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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Opening coffee shop above existing retail shop, housed in a 1940s building

    The second floor space above my clothing store just became available, as I anticipated, and I've put together a plan to expand my shop to 2 floors, with the upstairs featuring a coffee shop. The building I'm in is actually an old bungalow that was built in the late 1940s. I've got a tiny bathroom on the first floor, and there's one upstairs that actually also has a bathtub/shower (the space was at one point a residence). There are steps from the sidewalk to the front door of my first story shop and there are a separate set of stairs to the upstairs space.

    Reading up on building codes for a coffee shop, I've read that the space must be ADA compliant. Does this also apply to older buildings, like mine? There's no way someone in a wheelchair will be able to get to the second floor. As it stands now, a person in a wheelchair is unable to get to the first floor retail store.

    Any and all advice is much appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Salt Lake City
    Talk to the city zoning and planning board, and find out what the local codes are before you spend any $$. The building may be grandfathered in, but an older building may also have numerous things needing to be up to code. If you are leasing the space, these things all need to be taken care of by the landlord/owner if they want to lease it. If you own the building, then it's your dime.

    Do your homework.
    John Piquet
    caffe d'bolla
    Salt Lake City, UT



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