Last week the roof really came off La Kiva. It was not without some very mixed feelings that we watched our fabulous crew ripping apart the very thing we are trying to save. The bar, without it’s roof and without its furnishings is far from sad. It is a powerful piece of architecture made even more imposing in its stripped down state. The inside is spectacular with the dappled sunlight brightening the walls. La Kiva is an amazing environment that has been responsible for creating important and lasting memories for a vast number of people over the last 33 years. Now we have got to fix it without spoiling it. No pressure!!!!!! One of the comments we got in response to an earlier blog reads “This is a beautiful, practically sacred undertaking. Blessings from Austin. I’m waiting for the grand re-opening and if I have to skateboard there I’m going to make it. That place has meant so much to me over the years.” As I said, “No pressure.”.
Quite a lot of the wood that was buried in the concrete was rotten and termite chewed and quite a bit of the roof was in a similar parlous state state. A number of the vigas need to be replaced because of rot and some just needed to be replaced to make them match. The old vigas in the outdoor bar are weather checked and a bit fragile so we are going to upgrade them and make them better able to cope with the new roofing that is going to be attached.
When La Kiva re-opens it will be a non-smoking bar. The outside bar will be equipped with a roof and three walls, so it will be a sheltered spot for smokers to visit during the more inclement weather. The addition of a couple of ceiling fans and a heater will make it almost all weather.
The evidence of earlier roofs did surprise us. We had heard that the roof leaked, more or less since new, so we were surprised to find evidence of at least three previous phases of roofing. That was not exactly what we had been led to believe. Let’s hope we finally get rid of those pesky leaks.
As part of the extensive new septic system, a requirement before we re-open, we have to put in new drains and water lines. Rather than looking at this as being a terrible imposition we are regarding it as an opportunity to fix long existing problems, to improve the back bar facilities and kitchen and to bring La Kiva up to the best, modern hygienic standards. We are certain that our bar staff will adore the improved facilities and the kitchen staff will never want to go home.
We have collected quite a decent pile of corrugated iron waiting to be repurposed. If you want any, drop by and see me.
One last thing. In investigating the walls of the kitchen we discovered extensive rot. To put the kitchen into a state that it needs to be, we need to replace the walls most of the way around. This is a lot more work than we anticipated but we will end up with an even better kitchen than we had originally planned and it will be 90% new construction.
We are still looking for that sack of Krugerrands that Gil is reputed to have buried. Now would be a real good time to find them and we hope it’s a big sack.
It appears the weather gods are being kind to us while we have no roof. No rain in the forecast for the next ten days except for a 10% chance on Friday.