The number of questions has narrowed lately – I think I can narrow it down to 2 primary questions these days!
Q: When the [insert expletive of choice] are you finally going to be open????
A: As of today (3/26/2013) we intend to be open within 3-4 weeks!
Q: What’s taking so long???? [expletives removed for brevity]
A: First, trust me no one wants us to be open more than we do!!! We cannot wait to open our doors and begin selling wonderful NC Craft beers, fine Belgian ales and a wide variety of other fine beers, meads and ciders to the broader Matthews community!
Primary delays are attributed by poor expectation setting and unforeseen circumstances, but I certainly cannot point blame at any individual, organization or governmental body. Everyone has been working to get our doors open – but a few examples of where things have been delayed include:
When they saw the plans for permitting the Health Dept. declared our store a restaurant. We were not prepared for this. We will not be serving food. When I called the Health Dept. and explained I was a craft beer store with a bar that would only be serving beer (no food), the Health Inspector kindly asked me “Will you be serving those beers in glasses?” My answer was quite obvious – “Yes.” The inspector inquired a little further – “Will you be washing those glasses in a glass washer?” Again, my answer was expected. “Yes.” So “Then you are a restaurant!”
And being a restaurant brought new applications to fill out etc…
Another delay was experienced regarding our electrical work. The electrician was waiting for our glass washer to arrive to ensure he installed the correct outlet. I had put in an order for a glass washer and it never arrived. About 2 weeks after its expected delivery date I spent a couple of days tracking down what happened (I called and left voice messages and I sent e-mails and had to wait for responses). When they finally called back they informed me that my order got held up at the manufacturer. Apparently the manufacturer had upgraded the machine I ordered and wanted to be certain that I still wanted the same model machine. No one ever contacted me. I asked, “Will it cost me any more money?” – The answer was “No.” “Well then ship it!”
Another delay occurred regarding the draft beer system. My wonderful installers came out to install the draft lines. All parts were ordered for them and arrived in several boxes. They did a beautiful job putting the draft lines in and just about the time they got to connecting the final tap the installer noticed something was amiss. “Hey Rob!” he called me over. “Take a look at this…you see that tube?” He was showing me the plastic line that led from inside the cooler into the tap. “That line is 5/16ths in diameter!”
“Ok?” I answered, not sure what he was driving at. “Well…its supposed to be 3/16ths.” he tells me.
“So what does that mean?” I inquire.
“See all those draft lines? They shipped us the wrong tubing, we have to do the entire job over again!” And so the draft lines for 16 taps had to be torn down and completely redone with the correct tubing.
And yet another example was regarding the walk-in cooler. We had the condenser placed on top of the cooler inside the store. Many businesses place the condenser outside on the roof. When the inspector arrived to inspect the installation he climbed to the top of the ladder and took one look at the condenser and saw the label “For outdoor use” and he failed the inspection.
My walk-in cooler installers were kind enough to inform me that there are “2” kinds of labels for those types of condensers. One that says, “For outdoor use” and a second that says, “For outdoor use only!” Ours is of the former type and they subsequently showed me the documentation that showed my condenser could be installed inside or outside. In order to please the inspector, the documentation wasn’t enough. They needed to obtain a certified letter from the manufacturer to prove that it was suitable for indoor installation.
Oh the joys!
I could go on – but no point in belly aching about delays. Excellent progress is being made right now and we’re close to our final inspections for the construction! After that its a matter of completing cosmetic work around the store, ordering inventory and getting ready for our Grand Opening!!!!
We can’t wait to see you all at Carolina Beer Temple!