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Case Study: Browns Socialhouse, Canada

Browns Socialhouse is a restaurant and bar chain owned by Canadian-based franchiser Browns Restaurant Group, which also owns Scotty Browns, Browns Crafthouse, in addition to two more concepts that will be launching in 2018.

So with these booming franchises across Canada, Browns Socialhouse—which strikes a balance between upscale casual dining and a neighborhood pub—continues to evolve in its aim to create the best experience for guests. As part of its signature style, Browns began integrating display technology into its open-themed venues.

To support this initiative, Browns Socialhouse selected Leyard and Planar, a Leyard Company’s Clarity Matrix LCD Video Wall System as the restaurant group’s standard display solution. With its reputation visual performance and mission-critical reliability, Clarity Matrix is well suited to the restaurant’s dynamic environment. Numerous Clarity Matrix video walls have subsequently been installed at franchise locations.

Audio visual design integrator Automated AV has performed dozens of Clarity Matrix installations at Browns Socialhouse locations. According to Andrew Boschman, president of Automated AV, the design and versatility of the Clarity Matrix are instrumental to meeting the integration demands of Browns Socialhouse interiors.

Specifically, the thin profile achieved by the Planar EasyAxis Mounting System—which provides an installed depth of just 3.6” (91mm)—in combination with Clarity Matrix’s unique off-board electronics offers greater flexibility in terms of how the video walls can be installed, enabling for a seamless integration with the restaurant space.

“We’ve completed several projects in which the video walls are mounted in interesting and unique ways—from ceiling-hung installations where the displays float in the restaurant to another that is recessed into a concrete wall,” Boschman said.

“The thin depth of the display and the fact that the processing and power supplies can be off-boarded to an AV rack are essential to completing these more challenging types of installations.”

One of the more compelling features of Clarity Matrix that makes it work so well with the restaurant’s ambiance is the ambient light sensor, which triggers the display to slowly dim and adjust based on lighting changes in the restaurant. The crisp, bright displays are easily visible during daylight hours, but as the restaurants transition from day to night the built-in sensor ensures that the displays adjust accordingly, complementing rather than overpowering the restaurant’s characteristically dark interiors. The ambient light sensor also helps lower power consumption, reducing total cost-of-ownership.

In the heart of downtown Winnipeg, a new franchise location that recently opened became the largest Browns Socialhouse to date, situated directly across from the Bell MTS Place, home arena to the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets. With such a high-profile setting, franchise owner Kelly Burns felt it was important to include an installation that was not only fitting with the location but could captivate passersby. Kelly, who owns multiple Browns Socialhouse franchises, had already incorporated Clarity Matrix video walls at several of these locations, but at 36 feet wide and 7 feet tall (9×3), the new Clarity Matrix video wall at the Portage Avenue Socialhouse is by far the most impressive.

Burns said that the video wall has generated a buzz downtown and some people have even joked that the view of Jets games is better at the restaurant compared to the actual arena. But it’s not far from the truth—the video wall is so large it can be seen by fans coming down the arena’s escalator. 

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