January 25th-28th - Progress and more progress

I've been trying to update this thing daily as it is actually easier to maintain on a daily basis than trying to update it in large chunks...however, some days are busier than others which leads to posts like this where we fill you in on 4 days at a time.

January 25th - A big day

On Saturday, Jeremy Bell and I spent much of the day brewing 20 gallons of blonde for the upcoming Centennial Beer Festival that is slated for February 21st and 22nd. Our planned beers may change so we're waiting on announcing the final line-up but they will be announced soon.

While we were brewing, Barry and our first contract crew were busy at the building. They cut out the apartment partitions in the upstairs area, making the space look much larger than before. While that went on, Barry cut out the remaining cast iron piping, prepped one of the cast iron poles for priming, and cleaned up after the walls were removed. In general, these few sentences seem like much less was done than what actually happened.

January 26th - An even bigger day

We finally get out of the 0 degree temperatures and almost see 60 for the first time in what seems like months. We utilized the day by finishing the front facade in preparation for the plate glass. We wood-filled, sanded, and primed the trim on the window boxes, removed the rust and general nastiness from the main corner pole before priming. While we continued to work on the front, the crew inside stabilized the interior structure and began removing some of the rotten beams and joists. The building now has a temporary center beam which will soon allow us to level out the floors and begin installing the permanent beams and columns. What a difference a day makes.

January 27th - A Better Hole in the Floor

A bitter cold day, but still productive. I cleaned upstairs and began going through the pile of wood from the previous Saturday's demo day. Since we're using as much old wood (that is usable) as we possibly can, we have to go through and take out any nails, staples, or metalwork for future use. It's tedious, but when our tables have 125 year old table tops, it'll be well worth the extra salvaging efforts.

While I worked upstairs, the crew continued to shore up the main level. The supports were completed and they ripped out all of the rotten joists, the toe-nailed supports, and the metal center beam. This opened up the floor in preparation for the concrete pad for the brewing equipment. The pad, while for the heavy equipment, will double as a huge base for building support, giving a place for joists and columns to stabilize the building in preparation for the weight of business...hopefully up to 250 people in the building at one time.

January 28th - Too Cold to Work

Today was miserably cold. At 8am when the guys arrived, weather.com said it was 3 degrees with a wind chill of -11. With a building that is wide open, that sort of weather makes for pretty miserable work. With that said, the crew ended up taking out a few beams before calling it a day.

While a ton of physical work wasn't completed, the day wasn't lost. We met with a point-of-sale representative to discuss their product, what it offers, and why it may (or may not) be better than their competitors. We really want a good POS system to ensure our numbers are correct, to help our servers, cooks, and bar staff make each customer's experience as good and enjoyable as possible. A good POS system will speed up service, give a plethora of in depth information on orders, service, and trends, and allow us to make sure we are adapting to customer's likes and dislikes. It will be an integral part of the restaurant/bar. With that said, there are many options and like everything else, we are pouring over the costs, options, and benefits before locking down on a decision. We want to make sure it has the ability to accept a membership program (for our current and future members), mobile ordering and payments, and possibly the ability to pay with your phone.

We also met with a concrete contractor to bid out all of the upcoming concrete work. We have a few cubic yards of concrete coming our way...to say the least.

Other heres and theres that I won't detail: more and more things to do to get a possible tax abatement, emailing a few possible contractors about services and bids, talked to the city about the project and permitting. Set up the required life insurance for the SBA loan which is going to require an upcoming blood work up and physical.

The things we're doing for great food, excellent beer, and a beautiful place to relax...and there's so much more to come.

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