Construction Updates

This blog is getting closed today.  With the exception of a punch list of items still to be done, the construction phase of Smooth Joe Coffee is complete.  The dumpster was taken away for the last time today.  We received our first order of food from US Foods and Union Special, our two main suppliers.

December 19, 2022 Final Update: Where November seemed to crawl a long when it came to progress on the shop, December has kind of flown by.  The first couple weeks were still slow, but there was movement on the electrical front.  By 12/9 the coffee technicians had completed the install of all the coffee brewing equipment and we began to do some run throughs with the pour over bar equipment.  The electrician had completed all but the dishwasher and light switch covers.  And the carpet guys had fixed the missing transition strip at the carpet edge.  The inspections did not happen by the 9th, as some of the critical things still were not completely.  There was a lot of work around the shop Monday and Tuesday 12/12 – 12/13 because the above ceiling inspection and HVAC inspections were on Tuesday.  The ceiling tiles were installed.  Then the building and fire inspectors came through to comment on the locations for the fire extinguishers.  On Tuesday there were some guys from the contractor caulking all the spots that needed work.  On Wednesday 12/14 the Health Department came to inspect.  There were a couple plumbing issues for this inspector, and the dishwasher was not working, along with some missing caulk.  The big item was the amount of light in the Kitchen.  Bottom line the inspection did not pass.  However the followup was set for Friday 12/16 at 1:30pm.  The contractor mobilized, and had the lights in the kitchen changed to add more fixtures and light.  The dishwasher repair guy had been at the shop by the time the inspection was completed on Wednesday and repaired the dishwasher, so that was ready.  And the plumber came in to add the missing back flow prevention on the locations that had been missed.  So by 2:pm on Friday 12/16 we had the Certificate of Occupancy.  Somewhere in there my neighbor helped to move the office desk into the shop, and helped to install the TVs that serve as the menu boards.  (Though for the time being they are playing yule log fireplaces.)

Saturday we mobilized and army of friends and employees to get all the restaurant items from the house to the shop, assemble the inside and outside tables, and setup the patio.  By the time they left the place was starting to look good.  While all that was happening, we had some customers come in for coffee, and they had lots of good things to say about the shop and the coffee.  The employees that were at the shop (in the kitchen, behind the espresso machine, and generally helping where they could) did great!  And we could not be where we are with the setup without the help of all the friends unpacking, setting up shelves, and putting the furniture together.  It was CHAOS, but good chaos with lots of forward motion.  Sunday, we hung pictures and did more cleanup and organizing.  And Today (12/19) I fired up the roaster and the CleanStream to make sure they work.  I didn’t roast anything, just ran it all up to temp and made sure it worked.

Here are some pictures of the shop from the weekend!

November 20, 2022 Update: This last month of updates has seemed to crawl along.  The last mile always seems the longest in any journey.  The big events of the last month have happened in the last week.  The CleanStream was moved from the originally planned location to allow access to clean the catalyst plate.  The exhaust stack has been connected to the machine and run up through the roof.  With the new location, the stack has to be extended a few feet, so it’s not compete and capped yet.  The electrician has been working on switches that didn’t work and outlets that are wrong or still missing.  There are still a few missing outlets in the coffee bar area.  The equipment for under the coffee bar counters and the kitchen have been placed, and most are running.  Only the Alto-Shaam Vector oven and the dishwasher still need the power connections.  The Marco Brewing equipment has the wrong plugs, so we are going to have to have VP coffee back for a third time.  This past Wednesday VP came to setup the Eagle One espresso machine and the Curtis Brewers on the back bar.  [I had fun playing with the espresso machine and espresso grinders.]  The couch and tables for the Artist’s Corner have been delivered.  We didn’t have them unwrapped so they stay dust free until the cleaning is complete.  The second coat of paint has been applied, and things are starting to look pretty complete.  There are still things to be completed in the restrooms, grout work, cleaning related dispensers, the roasting area railings, and some things I’m sure I have forgotten.  And then we get to have the electrical, health and fire inspectors come through.  Our latest guess on when we can start operations is December 10th, but this has moved so many times already that I consider this a guess.  We have ordered the tables and chairs, but we can’t install them until the inspections are done.

Here are some pictures from the shop today (Click to see larger picture):

October 30, 2022 Update: Over the last few weeks since the last update there has been a lot of progress.  The gas line was routed across the street to the shop.  The counters on the bar have been installed.  The coffee brewing equipment has been placed, but not fully connected.  The floor carpeting and LVT has been completed.  All the other equipment has been moved out of storage and into the shop.  But at the moment we can’t put the equipment into place.  Waiting on inspections for the electrician, and the cleaning of the space.  The plumbing connections for all the sinks and hot water heater have been completed.  The plumber did make a mistake that resulted in a leak running down the brick from the ceiling.  The electric meter was set and the power is on for all the lights now.  The electrician has added the missing outlets and started installing the switches for the lights.  We have had the internet installed, and the network and wifi access point has been installed.  The sound system is coming along, with the kitchen and restroom speakers working now.  The Sonos system is installed, but we can’t test it all yet, as the speakers for the customer areas (inside and out) are not all installed and working yet.  The health department did a preliminary inspection, which has led to epoxy being added to the wall behind the roaster.  We got the 950lb CleanStream off it’s pallet and into the roasting area last week. But we are thinking we might want to move it closer to the walls, if we can.  Over the next couple weeks the electrician is supposed to finish and get their inspections completed.  The HVAC person has to get the AC working, and install the ductwork and fresh air makeup needed for the roasting area.  Here are some pictures of the progress.

October 9, 2022 Update: It has been a long hiatus on the construction updates. We have had some website development issues. For the time being, we have gone back to the temporary site. But it means I can update this construction page again. See the September update below this post, for more about what has been going on.

This week most of the work was done as a second job in the evening for the flooring and tile teams. The tile has been mostly completed with the exception of some areas that need touchup repair, and the area above the counter on the back bar. The floor of the bar area and kitchen is epoxy and that has been installed. The LVT and carpet for the customer areas went in this week. Yesterday they finished grouting the floors of the bathrooms. It’s all really starting to jell. This weekend we cutout templates for tables and chairs to finalize the seating, and ordered the couch and coffee tables for the artists corner.

September Update: Since the end of August, the walls have all be completed and the first coat of paint is on all the painted walls. The brick looks great, and part of that work was getting some new trim ideas from the contractor for the windows and door ways in the bricked areas. The lights have been installed and a temporary connection to turn on the lights of the bar and kitchen areas was installed (for the work on the floors). The counters have been measured and templated. They will be installed next week.

It’s hard to cover all that has happened in the past month, so I’ll pick a bunch of the pictures that we have captured over the month of September and this week and add them below. The fans and chandeliers look really nice.

August 28 Update: The drywall hanging work has been the focus of the last week. At this point it is most of the drywall is up. For the rooms where all the drywall has been hung, the doorframes are being added. The other thing accomplished this week was the completion of the upgrade to the 400amp service.

August 21st update: The electrical rough-in has been approved and the installation of the drywall has begun. The CleanStream catalytic oxidizer arrived this week. Unfortunately the construction is not ready for it yet, so it has to be shuffled around the shop, or put out side when work is going on.

August 5th Update: We didn’t post an update last week, but the work is continuing at a brisk pace. The plumbing rough-in has completed. The electrical rough-in has hit a snag or two with the inspector, but should complete mid next week. The drywall and insulation has been delivered. It was hoped that the drywall would have gone up this week. We hear it will all be done in 2 days when they are allowed to start. There are a few galleries of pictures posted below, starting from last week and completing with shots from today.

July 23rd update: The construction is really rolling along. This week the rough-in continued, the patio was poured, and the sound system and network started to be added.

Done on the 19th! Needs some landscaping!
framing it out
Starting on the patio.

July 16th update: Lots of rough-in work going on this week.

July 10th update: Progress is starting to show at the shop

The Construction Dumpster is here! Work can’t be far behind…

June 27th update:

Moving the equipment to storage
The storage space is packed with the shop equipment.

June 6th update:

Framing of the Bar
View  From Street Side Entrance
This is the view from the street side entrance
View of the Kitchen.
Some of the equipment that has come in.