SkyDome Restaurant

I’m in Washington DC for work for a couple of days, at one of the hotels that is close to our meeting place and charges a rate acceptable to the bean counters. I’ve stayed here many times before, so it feels familiar.

The hotel’s hallmark is a rotating restaurant on the top. These are always fun with a great view, and while they’re not in every city, they’re not uncommon, either. That got me thinking (always dangerous):

1. Is there a company that just builds revolving restaurants? “Okay, you want a 90-foot diameter restaurant. I just shipped the last one, so it’ll take us a few weeks to make a new one. Don’t forget, we just do the restaurant shell and mechanical rotation equipment—all the cooking and bar equipment, tables, chairs, and so on are your responsibility.”

2. Maybe the company provides a kit of unique parts. “Okay, you’ll need a roller-bearing assembly, 90-feet in diameter, and rated for 150 tons. Next, you’ll need the fastening kits, one to connect it to the building, and then the other to connect the restaurant floor. Oh, do you need the instruction and service manuals? They’re not included and cost extra. They are cheaper if you buy the downloadable version; the paper version has 3 x 5 feet pages and weighs a couple of hundred pounds. With the download, you can print as many copies of any section whenever you want.”

3. Or, is each one individually designed by the architect or civil engineer working on the building? “Hmmm. This will be fun—I’ve never designed one of these before. I know how to calculate the weight, balance, and torque needed to turn the restaurant floor, but not everything. I guess I’ll Google it and check You Tube to see if there are any good tips online.”

Whichever way they use, it works; I’ve never encountered a problem (except for the occasional unexpectedly high dinner and drink tab), so I enjoy them very much.

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