I went to city hall today to pick up the paperwork for a banner permit for the Hyde Park Bake Shop and the clerk said I also needed to go to planning to verify / confirm the occupancy status of the building. What...? The landlord rented it to us and advertised it as a live above work below. She lived there with a used clothing shop downstairs, the guy before her lived there with a book shop downstairs. But according to the building department, the last approved use was as a tea shop downstairs and offices / prep. room upstairs - 14 YEARS AGO!!!!
Apparently separation between a living space and a business is a fire code issue, so my contact in planning said he would approach the Fire Marshall and see what he thinks. Obviously it hasn't been an issue for the last 14 years and two previous businesses, but now that the city KNOWS, they have to make some kind of determination. They will be sending a fire code inspector over and then we'll know whether we will be able to live upstairs or not. If not, this whole idea is going to have to be re-thought!
Yesterday I had a great meeting with Margaux, a possible partner / baking friend who is very enthusiastic about the space and the location. We are talking and planning and dreaming of a full blown bakery - this could be amazing & the location... It's just about perfect!