We spent the next 4-6 months fleshing out the plan and meeting with the then building owner, preparing to purchase the now current location. The meetings led to a building purchase on October 23, 2012....which started the incredibly hard work that has been needed to renovate the building and save it from certain destruction. We began by cleaning and doing some of the initial demo work...which was needed to get a better idea of what we could tackle first. We started by pulling thousands of nails and constructing water catching boxes, hoping to eliminate the mildew smell throughout the building. Once complete we started scraping and chiseling the upstairs brick which had previously been tuck-pointed so sloppily that each brick had about 1" of actual visibility. The interior brick was so bad that we spent the better part of 6 weeks chiseling and scraping brick for eventual sealing. After scraping and brushing the interior brick (both upstairs and down) we moved to the exterior brick.
The exterior brick has been incredibly difficult but we're close to the end. We had to assemble scaffolding and begin scraping each brick - one by one - with a stone made especially for brick cleaning. A good analogy would be taking a building front covered completely with dark pencil and erasing each brick with an eraser about 2"x3"...but erasing the entire front facade. As we completed the cleaning and the grinding of the mortar, we had a couple of tuck pointers hired to specifically tuck-point, acid wash, and seal the front brick work. During this entire process we had help from Mr. Bill Sutton who has been a very helpful part of our work by constructing our window boxes, giving helpful advice, and tuck-pointing the eastern wall. He will continue to be a large part of our renovation.
At this point, we are waiting on a structural engineer plan and will move forward with honing the structure as soon as the plan comes in. Until then, we will be grinding out the back wall in preparation for tuck-pointing. We will be working on the western wall during that time. Once the structural work is completed, we will be installing the impending windows and ripping out the orange brick/metal front facade in preparation for a complete rebuild.
The front facade will be rebuild with wood and will resemble the older front store fronts, similar to what the building looked like at the time it was built. There will be large windows with a division leading to a smaller top window that has the ability to open. A few mock ups will be posted in the near future to give a better idea of the plan. The main floor with be a family oriented restaurant with booths against both the left and right walls. The brewery itself will be located against the back wall, centered and will be surrounded by wooden walls with large glass that makes the equipment visible. A small bar will be located directly in front of the brewery and will be created in a small horseshoe shape. The kitchen and the main floor bathrooms will be built onto the back of the building. The build ons will lead to a patio and a walk down grass area that also contains a bocce court.
The upstairs will be more of a bar atmosphere that focuses on lower volume music with occasional bands. The upstairs will feature a larger horseshoe bar against the right wall that should fit approximately 16 seats. This area will contain tall tables located around the 17 large windows. There are plans to install two large pull down projection screens in both the right and left corners to be used for big sporting events, potential movie nights, and trivia nights. The back will lead out to a deck that is to be built above the kitchen.
Overall, we are both still employed full-time, giving us evenings and weekends to squeeze in building work . We hope to open in less than a year but a definitive date should come in the next couple of months.