Whistling Kettle Schenectady
By Kevin Borowsky July 10th, 2019
NOW OPEN - WHISTLING KETTLE SCHENECTADY
Grand Opening - Thursday July 11th
Located at 138 Jay Street, Schenectady NY- steps away from Proctor's Theatre
GRAND OPENING DAY - JULY 11th
The day has finally arrived at our latest vision, over two years in the making! We had a good two days of soft opening, testing out new technology which will eventually find themselves at all other locations. Please visit out locations page for hours and contact information.
We'll be posting a retrospect of the entire construction process - from the beginning to the end soon!
GRAND OPENING DAY
June 29th update
This journey started more than two years ago is nearly over. We'll post a detailed blog of the entire journey after we are open, but needless to say this entire project was almost derailed literally a few hours before our funding expiration. Half of this project was simply getting possession of the space which eluded many others for over a decade.
Things are finally coming into place as we prepare to take a week off for much needed R&R before we make the final push to opening. The rooms are ready to go. Tea and coffee has been stocked. Equipment is being tweaked, food product ordering is underway and the 1000's of other little details are all being finalized.
Knowing that we may be busy on Proctor's show nights, we're implementing new tablets that can print checks and accept card payments right at the tables. We'll eventually roll this out to all our locations later this year.
What's left before opening? Final inspections from the city and health department which should be completed by next week. Staff is also an issue - and many have been hired and have begun training at our other locations. Additional training will be done as much as we can.
Unlike other places that cloak their operations, we've kept our windows open and let people peek in and see us working. Thank you to all those who said hi or stopped in excited to see our progress.
So when is opening? We are not making an official announcement just yet, but it WILL be in July. We will have an unannounced soft opening prior to allow for friends and family to practice with staff. Once we get through a few test days we'll announce our official opening to all.
Until then..stay tuned!
Latest update from 6/29
June 7th 2019 update
Sign is going up. Electrical upgrades in place. Lights being wired up. Kitchen equipment delivered. Next week we plan on getting furniture set up, and then start installing technology equipment, final plumbing, lighting. Most of all - CLEANING the dust!
More pictures coming soon. We'll also be interviewing applicants. Interested in working for us? Visit our jobs page.
May 24th 2019 Update
Work is continuing. Furniture has arrived, floors have gone down, painting mostly completed. We are still waiting for the electrical upgrades to be completed by national grid.
Many people are asking when the opening date will be. Because of the many simultaneous projects occurring, some require one portion to complete in order for the next project to be able to commence. Predicting a start date at this point is like predicting the weather - we never know when a problem may arise!
Latest Photos 5/1
Update - 4/30/2019
Things are coming together. Most of the electrics and plumbing are down. We've ordered furniture, the front glass is starting to go in! We will be making a lot of visual progress this month as painting and floors get installed. Still looking for a June open date.
See YouTube video of our progress! Whistling Kettle - Schenectady Update (March)
Demolition has been completed and we have finalized the main plans. Very soon we hope to commence the primary part of the renovations! One of the structural challenges was the future outdoor seating area. If anyone has been to our original Ballston Spa location, you know that a favorite feature is the recessed outdoor seating area.
We were planning to offer this feature as well, replacing the former glass 'display' area with outdoor seating. The problem we ran into was the floor was so decayed, that it was in danger of complete collapse. As seen below, we've had to completely frame out a new floor.
The front facade was actually three seperate store front. Between that and the un-insulated ceilings - this building was an energy sieve. During windy days you could air gush through the cracks in the front and ripple through the ceiling tiled all throughout the building.
The facade is now gone and awaiting it's new facelift.
Q. What is your estimate opening date?
A. Once construction is completed at the end of May, final set up, training will hopefully put us in line for an June opening. But we will know more as we approach!
Work continues on some structural issues with the building. We are almost finalized with our permit approval process and waiting for final details to come back so the main construction project can commence.
One reader saw a previous post and commented on the renovation design- however they were mistaken in that we have not done anything other than demolition and structural reinforcements at this point! Everything thing you see below was original to the building. Some of it is staying, some of it is going.
One thing we are pleased to confirm is that we are going to be salvaging as much of the original tin ceiling as possible.
We'll post updates when we get to the "fun" part of the project.
One of the most common questions is - when will we open?? Well it would be a lot easier to answer if we had a plain vanilla box. But because we have to do extensive demolition, there are a lot of unknowns we have to contend with.
Permitting is the first step - but before we can apply for the permit we have to get zoning approval for the use of the building. These meetings take place monthly, so we have to get on the docket, present our plans, etc. Ten years ago there were far fewer regulatory requirements, thus the entire process can become extended.
Luckily this past week we were approved for our preliminary plan. Next steps are getting the demolition completed so we can have the architect draw a set of stamped plans that will then be submitted for the official building permit.
In the meantime we've been just taking final measurements so we can come up with a great floor plan!
Demolition has started! So far so good. We are trying to reclaim the original tin ceilings, although some were damaged by fire many decades ago. Our meeting with the planning board is this week for our floor plan and front. We'll reveal some of that soon!
Update : 12/27/2018
As we get close to the new year we hope to start demolition work shortly on the new space. As with any construction project there are a lot of details that need to be in order before work can commence. Once we start swinging hammers we will post pictures!
Great article by the Troy Record!
Schenectady, NY 12/10/18 - The Whistling Kettle today announced plans to open a new location of their tea themed retail and restaurant concept in the heart of downtown Schenectady. With plans currently estimated for a spring-2019 opening, the new Whistling Kettle will be located at 138 Jay street, the pedestrian only portion of the street already home to many small businesses and just a few steps away from Proctors Theater.
Kevin and Meahgan Borowsky, the principles of the Whistling Kettle, chose Schenectady because of the many positive developments associated with the revitalization of downtown. The couple also partnered with Schenectady Metroplex to help address challenges with the location, which has been vacant since 2002. "This was a project over a year in the making, with numerous delays and difficulties that had to be resolved in order to move forward. We are grateful to Metroplex who recognized our vision of the property and helped us to overcome the particular challenges associated with it.", Kevin Borowsky said.
The new location will feature the same menu and tea selection as the other locations.
"We are excited to create a unique design that will fit in with the rest of downtown but keeps the comfortable and inviting aspects that are a signature element of the Whistling Kettle experience. Each location has its own distinctive feel and personality - but in the end we strive to provide the same quality experience across all locations, and to promote our slow-down-and-drink-tea philosophy" says Meahgan Borowsky
For further information and updates on the project - please visit www.thewhistlingkettle.com