As most of you know, back in March we were forced to close our Chestnut Street location so that the building could undergo San Francisco-mandated seismic retrofitting. The work was supposed to be done by last week and, in fact, it is done.
There is, however, one major problem. The space was so dramatically modified, without our approval or consent, to the point that it is no longer a suitable space for us to operate our business. We have been wracking our collective heads over the last couple of weeks trying to find a way to make the new configuration work for us, but we just keep coming up with this simple reality - if the layout of the space was as it is now three years ago when we were looking for a Marina location, we would have passed on this space without hesitation, and kept looking.
We are heartbroken and yes, angry at how this turned out. Since we have now passed our target reopen date, we felt it important to let you in on a bit of the backstory of how this all happened.
In March, we were given two weeks notice (seriously) that we had to vacate the premises, completely, for this construction work to begin. We were incredulous. The plans were drawn up, the construction crew was scheduled, even the parking permits were obtained for construction vehicles. We had no option but to scramble, quickly, to move out of the space, relocate our employees and alert our customers as to what was going on.
We were told the construction would take 6 weeks. Having been through a few Mudpuppy’s construction projects before, we added an additional 4 weeks for good measure. Sure enough, it was done in exactly 10 weeks. Hooray.
While the construction crew endeavored to put the facility back together as best they could, the fact is that a substantial amount of square footage was eliminated from our space. In addition, many odd angles and narrow spaces were introduced to accommodate the new steel girders installed to support the building. This resulted in even more lost floorspace as these areas became, essentially, wasted space.
We are including the before and after floorplans here to illustrate the areas of lost and/or wasted space.
So here we are. The space is done, ready for us to move in, but is no longer a space that will allow us to serve you and your pups.
Now lawyers are, of course, involved, only adding insult to injury in the form of time, hassle, and legal fees. Meanwhile, our substantial investment in the Chestnut Street location, from initial construction to carrying the usual initial loss of a new business is effectively down the drain.
Needless to say, we are sad, as is every one of our wonderful employees.
While the final shoe hasn’t dropped yet as we sit in legal limbo, it isn’t fair to our customers nor employees not to remain transparent about what has happened. We have looked at this from every angle, hoping to come up with a solution, leading to a reopening announcement and celebration. Alas, it hasn’t turned out that way. As it looks right now, barring some sort of miracle, Chestnut will likely not reopen at all.
If there is any bright side to be found here, it’s that during the “temporary” closure of Chestnut we’ve had the pleasure of meeting many of our Marina customers and pups at our Castro Street location. The entire crew from Chestnut is remaining at Castro and we have even expanded the facility by over 500 square feet, doubling our capacity. Thankfully we had unused space here - the exact opposite of the Chestnut situation. More on the developments regarding Castro soon.
We hope this adequately explains our predicament and we will keep you abreast of any relevant updates to the above situation.
It goes without saying that we genuinely appreciate your patronage and support. We love what we do and will continue to do our very best to provide you with excellent service and expert care for your pups. We hope to see you soon.
Daniel and Todd, Owners
Mudpuppy’s Tub & Scrub