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The New Restaurant.

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
So late last year we bought a building for a new restaurant. Now it is mid February and thing have been progressing a little at a time. Now, you would think that I would be so excited that I would be obsessing on the thing night and day. Well, I guess I'm a little too old to do anything that fast or be that obsessed and knowing somewhat I am in for once I get open makes me not want to anything too fast. So here is what has been happening.
Demolition.
We hired a local work crew to come out and empty the restaurant of the appliances, tables etc. Had an electrician come out and remove and stub off the wiring. Hired a couple of local carpenters to tear out the hung tile ceiling, strip most of the floors to the wood, remove all the plaster from one interior wall, exposing the now 14X62 brick wall. So what we have right now is a 22x62 total floor space-1364 sq. feet, plus a 1000 sq. ft basement. So what we are looking at now is getting the interior roof and interior walls fixed, textured and finished. the now exposed brick wall has 3 windows that we will restore. We will also sand and put a sealant on the brick so they don't flake off. The floor had blown out carpeting on half of it and blown out linoleum on the kitchen side. We tore out the carpet that was glued on some old asphalt tile down to the 3" fir planks and they are in good enough shape that we can get them sanded and sealed. Under the kitchen side we found 2 layers of linoleum over some blown out 30+ year old subflooring and found another layer of asphalt tile that we need to remove.
The Rebuilding
So we are getting bids from contractors for the reconstruction. I am working with an architect friend who is doing the interior design. I'm just doing the basic layout, he is making sure that everything can work and making the plans. We have to have the plan to the building dept. Tuesday and get the building permits. So, theoretically we should be finishing the final demolition and ready to get someone in to start putting it back together in about two weeks. I am figuring the build-out to take up to 4 months, hopefully less, hopefully not more.
The Dream.
So what are we going to do? I want to capitalize on the fine dining/ catering reputation and open a dinner place. I want to be open 4 nights a week, one seating per night, write my menu weekly. Our seating plan will seat 3 eight to twelve tops, 3 four tops, and 3 two tops. One four top and one two top will be in the kitchen. Since the room is big enough, our concept will be to have the feel of being in more of a home dining room setting, with large antique hutches and buffets to help break up the room and make it feel more intimate. We have 3 large antique tables for our big tables. One was from a local historic mansion. We will have a small waiting area but no bar. We will serve beer and wine and have thought about getting a liquor license. Liquor sales are not a huge item in this part of the world.
The Reality.
This is the part where the money starts going away. We will end up paying at least 6 months of payments before we open. We have demolition costs, permit costs, and everything else. For just being in the not ready to build phase like everything else in the world it seems to cost significantly more than initially thought. We will need to put in a new hvac system return air and upgrade the existing hood, upgrade the wiring (the building now has a 100 amp service!) and buy a new fire supression system. The plumbing will be wasy to move around. The existing bathrooms will need to be remodeled and one made wheelchair acsessable. For equipment I want to buy a new charbroiler. The restaurant came with a decent 6 burner range with 24 inch grill and double oven,two gas convection ovens, a 2 door sandwich cooler, an older 4 door fridge and an ancient Univex mixer. I also own a triple sink and a two compartment stainless prep sink. I will have to buy a dishmachine, and new work tables.
The Bottom Line.
I will keep updating as we work on the project. If anyone has comments, ideas, critiques, real life experiences, questions or anything else, feel free to post.
Cheers everybody!
What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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post #2 of 17
peach
a few questions. What are you going to do in the basement? I was waiting for you to say we would have a private table in the winecellar.
Will you be considering 3 phase power with the cost of electric these days or you mostly gas? I'm thinking of changing to 3 since it's available to me.
I was also wonder if it is not cheaper to get your dish machine from your chenical guys?
This project sounds exciting and great. You are sooo smart to be laidback at this point for you're in the hands of everyone else.
The best of luck to you until your next update. Be safe
pan
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #3 of 17
Just finished doing my place about two years ago, my building is about 100 yrs old too, found some "Seattle Times" newspapers from 1907 stashed in the attic.

Looks like you're going all out, the sum of all renovations exceeding half of the cost of the building, and I don't know if that means you'll be needing to apply for a new Occupancy Permit or not, also don't know if the bldg is sprinklered or not, but if your renovations exceed half of the cost of the bldg, you might have to.

Tote up your amperages, the d/washer and a/c can suck up alot of amps. I opted for a new Hobart H67, made in Italy, draws only 19 amps @ 3 phases, including the built-in booster heater. Dedicated outlets for things like a microwave upright coolers/icemachine etc, add up quickly too. Pay particular attention to the codes, does the d/washer have a backflow pevention device? Is the grease trap sufficiently large enough? Do the handsink, prep sink, floor drains lead into the greastrap? All exit lights and emergency lights up to code? Gas lines and appliances soap-tested?

Health permit. With new places, or ones that go under extensive renovations the health guys smell money and want the place like a show-room. The usual stuff, dedicated staff washrooms within 5o feet of the kitchen prep area, handsinks, might want a separate mopsink and even a lockable room for cleaning supplies, lighting fixtures covered with unbreakable bezels, smooth, crevice free floors, etc. I went for brownie points and did the mop room even though I wasn't required to. As a result, the inspection went well and I had my helath permit within 15 mins.

Old buildings have nasty little secrets locked away. I remember with my demolation, I was removing a surface-mounted electric box and wondered why it was stuffed full of rice crispies. They weren't, they were preserved roach bodies...
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #4 of 17
foodpump,
we need health approval if over 10K. We also have a seperate inspector who can approve the drawings which really cuts the punch list.
I'm really curious why you all are buying dish machines? I'm not saying it's bad. But here, the chem boys get two months average and if you don't have to buy more chemicals the machine is ducks. Most with a 2 year upgrade for bells and whistles
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #5 of 17
Over here it's tied to soap, chemicals, and cleaning stuff consumption. If I don't order a certain amount per month, I have to pay the leasing fee, if I don't order enough soap/supplies for 3 consecutive months, I have to pay the installation fee and removal fees.
It works well if I have a 60 seat á la carte place, but I don't. Most days I just use if for ware washing, and then on the weekends I might do a 3 course sit down for 50, or a BBQ for 200 and then I really need it. Besides, most of the machines for these companies use are not very energy efficient, they are durable and well built, but I don't have 60 amps for those hungry beasts to spare.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #6 of 17
the church I just moved into bought me a $6000 high temp hobart d/w.....$900 to install. It's not hooked up to the 1950's booster, the psi is not up to snuff....it's a blast. I sat stareing at the temp/presure gage for 30 minutes today to see how high the sucker gets.....167* and it's taking forever. The electrician spent 5 hours rewiring, the upside is between him and the disherwasher installer I got them to rewire the huge garbage disposal and replace the cord on the 1950's 5gl hobart mixer!!!! Then the goofball janitor switched off the gas to the hot water tank and the gas guy had some time on his hands (waiting for the hot water to come up to snuff) so he fixed the pilot lights on the double deck ovens!!! and cranked up the gas to the 8 burner stove. So all in all it's been an exciting 6 weeks. And the occupancy permit is in the works presently.....105 years old and they've gotta come up with a permit. The theatre on the floor above had to have a new fire suppression system installed in the kitchen so we at least did not have to go through that......
Stainless steel are us.....1000 ft of custom stainless steel with built in monster coffee pots, plate warmers, 4 hot food inserts......it's like a walk back in time, including diner china from 1930's.

Peach, my first restaurant gig was at a French restaurant in Memphis that had dinner 4 nights a week, with changing menu.....options for aps and desserts...with a steak or trout for entree subs. La Tourelle, think it's still around....Antoinettes was owned by one of the partners and it was a blast..."continental food" I found menus recently and the food still sounds wonderful 25 years later.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
We got a good price on the building. It was built @1920 so it was built with early wiring and "modern" plumbing.... Our thought is that since we are basically gutting the building is to make it servicable for the next 50 years. The old owner put a new roof on 4 years ago:bounce:
For our electrical service we are going for a 300 amp service for the main electrical box and then a separate box for the hvac that is 50 amp 3 phase. Most of the large cooking appliances are gas. The water heater is gas. The main draw on electrical will be the various refrigerators and the hood fan. I have two 3-door remote compressor fridges in storage. I think they each need their own 20 amp breaker. The will be a subpanel on the kitchen/storage area so we don't have to hike to the basement to flip the breakers.
For plumbing I am going to have to install a grease trap. I like the new self-bailer type that seperate the grease and solids into bins that get emptied every day as opposed to buying another tank style trap. They are sold under that name "Big Dipper". They run close to double what a tank runs but I like the idea of not having the to empty out "The Spa"... Idaho does not regulate that we must have a separate employee washroom but we do need handwashing-only sinks in the kitchen and prep/dish areas. I went through most of this when we started our first restaurant- dishsinks must be hooked to a greasetrap, but a dishmachine must have a straight drain to the sewer.
Food prep sinks must have broken drains.
As for my new dishmachine I will probably get another one through the chemical company I bought our last one through. I can buy a lease-return machine for fairly cheap. I though about going for an undercounter style for the quiet factor- they run a lot more money than the usual slide-thru. I will also put in another 60 gal gas water heater just for the machine. It is a lot cheaper to have a couple of home hot water heaters than buying the commercial monster.
And check this out www.antlerarts.com. This is the guy that is making our chandeliers.
What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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post #8 of 17
my dishwasher is under the counter, there is a non-operational above counter on the same wall.....wish the church had leased the machine, it would have cost just as much or less, the chemical guys check is monthly and repair it free 24/7.......at the end of 5 years there is essentially a dbl monthly $65 payment and it's yours. The math says it'll be less to lease.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

Update

We met with our architect yesterday and had the first walkthrough since we have finished the demolition. We should have the building permits back in the next week or so. I have priced my new HVAC and vent system. @$14,000, for a new 12' hoodfan with return air, and an installed HVAC. Not bad. The bid for repatching the ceiling and reglazing the interior plaster walls and waterproof surrounds in the dish area is going to be @$2800. The architect told us the asphalt tile under the newer linoleum should be sealed up and reused. The nail holes put in from the overlayment linoleum can be filled and the tiles have very few cracks. Also found out that the building is structurally sound enough that the walls, ceiling and floor won't need to be rebuilt or bolstered. Also found out we should come in under cost on our preliminary budget. We figured that we would be putting in new flooring and need extra built support in the kitchen. We are still going to put quarry tile in the kitchen. But by refinishing the existing wood floor and asphalt tile it will save several thousand dollars. :) Can you say "I need a new Cleveland Steamer"..
What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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post #10 of 17
Hurray! what great news....saving money and probably have fun flooring in the bargain.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #11 of 17
I've only seen those "big dippers" at food shows, last time I checked something suitable for a 55 gal replacement was over $10,000 CDN. I like them though, a floating assembly scoops off the grease and dumps it into a barrel waiting to be recycled, might even make a few cents off of it too...

Be careful with that flooring, back in the '50's they used to use asbestos tiles and even asbestos house siding, costs a bundle to remove it properly. Remote compressors for the reach-ins, mmm...If you could install them close to your walk-in compressors, there might be some way to recycle all that hot air that they pump out....
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
We had the building and materials tested and we have no asbestos. I am hoping to be able to hook up a smaller dishsink and get away with a smaller greasetrap. The way it works around here is every basin of a sink is considered a hooked-on appliance for the greasetrap. I made the mistake of putting a triple sink in my dish area of our first restaurant. 3 basins=3 appliances. I didn't understand the regulation till after I had committed myself to the design, bought the sink and everything. So I put in the oversized greasetrap that we still use. BTW- when we had our sewer main drains replaced by our landlord a few years back, we had 0% buildup after nearly 7 years...
As for having remote compressors- isn't it nice they are so quiet? As we are going for a fine dining atmosphere I am a little concerned with light/noise from the open kitchen. Any suggestions?
What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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post #13 of 17
You're lucky with those codes. Here the hook up of the handsinks to the g/t is mandatory as are any floor drains or mopsinks. We also have to have a double well potsink as well as the dishpit, and this also hooked up to the g/t..

Yeah, remote comporessors are great. For the ultimate, low-boys with drawers for the saute and veg guys, no compressors to take up space or make heat and noise.... For an open kitchen concept you might want to consider lower kitchen ceilings ( in the open kichen at least) and commercial grade linoleum floors. I love the quarry stone floors too, but linoleum is quieter.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 

Back to the real world, i.e. cooking.

Its finally done. We open tomorrow, Sept 5. After all this time and all the struggle all I have to say is things are never what you think they will be. But hey, I'm a survivor. And the other thing is that by chance or fate or even careful planning somehow it fell together beautifully, I stayed married through the whole process and we may have sacrificed timeliness but we came in on budget. Now comes the scary part- I actually have to cook something. Wish me luck, I need all you can give me.

Peace everybody.
What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
Reply
What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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post #15 of 17

salute, sante, and bravo!

the warmest of good wishes and good things for you...the magic is in the cooking..once you start rattling those those pots and pans the rest will follow..that's of course if your good, which i have no doubt you are...salute! and don't forget to enjoy why you are there and what you have to offer your customers!
joey

food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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food is like love...it should be entered into with abandon or not at all        Harriet Van Horne

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post #16 of 17
Hurray! I wondered how these past 2 years have been......Now the birthing process starts.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #17 of 17
hoping everything goes well!!!!
kathee
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