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What's going on at The Loft?

When are you guys opening?
What's it look like inside?
Why can't you give me an opening date yet?
These are some of the questions we've heard many times over the past month and today we even had two swanky young gentlemen show up looking to enjoy themselves at The Loft. This had us thinking that maybe we're doing a not so great job of keeping everyone in the loop and we want to fix that right way. Thus, the birth of this blog post.
First of all, thank you for your patience while we work diligently to get The Loft Board Game Lounge open as soon as possible. We're eagerly anticipating the grand opening, but we don't want to make any promises we can't keep. 
What do you mean promises you can't keep?!
We received occupacy of our space at 14 Waller on March 19th, but unfortunately due to some bureaucratic delays we did not receive our building permit until April 16th. This is the nature of opening a restaurant, even with the hardest work and all the due dilligence there's always likely to be some speed bumps along the road. With the risk of delays occuring, we don't want to:
  • Promise a "GRAND OPENING MAY XX, 2014"
  • Get everyone excited to drink some beer and play some games at a new exciting place
  • Tell you on the proposed day of 'the grand opening'  that we won't be open yet and we won't know when we will be open.
We want to be able to say when we're opening and be 100% sure that there will be no delays, cancellations, and disappointments.
So renovations = risks of delays, so what are you renovating exactly?

Before getting onto what's the space like today, it's important to talk about what it was before. Outside of being a designated heritage building built in 1866 originally as a stable (pretty cool huh?), it was known as Minglewoods up until a few years ago, and then most recently it was the night club "The Lighthouse".
The layout and amenities of a night club don't translate well into a lounge that is looking to serve food and drink in a more upscale environment. We needed to dismantle everything in the night club and repurpose the space to fit our needs. We've been fortunate to re-use over 90% of the material that came from the night club set up. This has been a little bit more time consuming than just sending all the material to the landfills and buying everything new, but recyclying is good and being green is cool; and thus there we were with a pile of recycled material, an empty space in a 150 year building, and our desire to turn this into something everyone can enjoy!
Ok, enough with the fluff and get to the good stuff.
April 16th came around and after much hair pulling and nail biting we finally received our building permit - our official nod from the city to begin construction. We began by framing our kitchen and bar. With the help of some friends and family this process was fairly smooth. Then came the electrical and plumbing. This is a step that requires inspections and approvals from the city of ottawa building department and the electrical safety authority to make sure that everything is built up to code. This is a nerve wracking process because both these governing agencies have the authority to stop your construction and make you undo/redo anything that they see to be done incorrectly. This is exactly the type of speed bump that can cause extensive delays, cancel grand openings, and leave everyone disappointed. Thus why we've maintained a "Spring 2014" opening date rather than anything more specific.
Fortunately, our preliminary electrical and plumbing inspections have passed and we're off to the finishing stages of the renovations. Our equipment has been delivered, the kitchen flooring has been installed, and this week our countertop should be delivered to cap off the kitchen construction. Once our equipment is set up in our kitchen, we will begin finalizing our menu!
In the rest of the space the drywall is being installed, painting has been an ongoing process, and soon the hardwood floors will be refinished. Once the hardwood floors are looking nice and shiney, our furniture (tables, chairs, couches, shelves, 700 board games!) will all be moved in and our set up will almost be complete. Staff training is beginning soon and will be an ongoing process right up until opening night. 
So when can I get my friends together and head on over?!

We can't give you a 100% opening date just yet because we still have a few more inspections to pass, but we can say that we would be extremely disappointed if we were not open by the end of May. 

Thank you again for your patience and we can't wait to have you at our grand opening! 
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