Improvements at Fair Grinds

August 21st, 2012

Dear Fair Grinds Community,

That’s what the construction signs usually say, but actually it’s not going to be that bad, and in fact I think all of you will find this special bulletin welcome news.

We’re fixing the balcony, “waterproofing” the outside patio, and preparing to open up more chairs, tables, umbrellas, computer electricity outlets, and space in our open area. How about that for an exciting addition as we prepare to celebrate our second year of “great coffee for a change?”

Here’s more than you want to know about what’s happening. We’re shoring up and replacing some of the piers and supports for the balcony. We’re replacing all rotten wood and redoing the decking on the balcony. We’re raising the wrought iron fencing on the balcony to the required 42 inches to assure safety for our customers. We’re surfacing the balcony so that rain doesn’t pour into the patio scurrying our customers when we’re facing our current deluge. We’re adding gutters to the balcony so that when the rains come then it will drain to the back, rather than spill over our sides.

Our contractor making these repairs is going to work in sections, so that only a couple of feet of the patio is unavailable at any time during the construction and so that in fact there really isn’t dust or disturbances on the first floor. Furthermore, this should be a quick process finding Labor Day back to normal with the balcony “open for business!”

Frequently asked questions include:

Will the common space be affected?
No. We will continue to operate the common space as usual.

Will dogs be allowed on the balcony?
This is a matter between you and your dog, as long as the dog is not a jumper!

What about smoking? The front sidewalk is not our property, so smokers will continue to enjoy this space. The patio though is going to move to a non-smoking area whenever practicable. Children and others run free in the patio and too often smoke clouds are trapped under the stairway making it less than ideal space. Instead we are going to make the balcony open to smoking, which actually means that our smoking customers will have MORE space to smoke and drink their coffee than they have now! “Whenever practicable” means that the community is self-policing, so when it is raining or inclement, then of course there’s going to be some smoking in the patio, but during the normal wonderful New Orleans weather, it’s balcony rules!

What about music? No music is planned for the balcony because we want to continue to be good neighbors while continuing to welcome musicians to give their time and offer enjoyment to our customers and, I’m not sure that would qualify.

We’re super excited about this huge improvement and its ability to open up more space for our more people who are joining the Fair Grinds community every day! Some pain, but lots of gain!

Thanks as always for your support!