The names of the people and businesses in this blog series have been changed to protect their identities and the integrity of this project.
A lot about this project is catch-22. You can’t get the business plan together until you have an idea of the cost of remodeling. You can’t raise the funds for the remodeling until you convince the investors it’s a good idea. You can’t really persuade the investors until you show them the design idea. And the idea costs money.
In Santa Monica, we met with the design team we think we’d like to work with. They were updated about where we are in the process and what timeline we envision following..though it’s a very loose timeline at this point. Then they walked us through a Power Point presentation of projects they have recently completed and are currently working on so that we could get a sense of their ability to transform a place.
Then we got more specific with what they envision for our location. We already knew that they want to take down a wall and open the restaurant up to the street. But we didn’t know how they envisioned taking this dark and dingy dive bar into 2016.
The mood board that they showed us gave us chills. It represents exactly what we want: honor the old style while bringing in something new and updated. It has a California vibe with a clear southwest accent. The black vinyl booths would be replaced with real leather. The random (bad) art on the walls would be tossed in exchange for old local photos of the surrounding city. The log cabin themed bar stools would be swapped out with backless barstools made of dark wood. The place would truly be transformed.
We left their offices having a new visual reference, and feeling hopeful that this might all actually come to a reality.
The Restaurant Diaries: Page One