The skype connection was poor, but I’m was pretty sure I heard the question correctly, despite being a little nervous, as it hadn’t been since our old bar went up in flames that I’d had any sort of sit down with a journalist. 10 days, surely he got it wrong, was all I could think. Below the table I had a cheeky count on my fingers.
- May 24th- Bar Burns down
- June 14- Sign to new space/design/concept & go on cool stuff roadtrip.
- June 17- officially start build
- June 27th- The Find opens
Yep, 10 days. 9 if you dont count prep.
In that time, I learned too much. Sure, I messed a fair amount of small things up to, but thats beside the point. I was left with a lingering exhaustion. One like I’d never encountered before. This is a different DIY. Usually, my projects are spontaneous and allocated to the weekends. At their worst, said projects sometimes end in a ball of tangled string, a ball of melted wax or in a mild electrical shock. At their best its a macaroni necklace or poorly laid out cross stitch. This was something entirely different. This was DIY for survival, not only for me, but for a long list of friends and co-workers.
Day 1 was the hardest part. After the fire trucks and the crowds. We where left with a lingering sense of listlessness and a blank canvas. We wondered like zombies from meeting to meeting, occasionally stopped by excited people on the street,”What are you going to do next?…Bigger and better!…Upward.” and all that jazz. We shrugged.
Slowly, we started to fill the empty pages of our notebook. More out of our need for sanity than a creative experiment. The groups of staff and friends rallied, a unruly mob of cooks, glassy’s, doormen and tradies, wielding paintbrushes and hangovers. Wardy (the owner) frantically briefed the masses on basic painting procedure before turning them loose. We stripped it back to nothing.
“It” was the last in a succession of unsuccessful bars. We also aquired the neighboring space- a delinquent’s tattoo parlor. They gracefully left us a box of dirty needles and a empty condom wrapper. Later, we found a warrant for meth, tucked under a stack of tat magazines. Somehow this was worse than blank paper.
What we ended up with was unlike most of what we planned, through everyones collaboration, we had sum that equaled more than its parts.
Each corner held a story. The wall paper took us until 3am. The tiles in the corner took 3 days and 3,000,000 braincells to get up. The list goes on.
We didnt know if it would make money, or if anyone would notice the blood that was literally on the walls, but it wasn’t until the end that I realized how far the whole project had come. All from a couple stupid ideas, scratched on paper.
To read about how we found a 1993 NBA JAM machine in south New Zealand click here. All Photos where taken by Joe- our AMphotographer, cook, painter or Will our pro-photodude/bartender