8-31-20: Home Depot trip soon.
I'm glad yesterday wasn't too hot because we had to help Daniel move from my largest 4BR apartment back to the house. He lost all his roommates because roommates do tend to scatter to the wind eventually, and living in a 4BR alone when you aren't filthy rich = unaffordable. Daniel didn't really want to come back and live in our basement; who would want to live in the basement like Sloth from the Goonies?
Hey at least we don't have him chained to the wall on a diet of slop hehehe.
Thankfully Daniel will only be staying with us for about 3 weeks if all goes to plan. The tenants at my Gilmore house are moving into the 4BR, hopefully later this week. However, first I have to square that apartment away. Daniel and his friends didn't trash the place, but it is lived in and has old carpet in most of the rooms so it's time for some needed upgrades. One old bootleg window needs to go, and I started that yesterday:
I plan to replace flooring in at least 2 of the 4 bedrooms, I'll have Neil paint all the walls with my standard light tan color, and unfortunately I think I have to deal with this:
Gods damned roof leaks every time we get heavy rain. What a bunch of crap! I do NOT want to deal with it, but this week the weather is looking fantastic and the time to do it is when the apartment is empty in case I have part of that roof peeled back and we do get rain. I don't have to replace the entire roof, just the flatter part above the kitchen. The roof isn't very old, but the carpenter who replaced it many years ago (ME!) obviously did not properly seal the thing with ice/water and maybe even new sheathing so now the end result is pwned. It's only a couple square so hopefully we can get it done quickly.
So I'll update this bootleg site that almost no one ever reads and then it's off to Home Depot for that standard-issue paint and several other items. If I go early I can get in and out faster than if I wait and go once all the other simps of the world are out and about. I should also stop by the Bangor Lowe's to see if they have siding in stock since I'm running low. I have way too much going on lately. What a bunch of crap!
Once I get the people from Gilmore moved into that 4BR (hopefully in about a week) then I can spend a few days getting Gilmore ready for Dillon and Debbie. They are buying that house, but the closing won't happen until October. Things are taking longer due to Covid and a hot market, backup in the system, etc. What a bunch of crap! Even though they won't own the house for 1.5 months they agreed to move in before the closing because it helps everyone, including me. They can live there rent-free for a few weeks until the closing, I don't care. I just asked that when they do move in they take over the utilities and that seems like a great deal for us all. If they weren't family I would NOT offer that by the way.
I think Daniel can move into the apartment above the tax office only a couple days after Dillon and Debbie 100% move out because that place doesn't need much work at all. Daniel already has a roommate who paid a deposit for that 2BR apt, and most of his things are already stored over there. The tax office looks totally bootleg with all his stuff jammed into the waiting area and common areas of the office spaces there, but it's only temporary and it sure beat renting a storage unit or bringing it all to our house. I would not have done that in tax season, but I haven't had a tax client in many weeks and no one has called for an appointment so I'm not concerned about it. Even if I do get a client the tax office itself is not storing and belongings, just the entry areas, so I can make it work still. Maybe? Hopefully!
So yesterday we got Daniel moved back in with us, and I also got all my lawn mowing done. The grass is not growing too fast lately so I might only need to do 2 or 3 more mows for the rest of the year. That's great because I have lots of other things I can be doing. Mowing lawns uses up my precious... precious time. I do want to also work on the bar this week, but sadly I don't see that happening for a while, not until I get some of my other things under control. Today I will make some phone calls, though. We're trying to get the business plan finished. I say "we", but really Angela is running that show. We all did work down at the bar a full day Saturday doing a little of this and a little of that. Jason did come up to scope it out, and Bruce (plumber) came to look as well. Bruce laughed at all the bootleg plumbing he saw, and he has a lot to do there. Not everything meets code at the moment so today I need to call the landlord and work some of that out. We'll pay for our own renovations, but we shouldn't have to pay just to meet basic code laws. That should be on the landlord so hopefully we can make a concession with him.
We haven't even signed the lease yet. Hell, we haven't even SEEN the lease. OMG it has been almost 3 weeks since we got the go-ahead to start on the place after we paid a deposit. No lease = what a bunch of crap! Not signing any lease does give us the power to negotiate on some of these much needed repairs, though. Maybe? Hopefully!
Alright turds, all two of you who read this bootleg site, I need to go do work now. Goonies never say die!
Friday, 8-28-20: S-Corp = happening.
^Red stepladder was my starting point on a beautiful weather day.
Before 0800 Jason was calling to tell me he might or night not come up tomorrow (he called later to say he is coming awesome!) and then Neil arrived. I worked with Neil for less than an hour before I went down to the soon-to-be bar to load 680 more pounds of debris then it was off to the transfer station bye bye $40 for that debris disposal then over to nearby Lowe's for paint and a few other supplies. After all that I had just enough time to stop back and see how Neil was doing without me there (great as usual) and then it was off to the lawyer whom Jody recommended to drop $1500 as a retainer and to start getting our business paperwork in order.
We plan to operate as an S-Corporation, we will own stock in the company, and we will be employees of the company. We need an EIN and all that stuff so we can start getting a liquor license and eventually hire help. We also have some legal documents to do among ourselves just to keep everything that we have verbally agreed upon official. I had never hired a lawyer before for any business type of setup so it was a new experience. Many years ago I did pay a lawyer around $500 to help do my very first ever eviction, but what I did yesterday was on a whole new level. The lawyer seemed great and very sharp in our area of need so hopefully we got the right person for the job.
The meeting with the lawyer and his assistant went very well, and it took 1.5 hours. Wow! Thankfully we pay a flat fee and not hourly hehe. Lawyers make damn good money, but I'm not about to try to do any of that stuff myself on the Interweb. Thanks but no thanks, LegalZoom.com or whatever. I think it's not that hard to actually form an S-corp on your own, but one mistake = all bad. I did look into doing it ourselves for a few minutes before I thought better of it. Not only will our lawyer get us going, but he will also offer some useful tips and do other important paperwork for us in the months and maybe even in the years to come.
While I was meeting with the legal team Ben called so he and I played a little phone-tag. After I shovelled in a very quick lunch I got Ben back on the line with a plan for him and his boys to meet at the bar to plan more. That gave me just enough time to go back to my gym-building to cut and paint a couple pieces of pine to box in that top right window in the photo above. Installing that window sucked. It was a bunch of crap! The rough-opening was only 1/8 of an inch bigger than the window in the top corner, and it was pretty damn high up off the ground. I could NOT have done that without Neil helping, not even close. I actually banged up the frame of the window some just getting it up the ladder. Gods damn it! Oh well no big damage just a couple dents in the outer vinyl frame.
The old window there was so boogleg and rotten that it was close to totally falling out. That would have been all-bad for the people who park in that driveway. Many years ago I parked in that driveway when I lived there! I've know that window was terrible for a long time, but I dreaded replacing it due to its location. I'm not afraid of heights, but that is a precarious spot. I really should have replaced it a long time ago. So far that siding/window/porch job has cost $11,707.14. OMG! However, at least $1000 and maybe $2000 of that cost is for some interior doors, trim, and flooring unrelated to that siding job but at the same property.
So I got the trim cut, I met with the "Sparkies" for an hour, I went back to help Neil finish and to get the rest of that window frame done on the inside, I helped Daniel and my awesome wife load a few of his things since he is moving soon, and I actually had time to jog before supper. No boozing tonight we are going to bivouac early and work on the bar all day tomorrow. Unfortunately I didn't have time to do any mowing. What a bunch of crap! Rain tomorrow = no mow. I'll do it Sunday. Thankfully even though the lawns are starting to look a little ratty they are not growing too fast so I don't feel terrible about not doing it today.
It's official, we are now an actual company and soon we will have our own restaurant and bar! We have been incredibly busy lately, but in the end all the hours should pay off for us. Maybe? Hopefully! Each day we've gotten up very early, between 0430-0530, and gotten early starts. Kat has worked a lot down at that bar this week. A LOT. She painted, painted, and painted some more. She's a superstar! Right now she is drawing schematics and calculating paint needed for the remaining ceiling tiles in what was once the Jester's part of the business.
Monday, 8-24-20: Bedtime soon.
All four of us (including Neil and Ang) have not slept as much since we agreed to open a restaurant/bar. There is just too much to think about, too much to plan, and it is exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. I haven't slept as much, but generally I can crash out enough to not feel wasted like Doc-J and 8-Ball from Full Metal Jacket all day every day. Caffiene from time to time of course also helps.
We started off today heading to Lowe's at 0645 to buy some supplies. Paint for the bar, siding for my building. The Bangor Lowe's did have plenty of vinyl siding in stock so I loaded up four square and now have enough to finish most of the building. The back side will be next to finish, and it looks like this at the moment:
Tomorrow we go to Phil's so maybe Wednesday we can get back to that job. Maybe? Hopefully!
I did plan to do some of that side today, but we got consumed with progress down at the bar and stayed there for a full work day. I took a lot more of the ceiling down and painted the metal grids:
^It takes a while to pull down 288 ceiling tiles! We don't even have half of them done yet, but that's okay it will happen soon enough. We can reuse most tiles, but some have water stains and are getting hauled-on. Disappear, shit tiles! I want to be a proactive owner and not allow gross water stains to fester on my ceiling, and I think the others feel the same way about it. I say that as I look at a small water stain on our new kitchen ceiling because our roof is failing. What a bunch of crap!
Kat has an awesome yet time-consuming system in place in the room where we used to watch the local IWE wrestling shows:
I say time-consuming not as an insult; there is no super-fast way to do it and I'm sure she is way more efficient than I would be. She has gotten good with that paint spray-gun. She drew up a grid with a numbering system so we can put edge and tiles with duct holes back in the same spots. How cool is that? She has her shit in a PILE.
While she painted tiles Neil and I fished out some old booths from maybe before I was even born (but not Neil since he's 9 years our senior hehe) There are a few of these, and they are OLD. They look totally bootleg right now, but they are solid wood and can be sanded and re-upholstered to look brand new. Cost savings on booths = GIMME MOAR SAVINGS PLEASE. That space has been a restaurant for decades to it only makes sense we would find some cool stuff way in the back.
^Mustard-yellow cushions = HAHAHAHAHA. What a bunch of crap! We will mostly have tables, but Neil said a few booths are desirable and I have to agree.
I guess I should get ready to bivouac now. I'm sure I'll be up early tomorrow and will work another 10-hour day including the drive to and from Phil's. I also have to advertise a 4BR apt tomorrow. We won't work on the bar tomorrow unless we totally get rained out, but there is only a 60% chance of passing T-storms, temps in lower 80s, then things cool off and we "only" see 66 on Wednesday. I'll take 66 and crisp it's about gods damned time! This summer has been way too hot, although the past week hasn't been unbearable. In one week it will be September already. Wow!
Sunday, 8-23-20: Math at 0345.
I ate some cereal and did some math. I started making an "Expenses to come" list in Excel Spreadsheet for the bar. I plan to break it down into three main areas, at least to start. First will be the bar/restaurant itself, second will be the kitchen, and third will be the event-room. Right now most of our focus has been on the bar/restaurant area itself and my awesome wife has done a lot of work down there this past week while Neil and I did carpentry. Neil and I have worked down at the bar some as well, but not as much as Kat. I've been pulling ceiling tiles down so she can paint them, and I finally got the right paint. The first paint I bought was a 5-gallon of exterior satin finish that did not take so well. $95 and 5 gallons only did 40-45 tiles. What a bunch of crap! (2x4 tiles.) I switched to a flat paint-primer in one and now we are getting much more bang for our buck.
We also took down the false-walls (Walls that don't go past the suspended ceiling and/or add any structural integrity) between Jester's and City Side last Tuesday so that area is open now and looks a lot different:
^The price of that demolition so far: ZERO! Dump fees for that debris will cost a bit, but not much in the big scheme of impending costs.
My spreadsheet here has some serious heavy-hitters for expenses to come. I'm at over $21k, and that is only the bar/restaurant area. The kitchen will take much more to set up, but I don't have the knowledge of exactly what the kitchen will need so I'll skip that part for now. Tables/chairs will be expensive, flooring might be $7500, bathrooms remodel will be a few grand, etc. Some things like 2x4s seem cheap, but after you buy 200 of them you just spent $600.
This past week did fly by, and I worked every day some days too much. Neil and I got more of my Allen Rd siding installed, we went to Phil's Friday for a productive day getting him close to done (one day left for him?), we spent a lot of time down at the bar both working and meeting with the landlord to discuss the minutia of the lease and how the place operates, and I had the usual other things to take care of. A couple showings, some trips to Lowe's and Home Depot, etc. Not much precious... precious time left over for writing on this bootleg site that almost no one ever reads. What a bunch of crap!
One week ago I showed my Gilmore Street house to Dillon and Debbie, and they want to buy it. Awesome! Unfortunately tenants are still there so it will be a while until we close. Mid-Sept if things go great, but most likely end of next month or even into October. The tenants at that house know it is FOR SALE and they will need to spread out ASAP. I did show them a 4-bedroom that I'll have available next month so hopefully they let me know in the next few days if they want to take that place or not. Once Dillon and Debbie move I have their 2BR to re-rent, but that should be easy as I already have a waiting list for that place. Nevertheless all that tenant shuffling will take precious... precious time.
My Allen Rd building is close to 3/4 done, but the final side is going to take a while because I still have 5 windows to install, a porch overhang to finish, and all the electrical/cable/phone wires to deal with. Plus Lowe's is pretty much sold out of the siding I need. They have 36 pieces in stock in Bangor (so says their website), but I need probably 60. What a bunch of crap! Tomorrow I'll probably go place an order for the rest of what I need, and I can also order sheetrock for the bar and for Gavin's. He is ready for us to start some sheetrock install in his soon-to-be apartment so I'll start that at some point this week. Maybe? Hopefully!
I still feel a sense of shock and awe that we are actually building a bar, and a bar at a place with so much history not only for us but also for the community. The new place we plan to open will look totally different from what has been there for decades, and I really believe it will make a profit and be a success. It might not actually turn a profit for a while until we pay off the initial investment, but that's okay and part of doing business. If we do this thing right it will become the go-to place for our area, especially for people who enjoy a good karaoke show or other night life. During the day the place will be a restaurant/bar, but at night it will rock. We'll have a built-in sound system so no more lugging speakers and all the DJ gear around. Oh Jesus hell ya to that!
We will need more precious... precious money so tomorrow I have to take some time to work on that. I did play phone-tag with my banker on Thursday/Friday. He called me Thurs PM before he left, I missed the call, and I called him Friday and left a voicemail. Friday I was mudding and sanding at Phil's and then trim painting so half the day I was on a ladder (mud in octagon room up high) and in no position to keep checking my phone. Hopefully tomorrow I can talk to George and we can see what options are available for securing some more money. We have funds, now, but definitely not enough. The proceeds from that Gilmore Street house sale will help, but I can't count on that for at least a month, maybe two.
We still anticipate being open closer to the end of the year, but I feel like we are a week ahead of schedule right now so if that keep up we might be able to open by November. No guarantees yet and there is still lots left to do including setting up the legal end of things and starting the liquor license application. We'll need staff in place, product, a big illuminated sign, and 1000 other things. Hopefully every week we can take care of some of the major to-do items and get closer and closer to being ready to open.
Sunday, 8-16-20: Other work to finish before
we can open a bar.
^Front pretty much done, but the side to the right in the photo will take a lot of precious... precious time. That's the side with electrical wires, meters, phone, and cable boxes to deal with. I guess the phone stuff doesn't matter since no one uses landline phone anymore!
If we take another 160 man-hours to finish it, 80 hours each, that puts us almost to September working 40 hour weeks. We never work 40 hours there, though. Other things come up like Treats Falls, Phil's, etc. I do plan to go back to Phil's this week for a couple days to finish his work and then we have to start Gavin's sheetrock. Jason's showroom roof is tentatively scheduled for mid-September so I probably won't have time to devote to the new restaurant/bar until the end of September. What a bunch of crap! I can work on it here and there to make some progress, but these other jobs are going to take a while to 100% finish.
Weekends off are a thing of the past for now. Yesterday I spent 3 hours mowing lawns, weedwacking, and trying to do some yard work at my Gilmore house to make it look nicer. All the landscaping work I did there back in April looked like ten pounds of shit stuffed into a five pouund bag over there now. What a bunch of crap! Weeds sprouted, and I even used landscape fabric so that should not have happened. I still have some weeds to pull and some more mulch to put down to I'll take care of that today with Neil. We also should be able to do more siding today. Maybe? Hopefully!
The reason why I want that Gilmore yard looking better is the plan to sell. Today Dillon and Debbie are going to tour the inside of the house with me, and if they like it I can give them a substantially below-market price. They have been looking to buy a house around here for several weeks, and we have toured a couple houses with them. My Gilmore house checks a lot of boxes as far as what they want in a house so hopefully our walkthrough goes well today and we can make it happen. Selling that house is important for more than just the money. One less rental property = more precious... precious free time for me.
Free time for me will be in short supply for a long time. I did it to myself so I'm not upset about it, though.
The Red Sox lost to the Yankees last night, and their Covid-19 short season is all but over already. They are 6-15 and in last place. What a bunch of crap! I don't really even care... whether or not I care, though. This season is pwned due to not only the virus but also to all the other things I have going on right now. Sometimes it is nice to have the game on in the background while I do other things, but it's hard to invest in a team that loses nearly 3/4 of its games! The Red Sox are the worst team in the entire American League OMG epic failer.
Alright turds, all two of you who actually read this bootleg site, I need to go to other things now. I think I have time for yoga before I go to work. Before yoga I need to shop lowes.com for a few minutes to see what they have in-stock at the Bangor location for siding. I bought most of the siding and J-channel that was in-stock in the Brewer Lowe's on Friday morning. I still have enough supplies on-hand to last through today, but I want to be ready to go get more so I have enough for the rest of this coming week.
Friday, 8-14-20: The new bar and siding.
Just kidding I'll most likely handle repairs and upgrades. I'll coordinate with contractors as needed, and I can do a lot of other things. I'm not wanting to be a bartender, but I can learn how to do it and fill in when the needs of the business require extra help. There is also the large back room (where they used to do wrestling) that we plan to remodel so someone will end up in charge of renting that space out to various interested parties. The revenue potential for that back room is big so one of us can take the lead on that space, scheduling, promoting, coordinating with larger groups who may want to rent it, etc.
We have a lot of ideas for the new bar. A LOT. Like, can't stop thinking about it amount of ideas. It's probably the reason why revielle for my loser-ass was 0430. What a bunch of crap! I would have slept until 0530 or 0600 (0530 now I might be in bed), but I had too much on my mind and I woke up feeling awake anyway. Now it's nice and quiet in the house, peaceful, so I'm glad I am up and out at our little kitchen bar all by myself. After I finish this bootleg update that almost no one will ever read I can do yoga then go to Lowe's to buy more siding. Neil and I want to focus all our efforts on our new business venture, but we still have lots of other work to do including finishing this job that we started close to a month ago:
^Photo taken 2 days ago. Since then even more siding has been installed, and today I hope to make some more good progress. The area on the second floor to the right of the deck with the new plywood, what a shit-show that space was. I was peeling off old siding up there when the ladder shifted and for a brief moment I thought I was going to fall INTO the building. Whatever "contractor" did the work there decades ago only put that 3/4" blue-board foam insulation on over roughed-in 2x4 walls. OMG THERE WAS NO SHEATHING THERE AT ALL WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP! That foam-board is not structural at all so of course with the siding gone the ladder would punch right through it. Thankfully they at least did install studs 16-on-center so the ladder hit one of those and saved me from going right through the sheetrock on the back side and into that bedroom up there. Epic failer!
I must have lost a shitload of heat from that area over all the years I've owned the place. No doubt in winter on a NW wind cold air poured through seams and into there. No wonder that downstairs bedroom below the plywood gets so cold in winter. That upstairs bedroom probably gets really cold as well, but the same tenant has always lived there since before 2005 when I bought the place (15.5 years ago OMG!) and has always used that room for storage so I bet she never noticed how cold it was in that room.
Thankfully I had extra plywood on-hand so we got it sealed up right before we quit for the day. We did that the same day we leased that bar space, Tuesday, and on Wednesday we worked 1/2 day installing siding before we all went back down to the bar to start planning things out. We were not all on the same page Wednesday about the bar so part of that day was frustrating, but yesterday we all had a great day there and things are looking up.
Neil and I worked 1/2 day in the morning at Treats Falls yesterday finishing some smaller things and doing a little demolition. A couple doors and walls needed to come down, and thankfully that was easy for us to do and we finished a little ahead of schedule there. Oh Jesus, hell ya! As an added bonus we got some pieces of sheetrock, some insulation, and some 2x4s to use over at the bar somewhere. Probably $100 worth of materials that we can repurpose so not only did we save the owners at Treats Falls a dump fee but we also got some things we can use. Win-win!
Code came by yesterday at 1300, and we feared the worst since we are apparently renting from a scumlord who doesn't really give a shit about his space. Everything there is dated, filthy, and concerning. Electrical boxes all over the place, some leading to who-knows-what and some we can't even understand. I did call to have power turned on, we do have power in some areas, but in other areas we just can't figure it out. What a bunch of crap! Hopefully Ben and his boys can get us sorted out ASAP, but for now we at least have some power there.
Neither code not the fire marshall gave us any really bad news so that is a win. We did fear the space might have issues that would fail code, but we are okay for now. We do have lots to do and we do expect some bad news along the way, and we know we are going to need a lot of money this fall so I have the ball rolling on that as well.
^Code said we can pull a demolition permit to make some changes including removing that little false-wall entry to the bathrooms. That photo was taken from the "stage" area that my awesome DJ-wife laid out. The stage will be in the back corner facing towards the bar and the entrance. I think it's the perfect spot for the stage!
^The kitchen is going to need TONS of cleaning, and lots of precious... precious (and expensive) equipment. A closer look at that disgusting kitchen shows how gross it is right now:
^WHAT A BUNCH OF CRAP! And to think about how often we got food from there... Tracy should be ashamed and embarassed about how badly she let that place go to shit.
^Back areas are large, lots of wasted space, and probably haunted. Could you film a believable horror-movie scene there? Definitely!
If we think about that entire space, all 8300-ish square feet of it, then it's hard to stop thinking about it. We have to do 1000 things, and we need to do all of them right or else we will fail. We are leasing the space, we don't own it, so any money we put into the building itself will be a sunk cost that won't come back to us, ever. For larger issues that might arise we can work with the landlord and hope for the best, but it seems for the most part we are going to be on our own. Right now there is a tremendous amount of wasted space there that we hope to utilize to make us precious... precious money. All four of us are incredibly motivated so if we stay motivated we will succeed.
We had a long day yesterday, but a great day. It was hot again, but at least it was not as humid. We spent half the afternoon with code and with each other planning the space, and then we went to pick up 200 used chairs from s local business who was selling 400 of them. We paid $1600 for the chairs, $8 each, so that's awesome! They are not the crap metal folding chairs, they have cushions, but they are used and a bit worn. However, I think they will be perfect for when we do get that back space up and running. Hard to lease a space for an event when you don't have tables and chairs! Now at least we have chairs for that room.
Loading, transporting, and unloading 200 chairs is a lot of work. A LOT. My truck and trailer were freighted down. I'd guess each chair weighs 20 pounds. My trailer could safely take 50 (stacked 5 high), my truck bed held 40, 5 in the back seat, and some in Kat's GMC Acadia. Two trips, two hours, bye bye cash, hello event-room chairs!
Alright turds, all two of you who read this bootleg site, I gotta go do other things now. I actually have time to do yoga before I go to Lowe's to buy more siding for today. Goonies never say die!
Wednesday, 8-12-20: WE LEASED A SPACE AND ARE
GOING TO OWN A BAR!
I didn't expect the call we were waiting for until some point in the afternoon if at all, but around 1115 it rang and was the owner of the space we want to lease saying he was enroute, ETA to meet 1230. Awesome! That gave Neil and I a chance to head home to eat lunch and put on non-sweat-drenched clothes before our meeting. We knew the meeting would be rough because no one had a way to actually get into the City Side space that we wanted to lease and that was exactly the case. We had to wait around outside for a while, we tried a couple locksmiths to no avail, and finally the maintenance guy showed up and was able to get us in.
When we got there to meet the owner and to lease the space another guy was there wanting info about the space for lease, and he seemed VERY interested. Three other parties had already reached out to the owner about the Jester's side of the restaurant so we knew we had to make hay while the sun shone, so-to-speak. We wanted to get something done and done fast. We all know the space well, but the back areas needed a little more inspection and we needed to talk to the owner about our proposed plans for the space. After some back and forth on numbers and whether or not to take the Jester's space as well as the city Side space we were able to come to an agreement that we all think is fair, he got a deposit check, we found a way to swap out the Jester's lock, and the space is now ours!
^Dated 1960s-1970s decor needs to gggggggggggggeeeeeeeeeeeeeeettttttttttttttttttt oooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuttttttttttttttttt! New bar needs to happen, new ceiling tiles, fresh paint, new lights, new floor, the works.
^Big space, big risk, big opportunity to make a decent amount of money if we do it right.
The space formerly known all-too well as Jester's is also ours. We have a lot of work to do! A lot.
Monday, 8-10-20: This business venture might
actually happen. Fuck off, zero-turn mower.
The plan is to have four owners. Kat and I, obviously, and our two other friends who have knowledge in key areas and who know how to deal with people. Owning a bar is not owning a party-pad. Owning a bar is owning a place to sell, sell, and sell some more. Drinks, food, more drinks, etc. It's an experience and to succeed it requires very good people-skills. The four of us combined have a good deal of that already (on here my people skills SSSSSSSSUUUUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKK!)
More to come on the new business idea soon...
I went down to the ol' homestead yesterday to see Dad and to do some chores after a nice lunch visit on the back deck on a beautiful and somewhat hot summer day. One of the most important chores: mow their lawn. I haven't mowed the lawn there since the early 1990s OMG! Back then the lawn was a lot different, too. A lot. More rocks, more bumps, and push-mower all-the-way. Since then they have had landscape work done and now Dad owns what he thinks is a sweet zero-turn mower. Me, I don't think it's so sweet. I looked like a drunk asshole driving that mower around yesterday. It began as epic failer.
I've used a ride-on mower before, but the controls of a zero-turn are confusing. You have to move two levers as you roll along, one left "rudder" and one right "rudder. Rein? I dunno it's handles, not a wheel. These fucking handles, man making that thing do a good turn and a nice straight line takes a lot of practice. Dad wanted me to ride around and practice a lot, but I didn't give a fuck about wasting half my precious... precious time learning how to drive a frigging lawn mower so I just did a couple terrible rectangles in the back yard before I went for the gold. My bad there.
Within seconds of engaging the mower deck I was running into the wood pile. I almost mowed up a few sticks of oak. What a bunch of crap! That would have been all-bad. Thankfully I stopped the mower blade from spinning so I just crashed and probably made Dad wince (he was on the deck watching the shit-show.) I got out of that mess and then ran over some gutter down-spouts, I crashed into a little cedar tree, and I totally demolished a metal eye-bolt that was sticking out where it should not have been sticking out (IE I should not have been mowing there!) What a bunch of crap!
None of my lines are straight so it looks like a drunk mowed their lawn. I did get it all done, but it took twice as long as it should have taken. I did get a little more comfortable on the mower, but just when I thought I was doing well I grazed that eye bolt I suck! By then Dad hobbled back inside the house so he didn't see all my fails. If he had seem them all he might have had another heart attack and ended up back in Maine Med.
Dad looked pretty tired and weakened, but he did not look terrible. He admitted he was exhausted since lack of sleep has been his worst problem since he got home Thursday last week. Mom texted me this last night so that was really nice: "We are very happy because we got to talk to allour boys in the same day but different places :-) We are so blessed to have such a great family have a nie evening thanks again for all your help." At the end of that were two squares because my phone can't show emojis. HAHAHA. OMG. 6-year old cheap phone like a boss. My phone can only show little squares instead of icons like smiles, thumbs-ups, etc. What a bunch of crap! I really do need a new phone...
Saturday, 8-08-20: Up early, no boozing last
night, no Jester's anymore.
Last Friday we had a Jester's farewell party at our house with a large crowd and a lot of fun. We all drank a lot of booze and probably pissed off the neighbors. Also last week Jester's/City Side had a large rolloff dumpster out front that ended up full to the top, and the locks to the place were changed ASAP. It was really sad to see the dumpster there because we had so many fun times at that place, too many fun times to even remember them all.
^Tommy bodyslamming me in Jester's back in 2015 hehehe. We were just joking around so I didn't get hurt. We will all miss Jester's.
Kat has wanted to open her own bar for a long time, but I have very much been against the idea so we didn't talk too much about it. More of a "Maybe one day in the future who knows?" type of passing comment we would make from time to time. Opening a bar is risky and lots of new restaurants and bars fail and fail fast. There are plenty of bars around here as well so trying to compete with established places can be even more of a challenge. Now that has changed and so have our recent conversations and actions.
Kat and I had a serious conversation about opening a place during one of our evening walks a few days ago. Before then I was still against the idea of trying to open our own place because I have to much else going on and because of the risk involved. However, losing Jester's created a void that does need to be filled so the more I thought about it the more I started to open up to the idea. Not only is Jester's gone now, but the Eagles Club is also up for sale and it seems soon that place will either be gone or be in a whole new area. Two places in Brewer, gone.
At first I was leaning hard into either buying a commercial property and modifying it to our needs, but during my search I came across this 1.27-acre piece of land located in a "Generla business" zone of Brewer 2.4 miles from our house:
^$79,900. Not a terrible price and something we can do, especially after I sell my Gilmore house in the next month or two (or three?) Owning a nice lot of land zoned commercial = Oh Jesus, hell ya! We could build our own awesome karaoke bar there. Building a place would take a couple years unless we really had a serious investment partner or two, but the end result would be badass and just to our design. We would want a few thousand square feet of space so the building would be larger than the average house and it would cost a lot to build. A lot. Even with me as the lead carpenter putting in a shitload of sweat equity it would be at least, roughly, $200k. We'd want to offer at least a limited pub menu so a kitchen alone along with the proper venting = $$$$$$. Same for a sprinkler system, fire suppression, so on and so forth. Just the earth work and a foundation would cost tens of thousands of dollars before even one stick of lumber was installed anywhere.
Yesterday when Neil and I were installing another window and more siding over at Allen Rd on what was a beautiful weather day Neil suggested maybe we lease something instead of buying and building. We could lease an existing space, maybe even something with a kitchen already, and see how it goes. If things went well maybe then we could buy or build our own space in the future since paying rent = loss of profits to the landlord each month. No equity other than the brand of the business. Lots of businesses, probably most businesses, lease their spaces so that is not a bad thing.
Neil's suggestion makes a lot of sense. Rent a space and then if it epic fails we are not so screwed and stuck with a piece of land and a failed enterprise that cost more money than we even have and can even pay back. I do NOT want to start a business that could cost us our house if it falls flat. I'll lose a rental property or two, but not our own house. Kat and I liked his suggestion, and I actually called the owner of the plaza where Jester's/City Side was located and got some info. We are going to explore some options there next week because a few spaces are available for lease, including the old City Side restaurant.
Right now we are just getting some options on the table before we make a final decision, but we do hope to open something new in this area to fill the void left by other businesses/places that either have failed or that are on the brink of collapse. What makes us different than those before who have failed? We know a lot of people. A LOT. Many of our friends have skill sets that we will need. Kat can handle the entertainment, I can handle most of the maintenance/repairs and business management. We know bartenders, we know cooks, we know electricians, plumbers, HVAC people, the list goes on and on. Plus we see how some other business owners ran their operations and at times they were terrible. Bad with people, bad with maintenances, bad with repairs, hands-off, not caring, not taking the time to learn, etc.
We know how much we have to pay each month to lease a space nearby so now we have to figure out how much revenue we might be able to take in and to develop a business plan, a concept, and a design. Whatever we do lease needs an overhaul so there will be a tremendous amount of startup expenses. It will be a lot of work, too. Right now we're thinking of having a place open Wed-Sunday, closed Mon & Tues to start off, maybe open afternoon - last call. Karaoke at least 2 nights a week and maybe 4 or 5? Lots to consider. What food would we offer? What will the theme of the place be? How can we lay it out? How can we make it inviting and NICE? Lots of details to come, and the little things matter a lot including the entrance/exit, lighting, bar location inside the space, stage, sound, condition of the bathrooms, so on and so forth.
I plan to set up a S-Corp/LLC ASAP, and we can start thinking of a business name and find a space. This whole thing is my awesome DJ-wife's vision so the name will be something having to do with her. MadKat's Karaoke Bar? MadKat's Bar? Kat's Pub? I dunno there are endless options for a name. Has to be something that tells people what it is so Kat's Place or something vague won't work.
We are going to open our own bar. Maybe? Hopefully!
Thursday, 8-06-20: Dad comes home today?
We all had a plan to get Dad home from the hospital, but that plan had to change yesterday. In the original plan I was going to drive down to the midcoast, meet up with Mom and Jason, and the three of us were going to dive down to Portland to pick up Dad. The Covid-19 pandemic is very much still in full-swing so only one person could actually get Dad while the other two of us waited in the vehicle in the parking lot. We'd all then go home and probably visit for a while before I headed home myself. It was going to be 6 total hours of driving for me, but it would have been well worth it to see Dad get home after a life-threatening and life-saving ordeal.
Unfortunately Dad called me yesterday afternoon to change the plan and to piss in my proverbial Cheerios. He said he didn't want me to go along to pick him up due to the 'rona pandemic. OMG. He only wants one person to get him so his risk of getting the virus is reduced. Before he went to the hospital I don't think he worried that much about this virus, but he said there is a whole floor at that Portland hospital with Covid-19 patients and the docs there take it incredibly seriously. He knows if he gets Covid he is going to die because he is so weak right now.
I don't think I am a carrier of the 'rona, but who knows I could be since I have been around plenty of other people lately. Not all people who have the virus get sick from it, and I *might* be one of those people. I think the odds of that are less than 1%, but if I do get too close to Dad and then he dies from the virus because I did unknowingly have it then I have to live with that forever. What a bunch of crap that would be! What a bunch of crap this whole virus is!
Dad's logic makes just enough sense so I can't put up a compelling counter-argument against it. I do think it's a bit ridiculous since I WAS JUST DOWN AT THEIR HOUSE SATURDAY, AND I GAVE MOM A HUG AND NOW HE IS GOING TO SEE MOM AND BE CLOSE TO HER. However, that was five days ago so maybe I got the 'rona since then? I feel pretty good and there aren't any outbreaks around here lately, but in other areas of the country it is very much a shit-show. They just said on the news that Governor Janet Mills extended the Civil State of Emergency until September 3rd. What a bunch of crap! I guess that means Neil can't go back to work until next month as a bartender...
Speaking of Neil, both he and I finished the front of my Allen Rd front Tuesday morning before we met up at Treats Falls to plan a little more work. The front looks nice, but we did make a few little mistakes that aren't too noticeable:
^It does look great, and it will look even better when we clean it up some more and put lattice around the bottom of that new little front porch. I did screw up the height of those two little windows above the porch roof. One is 1.5" lower than the other. What a bunch of crap! The old octagon windows were not lined up either, but I thought I fixed that. My bad. Also, the lower left-most window shutter is off alignment by just a tad. I also had a little trouble in one area at the top-most row of siding due to the building having settled some on the right side. What a bunch of crap! Oh well, minor issues that are no big deal and it is just a rental! Hehe.
I was planning to put that house on hold for a few days to do other projects, but I might be back over there as early as today. Neil and I did a few smaller things at Treats Falls yesterday, some trim and lattice, and I was planning to go get Dad today and either finish some more small work at Treats Falls tomorrow or go to Phil's tomorrow. However, not getting Dad today now gives me a lot of extra time (that I do NOT want gods damn it.) If Dad is not released from the hospital today due to any complications then I am going to get him tomorrow, though...
Sunday, 8-02-20: Successful surgery.
We don't know when Dad will be able to go home, but sometime this weeks is the plan. Tomorrow is a very remote possibility, but mid to late week seems more likely. Jason recently had heat pumps installed in his own house so he has spare window A/C units, and he offered to install a couple of them in the house for Mom and Dad. Of course they were both quite against the idea since they have NEVER had A/C in that house, ever. Mom likes to just have the windows open, even when it is 90 degrees both outside and inside. What a bunch of crap!
Thankfully Dad finally agreed that A/C might be a good idea, especially since it's been such a hot summer. Even though they only live a few miles from the coast there have been very few good sea breezes lately and even yesterday was in the mid-80s down there. We don't want Dad to be recovering from a life-saving heart surgery and being overheated. A big heat wave could stress his body to the point of no return.
So I helped Jason get the two A/C window units installed before I headed back home. I also weedwacked, stacked some wood, and trimmed Dad's food plot out back by the pond. Poor Mom has been so stressed out I can see it in her and she didn't even want her lunch so that's another telling sign. I'm glad I went down there for the afternoon to keep her company, and even better that Jason also came over to help out with some things. We don't know how long Dad will take to recover well enough to even do simple things like mow the lawn (ride-on mower) so they are going to need help for quite some time. Jason lives close, but I can't put all that on him so I plan to go back and forth as much as needed.
I'll play rball this morning and do some mowing at some point today. Then hopefully later I can work on this for a bit:
^Neil and I worked on that side Wednesday, we took Thursday off to go to Schoodic Point, and we worked back on the front Friday. That front has been incredibly hot most days with unlimited sun and plenty of heat. What a bunch of crap! Doing that driveway side does offer morning shade so Wednesday was a nice break from all that sun.
I won't install any new siding today, maybe some J-channel and more work on that door overhang. Removing that old siding up top would be good. There is a lot of debris around the property that needs to be cleaned up and loaded for a dump-run, too. I can't have loose siding there come Tuesday because it looks like Tropical Storm Isaaiah (butchered spelling what a bunch of crap!) is going to hit us Tuesday PM and into Wednesday. The storm might actually be a direct hit, but it will be weaker with winds of "only" 40MPH. Still enough wind to send loose siding flying all over the place.
I have to wait until later this month to do some areas of that building since I need six windows custom-ordered on size. I stopped by Crescent Lumber in Orrington yesterday on the way to Mom and Dad's to order them, Matthew's Brothers brand. I could have ordered them at Lowe's or Home Depot, but in the past I've used Matthews Bros windows there so I wanted some of the areas to match up. Other areas I can use Home Depot windows, and I already have those on-hand from a few days ago thanks 48-month special financing coupon!
Alright turds, all two of you who read this bootleg site of mine, I need to go to other things now. I'll be working in 3 different places this coming week. Tomorrow Neil and I can do windows and siding at the property pictured above, Tuesday and Wednesday it's back to Treats Falls for some smaller things, and Thursday/Friday it's back down to Phil's to finish most if not all of the work he needs done. Somewhere in there will be a day off to help get Dad home, too...