Right Before Christmas “Vacation” We Made a Huge Mess

When we’re not out buying big, heavy pieces of equipment or big, heavy fixtures for our cafe… we’re usually at Amber Lane making a mess.

Right before Christmas we made an especially big mess.

Remember when we realized we would have to move our espresso bar to the OTHER ROOM? That realization began a chain of design-related events from which we’re still feeling the effects. The many layers of rule-following that are required when opening a public-facing business are staggering… I mean I always “knew” that, right? We all always “knew” that… words like “health department” and “building permit” “business license”“ADA compliant”… Those are words we all have in our vocabulary. But, when you stack them up against the sagging brick wall of the property you spent you and your partner’s entire life savings on… well, they suddenly mean a whole hell of a lot more. This venture and its spiraling layers of expensive rule-driven requirements are unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced. Not insurmountable, no no! Just… really hard.

Right. So. The OTHER ROOM. The big re-design (that never seems to end).

We were finally able to map out a coherent design for the espresso bar which, in the long run, is entirely more practical and pulled together than the design we had rigged up for the first room. Go figure. However, in assessing our design, we realized a bit about the needed cohesion of our finishes. Instead of 1 room as an industrial wasteland of raw materials and heavy equipment and 1 quintessential Victorian sitting room, we realized the obvious: we needed to integrate! Wasteland + Parlor would absolutely need to become one! Meet: Victorian Industrial. The only way to Curio.

So… a few more walls (and ceiling) needed to come down. And these, Ladies and Gentlemen, these were the ones that had been there forever. These were the ones you don’t want to take down unless you’re ready to get messy.


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