Restaurant No. 1 seating capacity increases by 240

These days you need patience when looking for a seat in Restaurant No. 1 to eat your lunch. The opening of the new dining room, which will increase the restaurant’s seating capacity by 240, should alleviate the problem and improve service.

The new restaurant area.

For the past several years the number of people using Restaurant No. 1 has grown steadily. Now, for a change, the restaurant itself is growing. Luz Lopez-Hernandez, leader of the project in the GS Department, explains: “Enlarging the restaurant has been on the GS Department's agenda for several years, but the project really got off the ground in 2009. Once it was approved and the design completed, construction itself only took seven months.”

Seven months later, the restaurant extension is indeed on the verge of opening. One of the people who will be particularly happy is Joël Nallet, who manages the Novae restaurant: “I am thrilled, because until now, even if we managed to increase the speed with which we serve the customers, they still had to wait for a space to become free before they could eat. That problem should now be taken care of.”

The new coffee area/relaxation area.

Well, perhaps not right away: when the extension opens for business, it will be the turn of the two dining rooms with wooden floors: they will close until February 2011 for renovation work. When that is finished, Novae will install a bar with two tills reserved for the sale of take-away sandwiches, salads, beverages and so on. “The idea is to separate the take-away business from the main food lines, by allowing take-away customers to avoid going through the main tills. There will also be a machine for dispensing coffee tokens,” adds Joël Nallet.

Plan of the new extension.

The GS Department is working together closely with the Novae team on the construction and renovation projects. “Not only will this increase the number of restaurant spaces by 240, but the new room will also provide customers with other services they need, such as WiFi coverage, power outlets in the floor, three wall-mounted screens, two coffee machines and two drinking water dispensers,” notes Christophe Biot, deputy project leader in the GS Department. The modern, comfortable furniture will make this a pleasant place to eat and relax. In the summer, the portion that connects the new dining room to the main restaurant will be completely open, with access to the terrace (see plan). Have fun exploring the new space!

by Laëtitia Pedroso