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qfanatic01
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Joined: 21 Oct 2009
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Location: Champlin, MN

PostPosted: Sun Nov 16 14 4:04 am    Post subject: 2 years later! Reply with quote

As I signed my last 5 year lease when we expanded our space, already 4 years ago, I decided I wanted to find a building to buy by the end of the 4th year and transition to it in our final year. Giving me the last year work through the build out and move my restaurant, hopefully leaving us with 6 months on the lease. I would convert our current sight to a different concept and at least pay the fixed expenses while we steer our customers to our new location. If the new concept goes we will extend the lease.

I have been looking for the right spot and had a couple near by that I have been courting for the last 6 years or so, but the owners weren't ready to move on. Well, last Friday I received a call from one of the property owners directly and they are ready to sell. The building is on the historic registry and on the river. I want to put a roof top patio on and I am going to try doing Kickstarter to raise additional funds. Another restaurant in the area did this very successfully and I am going to try and use their model. I am working on details and am hoping I can come up with a plan and secure this location in a timely manner. There are always many hoops to jump through when doing a build out and I intend to put down earnest money and work through the details with all parties involved and seal the deal by early next year. I have working capital and do most of the work myself and have licensed contractors who will check my work and pull permits for a fee. I built out this place initially for 40k and did 2 renovations. I will try to chronicle this and share the process.
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Mr Tony's BBQ
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17 14 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The building is on the historic registry".....as a "retired" contractor myself, this raises a HUGE red flag!! Make sure they will ALLOW you to ANYTHING to the exterior of the building, some area's wont let you do much to the interior either!!
Just a heads up....I wish you well!!
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82's BBQ
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18 14 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was just thinking the same thing. From what I have heard, there are a ton of extra hoops you have to jump through in our area for historic building renovations.
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qfanatic01
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Joined: 21 Oct 2009
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Location: Champlin, MN

PostPosted: Fri Nov 21 14 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got my first close look at the building on Monday. I hired a building inspector and went through the building as well as we could with the foot of snow we have on the ground and roof. Even though it was built in the 1880s it is not on the registry. It is however within 30 feet of the river and only has about 15 feet or so of property surrounding it. This classic building stays, as you can not build a new one this close to the river. I want a building with character and this can do the job. The shell itself needs some attention, primarily the back wall is buckling and needs to be replaced, which is in my favor because I needed to modify it for a couple of smokers anyway. I hope to negotiate 1/2 the repairs off the purchase price. It will need a new HVAC unit or probably lightly used. I will have to rewire and plumb the entire building. Once the back wall is repaired I will be starting with pretty much a shell. The value for me is that I can do a fair amount of the work myself and hire professionals to finalize things. I'm not paying anybody for demolition, most concrete, framing or the dry wall and finishing. I will be my own general contractor. Been there, done that a few times over the years. I will be consulting the city, an architect and an engineer before going to look for financing. Then I can make an informed offer. One of the things I will be discussing with the city is the lack of parking on property and on the adjacent streets. The city is has a long history as well and is very interested in the rehab of this building. There may be grants available. I will find out soon.
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SigSauerNY
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Joined: 14 Feb 2010
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Location: Woodmere, NY

PostPosted: Fri Nov 21 14 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sounds like a building with character and tradition, sometimes less is more.

love to see some pics, I personally wanna eat in a older joint with brick and steel, some lingering smoke haze, and the blues
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Lone Star BBQ & Grill



Joined: 30 Jan 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 21 14 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is that the Rum River that the building is next to?
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qfanatic01
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Joined: 21 Oct 2009
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Location: Champlin, MN

PostPosted: Sat Nov 22 14 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, next to the feed mill which would be my first choice, but that's not currently for sale and even if it was it would be double the project. Maybe down the road? This site has a city park next to it and the space facing the park and river will make some excellent outdoor dining. This is as good as it's going to get in this area, I think. I was thinking of setting up a canoe shuttle in the future. I am meeting with a bank on Monday and the city on Tuesday. Financing with all the build out is my biggest concern. I was in a tough spot when I started this restaurant. I think I've shown I can make it work, but will the lenders think so? We'll see I guess.
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Lone Star BBQ & Grill



Joined: 30 Jan 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24 14 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck. We looked at a couple places in Anoka. Great town, just not the right real estate. I spent a lot of time there growing up. My dad had a sign shop right next to the Rum River bridge in the late 60's. Look forward to watching your progress. Assuming you get the financing in place, it would definately be a blog worthy journey.
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qfanatic01
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Joined: 21 Oct 2009
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Location: Champlin, MN

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09 14 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a quick update. I had a commercial inspector through a couple of weeks ago. We identified a key structural issue which is repairable. I am currently waiting on a couple of bids so I can work this into my offer price. I am also working with the city manager and planning to work through any issues that might arise from the build out and usage, as this property is right on the river bank and I see no curb or sewer drain to keep water from the property draining directly into the river. The parking lot is small and currently gravel. They want it paved and much of the parking lot is on city property. They are looking into what they want done here. They will possibly make the improvements and add it to the taxes? Possibly a big buck $$$$ surprise. The city has not really addressed the long term development of the three properties involved, but the two building are to be preserved for their historic value. They need to find users that will be good guardians of these properties. Restaurants would be their best bet for these sites, but they need to insure there will be plenty of adjacent parking to make that viable. I need to bring this matter in front of the city council ASAP to keep this moving in a timely manner. We will see how motivated they are to develop this area? I think they have a vision, but they need to do the work at their end to work through some of the issues. They have the opportunity to develop a very nice river front neighborhood and I think they know it.
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Harry Nutczak
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Joined: 01 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11 14 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish you the best of luck,

I am more interested in being able to back away from my business instead of trying to go bigger. This kid needs some "ME" time, preferably on a Harley in warm weather.
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qfanatic01
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Joined: 21 Oct 2009
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Location: Champlin, MN

PostPosted: Thu Dec 11 14 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry Nutczak wrote:
I wish you the best of luck,

I am more interested in being able to back away from my business instead of trying to go bigger. This kid needs some "ME" time, preferably on a Harley in warm weather.


I'm all for that, but I need a way to pay the bills for the next 20 to 30 years too. Self employed means self financed retirement. I paid into the system for the first half of my career and with all these minimum wage increases if I do get something it won't be worth much. I would love to just think about me right now, but I have to think about me later too. There is no easy way to do that for me. 10 more years of hard labor Sad
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Harry Nutczak
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Joined: 01 Mar 2007
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Location: The Northwoods

PostPosted: Fri Dec 12 14 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

qfanatic01 wrote:
Harry Nutczak wrote:
I wish you the best of luck,

I am more interested in being able to back away from my business instead of trying to go bigger. This kid needs some "ME" time, preferably on a Harley in warm weather.


I'm all for that, but I need a way to pay the bills for the next 20 to 30 years too. Self employed means self financed retirement. I paid into the system for the first half of my career and with all these minimum wage increases if I do get something it won't be worth much. I would love to just think about me right now, but I have to think about me later too. There is no easy way to do that for me. 10 more years of hard labor Sad


Been working on that retirement plan thing too.

We've got one of our first of two licensed/franchise locations going live in the next 30 days.
So my near future plan is to weasel myself into a more administrative position once these things get out of their chaotic stage.

I'm still trying to figure out how to share decades of experience in 10 days or less
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qfanatic01
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Joined: 21 Oct 2009
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Location: Champlin, MN

PostPosted: Fri Dec 12 14 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry Nutczak wrote:

Been working on that retirement plan thing too.

We've got one of our first of two licensed/franchise locations going live in the next 30 days.
So my near future plan is to weasel myself into a more administrative position once these things get out of their chaotic stage.

I'm still trying to figure out how to share decades of experience in 10 days or less


hmm, problem solving can't be learned in 10 days! I have been on the opening staff of over a half dozen corporate restaurants and hotels. Management training and launching takes months. In most cases managers were trained and brought from other locations. Support will be key to your success.
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Harry Nutczak
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13 14 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

qfanatic01 wrote:
Harry Nutczak wrote:

Been working on that retirement plan thing too.

We've got one of our first of two licensed/franchise locations going live in the next 30 days.
So my near future plan is to weasel myself into a more administrative position once these things get out of their chaotic stage.

I'm still trying to figure out how to share decades of experience in 10 days or less


hmm, problem solving can't be learned in 10 days! I have been on the opening staff of over a half dozen corporate restaurants and hotels. Management training and launching takes months. In most cases managers were trained and brought from other locations. Support will be key to your success.


These are existing restaurants that have been in operation for a decade or more, full staff in place and a very capable management team.
So basically our signature products will be featured on their menu, similar to the way the "Broaster foods" project works.
I'm concerned that I may need to go offsite with sauce & rub production if they end up killing it at their locations due to volume.

The cool part, if they fail, it's no financial skin off my nutsack .. If they go big, its a nice supplemental income from our core products and the royalties paid to us.
It'll allow me to expand my core biz and maybe get into a much needed larger location.
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qfanatic01
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Joined: 21 Oct 2009
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Location: Champlin, MN

PostPosted: Sat Dec 13 14 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good idea, add a pit, a pit master and stir. The people that bought my catering kitchen also bought a sausage processing plant in Denver and are packaging ribs, the have a local place heat and serving their ribs. Not the same but simular. They also put them in grocery stores along with their sauce. There are better options then theirs, but resourceful. I use Foran spice up your way for spice. They now have a 500 lb minimum but my cost is the same as ingredients from RD but came in blended. I add kosher salt and cane sugar on site, no point in paying for shipping for those items. I get it in 3lb bags and mix in 12 qt Cambro several times a week. Good luck buddy!
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qfanatic01
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Joined: 21 Oct 2009
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Location: Champlin, MN

PostPosted: Sun Jan 25 15 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A bit of an up date on things. The Holidays certainly weren't the best time for this opportunity to present itself. Shortly into the new year the wheels at the city finally started to turn again. I had met with folks in planning to explore their feelings about this project and look for any surprises they may have up their sleeves before Christmas. I followed up after the new year to find out what they had come up with. The city owns property adjacent which was part of the rail road easement that is now a walking path. This property includes 3 steel corn bins in which the city currently does not receive any revenue for. One of the issues with the building I am interested in is that there is insufficient parking on the block. I was hoping they might be interested in removing the bins to create more parking? They seem to have some sentimental value to someone? The issue is that they have 2 buildings that could be developed into a destination if they could be renovated properly. The city recently purchased an historic mansion property further down the river, then purchased a late model property across the street and tore it down so they could have parking for the tea house that is now renting that property. There is no way the tea house is generating enough revenue to cover the costs the city put into the property. It is not a destination, but a lunch and dinner spot for local Red Hats. Hummm. I need to have a chat with some city counsel folks to see what their vision is for their historic town. I believe I can help bring them traffic to their quaint shops. Anyways, the planners said I would need to pave my portion of the parking lot and with that provide proper water management, their estimate for said project, 95k. That brings me to just under a 1/2 mil to turn key. Possibly a deal breaker. I talked to the city assessor to get an idea what the value of the property might be when the project was complete in order to consider my financing options. I am going to need a non conventional financing solution. I called the owner of the property and explained the situation on Friday. She has a couple of other interested parties, but neither is interested in being a steward to the property. She has an emotional attachment to the property and wants someone to take care of it. The property will be worthless if it is not taken care of properly, as it's too close to the river to have new construction. The other parties seem interested in just bandaging it and renting it out as office space (slum lords). The folks in the city so far don't seem to have any long term vision for the 2 buildings sharing this small parking lot. I need to see if the city council is more visionary. I also explained to the current owner my financing options and long term plans. She is interested in my efforts and is willing to give me the time I need to explore a crowd funding booster to complete the financial needs of this project. I have based my crowd funding package off a local restaurant's successful model in which they raised 260k to complete their new home. I think we can generate the press needed to give the crowd funding a chance. I am willing to give it a go. Worst case is it doesn't happen. Nothing but my time lost. Best case is an amazing opportunity. I figure you can't win if you don't play!
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Mr Tony's BBQ
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25 15 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To me, this is sounding more and more like the cluster-hump of the "historic city" of cedarburg Wi. I had the displeasure of having to deal with too many times as a building contractor for 20 years...One time I had to go before the endless boards for approval, their last ditch effort to get their way was to mandate the COLOR of the final project - a personal residence on the edge of the historic line, but off the historic property!!
They didnt want another white house.....a freaking historic community who's very beginning was a farming community! No "white" houses????? Their big kick at the time was "painted ladies" ...should have seen their faces when I informed them, the original, restored colors of their precious painted lady, were said colors because it was a WHORE HOUSE! Painted as such so out of town businessmen knew at a glance where to "get them some"....The last time in front of said board, the Mayor stood up and retired on the spot due to the criminal activity going on that very night, in front of the crowd, and encouraged by the city attourney who had found a loophole making said criminal activity "legal" by a supposed loophole, which my customer didnt have the cash resources to fight city hall over, and they knew it..
This same board, after my current butcher/sausage maker bought the original butcher shop/smoke house denied him the ability to use the 100+ year old, HISTORIC smoke house that was one of the reason's for his purchasing the building in the first place!!
The tea house parking lot of your post would seal the deal FOR ME, as in run like hell from the property - but thats just me.
I DO wish you well on this, just be very very careful!!!
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Harry Nutczak
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26 15 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sadly,

Its not what you know, its who you blow!
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qfanatic01
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26 15 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have dealt with city politics and people's pet projects for about 25 years now, including this city. I have seen some under the table deals in a couple. I have co sponsored a successful charter amendment that required a special election. The open mic at the beginning of council meetings is a good way to get your project from behind the planner's desk, who with the city manager want to manipulate everything that gets in front of the council and public, to directly in front of the public who want a vibrant community with all the amenities that they see other towns have. Creating reasons for folks to come back to these old towns is good for the whole community. There is a river park beside the building I'm looking at and a new condo unit going up kitty corner from it. There is a rail station 5 blocks away. It is the county seat with the county offices and courts 3 blocks away. The city offices are at the other end of the park, 2 blocks away, which is adjacent to the rest of the 4 square blocks of historic downtown. Pretty typical rural county seat. The bottom line here is, owning my own building is my opportunity at a retirement package that won't come from renting in a suburban strip mall. I think that might be worth dealing with some politics.
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Harry Nutczak
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Joined: 01 Mar 2007
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Location: The Northwoods

PostPosted: Mon Jan 26 15 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

qfanatic01 wrote:
I have dealt with city politics and people's pet projects for about 25 years now, including this city. I have seen some under the table deals in a couple. I have co sponsored a successful charter amendment that required a special election. The open mic at the beginning of council meetings is a good way to get your project from behind the planner's desk, who with the city manager want to manipulate everything that gets in front of the council and public, to directly in front of the public who want a vibrant community with all the amenities that they see other towns have. Creating reasons for folks to come back to these old towns is good for the whole community. There is a river park beside the building I'm looking at and a new condo unit going up kitty corner from it. There is a rail station 5 blocks away. It is the county seat with the county offices and courts 3 blocks away. The city offices are at the other end of the park, 2 blocks away, which is adjacent to the rest of the 4 square blocks of historic downtown. Pretty typical rural county seat. The bottom line here is, owning my own building is my opportunity at a retirement package that won't come from renting in a suburban strip mall. I think that might be worth dealing with some politics.


I agree,
One of the biggest perks I got from moving is getting out of a city/county that is very hostile towards any new small business and that you required a charter membership to the "Good Ole Boys club" to get anything done.
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