Part of replacing the rotten wood floors on the main level involved removing the grocery carts & displays. It's wild how taking out things you've walked by hundreds of times allows you to see the same space in a completely new way! Surprise #28 is the doors leading out to Harrisburg's main street. We knew they were there but had never fully appreciated them.
These doors were somewhat obscured from view by pegboard and grocery carts inside the building. And on the outside, our Community Scoop board currently hangs in front of them. Since plans for the Mercantile include greater accessibility and a commercial kitchen, adding a wider entrance for the building was a must, and these doors provide the perfect solution! (Don't worry, the Community Scoop board will still be here - just in a different spot.)
With improved accessibility at the top of our checklist for this renovation, meet Surprise #29: a new staircase! The previous stairs were tiny, steep, and difficult to maneuver. (And when I say "difficult to maneuver," I mean Jessica and I got stuck while trying to carry a clothing rack down them. Big time stuck. It was hot and humid, and we somehow managed to get ourselves wedged into the cramped space. It wasn't pretty.) It became clear that the existing stairs weren't suitable for renovating the upstairs and would also be challenging for customers to climb.
With the old staircase removed, installing a wider, straighter one in its place made perfect sense and adds a little extra support to the original upstairs wall (the one with student signatures). Hooray!
The only downside is this temporarily prevents us from going upstairs to our cheery office (you can see its ceiling in the last picture).