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Chicken Roost renovation has been an uphill battle

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Dear Editor:

Why did the Chicken Roost restaurant take so long to renovate and open? I purchased the restaurant, formerly known as Gabriela's, in April of this year. I wanted to upgrade it a little and introduce a fresh menu with meat and potatoes as its main staple.

Improving an existing restaurant seems like it would be fairly simple. It seemed like a reasonable endeavor ... but not in this town!

My dream is to make Delta prosperous again. It is amazing that I would have to fight with city administrators to make that happen.

My general contractor thought it should take three months to replace the flooring, replace some of the kitchen equipment, upgrade the electrical and plumbing, add windows in the bar, a lift for storage in the basement, and then stucco and paint.

We also wanted to add a rooftop deck for the smokers, but we had to shoot the idea down in July, with the enormous requirements.

The building inspectors insisted an architect and structural engineer sign off, even though both told me I shouldn't need a permit for anything other than the window addition, bathroom addition, upgraded plumbing and electrical, and the supply lift.

The building inspector shot down the plans over and over -- once for not having them stapled together, once for the window being off six inches, and several other times for nitpicky things. He told us (in front of several witnesses) we didn't have to replace the hood and then changed his mind. Then, all the incredible requirements involving the hood, including new insulation and air flow requirements.

We had to install a $3,500 fire shield on our windows when there is no need for a firewall between my building and the bank, and there are no buildings in the alley.

Then there is the lift. We needed a larger lift that can handle all our supplies, and the building inspector wanted the lift to be installed by a special contractor. It would have cost us over $5,000 for installation, instead of $500 from our general contractor. I had to call the state inspector to give us a letter to go ahead and install the supply lift.

This project has cost three times as much and it took three times longer than it should have.

The Chicken Roost will draw people here for lunch and dinner. Hunters will take delight in tasting wild game and locals will enjoy seeing their friendly neighbors.

For me, this project has been hard won. For anyone else, the project would have sunk into oblivion.

Please come by and say hi. We would love to have you! We welcome your business even if city administrators do not.

Tammy Murray
Owner, The
Chicken Roost
Delta

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