July 2019

Master-Bilt® Refrigeration News & Product Information


Partner In Success: Vicari Grill – Purchasing Master-Bilt Equipment A No-Brainer

One of the many treasures in the historic downtown district of Corinth, Mississippi, is the Vicari Italian Grill.  The outstanding Italian cuisine served in an upscale atmosphere attracts regular customers from a 60-mile radius.  Unbeknownst to their customers, the Vicari Grill has a treasure of its own with Master-Bilt equipment in the kitchen and bar area. With over a dozen pieces of Master-Bilt equipment in the restaurant, one could say that Master-Bilt has attributed to the overall success and popularity of Vicari.

“Our walk-in cooler was the first piece of Master-Bilt equipment that I purchased nine years ago,” John Mabry, Co-Owner and Executive Chef at Vicari, stated. “I’ve never had any type of service performed on our walk-in, even after moving it two different times to different buildings. When it came time to add our bar equipment, Master-Bilt was the first and only choice for me,” Mabry added. Over the course of time, Mabry has added reach-in refrigerators and freezers, a 72” prep table, keg beer boxes, back bar refrigerators and slide-top bottle coolers to his Master-Bilt equipment family.

Chef John Mabry’s first piece of Master-Bilt equipment was a walk-in cooler. Over time, he’s added reach-ins (above) in the kitchen prep area and back bar refrigerators (below) to the bar area.

Mabry admits that he wanted to work with a local manufacturer and with Master-Bilt being headquartered in New Albany, Mississippi, that element worked out great. “But the decision to purchase Master-Bilt equipment time-and-time again, wasn’t solely based on location,” Mabry noted. “The (Master-Bilt) equipment is extremely easy to use, easy to maintain, and with plug-and-play installation, the entire process of setting up and using the equipment is completely seamless.”

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Owning a restaurant can be a stressful business with many factors to consider such as employees, food quality and food safety, and equipment. “I’ve never had to worry about my Master-Bilt equipment.  I truly believe all parts of the equipment work well because they are well-made, offering a sense of dependability and security for my business to run smooth each day,” Mabry said. With Vicari serving approximately 600-800 guests per week in its restaurant and another 300-500 guests per week through its off-site catering business (all operating out of the same kitchen, using the same equipment), it is imperative that the equipment is reliable, easy to maintain and efficient.

“Our utility bills are a lot less due to the energy-efficient equipment that we use. The equipment is not “fighting” to work in the kitchen which results in overall cooler temperatures than in a lot of restaurant kitchens (without efficient equipment),” stated Mabry. “If your equipment is working properly, is efficient and maintaining certain and correct temperatures, then food safety is drastically improved,” Mabry commented. “Food safety is certainly one of our top concerns. Hinges closing tightly, seals actually sealing properly at all times, and equipment being easy to clean are among some of the key items that help with food safety and reduce any type of foodborne illnesses. If you have a piece of equipment that is easy to clean and maintain, then your employees are more likely to keep it clean, resulting in a safer, just overall better kitchen,” Mabry further noted.

Chef John Mabry has worked in kitchens in New York, Miami, Dallas and even France. Knowing all of the keys to a successful restaurant and knowing how to keep customers coming back faithfully, is certainly second-nature to Mabry at this point in his career. Choosing Master-Bilt equipment to help Mabry along-the-way, has definitely been a no-brainer decision and one with no regrets.