Crazy, how long this took. But we did manage to get all the pieces--lease, purchase, insurance, lien searches--assembled and the closing took place this morning. I've had keys for a few days, but the official hand-off was this morning.
I also got the approval to substitute me in place of PP's with the city of Evanston. They have a rule that every "type 2" restaurant (meaning not table service) must possess their own individual zoning ordinance allowing them to exist there. They stipulate a few basic requirements about garbage pickup that I had to sign on to, and transfering it was, everyone told me, a big, scary thing that could take months, but nope! It's done. I found dealing with the city very easy and pleasant.
So after holding myself back on buying equipment, I almost immediately headed out to Westmont to meet a guy about an ice cream dipping freezer, loaded it up, and then went back up to Evanston to put it in the restaurant space and put brown paper over the windows.
Now that the matter of buying a restaurant (and agreeing to a lease!) has been taken care of, my mind has begun considering the matter of MAKING MONEY by running a restaurant, and I'm nervous. We'd been thinking of this idea as a no-brainer back 6-8 months ago, when we found the Lincoln Square space and thought "what would do well there?"
I'm happy with the location in Evanston, though...don't get me wrong. But there's a lot more competition, it feels somewhat more intimidating.
That said, I'm on a crusade to open this place with as little money and as much of my personal sweat equity as possible. The freezer I bought today was $100 and I'm determined to spend less than $10,000 getting the place ready for employees to come in and start training and hold on to as much of our reserve cash as possible, because I know there will be expenses I haven't budgeted for.
The really exciting part of it is that it's now in my hands. No more waiting around for deals to be made, lawyers to worry me, or debt searches to come back before I can do the stuff I need to do to get this place open. I got zero emails from my attorney today!
I do believe the pace of this blog will step a bit livelier now, since I'll be actively out and doing restaurant stuff every single day. No internet connection yet at the space, but hoping to find a place where I pick up wi-fi from someone.
Oh. And there is also one more nugget. Almost forgot. A name.
We had been using Automatic Burger & Dog as the working name, but an overwhelming number of people we know who we told the name to hated it. So the new name is Edzo's Burger Shop.
Do me a favor, ok? If you hate it....don't tell me.