So you want to open a bar?
Apply pockets of indebted money, gobs of time, catch-22 frustrations ... and inspired lunacy.
Julia Battaglini owns a wine/beer/cheese shop in the Careytown district of Richmond, Virginia. For nearly two years, she's been transforming the old building next door into a shiny-new wine bar.
The first year was background: financing, and permits, and paying rent on an empty building. Now, she's demolishing, rehabbing, remodeling, re-doing.
Follow along with Julia's adventures at the shop's eponymous blog: River City Cellars. She recounts the saga: sometimes hilarious, sometimes frustrating, sometimes small victories.
Such as just this past Friday when she exultantly broke through the wall between the two buildings:
More real evidence of progress! It only seems symbolic if you haven't heard the screaming saws and huffed the billowing orange dust for two days (oh, and dodged the less than enthusiastic store neighbors). I could wax poetic about brick structures and the heartwarming permanency of old school east coast architecture but WE HAVE A PORTAL!
Or when she was scraping at old walls:
I HATE WALLPAPER!! There is a special circle in hell for those who create 90 years' of layered paint, paper and glue. I can't lift my arms higher than my waist without wincing and my face feels windburned from all that 'exfoliation': thousands of tiny paint chips pinging my face for hours. Is it lead paint? Who cares--I can't possibly get any dumber considering I'm opening a restaurant ;)
As a side note, I do not recommend applying lipgloss immediately before sanding. Sigh. At least the beer flowed freely.
Secco Wine Bar is scheduled to open in late 2009.