BASIL’S RESTAURANT was damaged by a fire on September 8, 2014. After the fire Basil’s owner, Joseph Kahwach, announced on the restaurant’s Facebook page that he was closing it for an undetermined amount of time. The owner took this opportunity to have the restaurant completely redesigned with a fresh new look.
Joseph signed a contract with partners Jim Chandlee and Seth Chandlee of Chandlee & Sons Construction Company on November 24, 2014 for the demolition, ground-up construction and remodel of his family-owned restaurant. Gotsch Studios, a design and architectural firm owned by Kevin Gotsch, was hired before this date as the architect on the project.
The Chandlee and Sons’ crew began the final phase of demolition in the second week of March with Seth on hand as Project Manager, as Jim, Carey and Ken were working on other projects. After carefully tearing down the burned portions of the building the crew completed the demo on March 18 and immediately began the construction of the foundations, the exterior decking and handicapped ramp. By the end of March the crew had laid five feet (127 tons) of #57 stone, the soil engineer had signed off, and Basil’s had a new foundation.
On December 3 Seth hung the company’s banner at the project and took the first pictures. Permitting was underway. Seth commented, “Fifty percent of the building is to be new ground-up construction with the remaining half receiving an extensive renovation. We will tear down the patchwork of additions in the rear of the structure that includes the former kitchen. We will also remove and reconstruct the entire roof. Atlanta with soon be presented with acompletely redesigned Basil’s Restaurant”
Demolition began in earnest on December 19, 2014. In early January 2015 Seth placed two design concepts on his personal Facebook page for fun asking friends and family to choose which concept they preferred. The design utilizing the warm tones was chosen by the majority and the owner. (The design concepts featured on this page below.)
The Chandlee and Sons’ crew began the final phase of demolition in the second week of March. The Chandlee and Sons’ crew began the final phase of demolition in the second week of March with Seth on hand as Project Manager, as Jim, April Huckaby and the other project managers were working on other projects. After carefully tearing down the burned portions of the building the crew completed the demo on March 18 and immediately began the construction of the foundations, the exterior decking and handicapped ramp. By the end of March the crew had laid five feet (127 tons) of #57 stone, the soil engineer had signed off, and Basil’s had a new foundation.
It was at this time that Joseph called Seth to thank him and the company “for their hard work and honesty” saying “it means the world to me”- that Seth and the crew “were a blessing to his life.” He said he appreciated everything that was being done to bring his restaurant back better than before. He expressed his appreciation by offering Seth a free house to stay in during the project and all the food he and the crew could eat – he even presented Seth with a Basil’s Black Card – free food for life! Seth responded, “Wow! It is awesome to hear him so happy. He is a good man to work for.”
As of Thursday, April 2, the new addition was framed in, the existing portion of the building had been re-framed with a new vaulted roof and ceiling, and the front porch and ramp were now up to code. Seven days later Basil’s was moving at ninety mph – plumbers, electricians, roofers, framers, grease trap guys, carpenters and the siding crew were working side-by-side. The roof was scheduled to be completed the same day including the installation of skylights. Half of the siding was up, the plumbing was roughed-in and the electrical rough-in was fifty percent complete. Seth commented, “It has been a good day at Basil’s!”
B&G Roofing had knocked out the life-time warrantied roof bringing it in under budget by mid- month. Two weeks later the stainless steel low-profile vent hood was installed. It was at this point that the project encountered a delay while the walk-in cooler contractor opened up the floor in order to install an insulated poly barrier. The inspection of the insulation was Tuesday, May 5 and after passing the crew began hanging the drywall. The placement of the grease trap, walk-in cooler and fireplace were now complete. At this time our crew assisted Joseph in choosing the interior paint and stain colors and the granite for the bar countertops.
The trim work was nearing completion by the middle of May. Katie Hastings Matthews and her husband, Matt, owners of Highstakes Digital Signcrafters, delivered the new exterior sign to the project. It is back-lit and glows from within. Seth commented, “Katie and Matt gave us an incredible deal and the client loves them! Take a look at the new sign in the photos below."
“Basil’s is beginning to look finished,” said Seth Chandlee. “Brown Fantasy granite has been installed on the 30′ bar top inside the restaurant, and also on the two 12′ bar tops on the covered deck. The ‘shipped wrecked’ wood bar front is currently being installed on the inside bar. Back-lit built-in shelves are currently under construction and will soon be installed behind the inside bar. The sloped, waterproof kitchen and bar floors were completed today and the dark gray hardwoods are going in next!!”
The paint scheme for Basil’s consists of five different paint and stain colors. Renteria Painting began the paint and stain work on Tuesday, May 26. The kitchen equipment was scheduled to arrive in two days. And the lighting, plumbing and HVAC work would be complete by the end of the week. The crew added grooves along the back of each shelf of the built-in units behind the inside bar. LED lights were inserted into the grooves to create a light show. Hidden light tracks were also installed in the ceiling and along the beams in the ceiling. The lights are dimmable, change color and operate to music – all managed through a programmable i-pod system.“ This is an inexpensive way to add a unique feature and create inviting atmosphere,” said Seth.
At month’s end the stain and poly sealant work was complete on the wood beams, shelves and trimand all of the walls were primed. The drywall received its final touch and the various lighting fixtures were installed. And the crew was expecting the delivery of the kitchen and bar equipment and hardwood flooring.
A series of final inspections began Friday, June 5. The following week saw the setting of equipment and fixtures in place, additional lighting installed and more inspections. “This boutique restaurant is awesome,” said Seth. He was on hand on Tuesday, June 16, for continuing inspections with one more scheduled for the following day. Two days later all of the inspections had passed except for one. The crew immediately addressed the problem. Mean while they continued through the punch out list in order to wrap up the project quickly as possible.
As soon as the project passed the final inspection, Chandlee & Sons presented the Certificate of Occupancy to Joseph who was anticipating the re-opening of his Atlanta eatery with great excitement. “Thanks to Basil’s for allowing the Chandlee and Sons team to bring the design of the restaurant up to modern standards,” commented Seth. “The clean new design flows seamlessly through the new construction into the salvaged portions of the structure.”
Owner, Joseph Kahwach, had this to say, “Every member of the Chandlee crew were professional – and always on time. From A to Z they made the entire process so very easy. Seth Chandlee worked tirelessly making the many adjustments and additions to the original design to accommodate our needs. Minor changes were made on the outside of the restaurant but the inside was a complete transformation. The restaurant is very inviting, not at all flashy, but elegant and comfortable. I would most certainly recommend Seth Chandlee and Chandlee and Sons Construction to anyone – I have already referred friends to them.”
Basil’s was established in 1987. The original building was a unassuming little cottage converted into a restaurant that suited the needs of the family that created it. In the beginning the owner’s mother ran the kitchen. Over the years the family constructed additions including the patio. After the fire the owner wanted a completely new modern, clean design.
Basil’s had its opening on August 1, 2015. One customer had this to say, “Basil’s has pulled off a total transformation!! Beautiful place, great food, and fantastic people there – both the clients and the management! Go by there soon before it gets too crowded.” Basil’s Restaurant is located at 2985 Grandview Ave in northeast Atlanta, Georgia. Their website is http://www.basils.net/.