12 August 2008

from sea to shining...muffins

Colors. They're everywhere. So pretty. Red, green, blue, yellow. So simple. Right?

Wrong. Oh, so, wrong.

With the basic exterior construction done, it was Time -- Time to Decide on what color the Curious Palate should be. What color best represents how delicious life can be? What color would inspire in our customers the yummiest of dreams, lure them in by the thousands with promises of delectable delicacies and glorious goodies that satiate their very souls?

And how do we go classy without being bland? How do we stand out without being gaudy?

The wrong color....and we may as well kiss it goodbye.


So you see (maybe) how playing with colors turned into week-long nightmare. I spent hours creating layers upon layers of options on Photoshop: white door, sage green awning, brick red façade? Red door, dark brown awning, cream façade? Sage façade? Navy awning? Brown door? Or will it help to call them food colors: artichoke, 70% chocolate, salted butter and ricotta?

It was like a wedding careening out of control, with me and a triad of dusty, musty men (Mark, Elliot and Stefan in full construction mode) wrestling over color combos. But somehow, we managed to narrow down our options, and once I managed to persuade Elliot to try swatches of paint rather than go for the whole thing at once, we schlepped to Home Depot, the bastion of low-budget renovation, for said samples of paint.

The next day, the paint went up. And we realized... one of our colors, a grey-green, was virtually identical to the questionable housing units in our back lot. And the other color, a pretty light "sage" (aka "Sea Foam")... not only looked more like a pallid mint, but bizarrely blended into the two buildings on either side of us, a sky-blue Mexican flower shop (see left) and a white...something. I'll find out.

So it was back to square one. We put up more colors. Everyone had an opinion. And I mean everyone: our helper Joe, a woman on the street waiting for her friend, and god knows how many others who came and went while I tried not to think about it back at home. And every single person had a different opinion. At one point, Stefan even piped up with what I can only call delusional blasphemy: he liked the original yellow-orange of the (gasp!) Taqueria Chihuahua.

Thankfully, Elliot's wife Keri stepped in. And she picked what was Mark's favorite all along: (...drumroll...) warm muffin. (It's a pale creamy yellow. Scrumptious.)

The whole store is painted now, with a terra cotta red on the side that will probably also be used for the door and trim, and the muffin basking (baking?) in the afternoon sunshine in front.

And really -- who could argue with a warm, sunny muffin?

Note: those ugly tiles on the bottom will be covered and smoothed over with a stained mortar. So the makeover continues. Now -- what colors should we paint on the inside....?


Joe said...

This is so cool to be able to follow this process! keep the updates coming; I'm excited to see how the store comes together.

Mmm ... muffins.

Tomo said...

I am sooo looking forward to this store and can't wait! I love that it's in my neighborhood too :)

giggles said...

I have to admit I LOVE the name "Taqueria Chihuahua" but I can see how that's not entirely appropriate for your new venture...

Emi Macuaga said...

Mm, we couldn't have asked for a more fun name to say. Chihuahua. It's fun to type too. Chihuahua. Ok, so I love it too....