So much for weekly updates. Sorry. We’ve done what we could to keep our Facebook and Instagram pages up-to-date with more photos of the progress. We’ve been incredibly busy. Once thing we’ve continually learned is that this is a lot of work. You’ve gotta keep the plates spinning and there are a lot of plates to spin.
Our biggest news in the last couple of weeks was flying through the approval of our MEP (mechanical, electrical, plumbing) engineering drawings. The mechanical and plumbing drawings came in incredibly behind schedule. For those of you who have renovated your house or done a commercial project like this before, you know where this is going. Without approved permits, you can’t request permit inspections. And without inspections, those walls sit framed, but unfinished.
When we filed our permit drawings with the city, our assumption was that they would take somewhere in the neighborhood of 8-9 weeks, just like our building and structural permits before them. Instead, they blew our minds and finished them in 6 days. We made a few phone calls and did what we could to ask for help. We feel like we benefitted from some of our investment reaching out to the city and starting to build relationships. Relationships matter.
After we got those back, we were able to distribute the electrical components in the unit and quickly passed inspection. We’re hoping that we can knock out some adjustments to the plumbing drawings this week and get those inspections taken care of as well.
Once we do that, the drywall goes up, floors get finished and we can get to work on the bar itself.
This is a quick note to other brewers using SBA loans: We had to work with our bank on cutting a check before the equipment arrives on site. From what we understand, this all comes down to liability. If we pay for the equipment up front, liability for damage in transit shifts to us. In other words, as long as our equipment is handed off to the freight company, Stout Tanks, our manufacturer, is done. Any damage in transit? We’ve gotta figure it out. And, with additional tariffs now active on this type of equipment, the price will jump to replace any of it - and the bank needs us to have working, complete equipment. Regardless, the bank let us know Friday that they were willing to work with them on it. And for sure, the equipment is insured for its replacement value.
Our brewing equipment is due to ship in the next week or so. We can’t wait to get it in our unit.
Floors are also a big part of moving forward. We worked with a local vendor (originally we were working with a well-known brewery floor vendor in Oregon, but their price jumped from what we’d understood their bid to be last year) and found a good solution for our front of house floors. We also lucked out and took advantage of another job’s over-purchase and got a great deal on an incredibly high-quality floor for the brewing area and cold room.
So, that’s where we’re at in the first week of December. Our original completion date was November 26th. Current estimate: December 20th. (Just remember, we still have to brew beer before we can open, but we’re getting closer.)
Also, I’ll expand on this someday in another post. We’ve had a number of political issues this week. We firmly believe in dialogue over lawyers. We’re working it out as best we can, but unfortunately, this is part of running any business.