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Nookie Does Some More Bargain Shopping

Welcome back to a special, weekly ongoing series of Eater column On the House, in which former Fenway Park executive chef Steve "Nookie" Postal shares his experience of opening two Cambridge restaurants: Commonwealth and Steinbones. Here's part sixteen.

IMG_20130710_112932.jpgI feel like it's almost the night before Christmas. It's finally here. Construction is starting on Monday. We had a great meeting this week tying up loose ends, which there are more of then not, but that's not really the point.

A water bubbler showed up for the workers. I love water bubblers; they make it real. First thing they are going to do is have the plumbers come in and rip up the floor and put all the drains where they need to go. Then, they pour the cement floor. Cool stuff.

IMG_20130708_172604.jpgWe went back to Brimfield again [the Superbowl of flea markets] to buy more stuff. I won't bore you with all the details, but we got a host station, drink rails, raw bar, market storage rack, coffee station, and some knick-knacks and tchotchkes. What makes this a super successful trip is the financial ramifications. Including the truck and our storage unit, I saved almost $20K by doing this.

IMG_20130709_071859.jpgWhy everyone doesn't do this is beyond me. Besides being incredibly fun, it's a super awesome way to add character and save money. I saw Tony Maws and Joshua Smith shopping for their respective spaces. We had lunch; it was fun. Just a great vibe and some really cool stuff.

IMG_20130710_081602.jpgWent back to Ed Smith's auction house to dig for some more equipment. Found a fryer that is brand new but got returned because it got scratched on delivery. If I were buying it new, I wouldn't want a scratch on it, but it's a $12K piece of equipment that I'm going to get for $5K. And I can't stop there. Need to keep hustling my ass off and digging and searching for affordable pieces that make sense and save us money without compromising what we are trying to do.

IMG_20130710_104114.jpgWorking on something else that is super cool and lots of fun but can't really say what it is quite yet. It's gonna be pretty cool, though. The rest of the week is just coordinating with Cafco and my landlord and making sure everyone has what they need and is being stroked in the right places to make this buildout as painless as possible.

I'm actually writing this from Vegas right now. Kinda crazy, I know. But it's now or never. Once that first hammer starts swinging, I'm there 24/7. Psyched to eat some good food and see some family and maybe win a couple bucks. Come Monday morning, I'll be looking over that plumber's shoulder, making sure the pipes are going in the right spots. 'Til then...

Follow Nookie on Twitter: @chefnookie and @commnwlth).
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