Its warm inside

A place to warm up

Its been a while since I managed to get an update out but thats because a lot has been happening behind the scenes to get this up and running and to provide some new facilities to the village.

The snow is falling and the temperature has dropped below zero but we are open and its nice and warm on the upper deck.

Upper deck bar Upper deck bar

Apart from the seating and tables we have a nice bar to just stand around and get the craic with your mates.

Whilst you are warming up with your coffee or hot chocolate; day or night we are open; in the mean time you may notice some changes inside the shop. New windows have been installed at the front and soon we will make more changes inside to give us more space and so we can introduce some new exciting things.

A snowy day A snowy night

If you havent already, why not stop by day or night; we are open till late so no matter what the time you can catch up with us, with your friends and enjoy some great times.

Upper deck nearly there

Upper Deck booths

With the arrival of our expertly crafted table tops from Alistair the installation work has continued.  Of course that means more cleaning of the original seats before re-installing them.

Upper Deck begins to take shape

Of course it still looks messy as everything is put in what will soon be its final location, the seats have been steam cleaned and orientated to soon form a comfortable booth for enjoying the delights of the cafe or bar.

Upper Deck booths Upper Deck booths

Once in place and secured the craftsmanship really shines and the overall look and feel starts to take shape. Each booth will seat 4 people but of course what if you have a larger party? no problem you sit at the back of the bus

Upper Deck rear seating

This arrangement will hold up to 9 people and will be ideal for a large group.  There is still more work to be done of course, we have another nice piece of the puzzle yet to be installed on the upper deck plus of course lighting and heating; but we are almost there.

Starting to take shape

Its been another busy couple of weeks for the bus.  Unfortunately we have not been able to trade in the bar due to a licensing issue but that meant more time to concentrate on the bus conversion.

We owe a massive thanks to Alistair Mann from Westward B & B who is an extremely talented craftsmen and has tuned the raw slabs of Elm that we obtained from our friends at Black Isle Brewery into the absolutely stunning tables that have now been installed in the downstairs area of the bus

Downstairs booths Downstairs booths

With the seats re-arranged and the tables installed, the downstairs area is really starting to take shape. A little more cleaning, a little more painting and we shall soon be welcoming our first customers on to the bus

Downstairs booths

A busy fortnight

Laphroaig whisky barrel courtesy of Black Isle Brewery

Wow!! What a busy couple of weeks we have had.  We have so much going on at the moment and lots to report as we go ahead in leaps and bounds on bringing the bus online.

Firstly we have been gifted some very nice slabs of Elm from our friends at the Black Isle Brewery. The slabs were expertly chosen by local craftsman Alistair Mann of Westward B & B who is now crafting the slabs in to some very unique table tops.

Elm Table Tops in the making Elm Table Tops in the making

We have also obtained a couple of old Laphroaig whisky barrels again via the generosity of the Black Isle Brewery, these will be cleaned up and used on the upper deck to support a rather unique and characterful piece the Ali is working on for us.  No previews yet but cant to show that off when its ready.

In the meantime a lot of the seats downstairs have now been removed and the cleanup done, painting to be undertaken this week to prepare for the re-installation of chairs when steam cleaned and the fantastic tables once ready.

X435FGP Lower deck X435FGP Lower deck completely stripped out X435FGP Lower deck completely stripped out & cleaned

We have heating equipment on order and some electrical work scheduled so that we can hopefully bring the bus online in the coming weeks, even if it is in a limited capacity.

The transformation begins

Upper Deck rear seating

After weeks of cleaning the bus is finally beginning to take shape. Over the last week all of the safety rails from the bottom of the stairs to the top and the advertising panels have all been freshly painted.

Painted safety rails Painted safety rails
Painted safety rails Painted advertising panels

We have a new floor installed, which I think really looks great,

Upper deck flooring

And after a good steam clean the first seats are now returned to the bus to mark the start of the transformation from passenger vehicle to bar & cafe.

Like the rest of the bus the seats have years if not decades of built up dirt and dried out chewing gum.

Upper Deck rear seating

But they look great when cleaned and put back in place.

Upper Deck rear seating

 

 

 

2 weeks of cleaning…

After 2 weeks of cleaning, and sanding; stripping of glue from the floor and 20+ years of chewing gum and dirt the upper deck is finally ready to move to the next stage.

prepared upper deck prepared upper deck
prepared upper deck prepared upper deck

With all that preparation done I can now start the painting and final touches in readiness for the new floor.

Masked up and ready for paint Let the painting begin

A new milestone & more

With the sun shining; today was a great day but not just because of the fantastic weather we are experiencing.  Today we reached a new milestone in the conversion of the bus; the engine heating unit for the upper saloon was removed with the aid of Chris Brown over the weekend and finally the last of the old flooring is now gone.

X435FGP Upper deck completely stripped out

This means that with the upper saloon completely gutted I can now move on to some electrical work and most of all to give the entire area a deep clean to get rid of over 23 years of grime and dirt and no those are the shadows of the former seats on the walls, that is the dirt left behind.

But thats not all for today; the team at The Sign Centre in Inverness turned up and have installed our new shelter signage, bus signage and of course our bus stop sign.

Affric Bar ''Bus Stop'' Sign X435FGP Side panel signs Shelter signage

It really is exciting times at the moment with so much new stuff going on, if you havent already drop in for a pint, a coffee, a glass of wine or whatever is your tipple of choice and join the fun at the ”Affric Bar”

A busy weekend

So I have finally begun the conversion in earnest and have had a very busy weekend.  By the end of the weekend all of the seats have been stripped out of the upper deck and now its on to the electrics flooring and of course a lot of cleaning.

As you can imagine for a 23 year old bus, there must have been a million people riding her over that time and that means a lot of rubbish and the amount of rock hard chewing gum shoved into the most amazing places means cleaning might take a while.

The space left has let us imagine just what we can do with it and given us some new ideas, What a difference a few days can make.

Currently all the removed seats are now filling up the downstairs area awaiting their own transformation.