Friday, May 25, 2007

The update you deserve

So... what's been going on these busy weeks?

The blog now matches a little better to our new temp website.

The space at the shop is not yet entirely secure, so we've been getting deliveries at the house for now. This is killing me though... poppa grinder (i.e. Mr. 3-phase Robur) and baby grinders (Super-Jollys for decaf and single-origin/guest 'spros) are just sitting here in our dining room all boxed up.

We did have to open the Robur box to drool a little, I admit it.

Some of our pendant lights got here too.

Here's a sneak peek.

(See our cute little coffee tree on the table courtesy of Jay at Intelly?)

In other local news, Andersonville is applying to become a National Historic District, particularly due to its Swedish heritage. That's kind of neat. We went to a meeting about it the other day and picked up some cocktail party-useful historical factoids of the 'hood.

The retail space next to ours is still for rent, and so we sometimes brainstorm about what we think should go there (or in some of the other now or soon-to-be available local spaces). One of my recent ideas was that a Homemade Pizza Co. would be a good fit, and would fill a needs gap in the neighborhood. Lo and behold, I just found out there is actually one going in... but down closer to the "middle" of the strip, not right by us. That's kind of a bummer, cause we could use the destination-ness of it by our shop, but it's still in the neighborhood, so we'll probably partake of some. More importantly, props to me for learning how to think about neighborhood demographics and retail/restaurant viability. Of course, they've gone from just a couple shops to a whole bunch more pretty fast, so maybe it's inevitable they'd end up here. In any case, if you know of any coolio shops looking for a space in a dope hood... send 'em our way!

What else? Lots of "small" or technical things, like checking dimensions on all the equipment and laying it out in the space, or dropping paperwork off at the Alderman's office, or juggling funds from account to account to make sure the money's where it's needed, or picking up rapid set cement at Home Depot to patch the basement floor, or going to the National Restaurant Show and dealing with vendors... stuff like that. Also mediating between parties, trying to keep everything running smoothly... that's no small job.

Ok, now the good stuff... we've passed both rough electrical and rough plumbing inspections:

That means we're on to drywall. Woo-hoo...

Yeah... That's what we're talkin' about!

Gettin' philosophical on yo' *BLEEP*!

Ok, ok... I'm sorry about the lack of posts. I can't believe it's been two weeks. These weeks are flying by in flashes, and here I am once again saying, "I can't believe it's Friday already!" I'm not complaining... it means I'm engaged, busy, occupied. I remember way back when, in a former life, sitting in a cube, watching the clock tick by, knowing that life is too short to want the clock to speed up, but praying for 5 o'clock anyway. That's how I knew cube life was not for me. And is probably one of the many reasons that we're here, along this path, now. That, and Montessori school. Even by five years old my "report cards" were stressing my independent streak... I've never been a big fan of "the man".

Miguel grew up with small business-owning parents, so the idea of us opening this shop might not have been so totally "out there" for him, especially since he had already been working independently in the design business for years. But I grew up taught that "the path" was to go get a good, secure, professional "job" (meaning career). Which, despite my independent streak, I ended up doing, though I did try to do it my own way... trying to figure out how to change the system from within. But ultimately, the cube thing might have killed it for me (or maybe it was the khakis?). Of course I probably wouldn't have lasted as long as I did if I hadn't felt like I was making a difference, affecting sustainability policy. And the travel was nice too. But I digress. Point is... big lifestyle changes for us. Big.

So now we're creating our own "path"... one where we can be present, and not mentally trying to speed up the clock so we can be somewhere else. Designing our lives, so to speak.

In any case, we are definitely marching towards our opening date... now hovering somewhere within the month of July. Lots still to do.

More updates with pics later today. Promise!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Becoming real-er!

Basement storage room and office, before + after 'painting weekend':

Unlike plumbing and electrical, painting is something we can do to save money. We decided to use low/no VOC paints (for health and environmental reasons), which we've never used before but discovered some new things about them. For instance, while we were easily able to find low or no VOC paints locally, no one had anything that could handle tinting to medium or dark colors. It seems if you want to stay "pure", you're almost stuck at pastels. Apparently the colors themselves are what carry a lot of the volatile compounds. The whites were easy, but for our color, we ended up going a bit lighter than we would have otherwise. So I hope they're working on making more color options available, cause we love our dark colors (and our health)!

In other news, construction is moving along, we're sorting through more bank business, updating the budgets, trying to get the owner's guys to finish their work, confirming equipment specs, finally picked up our plans from the city ("No, I didn't get them... you mean you didn't get them? Did anyone get them? Oops."), and have been generally running around like headless chickens (minus the grossness).

In more visual news, the bar wall is going up. It'll be taller than this, but it's still pretty low... we're anxious to see how the vision will come together. And as stuff is going up in the space for real, we're also seeing that there are a few things look like they might need some adjustment. Areas that looked huge on the drawings are feeling a bit tight and vice versa, but overall...

This is so cool!

And I don't know if I dare say it out loud, but at this point, my fine peeps, we are probably looking at 9-10 weeks until opening. Whoa.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

wait, wait, run... wait!

Hey there! Despite our bumping into a bunch of bureaucratic hoop-jumping this week because of the build-out budget woes, there's still lots of progress is in the works... lots of decisions getting made... lots of stuff going in/on!

See anything new?

(There go your high ceilings, Steve. Sorry!)

It's all very exciting!

Oh, and all you volunteers out there, put on your scruffs... we're painting the basement this weekend!