Saturday, January 20, 2007

All In Half a Day's Work

Tom says:
Wednesday. The demo and painting crew shows up at 8:00a and for some (stupid) reason it didn't occur to me that they would a) need ALL the space or b) move at the speed of light. In short, I lost my office for the day, which wasn't a big deal except for throwing me off balance.

So, I get these guys settled in and then I need to coordinate the delivery and placement of the dumpster. Having it sit on Elm Street was out of the question and behind the building, in the alley, there wasn't room. Fortunately, the owners of the building behind ours allowed us to park the dumpster in their lot for the next two days.

Of course the dumpster gets delivered while I'm in the middle of a pivotal meeting with Ariel and trying to make absolute, final decisions about the construction and design of the banquette seats. So I'm working with her, talking with the driver from the waste management company and then the painting crew chief, Fabio, rushes over to tell me there's water in the dining room.

There's water in the dining room ?!

Turns out the demo crew hit the one hot water pipe that hadn't been turned off. So, yeah: there was water in the dining room. Not a lot and nowhere near enough to cause any damage, but man. All this had happened and it wasn't even noon yet.

But by the end of the day, the ceiling had its first coat of paint; by the end of the next day it was finished (total gallons needed: 8); by the end of the week, the HVAC ducts and walls were wearing their new coats (of paint). And any trepidation I'd had about using bold color on the ceiling--and I'd had plenty--had vanished. The palette translated into fantastic and my vision is turning into reality now in ways that I can actually see.

This is the first week since we bought the restaurant that things seemed crazy and it's only the first of many crazy weeks to come: the police and fire departments both signed off on the plans, so the buildings department should be able to wrap up their approvals early next week. With that behind us, construction, electrical and plumbing can start.

My multi-tasking skills are being challenged. If I'm not in a meeting, I'm on the telephone. If I'm not on the telephone, I'm reviewing product quotes. If I'm not reviewing product quotes, I'm looking at signage and stationery comps. If I'm not looking at comps, I'm interviewing chef and dining room manager candidates. If I'm not interviewing, I'm rewriting menus. If I'm not rewriting menus, I'm tweaking the budget.

Hell, I'm always tweaking the budget.

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