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An Update on the Galley Restaurant
Nov 15, 2021
By the Galley Restaurant
A letter from the Galley to the Lopez community.
Dear Friends of the Galley,

Winter is just around the corner and as we all prepare to batten down the hatches for the season, we thought it was probably time for another Galley update. First and foremost, and it goes without saying, your kind voices in support of our project have been our sustenance during these remarkably challenging times. The excitement and enthusiasm that you have shared through your emails and casual "hellos" truly bring meaning to the burden of our efforts. So again, thank you to all those who have reached out with positive encouragement!

So, what's going on with the Galley? Well, work continues even when many of the strides are being made deep in the belly of the beast. Here is the latest:

South & East Retaining Walls

As you may recall, over a year ago we had a potentially dangerous retaining wall failure of the South Wall. This collapse was not only a risk to the structure but also had potential landslide implications. This unexpected concern quickly became our highest priority. We rushed to bring in concrete blocks to temporarily support the wall while we worked to devise a permanent solution. At that time, it was also determined that the wall could not be dismantled and/or rebuilt until September and October when the soil conditions were dry enough and optimal to safely execute the required earth moving. We are pleased to say that this wall is 98% completed and was done with professional engineering, an integrated geo-mat system for additional stabilization, and an incorporated drainage and water runoff management system. And while the new wall looks big and bold as a contrast to what was there before, our plan is to soften its appearance with some well thought out landscaping. As we near the completion of this phase of work we will focus our attention on the East retaining wall which is also in need of remediation. Fortunately, this work will not be dependent on the weather.

Any Word on Building Permits?

Every building department, dare we say, in the country, has been overwhelmed and understaffed. San Juan Co. is no different and navigating difficult workflow challenges and thus, so are we. To the best of our ability and knowledge, our architects & engineers have submitted all the documentation required for approval of permits, and we are continually trying to touch base with the county for updates on the review, corrections, and approvals of them. As of today, we were made aware that the county has not reviewed our submitted package. We obviously cannot put shovel to ground until these are finalized so, yes, we patiently remain in a holding pattern. That being said, please know that we are optimistic and doing all that we are allowed to do as we await feedback. This is of course a critical juncture for determining actual timelines as well as economic feasibility of the project as we have it currently designed.

What will the next Galley be like?

This is the exciting part. The designs that we have submitted are a wonderful homage to our old beloved Galley. Yes, we will have a Pool table, setting for live music, fireplace, and welcoming "watering hole" vibe, but there are some enhancements that we have incorporated with input from many Lopezians, and the shift in thinking about restaurant spaces and the importance of making them as flexible as possible. The designs now include substantially more outdoor, covered, open-air space and several inviting gathering areas. Firepits, space heaters, picnic tables, walk-up takeout windows are all included in our design, as well as a cozy community-centered interior. We are hopeful that by our next update, we will have approved plans from the county so that we can visually share our concept with you.

Everyone involved in the design, construction & cultivation of the project is focused wholly on accomplishing the results that all in our island community look most forward to a renewed Galley with welcoming spaces, great food, a good cocktail, the opportunity to connect with each other and visit for a while all on beautiful Fish Bay. We are getting there and want to say once again, with heartfelt enthusiasm, thank you for your support, patience, and optimism.

With Warmth and Appreciation,

The Galley Team