Friday, February 26, 2010

Restaurant Buildout Haiku

Thanks to my dear friend Kelly at Fountain Bookstore for the inspiration!

My brain is bursting
Secco to open before
French Film Festival

30 amp fryer
Fifty seven resumes
Discontinued tile

Bowling alley wax
High-temp no-chem glass washer
Five dozen cheese slates

Zoning compliance
1.7 pounds ice per seat
POS training

Water heater tray
Aluminum or plastic?
Unscheduled sales reps

Bonjour French presses
Do green degreasers exist?
Painting ceiling tiles

BFM on draft
Research exterminators
Cross wired speakers

Wrong week to quit sniffing glue
Fire suppression next

Grease to Biofuels
Dimmable halogen lights
Operating agreement

Meet with CPA
What do you mean 'not in stock'
Drafting press release

Repurposed lumber
Compostable containers
Need to drink Champagne

Scheduling two staffs
Need to finalize wine list
Hand me the Advil

Website comps to proof
Whole or half cube icemaker
No more g@%%#&n snow

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Who Knew "Hood Inspection" Elicited So Many Jokes?

So my plan of avoiding inspectors seems to be working. I'm so feminist I'm anti-fem! Wha?! Let's just say that after decades of fighting anything that moved, at the ripe old age of 39 3/4, I have embraced the adage: "Do you want to be right, or do you want to be effective?" I choose effective. So I smile sweetly and duck out, and voila! We passed yet another inspection on the first try (here's hoping I haven't jinxed it now). Next up, fire suppression.

Chef Tim and his trusty helpers have been working around all this chaos trying to get the tile installed before the kitchen equipment rolls in. And since I was the one who measured it, we came up 9 tiles short. Sigh. Hopefully Morris Tile still has some of those closeouts left or I'm gonna have to get creative.

We've hired our first bartender--everybody welcome an old RVA favorite Lincoln Smith. He doesn't know it yet but his days are going to be filled with painting ceiling tiles and trips to the dump long before we start filling glasses with delicious BFM brews and flutes of sparkling Prosecco.

Off to find the elusive second-hand 72" three compartment sink...

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Bar Bones, Richmond Rooftops

So, I didn't tell Tom how much I fear ladders. It's not a fear of heights. I'm just fine going up, but the awkward, precarious, equipment-laden decent not so much. The good news was the weather FOR ONCE cooperated. So up we went. The hood guys had strategically placed the exhaust equipment a few days before so we (from here on out referring to the "royal we" means Tom if skilled or physical labor is involved, and yours truly if taking iPhone pix, mixing cocktails, crunching numbers, uploading iPhone pix, distracting the subcontractors or occasionally pushing a broom is involved) cut through 90 years' worth of really nasty, smelly, confusing roofing materials to start the venting shaft. Did I say nasty? That smell--rendered by Tom's Sawzall smoking while it tore through the abitument and amosite-laden black schmutz--reminded me of my childhood, specifically of naval shipyards in the early 70's and tire burning protests in mid-80's Napoli. Not delicious when stuck in the lipgloss.

Today Jim Jones (hood guy) and his trusty partner will bore through the upstairs office (hi, neighbor!), insert the 2 story welded monstrosity, wrap it and build a chase around it. Then it's fire suppression time...

In the way cool department, Tom has started the front bar! Basic structure went in over the weekend--really starting to look like more than an abandoned rec room now. My good buddy Victoria, an intrepid online shopper with impeccable design sense found us some sexy, heavily discounted barstools with FREE SHIPPING. I love free. And if you're like me and not nearly as tall as you perceive yourself to be, you'll love the fact that they adjust for height AND they swivel. Looking good....

Today Chef and I are going to pick up closeout flooring tile for the kitchen and bath, and I'm going to learn how to mix grout and handle Durock (the cement board, not the pork). Or I'll pour beers while Chef does it. Everyone's got his/her skill set. Then it's off to go six burner shopping!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The HOOD...She is UP!

Joy! Secco construction is really rolling now. My house finally sold and the big push for equipment and outfitting is underway. We passed plumbing rough-in, electrical is all done, and the giant hood has been installed (though every time we try to finish the venting work it SNOWS). Tom is cranking out the bar and tables, and Tim is scouring auctions and warehouse basements for everything from whisks to convection ovens. I've been dodging back and forth between spreadsheets, website design, wine lists, subcontractors and utilities customer service calls. Just trying to keep the circus in the ring...and get open before the French Film Festival. Sacre Bleu!

One thing I was happy to discover and want to pass on to anyone with any home or business improvement project: ReStore. If you're not already familiar with it, it's basically a thrift store of everything from grout to doors to light fixtures to flooring--all proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity. I scored four beautiful brand new mirrors and a porcelain hand sink for a FRACTION of the cost. Great place--I'll be there every week!