Thanks entirely to Megan Fitzpatrick and Brendan Gaffney, the machine room for my workshop is on schedule to be complete by the end of the year.
It feels incredibly good to be typing those words.
When we bought the storefront 26 months ago, I almost lost heart at the closing. Lucy and I had fought like hell to buy the property – it took six months of wrangling with real estate agents and lawyers to simply pay the asking price for the property and be done with it.
Anyway, on the day of the closing, Lucy and I went to Left Bank Coffeehouse before signing the papers, and I went completely numb. Suddenly it seemed like buying a half-derelict lesbian bar in downtown Covington wasn’t such a good idea. Perhaps the building was even worse than the inspection had revealed (it was). Perhaps we would have to spend tens of thousands of dollars more to get it livable (we did).
Despite my sudden malaise, Lucy pushed me forward through the closing. At the end, I received a Captain Morgan’s Rum necklace filled with keys to the bar. Lucy went off to work, and I went to the bar.
I unlocked the front door and walked around, convinced I had made a huge mistake. There was so much work to do, I didn’t even know where to start. So I left the bar, locked the front door and went home for two weeks, refusing to even drive by the place or think about it.
When I finally came to my senses, I decided to measure the bar’s rooms so I could create a floorplan. I walked up to the front door of the bar to unlock it.
The door was unlocked and swung open.
Suspicious, I tiptoed into the bar and looked around. No one was in the bar. Nothing had been stolen or disturbed.
Curious, I began fiddling with the lock to the front door and realized that I had left it sitting unlocked and wide open for two whole weeks.
At that moment, for some reason, I fell in love with the neighborhood and the building. Since then I have been helped by old friends and new to demolish the beer-soaked interior and create a beautiful and traditional working space.
It’s been a hell of a lot harder than I thought it would be. But today, as we hung the first two doors to the machine room, I felt like maybe buying the lesbian bar wasn’t such a bad idea. With good friends and the neighborly people of Covington, it was starting to feel like home.
— Christopher Schwarz