' says Trevor.
In fact he has specified Martin Audio from the ground up, providing a pair of Blackline F10's for the performers' stage monitoring, distributing eight Martin Audio AQ8's around the interior and two AQ5's in the striking entranceway (all on delays from the BSS BLU-80 DSP processing).
'The combination of industry-standard processing and amplification has brought the best out of the Martin Audio system,' reasons Trevor. 'I don't think there is another company in the industry with such a comprehensive product catalogue that offers Martin Audio's level of support, with CAD drawings and so on. In the two years since we started using their systems we have already developed six sites.'
Presiding over the venue is the experienced Monica Walker; having previously worked in management with both Luminar Leisure and Kingfisher Leisure she knows all about good sound. In fact it was while working at Kingfisher's McClusky's in Bristol that she first met Trevor Brooks, who was the resident DJ.
'In just five weeks people are loving this place as much for the quality of music as for the fresh-ingredient cocktails,' she says. 'Bibas is not aimed at a party crowd but for a more discerning upmarket clientele.'
Aside from the Martin Audio loudspeakers CPM have also been responsible for the general electrical contracting, the video (a 65in plasma display above the stage taking DVD feeds of classic movies) and the lighting (including the edge-lit fluorescent ceiling).
Open seven days a week from 11am until midnight (at weekends), Biba serves the type of British cuisine prevalent in the 1960's, and its authenticity extends to the original 'B' of the logo (found on eBay), original Biba posters and even the original Biba soap mouldings.
Costa Kkolos, who also runs the Avenue group of cafés, is already planning his next Bibas (in Cheltenham) with a view to a roll-out over the next five years.
Further information from:
Maureen Hayes, Martin Audio Jerry Gilbert, JGP Public Relations
Tel: +44 (0)1494 535312 Tel: +44 (0)1707 258525
Fax: +44 (0)1494 438669 Fax: +44 (0)1707 267140