Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Renovation: Day 1 "Just a hood"

Today's Special: Kitchen Renovation! Yes, had you come into Caribe, today on the menu you'd find sliced ceiling tiles, insulation fluff, crispy plaster chips, and slabs of sheetrock with a side of sawdust. Mmmm.

I probably shouldn't post the following photo, but I'm frustrated.

Many dear friends, bless their hearts, have asked about the remodel and why we're closing down. And here's how the typical conversation goes. I tell them how we are closing down to have a new ventilation system put in so we can have new equipment to make our new & improved menu. And then comes their reaction: "oh, so you're just putting in a hood, huh?"

Well, yea, we are, but "just?" Just? JUST!

"Just" implies quick & easy. As if to say, "why would you close down so long to just put a hood?"

So, to my dear friends and well-meaning curious peeps who really do care, but "just" don't understand, here is what it means to have a ventilation hood put into our kitchen:

It means we have no kitchen.
It means we shut down for a week or two.
It means tens of thousands of dollars.
It means more contractors, sub-contractors and crew than I can count.
It means tearing out the kitchen ceiling.
It means a crane will be parked out front of our building tomorrow, just to hoist the makeup air unit onto the roof. A crane!
It means re-doing all of the ductwork in the kitchen ceiling.
It means electrical work has to be done by an electrician.
It means the ansul system has to be re-piped (is that even the term?) by the fire suppression guys.
It means huge holes cut into our ceiling and roof.
It means having to build additional structures on the roof to accommodate the new equipment up there.
It means new ductwork going into the dining room.
It means building an entire new ceiling over the line.
It means permits.
It means inspections.
It means mess.
And, well, I still don't understand everything they have to do, but it's a lot.

So now when someone tells you they're putting in a new hood in their restaurant, instead of saying "huh" you can say "wow, that's major work!"

Work, all worth it, of course. Because it also means when it's all done with, we can have our fryer (angels singing) and make crispy deep fried yummy things like empanadas (angels singing), bacalaitos, tostones and more.

I'll keep posting all week with progress (and mess!) photos. As well as the mural in the dining room.

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