Archive for September, 2009

September 26th Post

September 26, 2009


Happy Saturday to you, our faithful readers!  This has been an excellent week at Little Mexico.  The crews have gotten a lot done even though everything that was scheduled to happen did not go as planned.  We are learning as we go that, when it comes to the massive amount of work necessary, the schedule sometimes varies with material availability etc.  Read on for the play by play.

Monday September 21st

Carpentry work continues in the dining area, and Mark Amaral the city inspector arrives to check out the work and approves all of the plumbing and gas piping so that we can proceed to seal up the kitchen walls preparatory to sheetrock and plastic paneling.  It is still rainy however so, probably no stucco work today.

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Tuesday September 22nd

The insulation crew sprays the foam on the remaining kitchen walls and stretches a polyester cloth fabric on the walls between the kitchen and the waitress area and also between the dining room and waitress area and blows a fiberglass material between the fabric covered walls as an acoustic insulation that will help prevent sound transfer.  By the end of the day we are ready for sheetrock!  The floor in the dining area receives a test cleaning to see what needs to be done to restore it to the red color that it had before the fire.  Phyllis and Gary inspect this closely to determine what needs to be done.  Meanwhile Randy Mannix the electrician continues to pull miles of wire through the conduit and to the panels in the equipment room.


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Wednesday September 23rd

The people from East Texas Brick in Tyler come down to evaluate what we need to repair or replace the fireplace screen in the waiting area.  Carpentry work continues in the main dining room.  All of the windows need to be individually framed and it is also discovered that some of the window sills need to be replaced.  Paul Harris begins construction of the woodwork that will cover the “master lighting control panel”.  By early afternoon the sheetrock for the back half of the building has arrived.  Of course it is another rainy day so there is no stucco work!

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Thursday September 24th

The sheetrock crew arrives early and, like a swarm of bees, they begin to sheetrock the kitchen and waitress area.  There are so many of them and the sheetrock is flying around everywhere!  We and almost everyone else just get out of the way while they work.

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The Man from East Texas Brick removed the damaged fireplace screen so we decide this would be a good opportunity to clean out and re-mortar the inside of the fireplace.  We are satisfyingly sooty and dirty by the time that project is done!  In the meantime, while the sheetrock is being applied, the vent-a-hoods and the associated air handling equipment arrive!  They immediately start installing the units on the roof!  Wow, this is something we did NOT expect this week!  Paul finishes the shutters covering the control panel but, it does not look like the rest of the woodwork will be ready for paint and stain until next week.

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Friday September 25th

Finally, a pretty day and the stucco crews are working like crazy!  Everyone has been commenting about our obsession with the stucco.  It is not the stucco, but the scaffolding, that prevents other projects like hooking up the water supply and the electricity as well as the wood trim for the exterior of the building which is sitting in the floor of the waiting area ready to go!  The quicker they finish and get the scaffolds out of the way, the quicker we can move on to the rest.  The plaster crew shows up this morning and makes quick work of taping and bedding the sheetrock.  The plastic paneling is here and they will probably install it first thing next week.  Just before lunch, the installation crew arrives to hang the vent-a-hoods and says they will be finished TODAY!  We take a quick trip to the roof to see what they accomplished yesterday.

100_1046This is really looking good!

True to their word, the crew finished installing the hoods by days end and Paul’s crew applied polyurethane caulk and a layer of rubber sealant to the sheetrock around the dishwashing area to prevent any water infiltration.  With the hoods in place, it is really starting to look like a kitchen again!  HMMM, if we just had some stoves.  Maybe soon!




Well, That’s it for this week.  The stucco crew is supposed to work this weekend.  Next week we hope to see the painters begin staining the woodwork and painting the walls.  Maybe we will get some other cool surprises like the hoods were this week.  In the meantime we are scrubbing pots and pans to be ready.  You never know when the stoves might arrive!  Thanks for taking the time to check in with us and, we will see you next week!


September 20th Post

September 20, 2009

Hello readers.  Sorry to be late posting this one but we were experiencing technical difficulties.(no internet for two days)  All fixed now though!

Monday September 14th

The new walk-in cooler and freezer arrives.  The pile of panels is quite impressive.   We are reminded of the furniture that you assemble yourself.  Hopefully someone has the instruction manual and, it was printed in the USA!


The stucco people are supposed to be here all week but, if it rains very much, they can not work because the stucco might slough off of the building and would have to be done over again.

Tuesday September 15th

Bright and early, Lightfoot refrigeration arrives and begins the assembly of the cooler.  They DO have a fifty page instruction manual!


Obviously the manual must have been correct because, by day’s end, The new cooler is standing tall and completely assembled.  These guys really know what they are doing!

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Tuesday afternoon workers from the city of Palestine arrive to dig a hole in the parking lot.  This is where the fire sprinkler system will be tied into the water main.


Wednesday September 16th

The new sheetrock is taped and bedded and the crew says they will be back to texture the walls in the dining area Friday.  The carpenters begin paneling the walls of the dining area and adding trim pieces.  It is really starting to come together.  We find ourselves standing in the host area and looking through the windows imagining what it will look like full of people again.  Can’t wait!


Thursday September 17th

The stucco crew has only been able to work sporadically because of the rain.  That part of the build is a little behind schedule.  The inside work is going very well, however.  The plumbers have almost finished the plumbing in the kitchen area and have begun installing gas piping for the kitchen equipment.  We are told that next week there will be several milestones.  They are supposed to begin painting and staining the dining area, the grid for the suspended ceiling is supposed to go in, some of the stainless steel fixtures for the kitchen are supposed to arrive, and there is a final plumbing inspection.  Once the plumbing passes inspection, they will finish the insulation of the kitchen, install sheetrock and, the waterproof “frp” plastic paneling on the kitchen walls! WOW!  We suddenly realize how fast everything is moving and decide we had better get busy on our projects.  The rest of Thursday afternoon and all of Friday will be dedicated to beginning the clean up of the equipment and glassware etc. that we were able to salvage from the building immediately after the fire.  The city finishes installing the valve on the water main.


Friday September 18th

The electrical work is proceeding on the main electrical panels, the plumbers have finished the gas piping and pressurized it to check for leaks, and the water lines have all been run throughout the kitchen!  Monday should be a big day because of the plumbing inspection.  We have been washing dishes!  I know it is not “construction” but, it has to be done to be ready to open.  We are getting excited already!


The stucco crew finally gets a break in the weather and gets some work done.  They say they will work this weekend also if it does not rain.


Everyone has been asking on the blog, by e-mail, on facebook, and in person: “WHEN?”          We REALLY wish we had an estimate for you of what our opening date will be.  At this point, however, no one can give US an estimate.  We actually think it will be sooner than the end of the year.  Maybe a lot sooner!  But, even though things are moving extremely quickly, there is still a lot to be done.  Please don’t stop asking though, because we love talking to you and we are so humbled that people care.  This blog is dedicated to you our customers and to keeping you informed.  Thanks for reading. We will see you next week with an update!

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September 13th Post

September 13, 2009

We know!  We promised you an update yesterday but, events dictated that we wait until today so that we could show you the activity from this weekend.  That’s right, the sheetrock crew was working on a weekend!  We hope you had a great Labor Day holiday and everyone came home safe and sound.

Friday September 4th

When preparing the wall above the front porch for stucco, it was discovered that the roofing tiles were damaged beyond repair so the general contractor had his crew remove all of the old roofing.

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Inside the building the carpentry work and the ductwork continue at a feverish pace.  We are hoping to have sheetrock up maybe by the end of next week!

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The fire sprinkler people have also been running hundreds of feet of pipe throughout the building.  Below you can see an example of the pipe that has been added.  It is the dark black piping.


We think this addition to the banner out front says it all!


Tuesday September 8th

The materials for the new stucco arrive.  We hope to see some exterior activity this week.  Not much happening inside today although the insulation crew is supposed to come back to finish insulating the walls in the front half so that sheetrock can be applied.


Wednesday September 9th

Our general contractor Paul Harris removes the old window by the cashier and installs a new high tech “to go” window.  This is just one of many projects that he has undertaken himself rather than subcontract out.  To quote him directly: “those ain’t golf clubs in my toolbox”! The stucco crew begins applying the first coat of stucco to the exterior of the building.

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Thursday September 10th

The insulation has been finished in the front half of the building and the walls are ready for sheetrock.  The stucco crew is continuing to apply stucco to the outside and the carpenters are starting to frame the archways and doorways and the pass-through window from the kitchen to the waitress area.


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Friday September 11th

The framing of the archways is complete, the kitchen pass window is complete, the electrician has installed the faceplates on the boxes up front and the electrical inspection has been passed, the sheetrock has arrived and they are SUPPOSED to sheetrock this weekend.  Most of the ductwork has now been completed for the a/c system in the kitchen.  The build is REALLY moving along well.

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Saturday September 12th

Gary went down to Little Mexico this morning and then reported that there was no sheetrock crew there.  We thought it was too good to be true that they would be working this weekend.

Sunday September 13th

HOORAY and SURPRISE!  The sheetrock crew showed up and completely finished the entire front half of the building!  Wow, dreams do come true!

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Early afternoon Sunday, we had a surprise inspection by a qualified customer service expert.  We were happy to take him on a tour of the rebuild!


Well, that’s all the news for this week.  Thank you for stopping by.  We hope you have enjoyed reading about us.  We are, as always,  looking forward to this week’s events.  Hope to see you soon.

9/11 Post

September 11, 2009

We will post an update tomorrow to fill everyone in on the week’s activities but today our thoughts and prayers are, like so many, with the victims and the families affected eight years ago today.  We ask that you take a moment and reflect back to that tragic day.



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Photos from internet.

September 3rd Post

September 3, 2009

This has been a very busy week!  There have been so many people at Little Mexico that it makes us feel almost like we are open!

Monday August 31st

The stonemasons are making excellent progress on the exterior walls of the building.  Almost finished!


Meanwhile the carpenters are continuing to frame the walls of the kitchen and waitress area.  It is really starting to look like a restaurant again.

100_0952At the same time, the electricians, the duct people and the fire sprinkler people are all trying to work around one another.  Then the cash register technicians show up to run data cable from the front office to the back office and video cable across the entire building.  It is really getting crowded in here!

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Tuesday September 1st

The carpenters have just about finished the kitchen walls.  The stone masons have almost finished the outside walls.  The stucco people show up and begin installing metal netting to the outside walls to hold the new stucco.  They also begin erecting the huge scaffolding around the entire building.  The insulation people begin wrapping everything in plastic to prepare for the blown in foam insulation.  All of this while the electricians are still running conduit throughout the kitchen and the sprinkler crew is running pipe and the duct people are installing ductwork.  It seems like rush hour in Houston!   Incredibly, no one gets in each other’s way.  They all work around each other successfully.

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Wednesday September 2nd

The outside walls are finished!


Thursday September 3rd

The insulation crew puts on their space suits and begins to shoot the foam insulation.  They work all day and complete about half of the ceiling and the wall behind the area where the new switching panels will be located.

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Tomorrow the insulation crew should finish the ceiling and the electricians hope to mount the panels to the wall to be ready to hook up all of the conduit they have been running. Thanks for stopping by.  We will report as the rebuild continues.