Editor’s Note: This month’s feature article is about a converted bus like most of our cover stories, but this month’s bus is slightly different. This double-decker bus was converted into a beautiful restaurant. We decided to run it because it is so nice and because it shows some features you may want to incorporate into your own bus conversion or perhaps if you are a Bus Nut, you may want to open a restaurant in a bus just like this one.
My amazing journey with the Bus Restaurant started in 2016. I started my new adventure, just knowing that I wanted to start a business, that looked different than others in the current market now. I want a business that could attract people not only for good quality food and an exceptional menu but also for its stunning and extraordinary design. I knew I wanted something totally different!!!
The Bus Restaurant, which is called “Mammoth”, came as an idea to start bold, big and brave. Our bus hunting started in late 2016. My partner (Sam) and I decided to start this project with an attitude of “no matter what it takes to complete the project, we want it bad and we will make it work.”
We were thinking big and we were thinking to enter into the food market, where our design has never been met before. So, the first rule was to create original ideas and stick to what we think it will be worth at the end, even considering our bumpy journey. We very well knew it is not going to be easy at all, but this was too good and too exciting to be ignored as we had a strong faith that we are going to succeed with a happy result.
After three months of research we have found our precious and beautiful bus near Manchester, England. We travelled up north for a good while until we met Mr. Mike D, a best seller for buses of any kind in the UK. His collection of fantastic buses and his great customer service along with a deep knowledge in his field, gave us all we needed to know initially to purchase one of his most beautiful buses from his great collection.
The bus was driven to the yard we had rented for a place to work during construction. I started my research and design development from the early days. I was very clear about what I wanted to achieve from this particular design, and it was clear how to start developing the rough sketches into a beautiful and functional mobile restaurant.
As the initial idea was developed from an early stage, we went for the bus, which has no roof, but had a top deck because this was going to make it a lot easier for us to fit on a canopy.
The job began by removing the black safety rails on the top deck and the front display board, which was positioned at the front. The next stage was to remove the seats and the frames, as these all needed to be renovated again.
The original seat covers were blue leather, as built by the manufacturer. I changed the seat covers, as this had to match with overall color and the design theme to create harmony and maintain the same design language.
I chose Crimson, patterned, and textured, water and fireproof fabric to cover the seats. The seat cushions were refilled using brand new foam and the seat frames were painted black to match the seat’s color theme as well as the table legs.
The next step was to decorate the walls and floors on the top deck. To choose materials, which are going to continue reflecting the design theme as well as being suitable and functional was what had to be achieved at this stage of the design.
What materials would really suit considering the nature of the business while we are still continuing with a beautiful design theme throughout the conversion was the question I was asking myself all the time. The practicality was the key aspect in every step of this journey. After testing different materials, the best option was to use a wooden flooring. Using a very thick and good quality wood to continue maintaining harmony in such a narrow area gave me an idea to use wooden panels on the walls as well, but only halfway up.
The ceiling work was carried out right after removing the seats and the frames. Once the side rails, seats, and seat frames were removed there was enough space to install the transparent canopy on the top deck. Other than the kitchen, this was the main and the most major part of the design and construction.
The original idea for having a transparent canopy in almost a semi-circle shape was to create an amazing view and unforgettable experience for the customers. To blend outdoor with indoor, I had to think about, not only beauty but also the function, the health and safety rules and regulations, maximum highway height allowances and also, the weather, as this venue is designed to function throughout the year and is suitable for different climates.
The design concept for the ceiling began by thinking how would I like to feel when I am sitting about 4.70 m (15.5 feet) off the ground and enjoying my coffee, food or perhaps working on my laptop being surrounded in a cozy, yet quirky environment? So, we needed a complete transparent canopy with a solid structure for when the bus is moving and to perhaps travel between locations. The complete design and plans were passed on to a company who cut the transparent sheets and aluminum frames into the right shapes and sizes for the installation to begin.
Customers can take advantage of a beautiful view, rainfall, snowfall, sunset and sunrise while having their meal or just simply relaxing and enjoying their cup of coffee or adult beverage.
There are thirteen tables and seating capacity to accommodate forty-six people in total on this deck. The images providing details from when the design and construction work was completed on the canopy on the top deck and the storage on the lower deck at the front of the bus.
The front lower deck has a storage area, fitted stainless steel shelves and the toilet and hand washbasin, which are built under the staircase. The bathroom measurement is: 1 m x 2.40 m (3-1/4 ft. x 8 ft. It can be used as a changing room; toilet and the electrical power box is fitted in this section behind the toilet as well.
The total length for the actual bus is 13 m x 240 cm (42.5 ft. x 8 ft.) A storage area occupies around 5 meters (16.5 ft.) in length. There is plenty of space to store extra machines as well as power generator at the front.
Stainless steel is used to cover the floor, walls, and ceiling. As this is a small kitchen, food hygiene, as well as fresh environment to work from, was the reason which influenced the design and the kind of materials chosen to build the kitchen from an early stage. It is, therefore extremely easy to maintain a clean kitchen with this style. Kitchen actual measurement: 5 m x 2.40 m x 183 cm (16.5 ft. x 8 ft. x 6 ft.)
On the top deck, there are LED lights installed under the seats and on the side panels. There are also dimmer table lamps to provide more or less lighting as required.
All the lights used in this project are LED, to reduce the supply from a power generator to light up the space. Power outlets are provided on both floors as shown on the pictures to provide power for machinery as well as those that are using their laptops while sitting at tables on the top floor. All lights are on dimmer switches and there are emergency power lights installed in the kitchen which will be switched on automatically in a case of fire or an emergency.
There are two kinds of lighting used externally. One is a flat LED and is installed around the edges and the other LED lights are on the sides at the front and back of the upper deck.
The transparent canopy is designed to slide open from the middle. The front and back sections are not movable, but the middle section slides open from the middle to allow in the fresh air. Also, in an emergency, this could be used as an emergency exit to outside of the bus from the top deck.
There is a toilet and a handwashing basin, the kitchen canopy, four sectioned canopy, twine fryer, electric grills, fries fryer, warmer, soup maker, cake fridge, drink fridge, two stainless steel worktops 3 m x 60 cm (10 ft. x 2 ft.) with sliding doors cabinets underneath. Six LED lights are installed on each side by the canopy and above the worktop and sink on the opposite side to light up both sides’ worktop surfaces.
There is an emergency access and a canopy and fan installed above the cooking equipment.
Extra storage has been created on the door, to store small items, and in the double large refrigerators. There are double sinks in the kitchen one for washing up and the other hand wash basin. All water pipes run from underneath the sink in the kitchen.
The ticket reader machine, piping and power panel in the toilet are original. Mammoth is a fully facilitated mobile Bus Restaurant.
The engine is in a very good condition as this bus had only been in service for six months and has only 60,000 KM (37,500 miles).
The Bus Restaurant is currently on the market to be sold. We are providing full services, from purchasing bus services to a final product and project completion. We supply you with the best condition buses you have ever seen. We supply buses in different colors shapes and sizes.
They all have the potential to be converted to a new space depending on the customers’ needs and preferences. We do provide customers with consultations, as many as the clients require and design from concept to completion.
The design process includes: initial consultation with the client, sketches, design development, design ideas and progression between the designer and the client, provide with material mood board, quote, material options, construction, consultation and once the design developed and the client is satisfied the final stage will be the technical drawings and construction work.
We can provide services for the construction work to be carried out in the UK (this is negotiable) and we have an excellent shipping system to ship completed projects to our clients around the world. We are based in the United Kingdom and you can contact Bus Conversion Magazine to learn more about our worldwide services.
Editor’s Note: This bus shows you another idea of what can be done with a bus besides converting it into a home on wheels. For anyone interested in converting a double-decker bus into an RV, restaurant or an Airbnb, we have four double-decker buses listed in our Classified Ad section.