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Demo Days

Demolition of the restaurant proper is underway. The first surprise was finding that all the bricks, meaning those in the Garden Room and Main Dining Room are simply sitting on sand, explaining why the floors were so cold.

Looking west out of what was the office. The large columns formerly had buffet counters.

One of the requirements for the Temp-Cast masonry heater is a 2″x15″ duct bringing in outside area. With the heater essentially centered in the building, this means about 25 feet of ducting to simply get to the outside. Being able to pop up the bricks and not have to cut through a slab is welcome.

In the distance is the office; we are looking east on the kitchen side of the aforementioned columns.
Same as above to the left of the now famous columns.

No slab will make installing radiant heat in the dining areas much easier too. Out come the bricks, then some lite digging, 2″ of rigid foam and before you know it we are walking on pex in concrete.

The spiral staircase is just visible to the right. On the other side of the plastic & doors is the garden room. This is mostly looking south.

Excavation of the legacy roof is also underway from inside the building. The exposed sections show that, like the Grand Canyon, the building has layers, and there will need to be many supports put in place to keep what ought to be kept where it ought to be.

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Introducing the Apartment

On the west side of the restaurant is an apartment. The outbuilding used by Fred and Isaline blocks it some. There was a set of sliding glass doors through which passage to and from the Green Room, the southernmost dining area with all the plants, was possible. It is the first place to benefit from construction.

How is there construction at all? Not joking: out there in the multiverse is one where we are doing all of it. Let’s collectively take a breath and be glad that isn’t the case. Back in this universe, Mary actually was out last fall and simply met Dorell Drake of Drake Construction somewhere and asked if he knew any contractors. That simple.

Well fast forward to January and don’t fall down when you learn that Dorell referred Brett Buchanan who it seems knows all kinds of folks and suddenly we have a crew here on the regular. We are thankful and honored to have this interest and attention from Dorell and Brett.

Here are some photos of what was and where we are now. Ultimately, it’ll be a 2 bedroom with the door on the north currently leading to the courtyard is being moved to the west wall which is also getting a set of sliding doors.

Cleaned out and ready for action.
Finding there is no underfloor insulation. Also, 2 1/2 inches of deflection on the beam supported by the 2 4x4s and a metal pole. Notice the stairs and kitchen cabinets have been removed. The sliding doors will go under the angled windows in the upper left.
Insulation in place & sealed with some of the pex for radiant heat installed too. It is remarkably warmer with the 2″ of rigid foam. Notice the LVLs (2 of them actually) added to help the beam. You can see the kitchen sink rough at the bottom of the photo. The exterior door is going where the visible window is currently which itself will be relocated farther north.

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Some Like It Hot

The idea is to construct a masonry heater in the main dining area. While the black outline looks suspiciously like an outhouse, rest assured it is the current and longest champion answer to the key question of where the masonry heater ought to go. The glass doors are going to face the main dining area accessed from the front doors. The black oven faces in towards the kitchen for hopefully making roasts, pies, breads. Maybe couches around the heater? Who can predict the future anyway,

These things are basically radiant wonders. You have a burn in the AM and a second at night; the rest of the time the chimney is closed. As it is a black oven, the professionals will typically wait until the fire is over and start their deeds of wonder. The rest of us bask in its warmth and smell the ensuing goodness.

We are talking to Fyrepro out of Ft. Collins to build a Temp-Cast core masonry heater. Using a kit takes the guesswork out; this is an expensive and immoveable decision. Fyrepro comes with the core and provided there is a 12″ slab plus a 2″x15″ external air intake waiting, the 22 1/2″x36″ core will be put together not more than 4 days. The whole thing will be about 8000 lbs. It’ll be a long chimney as it has to be higher than the roofline which is in talks about getting still higher. More on that some other time. The chimney itself comes out of the L or R sides; it is asymmetrical. There can be a pair of 30 degree bends in the approximately 10″ exterior diameter chimney should the symmetry as drawn be the right thing to do. The heater is then covered in cardboard and that stage is complete though the unit is not yet ready for service until the exterior cladding is also finished.

The exterior cladding is what we see and apparently a free-standing structure of its own, built over the yet to be well desiccated cardboard. It must be freestanding for crack’s sake as the masonry used to build the core will expand at a different rate than the cladding. Now we all know the plethora of extraordinary rocks in this area. The BTA itself contains gazillions. How about cutting some of them into bricks for the façade? Well that is the plan folks.

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Speed Racks


Today we are going to begin discussing kitchen design. Basically, everything about a commercial kitchen is for efficiency and the useful fellow known as a speed rack is found everywhere as they are shelves on wheels. The restaurant does have a speed rack by the way, though I didn’t know its name or versatility until recently. It is currently used for storing sheet pans, unfolded pizza boxes and cutting boards. What are its other uses? Thanks to the dreamy rollers one might place a speed rack in the walk-in refrigerator for a myriad of reasons such as cooling items, when closing up and everyone is beat, and to load up on the way to a particular station. It can be found with dirty dishes going in and clean ones out. Unbaked to baked. You get the idea.

The restaurant seats 120. If the place is hopping that is a lot of stations and stations need speed racks. Double digits? We’ll see.

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Thank You For Listening

Dorell came today and we chatted about the many upcoming changes and timing and ballpark costs. And the roof raise is looking to be a tough one to justify. Which is what I heard from Burt just the other day. The rafter condition can’t be certain; who knows what is square; there is a lot of demolition involved; we’ll see.

The four FiCarAudio 18″ IB subwoofers have arrived. Each one is 40lbs! The plan is to use the utility closet where the forced air heater resides with its pal the 76 gallon tank for the manifold spot for one pair and the other in the clock tower. I’m going to cut additional holes in each manifold so that if needed, 2 more pairs can be added. This what the manifold will look like, though I am most likely mounting the drivers with the magnet out and will probably have a layer of OSB inside a layer of MDF rather than 3/4 ply which means a 10 ton box before any drivers are added. We want full, rich sound rather than loud, and the large building volume requires a correspondingly large subwoofer system.

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Many Meetings

The interview with Lori was fun and we are honored to be considered interesting enough for such attention.

Next Moses came to talk roofs and glad to say the entire roof is going to get attention in 2022. He recommended replacing the skylights with identically sized ones and then I had a conversation with a friend who swapped skylights for light tubes to simply avoid the leak potential.

Later still I met with Alejandro to discuss adding a second water heater dedicated to kitchen hand & dish washing and the upcoming mat washing & mop station. Per the health department the mop station along with one additional wash sink is on the list of mandatory upgrades to be in place before we’re certified for operation and Carol would prefer two. Add to that 3 more sinks and thus we have the need for another hot water heater dedicated to the kitchen needs. The two water heaters allow for the kitchen washing and cleaning faucets to bypass the whole building filter.

The remaining parking lights are disconnected from power thanks to Abraham, and Nathan and Peter are going to manage their gentle migration somewhere on Nathan’s farm down south. We are looking to make something like this ultimately to bring light and delineation to the parking area, though about 3 feet tall and each topped with something more climate appropriate such as juniper bushes.