2018 has been a huge year for our friends and partners at Modbar, the innovative undercounter espresso machine system manufactured out of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Back in April we reported to you on the new Modbar Espresso AV, developed through years of collaborative R&D with La Marzocco, and we’ve watched as the tech continues to proliferate at fine cafes around the world, most recently in Auckland, New Zealand at the stunning new build from Eighthirty Coffee.
Today it’s a build of their very own we’re featuring: a look inside Modbar’s all-new showroom HQ in Fort Wayne. “We are very proud to be based in Fort Wayne,” Modbar Marketing Manager Lena Prickett tells Sprudge. “We are excited to be part of the manufacturing and innovation heritage of this part of the country,” she adds, alluding to Allen County’s proud history of engineering and fabrication that includes the invention of the gasoline pump (1885), the domestic refrigerator (1913), and the first home video game console (1972).
To learn more we spoke with Prickett about Modbar’s newly remodeled HQ.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Hey Lena Prickett of Modbar! Thanks for chatting to us about your recently gussied HQ. How long was the building process for the remodel?
Our showroom has always been a DIY, labor-of-love type of space, and has gone through a couple of transformations over the years. We started rethinking the space in earnest last summer, drawing up sample floor plans and considering taking down walls to open up the space. Toward the end of last year, we settled on a modest upgrade that would keep us in the original footprint but totally overhaul the look and feel of the space. We started demo in December and did most of the work in-house, finishing up in the middle of June.
Which local craftspeople and designers did you work with on the space?
The wooden slats on the front of the bar were designed and built by our shop manager’s stepfather, a local woodworker. Pretty much everything else was designed and built by our shop crew. Aric, our co-founder and head of engineering, is a CAD wizard and drew up the plans for the space that guided our team through the build.
Are there any special opening events planned for the new HQ?
We just had our opening party, a celebration for our customers and friends around the region as well as a launch party for our new Espresso AV. We’ll continue to host trainings and demos in the factory and showroom, but don’t have any other big events planned at the moment. We’ll host our annual Winter Throwdown in December, but that will be at another venue in town.
What is your favorite design element of the space?
We all really love the wrought-iron Modbar logo sign behind the bar, but our favorite design feature is probably the removable panels on the front of the bar itself. This is a feature we frequently recommend customers consider when building out their own bars, since it makes it so much easier to access the modules for maintenance and service. Someone clever thought to attach them with magnets, which is awesome.
Are you trying to set up Modbar Fort Wayne as a destination? Or is this space primarily meant to serve the local community? Both?
Modbar in Fort Wayne has been a destination for our customers since the beginning, whether for technical trainings or just see where these machines are made. We love hosting people here and it is a special experience for people to see our shop crew in action, both for people from around the world and from our local community.
Fort Wayne is a city with a proud manufacturing history. As Modbar expands with global partnerships, what does it mean to keep Fort Wayne as your home base?
We are very proud to be based in Fort Wayne. We have a very talented and dedicated crew here building, assembling, and testing every machine that goes into the North American market, as well as contributing to the R&D efforts we carry out as a global team. We are excited to be part of the manufacturing and innovation heritage of this part of the country and to bring these beautiful machines to a larger audience thanks to our international partnerships.
Any other special elements of the space you want to talk about?
Modbar is all about creating beautiful spaces for remarkable hospitality. We hope that the simplicity and openness of this space echo that mission, creating a welcoming space as soon as visitors walk into the building. Come visit!
Photos courtesy of Modbar.
Disclosure: Modbar is an advertiser on the Sprudge Media Network.