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Sometimes things don’t go as planned.  No, let’s say that when you need things to go smoothly, crazy things happen.  Yesterday I arrived at the store to find Mike Gardner, his crew, and the shopping center maintenance crew all running around under this waterfall that had formed in our storage room.  Everyone was wet along with everything in that room, the floor in the next room and the ceiling in the room below.  It was bad.  Today this first picture makes it seem better than I remember.  My memory includes a trash can full of dirty water and soggy drywall, waiting in the dark for 40 minutes while Ryan from DC Electric dried each breaker on the electric panel, and carrying lots of wet cardboard.  It was not what I wanted to do that morning.  I immediately set to work trying to rescue products from their soggy boxes and, luckily, almost everything was still dry inside.

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The drain pipe from the roof broke at a joint right behind our storage room walls.  What’s terrible is that we knew about the leak on Monday and didn’t fix it.  It formed a bubble of water underneath the paint on the wall near the ceiling . I moved the boxes away from that immediate area but they remained in the same room.  When it started raining on Wednesday night I didn’t think for a second about that bubble on the wall.  That night of heavy rain just blew open the connection between two pieces of pipe and the water began to soak our ceiling.  The water pooled on top of the ceiling long enough to trickle down the outside of the walls before dissolving a hole in the center.  This picture is from outside the storage room.

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 Actually, most of the water drained straight down our back wall into the basement tenant’s space.  I didn’t go down there but I know it must have been a disaster zone.  

We had a pretty bad situation ourselves, the hole from the first picture is just the part that collapsed on its own, the whole ceiling in the storage room was wet.  The panels were removed yesterday and this morning new dry wall panels were installed and patched.  

As of yesterday morning our final building inspection was scheduled for that afternoon making this bump in the road seem like a road block!  In order to receive our certificate of occupancy we were supposed to prove that construction has finished and here we are with a newly installed ceiling, joints barely patched, floorboards that need replacing and a couple other recently patched holes.  

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We had to reschedule the final inspection for this afternoon and WE PASSED!  The Town office was very understanding and they treated the leak and its repairs as an incident separate from our renovation of the space.  Even though the light fixture in the storage room had to be removed leaving just the cables dangling…  it will be repaired on Monday!  We are fit for business!  Actually, I have a lot of work to do before we are really ready to open the doors.  It is all up to me now, no more excuses about the construction!

 

Let’s review some other hiccups from the last couple weeks:

 

both True freezers arrived broken (repaired Monday and today under warranty)

the poinsettias that we bought for decoration stained the marble counters

the other marble counter got scratched

the grease trap was misbehaving and flooded the whole prep room

the slicer didn’t fit on the countertops

the Southern case doesn’t have a real work surface

we didn’t pull enough cables for internet and phone in the right places to make a good network

 

Some good things from the last couple weeks:

 

the hanging lights arrived today (they took ~4 weeks)

the building inspector was understanding about our leak situation

I found a source for parmesan knives

the food arrived ok

the internet will work

the POS system seems easy to understand (I hope I don’t jinx it) 

we will open before Christmas (unless the whole roof comes crashing down on us)

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dec4-08_big1In preparation for our electric and HVAC inspections this afternoon, we cleaned the store to make it look more complete.  It turned out to be a great idea, the store looks much better overall and areas that aren’t finished are more obvious.  For example, the cabinets on both walls are missing their top panels:

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Luckily, the cabinets don’t have anything to do with electrical wiring or HVAC installation so we passed those inspections without any trouble.  [thanks to Ryan from DC Electric for posing in these pictures and wiring Piazza]

The latest snag in our building process concerns the grease trap.  Until this week I have never heard of a grease trap.  The Bedford Cheese Shop didn’t have one.  I don’t think.  No one ever talked about having to clean one or check on one or fixing one so we must not have had one because everything else broke at least once.  

In any case, our architect included one in our plans because he knows about these things.  On Tuesday I got a call from Amy who is reviewing our plans at the County Office of Environmental Health about item P-10, the grease trap.  She informed me that we needed to alert Mr. Talbot Bone that we planned to install a grease trap in our store because he will know which type we need to get.  Mr. Bone works for the Easton’s public wastewater facility and so our waste will be passing through his system.  This morning I learned that Mr. Bone also does consulting with the Town Building Inspector and he is the final authority on whether or not our grease trap is approved.  

Phew, okay, so what I needed to find out was what he was looking for but because I don’t know anything about grease traps, this was confusing.  He told me “20 minute retention time” and “baffles” but those specifications kind of went in one ear and out the other.  He told me to ask my plumber but I don’t know who my plumber is.  My restaurant equipment dealer, Sandy Wyatt came to the rescue.  She pulled up a GRD, that’s a grease recovery device, and this morning, after figuring out that Amy isn’t the one who gives the ultimate thumbs up, I sent the specs over to Talbot who said: