The Story of the past few months...
The story of the past few months began around May 2015...right around the time when the entries here started to dry up....and for good reason.
My life was slowly starting to look more and more crazy - with an infant who was few months old, a day job that I was getting back to after maternity, one pop-up at 18 Reasons in May and another in the works at Fat Angel (I love this bar!) in August...but then of course, I had to pile more than that, right? So I added to the list 'shop for space' to go brick & mortar with Indian Paradox.
The process of shopping for a space to transition from a pop-up to a permanent brick & mortar started to take shape sometime around the turn of 2015. However, the thought has always prevailed during all stages of my pursuit - from wine exams, to working in wine bars to (most recently) pop-ups.
For the past 4+ years, obtaining the space for a permanent Indian Paradox in my beloved city of San Francisco, in a neighborhood of choice was the "be all and end all" of this journey.
But, like most journeys, when I arrived at the so-called destination, everything was so surreal. And, there was a sinking feeling in the stomach - echoing questions like: 'What the heck have I done?'
'You have got to be kidding me' - I chided myself. And before I know it, I was done on the last leg of the nerve wrecking negotiations to sign the lease for a cute space at my favorite SF neighborhood.
The much awaited day had arrived, to sign the lease...and I was still in a daze during my travel via Uber to the landlord's office. 'Wow - I am actually doing this!', I thought. And then it was done...just like that. Surely, there were mixed emotions, that felt like jumping off a cliff and jumping up in joy - all at the same time. But, this is what I wanted and strived so hard for...for so many years.
Slowly but steadily, everything that I believe in and live by came to my mind - led by the words of the author of this book I've been reading: 'In the Sphere of Silence', where he so aptly states: "Change requires risk. But how much are we willing to risk? The irony is, the things we are so scared of risking are like chips in a casino, useless unless they are risked'.
It then dawned to me that, this means I've attained the first goal of this long arduous journey. A pursuit that was always on the side of a day job, an actual paycheck and a busy personal life. And now it has become real - very real.
So all fears aside, I could not wait to take this project that I was longing to become real, in full swing now!
Earlier this year, even before I started 'shopping' for a space, I had found an architect (after a lot of searching & interviewing) who has turned in to a trusted resource to bounce off ideas in not just architecture and interior design, but even build-out tips and other helpful referrals.
I am so fortunate to have met so many great, resourceful people during this journey. And I have reached out to with so many of them with questions during these last few months. Now, I am in the process of interviewing general contractors to start buildout of the space. This has been another exhausting and yet interesting task - now I am pushing hard to find someone who will help complete this project within the budget and timeline (both very tight!) in plan.
Oh, and did I mention that there has been a parallel effort on going to interview and hire my first and most important employee? The Indian Paradox lead Back Of the House (BOH). I have started to talk to some interesting folks in the industry - stay tuned for more updates on this.
Last but not least, how can any startup food/beverage experience be complete without the (friendly?) intervention of the dear most city officials of San Francisco? Thankfully, we have building permit to start build out from the SF Building Department. But, there is still permit to be obtained from the SF Planning department to sell alcohol (wine & beer). And so it goes...
That is it for now. On the finishing note, I have to say that when I received the poster to put up the ABC notice on the window of the space, I caught myself smiling smugly and thinking....the next few months are going to be one heck of a roller coaster ride. Almost immediately I also thought, what is life if we don't roll the dice at some point?
Before signing off, if I'd like to leave you with one image of 'my life in a nutshell', then here it is... :)