Apologies for the long silence since our last update; there's been a lot of uncertainty lately so putting anything in writing didn't make much sense. However, we recently came to a somber decision. We’ve decided to no longer pursue 1000 Cortland (formerly Cutting Edge Salon) as a location for the pinhall. You’re probably aware of the protestations of some of the tenants of the building and their pledge to challenge all the permits we would need to acquire along the way in building out the space and opening. We did meet with them and tried our hardest to explain our vision and reassure them of the steps we would take to mitigate any impact on their tenancy. Throughout that process we also discovered that to bring the space up to code because of how large it is we would have to make some costly renovations (egress doors would have to swing outward and therefore be inset in the structure; fire abatement also installed). The cost of installing the plumbing for the beer and kitchen sinks would be also be quite high while not allowing for much flexibility in food options since we wouldn’t have a hood. When you add up the amount of time it would have taken to get through the protests and renovate we were looking at a 1.5 year timeline. In addition, the city’s alcohol advisory panel signaled it would probably recommend not issuing our permit, even though we hadn’t yet presented our case to them. Sadly, renovation costs and the rising probability of losing the beer permit felt like too big of a financial gamble for the little pinhall we had envisioned.
The good news is that we are not letting the dream go and will march on with the goal of opening this pinhall in Bernal Heights and on Cortland ave. We’ve also resolved to have a bit more of a food program to generate more attraction, and based on feedback from the community we will aim for a beer and wine license instead of just beer. We’ve just begun negotiations to buy-out a restaurant, though out of respect for the owner’s privacy will not name that restaurant. But a restaurant would allow us to do fuller meals which is very exciting. We’ve been consulting with some well-regarded chefs in town about how to pull that off and recruit the right chef for the business (also not going to name the consultants as having their name associated with the business is not part of the deal). The business model is now more of a fast casual, though fancy eats, kind of spot, with pinball still as a solid attraction. We plan on a clean and inviting family-oriented interior that feels more like a fun diner with big swathes of color. Children of course will be welcome, so you can still bring the little ones and let them run around while you have a drink/bite and tilt some machines.
Regretfully, this project will probably take at least another 8 months or so, but rest assured we are chugging along. And if anyone knows of any restaurants on Cortland looking to sell, please let us know; the more options the better.
Thanks again for all the support!
Christian & Elisabeth