It’s been more than nine months of frustration for Terrapin Turf co-owner Salomeh Afshar.
Her bar, set to replace the former Santa Fe Cafe on Knox Road, was supposed to open in May 2012. Tentative opening date after opening date came and went as Afshar, along with her co-owners Mohammad and Yasmine Afshar, struggled with obtaining the proper county permits to bring their building up to code. And now — though Afshar said in mid-January the bar would likely open within four weeks — the doors are still shut tight.
It’s as maddening for students impatiently awaiting the bar’s unveiling as it is for the Afshars themselves.
“At this point, the way students are about anticipating us, we’re more than dying to be open,” Salomeh Afshar said. “We’ve been super frustrated, because we started the process a year ago.”
Most of the delay came from installing a sprinkler system to bring the building up to code. But Afshar said the sprinklers were finished a month ago, and now they’re just waiting on installing the proper water pipeline needed for the sprinklers.
“Basically you have to bring in a wider pipe for the sprinkler system,” Afshar said. “We’ve already paid the people, and we’re just waiting for something else on that.”
Afshar said she anticipates the next step in installing the water pipeline will take place in the next week.
Then, in another week, she plans to have the final kitchen inspection. Finally, she’ll begin training employees. She said she’s already hired almost her entire staff.
But because of the continual delays over the past year, Afshar said she can’t give any projected opening date.
“‘Oh, here’s another date’ and that didn’t happen, and ‘here’s another date’ and that didn’t happen,” Afshar said about the string of projected openings. “[It’ll open] probably in the next month, but I don’t really have a date for you.”
Afshar said she wouldn’t have an official date until her final inspection of kitchen furniture, which she said wouldn’t happen for at least another week.
“The sprinkler system is done. Everything is entirely done,” Afshar said. “We have been ready to open for quite some time now, but we had delays we didn’t expect.”
Michael Stiefvater, the city’s economic development coordinator, said though the bar’s opening was taking longer than anticipated, the delays were nothing unusual.
“They had an older building that needed a lot of repairs to bring it up to code. It’s a pretty large space, too,” Stiefvater said. “[The delays are] not that far out of the ordinary.”
Stiefvater said he thinks the bar will open before the end of the school year.
“Hopefully it’ll open sooner than later,” he said. “They still have some work to do.”