Tuesday, August 04, 2009

ph: Permitting Mayhem

Getting the Health Department Permit off the ground.

Sometimes it seems like a project goes nowhere for six weeks then, all of a sudden, starts to take off. After waiting around the entire day for our inspector to arrive (they follow a system not unlike Comcast), I had the opportunity to continue work on the new Spro Manual. The everything guide to all things Spro. It's good to get away from the distractions of my home office (i.e. the Internet) and into a place where I could focus on the task at hand.

To facilitate this, I brought along my folding table and one of the old chairs from Jay's Shave Ice. I discovered that the folding table is a bit too low for working and the chair is unkindly uncomfortable to sit on for hours on end. It's a good chair to keep laptop squatters at bay, and for those of you who did suffer sitting in those old chairs, I do apologize. Lay smug tonight knowing that I suffered in one as well today.

Now, with our shopping list of inspection requirements, we can move forward at a (hopefully) increasing speed.

ph: Mock Me Amadeus

Current plans about to be scrapped.

Things continue to move forward with project hampden. The drywall has been patched, the carpeting removed, the floor addressed and now it's time to build counter mock-ups. In such a tight space, I'm concerned that if we only rely on paper plans, we might run into a situation where ambition exceeds reality.

For years, I've been wanting to utilize underbar equipment in a coffee bar setting because it seemed plausible. Many shops I've visited have terrible design economies - wasting a lot of space for equipment that's sized a bit too big for their needs. To my mind, underbar equipment offers the possibility of giving the operator all the necessary equipment in a very space economic package.

Sounds good, but the reality turned out to be a little different than my ambition.

My idea was that the underbar equipment could comfortably fit under a 36" countertop so I could drop an espresso machine on top of it. That would give the barista a whole complement of sinks, ice bins and stuff right at their feet. Problem is that underbar equipment is designed to be offset from a 42" bar top and not directly under a 36" counter.

Counter mock-ups and an underbar blending station, dipwell and hand sink.

As soon as I set the combination dipwell, blender station, hand sink under the counter mockup, I knew that plan was doomed. There's just no way to make that work - unless I raised the counter to 42" or chopped the underbar feet down to 24", neither of which would provide a satisfactory result.

Now it's back to the drawing board to see where I can mash in a 3 compartment sink, then jostle around some refrigerators and an ice machine to make it all work - while adding a small freezer.