Monday, August 11, 2008

the mr. man show

this photo was taken by Sam- pretty sure we were talking about lights with Sue...

I'm not so great at this keeping a beezy's blog- but the internet is my friend so I know I can do it.

This blog is dedicated to Bennett, who is working as my project manager and CMO (chief mangenuity officer)...

he's the brains and brawn behind pulling the renovation off. He's sourced all the materials and is doing oh, 96% of the labor and I certainly haven't given him his due. Part of that is my innate separation of work & personal life, part of it is that it's so special I really don't have the words for it. It's something to witness, be a part of, and I'm sorry for not displaying it more obviously.

What started as, "oh, I just wanna move this counter, fix the floor and move this stuff to the back" has become the stuff of many a sleepless for the Bennett. It always takes longer to do things right, and while it's a tough go right now (please send more easy tin ceiling vibes! or start!) it's going to be totally rad! And, no doubt, an ongoing struggle to improve and continue renovating even once beezy's is open. I hope that friends, guests, the staff, cheerleaders, and the community finds the work and love in the place charming and a vast improvement! A warm and welcoming spot where you step in and really feel all the love and care, where the blood, sweat and tears we've already poured in is a visceral and passionate part of the story of 20 N. Washington.

Oh, and remember all those invitations to stop by? Lay off for a week so we can get some shit done, alright? Or come by late in the evening! (really!) Or find us at the Tap Room for lunch and we'll chat you up... or Bennett for that post work beer...

so... here's some of the amazing work so far:

the gorgeous wood sourced from John Haling, bottom coat on

layout of the tin ceiling tiles

tearing down the prep area wall and the parts and pieces of the ceiling grid, and HVAC vents, wheeeeeeee!

and there's others scattered through the previous blog posts too!

It ain't pretty right now, but as Bennett's sister mentioned, it's a lot easier to see all the potential.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

So Jess Ex came by the shop in July- here I am in front of the mural (slated to be primed and repainted this weekend) Most of the ceiling grid was still in place and that purple carpet I love so much...

Later on that evening, Ben was in town and needing a Denny's fix with Holly and Chuckie and he helped with a minor water 'incident' in the basement.

Ever the sacred janitor and dishwasher to the stars, he jumped in and took me up on an offer to help for a while on his way down to Texas (though he didn't make it there, he DID come and help; I now have a clean Christopher Walk-In

(this is Ben doing a pretty bad ass Henry Rollins)

some carpet rolling and grid removal in progress...

(insert Nina somewhere in here too!) We also had some help from the beautiful and mysterious Nina and her canine pal, Coby- from the use of her truck, to walking around Washington with a Bloody Mary, to pulling nails out of wood and schlepping crap from one side of the cafe space to the other, it was a blast to have her here and part of the process.

goodbye purple carpet, and thanks to the ladies who took it off our hands.

and sorry to the upstairs tenants who get to endure a lot of banging.

I'll make it up to you somehow.


and more this sunday too.

So wherever July went, I would like a rebate please... sure we achieved quite a bit, but here Sam has already returned from her summer sojourn, I'm officially all moved in (erm, maybe once the last of the mail is picked up over in Ann Arbor...then it'll be official?) and I'm a scant 3 weeks away from my opening target date!

I spent the better part of a week interviewing a gang of amazing applicants, who made the whittling of choices one of the most difficult tasks so far. I wish I could hire everyone that applied- it's so easy to see what each person had to offer. In the end, or well, the beginning here, the selections I made I think will be a great balance for the opening team.

Bennett is hard at work with the ceiling restoration. It's amazing- and grueling to witness. Corroded tin and ancient sheetrock, eye blinding rusty dust and some of the most amazing boogers are to be had.

Jon has come on as a helper- an extra set of hands and some comic relief and he's at least 6 foot tall so that helps too. (thanks Jon, you're more than just a tall person)