Uel Zing Coffee Lab opened January 31, 2015. We got into the space in November 2014 and spent three months building out the place DIY style: puzzled-together insulation, lots of painting, and woodwork furniture. The Lab was actually our second shop, the first being a little pop-up the previous fall. Yes, I always wanted a coffee shop, but it was actually a slippery slope to get there. I started Uel Zing with a mobile coffee cart in 2013 and started bottling our cold brew over the first winter. And when you get custom printed bottles, you order them by the thousand, so pretty soon our home's porch was nothing but boxes. So I needed storage... here comes the slippery slope: If I had storage, I'd like an office, if I have an office and am there 9-5, I might as well sell coffee. Once we found the perfect space (basically one criteria: cheap), we fixed it up and voila! Our FUNKY LITTLE SHACK!
The main room is kind of L-shaped, with one door and lots of windows, and a window to the smaller side 'alley room.'
Great windows looking out on Kirkwood Ave.
L-shaped, with an old barn-like entrance to a side alley room that we use for storage. And sinks off to the left.
The previous paint job (and the entire building) was very hodge podge. The 'tile' on the floor is actually just painted.
The previous tenant and the landlord both said the space gets very cold, so I could "put blankets on the ceiling" ... well, I decided to go all out and insulate the whole ceiling. It was the biggest hardest puzzle I ever undertook.
Here we are cutting insulation.
After filling all the gaps between the 2x4 studs with insulation, we hung big sheets of OSB plywood, painstakingly cut to match each area. There is not a standard 16" stud in the building—usually studs are 16 inches apart, but these were 21", 17", 24", you name it. Nor was there a single right angle in the building. I could not have done this without the help of Brian and Karen, who helped me lift up and down each sheet to measure and cut a million times.
I made all the cuts with my trusty jigsaw. In hindsight, I don't know why the heck I didn't just by a circular saw! (And I bought one shortly after completing this project!)
Gettin' there—insulation in place, covering it up with lots of triangles and oddly cut plywood.
Done with the wood in the main room! We decided to leave the rafter things, otherwise if we went with their flow, it would have been rounded out and felt like a barn.
The is the short side of the L, seen in a photo above.
Ode to ping pong and Dan Flavin.
While building out, we would often be open on Fridays, pop-up style. This was the first pop-up pour-over bar—a shelf thing with a board across and a couple V60s! And we scored a neat old antique cash drawer from the shop across the street, made by the Indiana Cash Drawer Company.
After the wood was in place, we spackled all the gaps and joints.
And then we white-washed the place throughout several painting parties. BTW, OSB is a bitch to paint. I found a five gallon bucket of generic white paint at the Restore (among many great finds at the Restore) and that got us through about 3 coats on the whole place.
This is looking at the side alley room, the main space and entrance is on the right of the photo. Some of the Friday pop-ups we did in here. It's a cool space and works perfectly for lots of storage now, with it's own entrance even.
Here's our pal Brandon checking out the V60 pour-over drip, steaming in the cold air of winter ;)
PAINTING PARTY! Eoban and Aaron.
Photo of an Instagrammed photo.
Finally, after a good month and a half of ceiling work, it was time to paint the floor (YELLOW!)!
But first, we primed. Next time, I would prime with two coats because those black 'tiles' took several coats to cover—seven coats of yellow, to be exact.
Bring on the YELLOW!
This was after the fresh first coat—you can still see the tiles, and will continue to for the next 6 coats.
Then I built all the furniture out of 2x12 pine boards using the Kreg Jig (thanks to my brother, DIY Pete for getting me addicted to this tool! ~ check out his site here). This photo is behind the bar.
We even drilled the bar into the concrete... it ain't goin' anywhere now! Here's my pal Scott, another local business owner of Wick's Wheels, drillin' deep!
Here I am working on the signage out front. We Kreg Jigged a bunch of 2x4 studs into the existing plywood, then hung a bunch of 1x12s over those.
Who needs a ladder when you have a Ford Ranger?!
Our vinyl sign stickers came from my brother, DIY Pete and his company Signs of the Mountains. Pete helps me out with all of our custom vinyl stickers—I just design graphics in Adobe Illustrator and email them to him out in Montana, then they show up a few days later and it's awesome.
Here's the finished floor with some furniture, including Eoban's couch. What a pal—he painted A LOT and donated his couch :)
Lots of 2x12 furniture, simple and clean, designed and built by me, Uel.
Here's the finished bar (the entrance is just to the right of this photo). The ping pong table was another Restore score, but it takes up the entire room so we don't always use it. I decided on a yellow floor because yellow walls would have just been too much, and I read an article on Design Sponge that yellow floors can really open up a space, so it all made perfect sense. The astroturf rug was awesome, except it unraveled more and more, so eventually we got a heavy duty teal rug.
This bathroom was stupid.
So we covered it with plywood on the walls to replace the fabric (who covers studs and insulation with fabric??)
And painted it seafoam grean, my favorite color before yellow (some day I'll write about that story).
Voila, now we have Uel Zing Coffee Lab, a funky little shack.
Well, I've got some Kreg Jiggin' to do. Hope you enjoyed this before/after DIY recap of our little shop. ZING ya later! —Uel