Saturday, May 18, 2013

Welcome to the Urban Grill Food Truck

Urban Grill Food Truck

by ugft, llc

We like our logo, we hope you do too. It's representative of........well never mind what went into it. Never mind the mind numbing discussions with the graphics people about the logic behind putting the words 'food truck' on what is obviously a food truck. (we wanted it, they didn't) Our name is Urban Grill Food Truck, we put it on our logo, but sometimes you'll see Urban Grill Cincy, because we like that too. And the more Cincinnati influences and elements which went into and onto the truck and the menu, the more that seemed appropriate, so Urban Grill Cincy exists and in fact is after @ and .com for our Twitter and Facebook addresses. And we don't mind if  you just call us "Urban Grill." But, please call us. A lot! Thanks.

The truck, which yes, we still call 'the boat' (we have some identity issues) is it a truck? a boat? what? Definitely favors Cincinnati themes, definitely likes bacon, but has some boat features - look toward the roof line and the back window in particular, and stand back if the horn is blown. 

Photo credit: Thanks to my sister Kathy Palmer for this and several other pics, including the one with Music Hall in the background! Great shot, and thanks for being there!!!!

Thank you to the very talented Carolyn Martin, artist and designer of these adorable flying pigs! Carolyn we appreciate you!

So what is with the BACON???? Well, bacon is good! And we will be serving it. If you aren't familiar with Cincinnati heritage then you don't know about the Flying Pig Marathon, or that Cincinnati among other things was known as Porkopolis back in the late 1800's and that the name and the heritage has stuck with us. And we really were known to be the hog trading and sausage making capital, due to our location on the Ohio river and our German heritage. Honoring that, you will find many bacon selections, and a bacon specialty item, as well a few Goetta selections from time to time.

Randy and I are native Cincinnatians, as well as former river people, as well as brother and sister-in-law, this boat, I mean truck, reflects all of that. So will our food.

So here is the food:
Usually, we will have marinated, grilled skewers of chicken, beef and shrimp which can be served on flatbread or with our grilled vegetable couscous. They come with the appropriate sauce and fresh vegetables as garnish.

We'll also have one or two of our handcrafted sandwiches on a daily basis. Our sandwiches are layered favors with lots of elements to them, descriptions coming. Our bread will be locally sourced, it's between two great bakeries, still testing which roll holds up to the sauces and flavors we add to those sandwiches. (Hint: we layer it up pretty good, these buns have to hold up under the pressure of the sauces etc.) Either way, you'll need a napkin - we'll provide. :-)

And there is a smoker on board too, so there will be specialty items from the smoker also. And other side dishes and desserts from time to time. So with the exception of the marinated skewers and couscous, you just have to check in to find out what is on the menu.

We'll keep you posted as to our location and if not outright tell you what we are serving, we'll give good hints. Special events and private parties are a different thing. We have a full commercial kitchen. We can and will fix anything. And we have a few things in mind for special events but won't regularly have those on the truck at a normal lunch stop, so things will change up according to need, occasion, and popular demand!

Best way to keep track of where we are and what we are serving is to 'like' our Facebook page. or follow us on Twitter, @UrbanGrillCincy. If neither of those work for you, we have our web address The twitter and facebook feeds both will update on our website also, so you can see all our updates. Our website is not fully activated yet but if you go to that address you will find us. Coming soon, go ahead and log-on.

 Oh, and we have a few products we'll be using on the truck as part of our recipes which also we can sell as retail products. This is me talking about the first one, it's our Cincy Cashew Crunch. It's a little bit of heat, also sweet and it's got another underlying flavor too! Our Cashew Crunch is made with 100% grade A genuine maple syrup, no corn syrup or sugars. It's intended and is, a gourmet food product. We are happy to share it with  you. You may want to purchase some to take home with you and we have it packaged for take home use also. Be sure to try it on ICE CREAM ! Really. Excellent. On. Ice. Cream.  (More about that second product another time.)

We had two professional photographers work on this truck. Most of the photos were taken by Pete Shively, photographer. Thanks, Pete. Additionally, a few photos were contributed by my terrific friend Stu Hyde of Stuart Hyde Photography. Thanks Stu!!
We had a lot of fun designing our truck. We appreciate Blake Castetter, Andrew, Wes, Antwan and the other fine professionals at Advertising Vehicles, the absolute best vehicle wrap company in town. Thanks to Peggy Shannon (Queen City Cookies) for the heads up to go straight to the best. We took that advice. (Right after that other excellent piece of advice  you gave us, Peggy.) Have you  tried the Bacon Schnecken from Queen City Cookies? Just sayin' 

Blake and Andrew (Sales and Designer, respectively) could not have been more patient, creative and kind with us, as they worked with what we all concede had to have been 'their most detailed food truck customers to date.'
Thanks again, we agreed we made a good partnership, those guys (men and women) out there are actually perfectionists themselves. Forgot Sarah the illustrator. Thank you Sarah!

Yesterday was a blast. It was GREAT timing that the Food Truck press conference at Washington Park to announce the new program and some new spaces to serve the public, was timed to coincide with our truck unveiling!! Perfect. The response and feedback was extremely positive. And Channel 9 (Facebook: WCPO 9 on your side) dedicated 12 of their 50 some photos of the event to pics of our truck and product!!! Thank you to Jenny Bak and Libby Cunningham, you two are great! We appreciate you and loved meeting you, also! Please come back when we are serving food in addition to our Cincy Cashew Crunch, we'd like to feed you more!

Randy and Betsy being interviewed by Council member, Laure Quinlivan after the Press Conference.

It's almost time. Randy and I are ready to actually start cooking on the truck. Can you believe it? It's really here. It's taken 11 months if you are counting. I decided in June, with my friend Sheila. I thought about her a lot yesterday. (Read blog post, Sisters Come in Many Forms, if you have not.) Randy jumped on board just a few short weeks later (like two?) And here we are. It's possible to do this faster. But I like the way we did it. I'm not saying there aren't a few things I wouldn't do differently. I'd start with more capital for one thing. The things you think are going to be great can be the thorn in the side. (that can read: people) But that's okay. It takes all kinds.

Here we come, ready or not!! We are excited. The response from the public, family and friends, and the people within the food truck business who are sincerely welcoming, has been heartwarming and has made all the difference. Sincerity is a nice thing.



Remember, make the most of today, it IS the ONLY one of which any of us is guaranteed!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Depot Demolition

We gotta tear it down before we can build it up.

Foreground is to be ramp, straight back: future parking of Urban Grill Food Truck

We are tearing out concrete, lots of it. Old, reinforced concrete flooring, to fill in below - think building a concrete box- to support the new ramp coming into the building and to support some relocated support beams for the second floor.

So first they cut out  as much of the concrete flooring in the intended ramp area, from this 112 year old building, as was safe to do.

Concrete is being poured in several separate pours over a period of time, to let it set between pours.

Some flooring remains but it comes out soon too...footers were poured and two walls are being formed to create our box area.Two walls are existing on the front and side of the area.

Looking through floor openings after the first pour.

After another pour. Looking through the remaining flooring from the other side.

 When the concrete gets up to a working height we'll quit
pouring for a while and that will give the workers a surface from which to safely stand to jackhammer out the remaining concrete. 
Where did those earplugs go?
Then ramp building begins. 

All this is being done because of those two little steps which you see in this photo. 
These steps get cut out next week and we start the ramp going up into the building 
right from the entrance.

That's the Depot progress! There is truck progress too. As you can imagine, Randy continues to invent, modify, perfect, refine, repair, surprise, innovate and work tirelessly. 
We can't wait to show it to you. We'll keep you posted. 

Sincerely, thank you for following along. 
I run into more people everyday who let me know they've been reading the progress. This means a lot to both of us that you are so interested in the business and we appreciate your interest in our success. We know you really just want to try some food!!!
It's coming, soon!
Remember, make the most of today, it's the only one of which any of us are guaranteed!
On behalf of Betsy and my Biz Partner/Bro-in-law, Randy.
ugft, llc.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Spiffy! Yes, we think so!

We've been pronounced 'Spiffy' by the Board of Health inspector and were thrilled to hear it!
He liked it! He really liked it!

Kudos to Randy for his fine finish work, the re-work of work which had already been completed and new work which he decided needed to be done. There's lots of it, but obvious in some of these photos are the cabinets and counters which he made. He had some of the metal work bent for him and did a lot himself. Except for the appliances and sinks, Randy made and fit together all the remaining pieces to have that built-in feel and make the counters and work spaces contiguous with one another. Fantastic! Goes back to that 'can you weld?' question. Who Knew?

And a big thanks to my husband, Dick who spent three days this week cleaning and scrubbing the inside.Great job, sorely needed and one of those things nobody really wants to do and everyone has something more pressing to do. Thanks Dick, we appreciate the way you pitched in.

We don't know which was liked better or really earned us the 'spiffy' moniker the 'fit and finish' or the spotless condition, but the two combined did really seal the job. Um, also it helped that the truck came back to the Health Department built exactly as the approved plans were specked. So really we were pre-approved. Still, it's nice to have that piece of paper. (Well, more than nice, required is more accurate.)

Here are some spiffy shots of the interior,

Welcome to the Urban Grill Food Truck:

Oh and he liked the smoker! Yes, that is an NSF approved smoker on the counter there on the left in the above photo. It is vented to the outside and we can't wait to serve some great pulled pork from that and we have other smoked items which will come from that device.

From the back forward: double fryer, griddle, two burners, double convection ovens and the charbroiler is over two refrigerated drawers.
 On the left side is our refrigerated sandwich prep station, our serving counter with prep sink (and a disposing hole made by guess who), built in warming drawers and our full size refrigerator is in the very back.It's cozy, but it all fits. We are both from boating backgrounds so we are used to things being compact. This will be tight. There are a few more items on this ship but we'll save it for another time. (plus I don't have those photos yet.)

Our wrap design for the exterior of the truck has been finalized and is being printed out now, too late to make changes! We'll be getting the truck wrapped sometime toward the end of next week and then we'll have those exterior shots for you.

On the Urban Depot front, because why not start the demolition on the same day as your health inspection?...The poles were moved out of the way to make room for building the ramp, and after a brief delay getting the concrete contractors back, they started cutting concrete today.....making way for the ramp. They cut the concrete into slabs and are letting it drop into our dungeon-like basement:

Updates as progress occurs, for the curious.

Thanks for all the encouragement! Especially those of you asking to taste food, we really appreciate your enthusiasm for our product and we will get that to you asap!!!

Peace and appreciation!!!

Make the very most of today, it IS the only one of which any of us are guaranteed!


Friday, April 19, 2013

Tricked Out....

I know. It's taking a while. But guess what? We really are almost out there. It's really close now. Here are a few things which have happened recently.

Urban Grill came out of winter storage! We'll never, ever be able to repay Dennis Tucker for his extreme generosity and kindness in letting us poach his large indoor truck service bay area for Randy to make all the truck modifications since we brought it back from Canal Winchester. Dennis, you are the best! Randy did okay too, but that's a different paragraph.

Final measurements have been taken! We are getting the final edits secured and the last minute little changes to our exterior wrap design - happening now. (Translation: they needed to measure the distance around all the little details and accoutrements which my partner-- the fabricator, welder, engineer, sound and light producer and electrician--has added to the truck!) But the polyvinyl wrap appointment was fun and they are so professional, and it's a great milestone we've been anxious to reach! Completed - check! Ahhhh!

Urban Grill has new shoes! Okay six new tires. That was today. Not as exciting as the truck measure and final selections, but much needed and it rides really nicely with the new tires!
We start next week on renovations to Urban Depot!! I mean sure, why not renovate the building at the same time we start up the new business? That makes sense to me. (!) Our Health  Department Inspection is next week also, so why not do all this at once?!

First up for the renovation is to move some support poles out of the way for the demolition. We are temporarily relocating the support poles which are to the right and left of the garage opening and we'll put them back after the new ramp is built. On the left hand photo below you can see a steel beam which is angled. We are having it straightened out so it goes all the way across the garage door opening and we will use it to suspend two poles temporarily, during construction. Then we start dropping concrete. They will start cutting the floor and dropping it into the basement, fill it with more concrete and build the ramp. (Okay, I just grossly oversimplified that process in the description. My apologies to architect, structural engineer, and concrete masters involved, I know it's more than that.)
When we've finished building our ramp into the building, we'll bring the poles back and have them put into place.
The fun starts Monday.
You can see the black paint lines on the concrete, where the ramp will be.
So this is the paragraph about my previously described partner, Randy. Do you like surprises? I do. It's fun to have somebody go to extra effort because they know you are going to love the outcome. That is the case with some things Randy didn't tell me he was working on for the truck.  I don't think Randy did all the things he did just to surprise me, I think he thought they were good ideas and he decided he'd just surprise me with the effect. But I truly was surprised and do love what he has done with some things I was not expecting! Plus we didn't have to vote on the expense that way! It worked. He has gone over and above to finish out the truck in fine style.

As usual I'm not going to be specific, I know you are going to come see the truck. Let's just say it has a few extra bells and whistles, and in this case that's not a cliche, it really does. We have bells, whistles, and a few other hard to describe elements which have nothing, and quite possibly everything, to do with 'selling sandwiches.

I know we have a fun and very special food truck. Honestly, there is not one out there in this city like it. That's a fact. And it's because I have a partner with one wild idea after another and the ability to follow through. #Ichosewell.

Okay, I'm posting this photo, remember it is NOT a yellow truck, and the various colors will be covered over in about a week or 10 days. And don't even ask what that is he is holding on to. Just come see the truck for a demonstration. We'll need to give tours of the truck. Be sure to start in the cab of the truck. It makes me laugh, hope you all enjoy it too. I think you will...

Randy Reichelderfer, demonstrating one of his many great ideas.

Counting down the days until we are mobile! But never wishing any away, they are all important!

Make the most of today, it is the only one of which any of us are guaranteed!

Remember the living occurs in the journey......


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bought the Building!

We own it! Welcome to the Urban Depot!

Headquarters of our Urban Grill Food Truck business and 
will serve as the Depot for the truck.
This will also become the future location of our commissary 
and who knows what other plans we may make for this space! 
Always stayed tuned!

Urban Depot - emphasis on Urban? :) We own that building next door also, to the left. Landlords!

The building was built in 1900. Great history in our City.

The brickwork inside and out is beautiful!

But like all things, it took a while and there's a story! A few stories in fact. The first story could be entitled:

How to protect the investment you're making in your food truck business?
Park inside. What if the truck is too tall for the building?

Get a different building?
Buy it if necessary?
Invest in the city which is to be the home base of our business?
Invest in the business in a more permanent way?
We did all of the above.

Urban Grill Food Truck (ugft llc.) did just that, all of the above! We felt it was important for us to park our truck indoors and sought to meet that goal almost as soon as we purchased the (stripped down gutter) truck. That led us to today. Why park inside?

We are investing in a really nice poly-vinyl wrap for the truck exterior, as most all food trucks do. It should last us a number of years. It will last years longer kept out of harsh weather whenever possible- sun/sleet/hail/ all of the above.

Next we have three (3) refrigerators on the truck. At night they'll need to be plugged in. There would be nothing stopping someone from unplugging our truck during the night in some of the outdoor locations we were first seeking. And nothing preventing someone from swiping those cords. And what happens to the food we had prepared for that day? And the people counting on us to serve them? No, too risky to rely on someone not kicking the plug out. Indoors please.

Our morning start up routine is going to be easier and more reliable if starting from a non-frozen state when the weather turns cold again next year. Being inside will keep the truck, the engine, and all the kitchen components at a more even and reliable state, all the time. 

Security. Right now the truck is our full commissary, which is great. It's set up to be that. But rather than being parked outside somewhere and working late on the truck to prep for the next day's meal, being inside your own building is a nicer 'home base' from which to work. We can't cook on our truck in the building, but can prep for the next day and that's a lot.

It's our offices for planning events and future operations and who knows what else....

Plus, did I mention? It's a damn fine building.

But, story two. What led us to find it?

This is what to do when your partner doesn't measure all the parameters 
and you're too nice to yell at her. 
Find a new building.

It starts with an exhaust fan that is just too (curse word) big, but is the right specs for the number of BTU's we are capable of generating on our full service food truck. But that exhaust fan on the top of our truck makes us a little or a lot too tall for some of the places we wanted to rent for a 'Depot' for our truck.

We had secured a great (indoor) spot to store our truck and I was working with the couple who managed this space. The nicest couple! I really wanted to work with them. The truck fit into the door per the dimensions given me. When we eventually brought our truck back to Cincinnati, after having it partially fabricated out of town and went to pull into the fit in through the doors, but NOT UNDER THE SPRINKLER SYSTEM which was completely unavoidable and was definitely lower than the door height. We were just the first vehicle to 'test the limit' and even the extremely nice building owner was not aware of the disparity. OOPS! We parked outside and punted.

But shortly thereafter there's my partner sending me links to properties. And where are the properties? They are in the downtown area, near ground central of where we plan to conduct at least some of our business. And these weren't rental properties, they are for purchase. Uh oh!

As my husband now rather famously said,, "Shouldn't you at least sell a sandwich or two before you invest again in your business?"

Um, prolly. But no, we went to check it out. We sat awhile and had some of the best pizza around at Pizza Bomba in Covington and made the decision. (Try the Brussels Sprout pizza, the best.) It only made sense to buy, not rent. And it only made sense to be so close to where things occur,  rather than outside the 275 beltway. Our originally intended space was beyond the I275 loop and especially if doing two events in one day, would be a bit of a trek if we needed to go back and forth. With a conveniently located downtown  Depot to regroup within, well that changes things! A lot. We were sold!
But wait, I haven't told you the most amazing part.....

Well first this, also my partner never yelled at me for buying such a hideously tall exhaust fan either. And he should have. It is ugly. But we've mitigated it's appearance somewhat or are working on that. But it is tall. So um, thanks Randy. Just cause we had to buy our own whole building to accommodate that, no big deal, right?

Okay, I'm showing you this photo because by now you know the truck will NOT be THIS UGLY! but the exhaust fan is this ugly. This is not where we were going to store it, this is where Randy is finishing the fabrication. The wheels had to be completely deflated, about 1,000 lbs of concrete blocks and three guys rode on the back to get it under the doorframe. I repeat the truck is NOT YELLOW in real life:

But it did fit. Oh, Randy built those lockers on the back for our propane tanks!

It's a really small world, after all!

Here's what happened. I hadn't yet mentioned to Dick that we looked at the building because of that 'sell a sandwich' comment mentioned above. It was New Years Eve and Dick and I went to dinner with our closest friends. Until the last few years we've always spent New Years with them, so this was a reunion of sorts...and I casually let it drop at dinner that Randy and I looked at a building to store our truck indoors. (I see Dick giving me 'the look' out of the corner of my eye.) And the friends ask where the buildiing is located. I gave them the street name, not a big a street. She drops her fork, he says, "no way, that's our building." And I did something I never do when dining with Bruce and Tina, I picked up my phone mid-meal and sent a text.  To Randy! I didn't know what it meant that we were dining with the owners of the building we had just determined we had to own, but I knew it meant something!

Okay, let's be clear. Most of you know me. You are wondering how I got to dinner NOT KNOWING they owned it. If I'm looking at a building I certainly know who owns it, how much they paid, what the taxes are and every other possible detail before I walk up to the front of the thing. And the answer is, this is the last piece of property of an LLC relationship they were ending and their specific name wasn't listed.

Well it turns out we had an advocate from within the selling LLC to our little purchasing LLC, and we appreciate the help, the friendship, the advice and we LOVE THE BUILDING and the NEW HOME of our little company that we can't wait to get off the ground!

It's happening soon. Randy is working night and day to finish it out. Really. It's coming.
Thanks to all of our supporters and friends and readers of this little blog. We appreciate your patience.

Thank you Bruce and Tina. Thanks Bruce for cancelling two (2) meetings in Columbus to be at the closing today, even though you didn't have to be there! You knew how important this is to us. We love you!

And all the previous mentions of Architects and architecture, are related to needing to build a rather complicated ramp system into the bulding to allow our truck to drive inside. Waiting for the city to decide they like that idea, that it meets zoning requirements, and that it is structured properly etc. was a contingency we had on our purchase agreement. (There was no point buying the building if we couldn't drive our truck into it.) We went through the whole permit process prior to closing on the property, that kept us all on our toes!!!

Thanks to the very professional Structural Engineer Bill Judd, Principal at THP Ltd. for his work toward this effort along with Dwayne Boso. We called in the big dogs and got it done.

Make the most of today, it's the only one of which any of us are guaranteed!

ugft llc.
Co-owner of Urban Grill Food Truck and Urban Depot
Along with extraordinary partner, Randy "the fabricator/welder/plumber/engineer" Reichelderfer

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

One Year Ago....

 One Year Ago....and a long way away.

So my post from last evening got me thinking about where I was exactly one year ago, because it's been quite a journey. And what I was deeply entrenched in prepared me, as it always does even when we have no idea what is coming, for what is to be.

So if you didn't read the post from yesterday:

One year ago, I was finishing up one of the most rewarding and satisfying volunteer projects I've been blessed to undertake. It was the complete demolition (walls in) and rebuild of the Sanctuary of our church. Some very fine and wise people had laid the ground work and I came onto the project about 4 months before 'D' day and saw it through for the 14 week construction period! It was a whirlwind. It included completely destructed, refinished and rebuilt pews; new paint, carpet, curtains and light fixtures; but also new wiring and new light dimmer system; additional sound and A/V capabilities; and TV monitoring capabilities from other areas of the church and a new pipe organ! One of the larger pipe organs in the Cincinnati area.

This was the third of a three phase project which when completed would makeover almost our entire church in one aspect or another. I was tangentially involved in other aspects of the other phases, particularly phase one, but for this phase I was the chair person and acting as the General Contractor. This was my second big construction project at the church. I chaired the committee when we had a major addition to our church in the late 90's early 2000. But the Sanctuary was one of those right projects at the right time things and Boom! Well you see the pictures there at the bottom of the page...seriously, what is not to like?

So what does that have to do with today? It has to do with the Building Department and people who stand by you and Dwayne Boso. One year ago, we, our church, were nearing the completion of the project. The members of the congregation who worshiped in the traditional style were displaced to Anderson High School for worship during construction. Our thanks to Anderson High School. This was not ideal, but worked. It is NOT the ideal location for Easter Services however, and as they say, "Easter is coming." (come to church if that's not familiar to you, she said gently.) We also have contemporary services which meet at our church and those met as per usual in a different part of the building. (The part built in that earlier building project.)

The project was coming to a close ON TIME and ON BUDGET for our phase, and it was time to get the inspector in there to get our Certificate of Occupancy. Since all three phases were on one permit, he had the right, the duty and as it happened, the inclination, to check out all three phases or areas. Except guess what? Those other phases had been finished for a long time, per the plan. So the people who oversaw those areas had moved on to other endeavors, as we say. My friend Roger Stone who was the project electrician, and I were there to walk the job with the very detailed inspector, answering questions and providing documentation for parts of the project in which neither of us had any involvement. "What, Mr. Inspector? You want to do a pressure test on the gas line installed in Fellowship Hall?" Hmm, was there a gas line installed in FH? (Yes, there was. We squeaked past the test.) Etc, etc, there were three things like that, we'll spare you the details. Just don't say the words "sprinkler system" to me. Yes, we had some fun. Thanks again, Roger.

And then the inspector decided he wanted something different on our phase, as in - something not on the plan. Something he is sure the Plan Examiner meant to require us to do, something which would have been ridiculous and would have stood out like a ....(I hate cliches, you know I was going to say 'sore thumb') would have stood out like putting a hand rail in the middle of our beautiful ceremonial steps in front of our chancel area, because that's what he wanted.

(this is a lot of words)
There are photos coming...

That doesn't sound so crazy but it just would have looked awful and would get in the way. (we have steps with handrails along the sides of the chancel area.) But we/he couldn't ask the Plan Examiner her intentions because she only works part time and she is off until next Monday, and guess what week we are into now? The week before Easter.

So if we have to get handrails they must
  • be designed
  • the design would have to be approved by the Plan Examiner (who works part-time)
  • rails built (or purchased)
  • installed
  • inspected (and the inspector was going out of town, because alas!, it's spring break)
  • then the certificate of occupancy approved!
Oh! Did I mention, that if we didn't get our certificate of occupancy, the temporary one expired? Then NOBODY could worship in the building, traditional or contemporary! Whoa. Did I mention Easter is coming?  And we have an accredited Pre-school on site and they lose their accreditation without the Certificate of Occupancy, because the temporary expires. No Pressure.
A person who is there when needed.
But then, you have people who stand by you.  This photo will look familiar if you read the previous blog post. We got through the rigamarole. We successfully talked our way through not needing the handrail at our ceremonial steps. Really, I made the calls, with Dwayne coaching me at every juncture. He was ready to step in, but we decided to let the process unfold naturally, the outcome was important not just for our church but for other churches MSA was working on also. We worked through the Building Inspector with whom I had a good relationship and eventually in the 11th hour, got the word we did not need that hand rail!!! Amen!

And in the 11th hour it was that guy, photo on the right, Dwayne Boso RA, who after talking me through the whole handrail process, stayed on the phone with me as I drove downtown minutes before the county Building Department closed to make sure I got there, got a parking spot and I made it into the office to pick up that certificate of occupancy!

Most at church don't know how close we were to having (actually Palm Sunday) services back in the High School where they were sure they were finished worshiping. We'd moved our furniture out of the school and started moving back into the church. But Dwayne sweated that process out with me and cheered with me as I rode back down the elevator, hard fought COO in hand! My prize possession. With the help of a good friend!

AHUMC Sanctuary, my most rewarding project. Photos before, during and after:
We call this "Methodist Blue" I hope not to ever see it again...
Obviously 'during' and still blue....
A transformation is beginning. Ahhh! The newly refinished pews are being reinstalled!

The finished product minus the piano and organ console, chairs and other chancel adornments!

This coming Sunday is Palm Sunday, making one year of worship services, a few too many funeral services and some beautiful weddings in the newly renovated Sanctuary!

Thanks to all who participated.
Here are a few who stood out in addition to the aforementioned architect!
Here's that electrician who stood by during two really really intense inspections, plus the fine electrical work...:

Roger Stone - you are the best!
The best woodworker/furniture restorer in Ohio! He and his crew made our pews look brand new again, plus many other projects throughout..paint, ceilings and a great sound booth to name a few:
Pat Blank, Ridgeton Restoration

JFed. Church Admin. Came over to the project daily for the express purpose of making me laugh. He literally saved me last March! Thanks Jerry!
Editor Add-in:
I'd be remiss (rather, I was remiss) in omitting our ringleader who oversaw all of the building project. I don't have a photo from the project, but here's one from when some of us went to Europe the summer prior:
Chris Gremban, ringleader. On train going up into Swiss Alps!

And as I said previously, we move on.
But it's a nice trip down memory lane. Those antics with the Building Department came in handy this week and the last few weeks. I'm no longer unfamiliar with procedure and the ins and outs of the offices of the civil servants downtown. Maybe all that was in prep for this? No doubt. More later.

Make the most of today, you never know what it's preparing you for tomorrow, and nothing is guaranteed. (Changed it on ya!)

Peace to you!
ugft llc.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Architecture can be so interesting!
Photo credit: Stuart Hyde Photography
I really enjoy this pattern of bricks on this building built in 1900. 
Don't you find it beautiful and well maintained for a building
which was built over 110 years ago?

  The pattern repeats all the way around the building.
The inside of this building is completely lined with glazed brick. Wow! 
They just don't build buildings like that these days...

While we are appreciating architecture we should take a
moment and appreciate architects, right? 
Randy and I would like to sincerely thank Dwayne Boso, from MSA, 
The best architect from the best architectural firm in Cincinnati, 
Without whom we would not be having our quiet celebration before making any big announcements. 
So Dwayne thanks for coming through in a big way. 
We appreciate you!!

We appreciate all the other professionals with whom we've worked recently who certainly know their stuff and make doing business in this city a much easier and more pleasant endeavor.

Seriously, we'll get around to explaining why we are appreciating architecture and this particular architect. But for now, just enjoy the pretty brick patterns.....

And remember, make the most of today, it's the only one of which you, and I, are guaranteed. Seriously.

ugft, llc.