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Tall Guy and a Grill Catering Before and After

March 26, 2014

In the spring of 2012, the Tall Guy and I began to realize that this catering-on-the-side thing was taking over our lives (and sleep schedules). It was just getting too hard for both of us to work 40+ hour weeks, especially with me traveling, and then doing lunch and wedding catering in our ‘free time’. Something had to give. So after much thought we decided I would leave my job and go to work for Tall Guy and a Grill Catering, doing the back-end stuff like food shopping and errand running. Tall Guy would stay at his job for the time being, and do the big events and the cooking. It was a good idea in theory, but then in January 2013, a space opened up that was exactly what we were looking for. Two-thirds kitchen, one-third front lobby space, in a great location. Somewhere we could prep all of our events, as well as have a home-base where we could offer carry out orders. We went for it!

The space was a custom cake shop prior, so there was some equipment we were able to purchase from the previous tenants. However, we did have to put in a commercial hood and do some cosmetic upgrades to the space. During this process of dealing with contractors and getting ready to open, TG was getting lots of inquiries for business! And we quickly realized I could not handle this alone, TG also was going to have to leave his job too. So on the same day in July, exactly a year later, TG said good-bye to the finance world and hello to  catering.

DSC_0011 copy

Things have been non-stop since! I thought I would share with you how we transformed the space. We had a very limited budget when it came to cosmetic stuff because all of the contractor work was way more costly than we imagined, but we still made it work.

I’ll give you the boring stuff first. The kitchen cost the most, but doesn’t look a whole lot different. Most of our pennies were put into the GIANT commercial hood we put in. We complained about the cost initially, but when they called the day it was to be installed and said, “There are storms coming through today, and we can’t use the crane for the roof installation because of the lightning,” we were like OK, they had to rent a crane. We get it! In our minds we also underestimated just how HUGE this thing was going to be. If you look in the first image below you’ll see two florescent light fixtures on the ceiling. We had to take out the whole fixture on the left to fit the hood in. You can see the same bank of lights in the second image, and where the first light was taken out. That’s right, the hood comes out almost 6′ from the wall!

kitchen after

Next was the front. The last company had someone paint their name on the windows, so me and TG got the lovely job of scraping that off in 40 degree weather:) We then had a graphics company put our logo on the window.

windows after

The wall below was my life for two whole days. There was a reason the last tenant put wallcovering over the wall-it was bumpy and not constructed well. However, this girly wallcovering clearly was not going to work with Tall Guy’s decor. So I stripped it off in layers by soaking it with remover chemicals (that under normal circumstances I would not use, but this stuff was stuck on there!). It took forever. After I got all of the paper backing and glue off, I used a flat gray paint to hide the bumps and flaws as much as possible. That same graphics company installed the PVC wall logo.

tg wall Collage txt

The rest of the walls were painted mint green with chocolate brown trim. I painted the brown dark gray and the green a very light gray.

clock wall window after

For the giant slat wall I scraped all of the white paint off and painted those slats red, the brown slats became dark charcoal. I could have done a new alternating pattern, but this project got bigger and bigger, and I just went whichever way got that thing painted fastest! I will also mention here the desk. We did not take the white counter the original tenants had because unlike them we don’t have any food to display, so they took it with them. My interior design mind had grand ideas of a built-in counter with industrial looking pendant lights hanging over it. Our bank account said find something cheap-really cheap. I went on Craigslist and found a guy selling particle board desk pieces from an old cell phone store. Tall Guy and I picked up the piece below, kind of a podium with a transaction counter. It had some damage but I used black electrical tape, super glue, and black paint markers to make it look good as new!

TG desk Collage

Did you notice the sparkly chandelier isn’t in any of the ‘After’ pictures? Again, not exactly in line with Tall Guy’s image, so we gave it to a friend for her little girl’s room and put in a simple ceiling fixture.

I will finish with stressing the importance of before pictures. ALWAYS TAKE MORE THAN YOU THINK YOU WILL NEED. I’ve learned this a millions times and yet I still didn’t listen to my own advice with this project. I forgot to take pictures of our awful bathroom down in the basement of Tall Guy. It was painted about 5 different colors and looked disgusting (Mel will attest to this). We painted, got a new toilet, and added artwork. To just look at it, it looks like a basement bathroom. But if I could have done a before and after you would have been stunned.

Hope you enjoyed our first Re-Deux! Many more to come!

Amanda

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