Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Good News

The Health Department gave us the go ahead today! We still have to go through formal plan review shortly, but at least we can be reasonably sure that this one issue wont' be rearing its head again.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Further Health Department Review

Had another long discussion with the health department today. They like the new design better but still have concerns about one specific part. They are going to review with other North Carolina Health Departments and get back to us on Tuesday.

Frustrating because the item in question has been approved in other Durham restaurants before. If we don't get the go ahead we will be taking a step back, and need to redo design, mechanical etc. We also have the option of an informal review if we can't get past this step, but that would eat up a lot of time.

Need to collect examples that have been approved before, just in case. If you see me out this weekend taking pictures at local restaurants you will know what I am up to.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

There is no other way to keep everything where it should be

With the redesign last week, we felt like we were ready for the initial meeting with the Mechanical/Electric/Plumbing engineers. We had been talking with them about the project for the past few weeks, but this is the first time that we were giving them a set of plans.

General Contractor set out the goal that before we walked into that meeting we would have everything as complete as possible - including equipment package, dimensions and spacing, and any other potential questions. So the weekend was spent refining and tweaking (mostly by the architect) but the GC and I helped where appropriate.

The result, we were well prepared and the meeting went smoothly. Hopefully we saved ourselves a little time on the engineering front as we provided them with the necessary information up front for them to do their job. The engineers asked tough questions and questioned our assumptions but it is like the GC is fond of saying "You don't want an engineer that is not a skeptic".

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Sat down with the health department for a quickie review yesterday AM. This was not the formal review but rather a chance to review some assumptions we had made. Everything went well enough, but there was one major sticking point with design for the health department. He didn't out and out say he wouldn't approve it, but rather that he would have to think about it.

Which if I was reading the situation right meant you better address this now before I get out my red pen during plan review. So architect, GC, and I huddled last night and this morning and came up with an alternate tweak that addressed the health departments concern. And in some ways I think makes the space even better. For one we gain more refrigeration and counter space (always a big plus) and shorten steps to walk in for employees.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Transformers, More than meets the eye...

Pavilion East is what they call in retail a vanilla box. The landlord/developer has put enough power etc in that you could roll in carpets, paint the walls and open for business. It is usually not enough for a restaurant, so you have to make a few changes /additions to meet your needs.

In our case, the transformer was placed in front of the back door. Not exactly a great place for a business that has multiple people coming in (deliveries, employees) and out (trash, recycling). One of the first things we had to design was a way to move the transformer and still meet our needs. What we have come up with is a plan where it will move up above the ceiling and either hang or be suspended on a platform.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

It takes two where it used to only take one...

There's a Boy in the Girls' BathroomImage via WikipediaWe started on this location with the plan that we would only have one bathroom. Code says that as long as we have fixed seating (i.e. bolted to something) and less than 22.5 in the restaurant at any one time (including employees) we could on have one.

Not going to work, so we are adding another bathroom. I guess the rule is to insure that no more than 11.25 people line up at any one time.

I keep thinking about being in Europe a few years ago at a pretty amazing restaurant and when I asked for the bathroom I was ushered outside by a busboy, down the block, and around the corner to another building where the bathroom for this particular restaurant was.
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