A. O. Smith provides space-saving solution at organic restaurant

EiO and The Hive Restaurant

It’s a little before 9 a.m. on a Tuesday at EiO and The Hive, one of Nashville’s trendiest new restaurants, and a half dozen-member team is bustling around the kitchen where the aromas of freshly baked bread and rotisserie chicken waft through the air.  

The “EiO” stands for “Everything Is Organic.” The stylish fast-casual establishment serves organic and locally sourced salads, sandwiches and more. Adjacent to the restaurant, there’s a small organic farm with bee hives and chicken coops that supplies the kitchen with produce, honey and fresh eggs.  

Jennifer MasleyThe new restaurant is the brainchild of organic food entrepreneur Jennifer Masley, creator of the successful Jenergy Bar and Sip Organic Juice Bar, plus host of “The Hive Hour” on ACME Radio.  

Customers are greeted by an eight-foot wide sign at the entrance that proudly boasts: Sourcing locally is more nutritious and more delicious. Vintage-looking gold stripes painted to a finished yet industrial-looking concrete floor guide diners into the space, which features a coffee bar for morning customers and a 92-seat restaurant for lunch and dinner.   

In contrast to the spacious and cozy feeling of the dining room, the kitchen is designed as an exercise in utility—maximizing every available inch for food preparation, cleaning and efficiency.  

EiO and The Hive KitchenTo meet the restaurant’s hot water demands, Masley’s kitchen needed a high-efficiency hot water system that could handle the pressure of serving a busy restaurant despite the space restrictions of the kitchen.  

Masley turned to Allen Buchanan, project manager at Dowdle Construction Group in Nashville, to find a water heater that would meet her criteria. According to Buchanan, the main challenge was to find a heater that could deliver the needed hot water and meet state commercial building rules.  

“Tennessee’s plumbing code classifies water heaters that deliver between 100K and 199K BTUs as boilers that must have 36 inches of clearance in all directions – and there wasn’t adequate space for a tank model in EiO’s mechanical room,” said Buchanan. “We had the A. O. Smith ATI-510 tankless water heater sized by a local engineering firm to make sure that it would deliver plenty of hot water even in peak-demand periods.”  

EiO and The Hive Tankless HeatersBuchanan’s team wall mounted two A. O. Smith ATI-510 tankless water heaters, a model with a Uniform Energy Factor of 0.80 that can use up to 199,000 BTU an hour of natural gas to provide  an abundant supply of hot water—as much as 10 gallons per  minute each.  

Due to its industry-leading compact design (less than eight inches of depth from the wall), the 510 series is well suited for commercial applications such as small restaurants. Restaurant managers can count on dependable performance courtesy of a heat-resistant commercial grade copper alloy for the heat exchanger tubing and a thicker heat exchanger drum.  

“We have used A. O. Smith tankless water heaters in other restaurant projects and have never had any issues,” Buchanan added.  

Masley confirmed that the new water heater has performed flawlessly even when demand is high.  

EiO and The Hive Kitchen Sink“We have three back-of-house food prep sinks with up to 10 employees using them,” she said. “The A. O. Smith tankless water heater has provided plenty of hot water for both food prep, handwashing and cleaning.”  

Since EiO and The Hive opened in May 2017, it has steadily grown its reputation for being more nutritious and more delicious. But no matter how busy it gets—even during peak hours—Masley and her team know they’ll have the hot water they need to keep customers happy and business humming.