Construction Update – Cowley Book Cafe

It certainly has been a ride so far. The contractor and I decided on a scaled down version of the construction plans in order to get the coffee shop functional as quickly as possible. This doesn’t scrap the basement work, it just puts it off to a later phase.

The framing contractor was to have begun last Friday, but none of his materials were available, so it was pushed back to Monday. Well, Monday he had truck trouble, so it pushed it back another day. Yesterday, however; he did make it in and brought a crew. They got the main support wall downstairs complete, and put new joists across, and closed in/secured the old stairwell opening. Today, they were to have begun the framing to complete the kitchen and the mop closet.

Cardinal Sign is supposed to be in today to replace the old, worn, dilapidated “ANTIQUE MALL” letters on the front of the building with new, higher quality and longer lasting letters. I’ve not heard from my mother in law, so I don’t know if they showed up or night. I’ll see later tonight when I go in.

Two of our staff members quit after the director cut their hours and scaled back their pay. One spoke to me about the pay rate that she required as a condition of her continued employment, and is still with us, so we’re down to two employees. 

We’ve finally gotten all of our booths rented, and we actually have a waiting list so if any vendor gives a thirty day notice, we’ve got the booth already rented! My mother in law has been decorating and staging all empty areas, and we’re getting more compliments than ever on how clean the mall is, how nice it looks, and how lovely the decor is. We’ve even got a couple of vendors that have been coming in to help decorate.

Book sales are picking up, and yesterday alone sold nearly two hundred dollars in new and used books. I look forward to the kitchen being completed so that we can begin brewing coffee and baking coffee cake and cinnamon rolls every morning. It isn’t far off. The contractor’s estimate stated 20 days from start of work.

All in all, I can’t complain. The antique mall is doing exceptionally well, book sales are picking up, and construction has begun. 

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