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When the Big Time Restaurant Group opened a new Louie Bossi restaurant on Fort Lauderdale’s trendy Las Olas Boulevard in the cultural district, the site was constricted on two sides by retail, making the tight-fitting patio in the rear the only option to expand revenue-generating dining space. To fulfill the restaurant’s potential, the client requested an En‐Fold® retractable canopy to cover the entire exterior patio of the Italian‐American style restaurant.

East Las Olas Boulevard is the “heart and soul” of Fort Lauderdale, and according to local media is the area’s “premier street for restaurants, art galleries, shopping and people watching.” With food and shopping enterprises cheek‐by‐jowl along just a two‐mile stretch of corridor, real estate and space is at a premium. The client needed the rear patio to maximize the revenue‐generating tables/hours/days ratio. The 1,714‐sq‐ft canopy nearly covers the entire patio. Structurally, the En‐Fold® drive beams are supported by three “portal frames” that transfer the loads to the ground on columns and transversely to the building at the roof-line. By connecting the automated retraction system to the building’s fire panel, (which activates the canopy by a signal from the restaurant’s fire/smoke detection system) the need for a costly fire sprinkler system beneath the canopy was eliminated.

The restaurant owner is very happy with the product and the installation, especially because the En‐Fold canopy allows full use of the patio area, while assuring that guests will enjoy a consistently comfortable environment—all with the push of a button.

With a simple wireless remote control, the En-Fold system is deployed across the courtyard space and is tensioned using a patent-pending belt drive system. Strong architectural fabric panels shield the area below from inclement weather or harsh sunlight. The En-Fold can withstand 20 psf wind load when fully tensioned, and is installed at an incline to shed rainwater and prevent water from pooling on the fabric panels.

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Project Information

Big Time Restaurant Group
Completion Date: 
Project Scope: 
Design,Supply, and Installation of retractable awning
Project Engineer: 
Mayer Structural Design Inc.
Norberto Rosenstein Architect
Engineer of Record: 
Bromley Cook Engineering Inc.
Fabric Fabricator: 
Lightweight Manufacturing
General Contractor: 
RCC Assoc.
Awnings of Hollywood
Plan Area: 
1,714 sq ft
En‐Fold Retractable Canopy: 

Extension: 45.5‐ft

Width 37‐ft‐8‐in

Number of drive beams: 2

Fabric: Sefar Tenara® 4T40