The short answer to that question: NO.
We can’t stop there, because the long answer makes for a more interesting post. So where to begin? As most of you know, we began renting out the space next door on the 1st of June. Prior to that we had been working since LAST AUGUST to secure a suitable space at a reasonable price. This month marks ONE YEAR since we began working on our “little project” in some way, shape, or form. As many of you know, once we secured the space, we projected an opening date around the first or second week of August (the current month). As all of you now know, that did not pan out. There have been a few hiccups on the private sector side such as longer-than-expected lead times on pieces of equipment that are being built to specifications, and unavailability of contractors at certain times due to the high labor demand of the Spring and Summer seasons. Also, everyone involved in the project has had to bust through a unique learning curve due to the simple fact that we are basically inventing the wheel with the lounge.
It is indeed a novel concept in our market. As a result, contractors’ quotes, and timelines and have been understandably a bit off. HOWEVER, the thing responsible for a much larger portion of the delays, expense, and our consternation, has been a big heaping helping of this:
Bureaucracy: The mortal fear that someone, somewhere, is working efficiently and without government permission.
You see, state and local government is not your friend. It does not create. It only consumes, destroys, and takes your money, while forcing you to wait in line for “permission” to conduct your business. Not only has the Bureaucracy potentially cost us an extra TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS directly through permitting and licensing fees, but it has easily added another 10 Grand to the budget on the private sector side, simply to ensure our work complies with the litany of arbitrary codes, ordinances, and red tape demands.
Take heed everyone, Coeur d’ Alene has become increasingly hostile to commerce. This of course, is the natural result of the “progressivism” and “modern day liberal” influence that has been creeping its way into our community. Central Planning, the main tool of the bureaucracy-loving Lefties, is a poison. We say, let the market decide their matters. Leave people alone. Quit trying to control people, and get your hands off wallets that are not your own.
Despite all the nonsense we have been making some progress. The humidified cigar lockers arrived last week! It is a bit hard to get a good look at them because we have not fully unwrapped them yet. But trust me on this– they are marvelous! Each locker has its own key. We can’t wait to get this bad boy up and rolling!
We have also been forming an outline for our “walls” and where the bar will be.
From there we trenched to the sewer line. Oh, that sewer line. Thank the Lord we found that thing! Side story: the company that owns the malls failed to get copies of the plans for every space in the building. It has about 75% of the site plans. Guess who the lucky winners were who picked a space without known plans? You guessed it…US. We had to go to the original foundation plans for the whole mall, look for what appeared to be sewer/water lines, and start digging. Through tile. And concrete. Right off the bat we found some head-scratching little copper pipes. Definitely not what we were looking for. We still don’t know what purpose they serve(d). We went a foot down. Nothing. Two feet. Nothing. I am sweating bullets– if we cannot find it we have no bearings or plans and we are resigned to start tearing up random patches of foundation. Three feet down. PAYDIRT! Phew!
The stakes are very high. So are my nerves. The whole project has produced similar emotions for yours truly the whole way. Total roller coaster ride. What Can I say, I have a passion for what we do, and I approach every aspect of this business with the same passion.
Which leads us to the conclusion of this particular update. We have gone as far as we can go without permits from the city. Which we applied for – FIVE WEEKS AGO! Yay, government. There is plenty more to do– drywall, electrical, plumbing, ventilation, painting, flooring, etc. All waiting for this:
A crock of crap to be sure. But until enough of us get together to fight for more liberty and less government, that’s the way it is.
The “way it is” also entails the sad fact that we are now looking at a soft opening at best on the third week of September,
and Grand opening near the end of the month.
HOWEVER: We are indeed going to open up pre-ordering on the 1st of September, just like we planned for, a few weeks ago.
That’s good news for you, our wonderful clients, as it means a longer window within which saving another month’s worth of membership dues is possible. As a refresher:
Military – 500/yr. but 450 for the first year if pre-ordered.
And the best part? The membership will be available for use as soon as our soft opening, but we will not count down a membership clock until our grand opening! Of course, we still need everyone’s support in the meantime leading up to all of this. Feel free to swing by anytime, see what’s new, make small talk, check out the progress on the space. I will be in the back somewhere curled up in a ball or looking like this:
Pay no attention to me and my antics though. Instead, have a look at the goodies we have to offer. Some of our relatively newer items include: Padilla Reserva and the ever so lovely Romeo by Romeo Y Julieta.
That’s all for now. Until next time, Long Ashes and God Bless.
*Product and Lounge Progress photos courtesy of Mary Banducci Photography.
* All other pics courtesy of the incredible edible internet.