Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Then and Now

Well peeps, its been a year.

Yes, we closed the old EVC in March of 2013 and we've been working on the new digs ever since. From moment one our project was simple, knock down part of a wall and an old washroom and then pretty up the place. Clearly the old suspended ceiling had to go. In fact, it practically threw itself to the floor, it was in such decrepit shape. There never was an old floor so nothing to remove but a whole floor to go in. Otherwise, we just needed to fix up what was already here and put in the electric and plumbing that would allow us to cook and serve food. Seemed simple enough.
Here you can see the wall that divided the space, the cement floor, suspended ceiling and pillar. Behind that bump out on the back wall is the safe and inside the bump out was the original safe door, still attached by huge hinges.
The wall dividing the space is mostly gone, with just a small stretch left where we built the new comfy area. The huge yellow shelving unit is on the end of that wall and you can now look past it to the far end of the space. The pillar you see in this pic was behind the dividing wall in the pic above, but both pillars are now capped with tongue-and-groove and mirror, Paris-style. We've installed old plank flooring that we got from a wrecker, we revealed the brick wall at the far end of the space, and we made a new divide that marks out our service area. In the forefront is the ordering desk where you can now fill out an order sheet. We will fill your order and call your name when your food is ready. Actually, you can put any name on the sheet, just don't forget to come and get your food when we call it out. 
This was the old front door area. One of the first things we did was punt the steel-and-glass front door to the curb and replace it with a more historical door and entrance way. Of course we needed a spot for at least one of our banquette benches and the fabulous leaded glass window from our old foyer. We took out the 3 modern windows and retro-fitted the furthest one with our historic window. The trim above the main window was made by a woman who trimmed her London house during the deco era. We retrieved it when her old house was torn down and reused it as interior trim around our windows and stage. You'll recognize the ball lights and red tables from the old EVC and the curtain which was made by Amanda for The Briscoe.

We ditched the old side-lights and replaced them with these fantastic deco stained glass side lights. George Manury did a stellar job with the ceramic tile floor at the door with the sunken rubber mat. Fiona Graham cleared this wall of all the old plaster to reveal this warm yellow brick and Lydia at the Re-Store pointed us toward the Victorian light fixture which we immediately loved. The wind-break is made from a French door that we actually bought for its swing hinges. We needed them for the stage door.
Hard to believe that this dank dark corner is now our kitchen. To the left is that wall we took down. Really, it almost took itself down. It was a modern construction with little real wood and hardly any screws. Behind this corner was an over-sized yet strangely awkward accessibility washroom, also now gone. It was badly placed and badly built and had a bad smell. Too much bad for us, so it had to go. Here is the space now...
 This pic is taken closer to the pillar you can see in the original picture. Behind that pillar is all the space we gained for our open kitchen. Here's a better pic of he kitchen area...
The harvest table does double duty as a kitchen work table and to hold our coffee machines in the espresso area. We had extra ceiling tiles left so we used them to make a washable wall cover in the kitchen. That hefty old stove came out of a hockey arena and its a 6-burner workhorse. The pot rack is 6' long and over 80lbs without the pots. The pot on the stove is full of lasagna sauce and it smells divine.
When we had our key-turning party this is the door we used to enter the space. However, we knew that this corner was perfect for a stage and that summer, long before we seriously dug into the reno, we replaced this door with what is now our stage doors.

The leaded glass windows are from an antique shop in Lucan. The piano was donated to the stage by Candice. It was her grandmother's and has been in the East of Adelaide area for decades. Now it will live on in the EVC. It was repaired and tuned by Ralph Thorn who literally appeared out of thin air at this very door the day after the piano was delivered. The Victorian angel furnace grate was from Windsor's Gate, an antique shop that used to be down Dundas closer to Elizabeth and which used to rent the space we now have. Many things, many memories, and much history is coming home to the EVC. We are new, but we are not new, Glenn and I built this space, but we also didn't build it. In many important ways we've only gathered together the things that should be here.

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