As you may have heard – either through Facebook, our Newsletter, or the banging on the wall at the shoppe, we're in the midst of our first expansion. With that in mind, we thought it might be a good idea to share some details on what has happened, and how we're progressing.
How You Can Help
As we get this question a lot, we thought we'd address that first. We appreciate everyone's enthusiasm and we've received lots of suggestions about what we should do with the additional space. We take all suggestions seriously, and add them to our “What If” list. We can't do everything, of course, but we'll do what we can.
In terms of helping us through this expansion, there are really two areas where we could use your help. To start with, we would really appreciate your patience with us as we go through this. This is our first expansion and we're learning a lot along the way. That being said, we know we're falling short on a few things – there's some unavoidable clutter, and our staff is having to do a lot of behind the scenes work to keep things moving.
We don't expect you to hold us less accountable, but we'd appreciate a bit of extra patience along the way.
Beyond that, we really just want you to keep showing up and having fun while we renovate. We're staying open throughout the process, and will be running all the normal events. There may be some extra banging on the wall from time to time, but beyond that, we're hoping to keep everything business as usual here at Meeple Madness. Some come play games with us – that's really the greatest help you could give us.
The Work Thus Far
On April 2, 2018, we officially took control of the space next door to ours, and we are now leasing it along with our current space. We spent the first week sanity checking the situation and updating plans with various contractors.
On Thursday, April 10th, our construction crew began the first phase of the demolition and reconstruction. The firewall between our existing space and the new space was partially torn down, the bathroom door was repositioned, and the new storage room was framed out. On Friday, our electrical team came in and disconnected all the wiring in the firewall, so that it can be safely demolished in the coming days. They also shifted some of the light fixtures slightly and made some necessary adjustments to the light switches for the main space as well as the bathroom.
The next steps will be to put up sheetrock and tear down the wall separating the two spaces, but there are two outstanding issues to making that happen, which we're hoping to address during the early part of next week. The first is that we need two vents sealed. They're conveniently positioned right where our new storage room's wall is being installed, so they need to be sealed before they can do the drywalling for that. We are scheduled to have that resolved on Monday. The second issue is that a power outlet is also sitting in the middle of that same new wall. It was supposed to be removed on Friday but was overlooked. We'll be reaching out to the electricians on Monday to schedule that. Once those two things are addressed, the construction team will be back in the space.
Mistakes Were Made
Okay, one mistake. Our Open sign was powered by an outlet that was located on the Firewall that's about to be demolished. With all the work they accomplished yesterday, we neglected to properly prioritize the moving of that outlet to another convenient location. Because of that, for the next few days, we have a long extension cord draped over the back of our Demo Games Shelves to make sure we can keep our Open sign lit during our business hours. We'll get that addressed pretty quickly but, in the meantime, please excuse the clutter.
In the Meantime
While we're waiting for that work to be done, we've placed an order to expand our camera system. We'll be adding five internal cameras, and one exterior camera to monitor the new area. Those cameras will need to be put in place before we move any product into the new area. We're hoping to have that up and running by April 23rd.
During that same window of time, our favorite Handyman and Carpenter, Randy Mountain, will be painting the space, hanging slat wall, and working on a few other things to make the space useful.
The final hurdle for full occupation is the flooring. We are anticipating delivery of the flooring material (identical to our current flooring) on April 27th. It needs a couple of days to acclimate to the environment, and we expect installation to take place on April 30th.
The items above are on the “Critical Path” to full use of the space – we can't utilize the space until it's built, secured, and floored.
The Ancillary Projects
Beyond that, there are a few other associated projects that are taking up our time. We've ordered shades for the new space, as well as for the doors in our existing space. That should help with the afternoon glare that hits some of our tables during sunny days.
We've also started planning out glass signage for both spaces. In particular, we're hoping to do something more opaque for the transom above the door. The goal here is to make the signage more visible while also blocking the sunlight, since putting blinds up there is a bit impractical.
We're also working to have some custom slat wall cabinets built, similar to the ones we use for the demo shelves and behind the counter, to use as merchandise shelving in the new space. That project is several months out, so we will have traditional slat wall installed in the short term.
Turning the Tables
As you may remember from our original announcement, we stated that we weren't adding any additional tables at first. Over the last several weeks we've heard a lot of feedback on that particular idea. While most folks understood the logic, they also really, really, really wanted us to reconsider the situation.
And so, we have. A little bit. Our favorite Handyman and Carpenter, Randy Mountain, is constructing two new low-top tables for us. These will be slightly wider than three feet (they'll be exactly the same width as the current red “table toppers” we use on the black tables) to accommodate both card players as well as the growing line of miniature games that leverage a 36″ wide battlefield.
We expect to deploy one of those tables for general use as soon as it's built. The second one will probably be used as a “receiving” table in the new storage room until we can really see how the layout works out. But, rest assured, we heard you – more tables is a priority for everyone, and we understand.
We appreciate all the support and love you show our shoppe and our staff. We couldn't do any of this without you. We're really excited to see the new space evolving, and we're really looking forward to taking a sledgehammer to the wall and opening up the space.
As always, if you have any questions, please let us know!