The Client

Gen BBQ, a well-established Korean BBQ restaurant chain with over 30 successful locations in the US, sought to expand their brand and open their first restaurant in New York City. They chose a prime location at 150 E 14th St, Manhattan, in close proximity to Union Square. The process of bringing their buildings up to code for the opening of a new restaurant is challenging for any of their locations. However, NYC Recognizing the challenges of obtaining NYC permits, they sought a consultant with expertise in navigating the city's stringent building and fire code requirements.

The Problem

Gen BBQ's innovative restaurant concept, featuring approximately 20 gas grills embedded within the tables, presented a set of distinctive challenges. Obtaining the permits wouldn’t be easy. NYC's permitting process demanded specific approvals for sprinkler systems, plumbing, gas equipment, and the designation of the restaurant as a place of assembly to accommodate over 75 people.

To complicate matters further, securing approvals for this project would take meticulous coordination. A general construction permit could interfere with plumbing, plumbing with mechanical, and so forth. That’s without any denials or change requests. A delay or objection could impact the project timeline and jeopardize the restaurant's opening. Since the goal was to turn a profit, they needed to get the building in working order.

NYC's building and fire codes require specialized knowledge and careful consideration, particularly concerning the safe operation of gas grills and the establishment of appropriate egress paths. The team would have to engage in extensive research and thorough analysis of building codes to ensure the safe integration of the setup. This would be most challenging for the egress paths that needed to adhere to the city's stringent regulations.

Another consideration was minimizing changes to the certificate of occupancy. More changes would mean more delays and more potential complications. The team aimed to preserve the existing occupancy limits and keep modifications to the egress paths as minimal as possible, all while ensuring compliance with the codes and regulations.



The Solution

Recognizing the extensive challenges, the project team crafted a comprehensive strategy to pave the way for a successful NYC launch of Gen BBQ. The journey began with a meticulous code and fire protection analysis before submitting plans to the Department of Buildings. The proactive approach ensured that all projects adhered to NYC's stringent regulations, making for a more straightforward approval process and preempting potential objections during permitting.

Efficient approvals were the team’s top priority. They strategically tracked the submission and review of general construction, plumbing, mechanical, and place of assembly plans to secure swift and smooth approvals. By addressing potential concerns and offering solutions during the planning stage, they demonstrated their commitment to overcoming any hurdles before they arose.

The team's dedication to expediting the opening process was apparent throughout the project. Their focus on helping Gen BBQ serve customers at the earliest opportunity prevented the building from remaining vacant and strengthened Gen BBQ's reputation as a diner-centric restaurant. Their timely inspections were crucial in ensuring the project's smooth execution. The team worked closely with inspectors to schedule approvals promptly, leading to a frictionless process that helped complete the process without unnecessary delays.

The Results

Thanks to their strategic approach and the seamless execution of their plans, Gen BBQ's first NYC location at 150 E 14th St, Manhattan, was up and running within an impressively short span of six months from the start of the project. The achievement was remarkable, considering the complexities involved. 

The restaurant's choice of downtown Manhattan as its debut location proved spot-on, attracting a steady stream of enthusiastic customers eager to savor Gen BBQ's delectable cuisine. The owners were elated with the smooth opening and expressed their profound gratitude for the unwavering support and invaluable expertise provided by the consulting team.

Gen BBQ's triumphant entry into the highly competitive NYC market serves as a resounding testament to the value of meticulous planning, coordination, and specialized knowledge. By enlisting the services of an experienced permit consultant and adopting a proactive approach, the project was completed within an exceptionally quick timeframe. With their first NYC location thriving, Gen BBQ is well-positioned to expand its reach further, continuing to delight food enthusiasts across the city and beyond.

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