If you're the owner of a new restaurant or grocery store with customers drooling at the very idea of its existence, it's hard to not be optimistic when aiming for an opening date.
Unlike the food you plan to offer, however, so much is out of your hands. The contractors work as fast as they work. The permits come when they come.
"I feel terrible most days" about the delays, says Cavan Patterson, who, with his brother Tom, is in the process of opening Wild Purveyors, a specialty market in Lawrenceville that will feature foraged finds and locally sourced meats and vegetables.
Originally targeted to open last year the week before Christmas, the owners of the roughly 1,800-square-foot storefront at 5308 Butler St. are still waiting on the plumbing work to be finished. (Hopefully, that may be completed this week.) Then the countertops and shelving can go in and the Allegheny County Health Department can do its final inspections.
Cavan Patterson says he knows customers are eager to begin shopping. In a show of support for the business, 69 people donated a total of more than $12,000 on Kickstarter late last year toward the opening of the market, which will be an extension of the business the Pattersons already provide as wholesalers to Pittsburgh restaurants.
"Everybody in the industry says [the delays] are par for the course," Patterson says. "Things get held up, schedules don't get met, deadlines get pushed back."
In an effort to appease their most loyal following, the Pattersons have accepted some small wholesale preorders through their website, which can be picked up at the Butler Street shop.
Recent Facebook and Twitter postings indicated it was open on Wednesdays and Saturdays for drop-by sales. But the shop is not yet open for business. On June 18, Wild Purveyors' Facebook page announced that "we will NOT be open ... for samples, preorders, or accepting any preorders until further notice." Patterson told City Paper that the latest delay resulted from a problem with new countertops on order.