More About This Website
Welcome.

This blog is about our new restaurant Lulu & Po. We wanted to start the blog with our contruction phase and share the photos and findings with you. This blog will eventually turn into our menu blog after we open, posting our updated menus with you as they change, seasonally, weekly and daily. Enjoy.

Books to read
  • The Art of Eating
    The Art of Eating
    by M. F. K. Fisher, Joan Reardon
  • The Rituals of Dinner: Visser, Margaret
    The Rituals of Dinner: Visser, Margaret
    by Margaret Visser
  • Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well (Lorenzo Da Ponte Italian Library)
    Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well (Lorenzo Da Ponte Italian Library)
    by Pellegrino Artusi
  • Honey from a Weed: Fasting and Feasting in Tuscany, Catalonia, the Cyclades and Apulia
    Honey from a Weed: Fasting and Feasting in Tuscany, Catalonia, the Cyclades and Apulia
    by Patience Gray
  • The Physiology of Taste: Or Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy
    The Physiology of Taste: Or Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy
    by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
  • La Cuisine Du Comté De Nice par Jacques Médecin
    La Cuisine Du Comté De Nice par Jacques Médecin
    by Jacques Médecin
  • Auberge Of The Flowering Hearth
    Auberge Of The Flowering Hearth
    by Roy Andries De Groot
  • Canal House Cooking Volume No. 1: Summer
    Canal House Cooking Volume No. 1: Summer
    by Christopher Hirsheimer, Melissa Hamilton

Lulu & Po Demo January 2012

Sunday
Apr012012

Moving on to the bar

The bar is going to be really great. After a lot of design issues due to the size of our space and our refrigeration and our seating area and our stairs and our kitchen and just about everything else, we did it. We got it in and it's looking great. The base is constructed of wood with metal plates around the face of it. All of the metal was manufactured on site and made to order. Kanan and Sanjive did a wonderful job designing it and our crew did a wonderful job making it. We had a little problem finding a big enough piece of wood for the top of the bar. We looked at all kinds of reclaimed wood, but nothing was wide enough. Then one day Po reminded me about this bowling alley lane wood that this guy named AJ was selling in Red Hook. We went and took a look at them. WOW. Perfect. The right width, the right length. Solid has hell. We bought a 10 ft piece weighing in at around 350 lbs. This monster was now reclaimed and has become part of of our beautiful bar. The plan is to strip it down so it's not so yellow and shinny and stain it to match our decor. More like a redwood or Mahogony. Be prepaired, there are 3o something photos to follow. Hope you enjoy.

 just starting  bar bar with shelves

 bowling alley lane wood

steel panels

nice

back splash tile

 made to order bar back table and built in sinkme and Sanjive dicussing the bar top

that's the wood. awesomea differnt piecethe lane at the shop before we bought it

Sunday
Mar182012

The Basement

So we started tearing up the basement and putting in the bathroom and my office. In the back under the sidewalk that is our cave. Our wine cave. Imagine that all full of wine! Nice. The stairs to the street are pretty impressive too. This area will be a prep area with an extra bathroom for employees as well as for our guests when the upstairs one gets to busy. This area will also be a lot more funkier than the upstairs. A more mismatched yet organized, cool atmosphere that people can hang out while they wait for a table when it is too cold outside in the winter. Maybe some wine tasting down here too.

  

 

starting the bathroom

the wine cave

 

my office and the bathroom

exposed brick in the bathroom

my office againwelding the bottom plate of the stairsagain, another shot of welding

finished stairs

Saturday
Mar172012

The Cement Wall

Wow. That was a long stretch. I have been at it non stop for weeks now and have not had a chance at all to blog about the space. I left off with the brick wall and now as you can see, we have a cement wall. On the left side of the wall we are planning on adhering a large rooster. It's really cool. If you have seen our website or twitter page, that's the rooster that will be on the wall. On the right side we are putting a big blackboard with a farm style goose neck light over it. We will use the board to write our daily specials on it. The place is really coming along now. We have blasted our way through the basement and I will be posting those pictures soon. Take a look see and enjoy. I will posting again tomorrow.

 

the first coast of cement

more of the same

last of the brick wall

 

 

 

Friday
Feb242012

The brick wall

how it first looked

Well I wish I had some shots of the boys taking down the plaster from the brick wall, but I don't. They were too fast for me. Remember we took down the pink sheet rock wall that the last tenants had thrown up, thinking we would find a brick wall behind it, but instead we discovered all the cool old calanders and eulegies to deceased friends and stuff, taped onto a thick old plaster wall.  Gerret and I couldn't face trying to pick away at all those years worth of caked on plaster with no proper equiptment, and in the meantime, without knowing what shape the wall was in, we hatched a plan with Kanan to make that wall a cement wall to keep the place feeling clean and a little different than the norm. We also didn't really have everything we needed to do the cement wall well, so we asked the construction guys we hired to do the bigger ticket items to take the existing one down for us and do the cement. 

So the day they were setting up to do the wall I came in at 10am, but had to leave right away to run some errands. I returned at 11:30 and the whole wall was just brick. Man these guys work fast.  It was a sight. We had all gotten really excited about our design and were firm that we were definitely covering this wall with cement, but now that I had a chance to see the brick, I almost changed my mind. I had to sleep on it, but I when I woke up I knew that it had to cement. Like the tin ceiling before, almost every restaurant in the city has an exposed brick wall and tin ceilings. We are trying for something a little bit different.  

We have filled up the place with garbage bags too and it's driving me crazy. My way of doing a constrution project is organized and clean. We demo a bit, clean and then organize. My wife calls me OCD. I used to get nuts when people mixed my points or got my X out of order - and my Marine training didn't loosen me up about organization.  The guys that are helping us with the brick wall are a bit messy (understatement) and it is driving me insane. It seems like whenever we get the place cleaned up, it just gets filled back up with junk again. I am trying to not stress out about it too much. I know that it will all work out and the place will be spotless and ready to go when we open.

with the sheet rock gonemetal studs gone

all the plaster is down

thinking about leaving the brick

mixing the cement for the wall

more mixing

getting ready to put on a coat of cementnice shot of the cement wall 

Saturday
Feb042012

The facade (part two)

Sorry for the long delay. It's been a rough two weeks but things are finally moving forward.

So now that the drama is over (we hope) we can get back to working on our demo project and this blog. As you can see from the photos we finished all of the scraping, caulking and priming on the facade, and started on the first coat of the "draw your sword" blue-grey paint. We just love it. The color changes subtly throughout the day so the place looks a bit different all the time. In the morning when the sun is shining directly on the front of the restaurant, it's a beautiful light grey. When it's around 2 pm  in the afternoon, the sun hides behind all of the brownstones and buildings and the color of our place really becomes deep blue, like the ocean. In the evening when it is getting dark, it becomes a wonderful dark charcoal grey.

We also made a really special discovery. After scraping the old paint from the wood around the windows we gradually moved up to the top section running over the whole store front, and started in on what we thought at the time was tin. After scraping the pigeon poop off and really getting under the layers of color, a big piece of paint chipped off and we realized that the tin facade was really copper. WOW. That was all I could say. WOW. How exciting to find a copper facade that is intact - I haven't seen many. I still can't believe that it wasn't scrapped at some point like so many other treasures on these old buildings. We are very lucky to have this original feature at Lulu & Po. We have decided to strip it and let it patina naturally - I love that unexpectedly bright green you get glipses at on old church rooves around town. Can't wait to show the photos of that.

Before my little hospital incident we decided to tackle the AC that was above the door. What an eyesore. You can see it above the doorway in some of the older posts. It was a 36,000 btu friedrieck or fedder or another one of those f word ACs. It was a monster. We had real tough time getting that old thing out of the window space too. After unhooking all the electric and the thousand nuts, bolts and screws, we realized we didn't have a removal plan. We figured that it weighed about 200 to 250 lbs and it was up quite high so if it dropped on the concreate floor it would damage or chip it. But we couldn't just lift it down being that heavy and bulky, so we rigged a funny kind of bed out of bags of old sheetrock and decided to let it just drop on that pile, hoping  that would cusion the blow to the floor. I was a little nervous, but it worked. We didn't loose any toes and we saved the floor. 

Finally, we filled the A/C hole with a piece plywood and sealed it tight for now. As you can see from photos below, the front is really taking shape now, and its only going to get better. We are planning on putting in a recessed ceiling unit AC, like a Fujitsu, LG or another name brand on the inside ceiling. And where the old AC was, above the doorway, we will be installing a nice big window to let in some of that great morning light into our beautiful space.

Also still waiting on those outside lights I posted about earlier - big red barn lights. I hoped that they would be here by now, but no luck. I called the company and they are shipping them this week. I found out that they are manufactured to order, which is nice I guess. They are made in Chino CA. Hmm. I wonder if they are made at the prison?  Whatever the case, they are going to look really great up there in place of those old flood lights.

Po and Kanan (our friend and architect) went and picked up some great tiles and chair options, and we had a great final design meeting: will post photos shortly...  in the meantime, here is the facade tranformation:

 

creeping up the front is our nice grey blue  

 looking good

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Gerrettnice car. maybe a 73 caddy

our nice pomegranate doorThat's LucyLucy again the new entry sans air conditioner. there will be a window here soon.

looking pretty nice. can't wait to hang those lights