Each restaurant construction project has a unique personality and it’s own challenges. When renovating older buildings, it is always interesting to see what awaits below the surface. In this case, the challenges of converting a former service station into a unique MOD Pizza restaurant required the depth of experience possessed by AMS Contractors, Inc.
As with virtually all restaurant upfits, specialized plumbing had be installed. This required that the floor be partially excavated, the piping installed and the floor restored. Fairly routine for such a project. But the lift cylinders from the former service station remained and had to be removed. "Due to the fire hazard posed by the hydraulic fluid contained in the cylinders, cutting them with a torch was too dangerous," said Jeff Griffin, Project Manager. The removal was accomplished with much digging and lifting the cylinders out with heavy equipment.
Additionally, restaurant equipment installation was a challenge due to the roughness of the floor. Originally finished for a gas station, it was uneven—and extra care was needed to ensure each piece of equipment was properly leveled. Oil that permeated the original surface of the floor prevented the stain applied to the concrete from having a uniform finish, so additional measures were required to mitigate the issue.
Next was the installation of the electrical and HVAC equipment. Typical ceiling heights in a commercial spaces are 16-to-18 feet. This site had a ceiling height of 12’ making the lighting and HVAC equipment installation particularly challenging.
Franchisee RTHT Investments, LLC wanted to maintain the look of a service station in the restaurant’s decor. Lighting fixtures chosen for the dining area were vintage pendant style fixtures in groups of three. The wall covering was reclaimed siding brought in from New York state. The rustic wood sets off the dynamic “Asheville” sign on the back wall. This custom sign was made on an island in Puget Sound off the coast of Washington state. Shipment of the sign caused a minor delay, owing to the infrequent boats leaving the island.
Keeping the service station theme on the exterior, custom finished, bright red aluminum was used to frame the windows replacing the overhead doors. Multiple small panes were used to closely mimic the original doors, as well. Ample area for outdoor dining wraps around three sides of the building, increasing seating capacity. To keep exterior maintenance low, a special coating was added to the outside walls to prevent graffiti from causing permanent damage.
Despite the difficulties posed by the older building, the conversion from a service station and the challenges of material acquisition, the project was completed in about 90 days. The experience and expertise of AMS Contractors, Inc. kept the job on-track and true to the franchisee’s expectations.
Considering a restaurant upfit or ground-up construction? Contact us to discuss how the experienced team at AMS can help you plan and build your next project.