Monday, December 24, 2012

My Kitchen Is Gone!

So we've made significant progress in this last weekend leading up to X-Mas Eve.  Our granite team did an amazing job putting together a complete bar from end to end, which makes the bar seem twice as long.  We used over 2 full slabs of granite, but it makes a huge impact on the feeling of the restaurant and the bar area in particular.The stone came in late at night and was freezing cold but the granite team cut it and installed it in no time at all and now the bar has a completely different feel from the dilapidated and out-dated wood.  Coming into this project, we always wanted to ad some wow-factor and have a statement piece saying that this was a brand new restaurant.  Together with the new paint color, this granite makes that statement.  The only thing left to do in order to complete our face-lift on the space is to re-do the floors with brand new hardwood throughout.

We also went into US Food Supply twice in the last week to pick up brand new kitchen equipment.  As per the request of the city, we removed almost everything in the kitchen...including some of the wall coverings in order to bring everything up to the latest building codes.  We're getting a brand new stove/oven/iron grill combo, a brand new dishwashing sink, new bar-height tables, new kitchen utensils and much more.  Scott and I are like kids in a candy store there and it's become Antara's job to keep us from buying them out. The salesperson we've been working with has kept us coming back with great deals that allows a small business like ours to make ends meet, so we also brought him a little gift for the holidays.

Starting this week we're back hard at work.  We'll be in the final push trying to get the kitchen put back together with the new equipment, putting in the new flooring, organizing our storage room in the basement, and fixing up the bathrooms so that we can have 2 unisex bathrooms instead of a mens and womens.

We wish all of you a happy holidays and can't wait to open our doors for you to all come visit us

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Major Construction Has Begun

After our first full weekend working all day on reconstruction, the restaurant is very quickly taking its new shape.  With the help of Scott's brother-in-law, Simon, and son (also Simon), we have a newly-constructed bar and server station as well as one less wall and a window uniting what used to be two very different sections of the restaurant.  Overall, the idea is to open things up and to make the space feel more open and inviting.  Tomorrow we get a new paint color throughout the restaurant, burnt orange.  The windows have been all covered up to make it all a big reveal.

The old owners had a very emotional parting with the restaurant as they turned it over to us after their last dinner service on Saturday night. They've worked in the building for 6 years and wish us the best.  They say that they like the changes they've seen and can't wait to check back for the finished product at the end of the month.

Also...we've all been battling with a small debate over the TV.  Maybe you all can help us out. A good friend of mine suggested that we not have a television in the restaurant - that it distracts from your personal interactions  as you enjoy your meal.  So...the thought was to remove the TV entirely instead of just turning it off so that we don't have people ask to turn it on.  Should we show select sports events?  Should we put the TV away entirely?  Pull it out only for the James Bond movie marathons around the holidays?  What are your thoughts?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Continuing Renovations

The next step in our continuing renovations in preparation for New Years was taking out the old soda fountain. It was a staple in the old Lake Street Garage and has been there for years. Taking it out was long overdue and a lot of work. The soda fountain was in two pieces and both massive and heavy. Once we sawed off the legs that were cemented in the ground we had to figure out how to get it out of the doors. The only door that we could fit it out of was the front door, meaning we had to wheel the soda fountain around the block to the back of the building. It took three of us and one small dolly to wheel the first section across the icy alley. The second section was a lot heavier. It took all four of us, the dolly and Scott's truck to maneuver it down the alley to the back of the building.

Renovations are not the only thing we are working on. We also finalized the menu for our grand opening (TBA). We will be serving eight different kinds of pizza, both classic and our gourmet pizzas. We will also have a sample of our appetizers including deep fried garlic poppers, wings with our homemade sauces and pepper jack sticks. For dessert there will be chocolate truffles

Sunday, December 9, 2012

We've got a restaurant!

We've finally begun the biggest project of our lives: taking over a restaurant and bar and making it our own.  We're all very excited and scared at the same time, but we know we can make it.  Before getting more into the concept, I want to thank everyone who has contributed to the creation of this new business in every way.

With our grand opening set for New Years Eve, the crew has set out to create a brand new feel to the bar before our grand opening.  From what we've all heard, the location has a huge history to live up to.  The building was constructed in 1931 and has seen huge success under many names, most notably "The Lake Street Garage".  Our new concept is to bring the best, scratch-made food that we can.  We'll feature gourmet burgers, buffalo-style wings, thin-crust pizzas, your favorite appetizers and more!

Follow us on this blog, facebook, and on our website to check out our progress.

The reconstruction began on Saturday (12/8/2012), with our remodeling the bathroom.  We tore out a half wall that was breaking up the already-small bathroom and barely giving customers enough leg room to use the bathroom.  Scott put some new recessed lighting, so the light bulb didn't stick out into the room.  It's not finished, but it looks a whole lot bigger and brighter.

We'll continue to bring you pictures and our progress during this undertaking, so check back and stay updated.

~The Zeke's Team
Zeke's Unchained Animal
3508 E Lake St., Minneapolis