Back in action!

169 N Victoria
This is the place! Doesn’t look like much now, but it will be stunning!

Looking back, my last post here was on May 11. Hard to believe that’s over 3 weeks ago. Oddly and quite unexpectedly, the very next day, May 12, I ran a fever, pretty much out of the blue. Being a physician and knowing how these things usually work, I did the sensible thing; I ignored it. There is no way I could have possibly anticipated 12 days of fever at that point. Long story short, after about a week I gave in and went to the doctor. 24 hours later and a number of blood tests and I had my answer: infectious mononucleosis. Mono, at age 53? WTF? Besides, I had mono when I was 16, I thought I had life long immunity. Turns out that mono in “older adults” is a somewhat different entity than in the younger crowd. Typically there is little to no sore throat, little to no lymph node enlargement and the disease is characterized by fever and fatigue, both of which I had in spades. The fever finally abated and the fatigue is slowly fading. I’ve had a couple of days in a row now without a nap, but sleeping ridiculous amounts is still necessary for function.

That does not mean, however, that progress on the restaurant has slowed at all. It was just fortunate that I went down at a time when a lot of other stuff was happening and it didn’t impact progress. So the great news to share today is that we have a lease! For those interested, the current address of the property is 169 N Victoria in Saint Paul. Much easier, however, to say the corner of Selby Avenue and Victoria Street. If you’re driving by, I’m the space with the papered windows and the billboard on top. Looks like it will more or less stay that way for a couple of months.

I’ve had a number of meetings with my architect and design team of Aaron Wittkamper and Amy Reiff along with my chef, Rick Berdahl. On Wednesday morning I approved the tentative design for the space, kind of the rough draft of what we’ll look like. Amy and Rick will be working on tweaking the kitchen plan and, with a bit of luck, we’ll get that plan submitted to the Department of Health within a week. The kitchen plan needs to be approved by the Department of Health before any sort of building permits can be submitted. But, basically, getting that approval is the green light to get things moving, so we’re anxious to make that happen. After that, I should have some renderings (pictures) of the space which I will certainly share with you.

Financially, things continue to develop in positive ways. The basics of the financing are in place and I have approval for the Small Business Association (SBA) loan to round out the package. Planning to go live with the loan on or around June 15. This means that, with some seriously good fortune, we could be open on October 1, but that seems a bit optimistic. I do believe that we’ll be open for business some time in the 4th quarter of this year and I’m very hopeful that it’s sooner rather than later.

Don’t worry, no more prolonged absences. Lots of things happening on the restaurant development front and I’ll keep you apprised. Lots of interesting health and nutrition news to catch up on as well!