This pub renovation was our second job in Delaware City directly across from the Central Hotel on Clinton Street. The owners selected the pun of a name as a playful nod to the late 90’s (even though this was about 15 years later.) This project started as a hole in the wall dive bar that we basically completely gutted and rebuilt.
One of the largest hurdles we faced on this project was accessibility. The original bar had had a couple of non-compliant bathrooms on the higher level. We chose to convert that area into a kitchen, but then we had to provide accessible fixtures. To make matters worse, by adding the patio, we increased our required fixture count. We did not want to eat up any more of our limited floor space than required. The compromise was to utilize the rear portion of the building for these bathrooms. To provide access for all customers, we also added a small, unobtrusive ramp to the lower level front door.
Once we had the accessible portions of the renovation under control, we had to deal with the failing structure. We ended up constructing several steel beams to support existing sagging structure to keep the bar as open as possible. Of course, with the limited space, we could not get a crane involved. The solution was to construct the beams in place with a complex series of steel sections and bolting. This allowed for individual pieces to be hand carried into position and assembled. It also gave us a bit more of an ability in the field to adjust to the reality of a hundred and some year old structure.
We can’t take a lot of credit for the final look of the building, as the clients definitely had a vision in their mind. They commissioned a custom steel railing from a local blacksmith. Yes, blacksmiths do still exist, if you know where to look. They obtained the furnishings and designed the look of the bar. The combination of the original pieces with the new gave us a striking space which made for a pleasant location for a meal or to take in a local band.
The patio was slighly different, but the use of shadowbox fencing, bistro lighting, and potted plants gave what could have been a cramped space some light and life. All in all, this is one pub renovation that turned out spectacularly.