The process of opening this cafe’ seemed daunting at first because of all the code requirements and legalities I just didn’t know when it came to opening a restaurant in Minneapolis. And then there were the naysayers that said I couldn’t do it without spending $200,000. It took some effort and a lot of education on the go, but a coffee shop CAN be had for a hell of a lot less if you’re willing to do the grunt work and research. A morsel of luck doesn’t hurt either.
I was fortunate that Mike Stebnitz, the owner/developer of the building is a restaurant man and also well-versed in how to navigate the many city offices involved in the planning and licensing of a project like this. And those city workers; you know, they get a lot of shit said about them, but they’re pretty damn good and knowledgeable people. Not once was a call not returned or a question not answered in such a way that my path was made clear in a given situation. Even my health inspector seemed to be a wealth of knowledge when my contractor had code questions.
It’s certainly been a long process, longer than I would have liked, but it has certainly come together. We’re in week 6 of actual construction and only a few items are left to complete; plumbing fixture installation, touch-up painting, and gobs of cleaning. The amount of sheet-rock dust is pretty astounding.
Final inspections are due any day now and Health has been scheduled for early next week.
Blue Ox is roaring to go.