Build Up to the Deli Build-Out

Or, Breaking News on Breaking Ground
When Zingerman’s Delicatessen opened in March 1982, as Paul Saginaw loves to say, “We just wanted to sell a great corned beef sandwich so that when you brought it up to your mouth and held it with both hands while biting into it, the Russian dressing would drip down your arms.” Paul and Ari thought people might also want great ingredients to take home—great rye bread, great corned beef, great emmenthaler, and great Russian dressing—so in time, a world of food came to pack the Deli’s shelves and cases. ness of building-making as they learn the business of sandwich-making! Most importantly, their involvement ensures that the whole construction process will run more smoothly alongside our daily operations. (Remember, we’re open for business every day through construction!)

Why we’re building.

Over the past twenty-eight years, the number of guests coming to Zingerman’s has increased by a steady 10% each year. Between 2004 and 2009, the guest total grew from 310,000 to 450,000, a 38% increase! We bow down to our loyal guests, old and new, and to the hardworking Zingerman’s staff who has acrobatically met their needs in our maxed out space. The kitchen isn’t the only place where operations are busting at the seams. We unload a lot of delivery trucks and store inventory in any nook and cranny. We produce our fair share of garbage but through composting and recycling, we divert well over a ton of garbage per week from county landfills. Our recycling bins overfloweth and take up space. And there’s the nagging question of where to fit more tables, a challenge obvious to any Zingerman’s guest. Plus we constantly ask ourselves how the heck can we include more people in our food tastings, fun classes and theme dinners. The build-out vision belongs to our trio of second generation Deli Managing Partners & Owners—Grace Singleton, Rick Strutz and most recently, Chef Rodger Bowser—who carry the mantle for the future of Zingerman’s Delicatessen on their shoulders. Their conclusion: we’ve run out of space and can’t wait any longer. With more room we will deliver a better experience to our guests and our staff (including more restrooms!). Our deli kitchen is causing wear on the building because the old brick walls were never designed for our volume of cooking, humidity and general kitchen use. So moving all kitchen operations out of the old and into the new will help us preserve our historic home.

How the heck will it look? The Deli’s front entrance will remain the same. From Kingsley you’ll have a nice view of a 2-story glass atrium that will connect the rear of the Deli with a simple 2-story brick structure (about 10,400 sq ft) on the site of the fire-damaged house on Kingsley. Our architects have integrated the historic “orange house” that currently sits at the top of our old driveway to become a centerpiece for the new brick structure. From the outside it will not have moved. From the inside, it will be an adjunct to our guest flow.
On the patio, we envision an open-air pavilion replacing our well-used big top tent for enjoyable outdoor dining and activities. The grounds will be leveled to tame the incline that currently challenges us. There will be a nice ADA accessible slope in the section between Deli and Next Door and level spots for tables. (Don’t tell me you never noticed how much the picnic tables are tipped!) Along with all these improvements come lots more edible landscaping and a green roof.

The Deli will be open for business as usual throughout construction!
Where To Get Build-Out Info 1. www.zingermansdeli.com/deli-constructionnews (the latest news, architectural drawings, photos!)

2. Monthly Town Hall Meetings with Grace Tuesday morning, January 11, 2011 – 7:30-8:30am Tuesday evening, February 1, 2011 – 5:30-6:30pm 3. Next Door’s 2nd Floor Build-Out
Bulletin Board Check it out near the top of the Next Door stairs (adjacent to the men’s bathroom). You’ll see updates on architectural plans, FAQ’s, and find out what’s coming next!

How will our guests benefit? A ground floor restroom
is at the top of the list for many. We project shorter and faster moving lines because of a better layout and a shorter waiting time due to greater kitchen capacity. Retail shopping will be easier and more efficient. There will be more seating options to suit your fancy and easy accommodation for large parties! Tastings, classes and special events galore will fit in our expanded space. And we are eager for much greater accessibility with full ADA compliance outdoors and indoors.

Our Timeline
We break ground in early 2011 and aim to wrap up construction by mid 2012.

Our Fun New Look!
The Deli’s entrance will remain the same! A 2-story glass atrium will connect the rear of the historic Deli building to a new 2-story brick structure (about 10,400 sq ft) to stand on the site of the fire-damaged Kingsley St. structure. The historic “orange house” will be architecturally integrated into the new brick structure and aid guest flow inside the Deli. On the patio, an open-air pavilion will replace our well-used big top tent surrounded by lots of outdoor space and edible landscaping.

How will the neighborhood benefit? We’re staying
put and contributing to the unique character of this multi-use neighborhood where businesses and residences have existed side-by-side for decades. We’ll increase the neighborhood green space and enhance a community gathering spot near downtown. We’ll address the impact of the commercial noise we generate and the commercial deliveries we receive in a comprehensive manner. And we anticipate adding over 60 new jobs to help fuel our local economy. We pride ourselves on being caring, committed, responsible corporate citizens in our community. The build-out allows us to dig our roots deeper into this place we love. We’re in motion now. By early 2011, we’ll put a shovel in the ground. A tree was removed in November in preparation for eliminating the fire-damaged Kingsley structure affectionately referred to as “Smokey.” There’s already been prep work done in anticipation of the acrobatic lifting of our “orange house” from its foundation. With construction fences up and traffic re-routed every which way, we will be doing back flips to maintain incredible service and offer a great experience to everyone who visits. We are committed to doing everything necessary to make it a blast for you to dine and shop as always. Check out the construction magic happening daily. Our mandate is to STAY OPEN THROUGH THE ENTIRE PROJECT. The heart of Zingerman’s Delicatessen remains the same! The Deli “post build-out” will still be a hustling, bustling place to meet your friends, bring your family, enjoy great, full-flavored traditional foods and get the trademark Zingerman’s customer service experience. The menu will be the same, if not expanded. Servers will happily give you a taste of anything you want. There will be more elbow room to engage with retail staff, exchange food stories and recipes. The sandwich runner will still yell out your name. Morning regulars will still have spots to sit and read their New York Times. Bikers will have more bicycle parking and access to emergency repair tools. Students will have quiet spots to study. People will still converge for meetings. Even though there will be some nostalgia for the old cramped Deli, we think you will be very pleased with how the new space merges with the old, still feels familiar, and allows us to provide better service, better food, and an even better overall experience. Same great rye bread, same great corned beef, same great emmenthaler, same great Russian dressing and same great experience that Zingerman’s has provided since the day we opened our door.

Why not be greener? Another added benefit of this project
is the chance to green up our act, reduce our carbon footprint and become more efficient in our energy usage. With the space and opportunity to completely re-vamp kitchen and mechanical equipment, we can get as green as possible without disruption of service. The project is registered with the Green Building Association and our goal is to achieve LEED Silver at a minimum. Woot! Woot! The LEED point system measures the environmental sustainability of our design, construction, operations and maintenance. This is big news! It means that the environmental impact of the build-out is being considered in every decision—sourcing, construction, daily use and into perpetuity. (More green news to come!)

Why We’re So Happy!
The 1st floor of the new building will house a bigger kitchen, our sandwich line, and improved delivery and storage systems! Both the 1st and 2nd floors of the new building will offer more guest seating options and new restrooms! We’ll have more retail space in the old Deli for the wonderland of foods we showcase! By regrading the site, all our buildings will be more accessible to our guests with wheelchairs, walkers and strollers! We have the chance to become a greener business. Our project is a LEED-NC (new construction) certified green building! The LEED point system, developed by the US Green Building Council, measures the environmental sustainability of a project’s design, construction, operations and maintenance. The Deli Build-Out is all about a better Zingerman’s Experience to be enjoyed by many more people for generations to come!

What a puzzle! A construction project is a jigsaw puzzle. You glimpse the big picture on the box cover. Then begins the long ordeal of examining every piece to find its relation to all the others. Time and attention to detail get all the pieces to fit perfectly. The design team collaborating on this project brings a wide spectrum of opinions and skills to the table and it’s exactly what this gargantuan task requires!
It’s been a long haul. We truly appreciate the City of Ann Arbor and the Historic District Commission for recognizing the merits of the project and voting in September 2010 to grant us permission to clear the area we need to build the new 2-story structure that will house most everything on our wish list.

Who are the architects? After interviews with many competent firms, we chose to work with Quinn Evans Architects whose Ann Arbor office is right around the corner on N. Main Street. Their renovation of Hill Auditorium and their collaborative work style made us feel we could partner well in tackling our challenging project.

Who are the contractors? We brought Phoenix Contractors on board early in the process. Owners Bill Kinley and Mark Hiser along with site manager Chris Love help us address a multitude of potential construction roadblocks and snafus. We learn about the busi-

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ISSUE # 224

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2011

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