SHEFFIELD — Jim Olivieri didn't know it at the time, but a leak that he found in the kitchen of the property that he bought last year made the transition to a new restaurant better.
"Originally, it was going to be a one- to two-month job," he said on Monday in the new Sheffield restaurant Bash Bish Brew & Que that he owns with his wife, Ana, and local dining scene mainstay, Jesse Watkins.
The three partners moved into the former Village on the Green pizza shop in the fall of 2015. The Olivieris have already had success in Sheffield with their Blue Door marketplace/café, which was the former PJ's on the south end of downtown. The original plan was a quick turnaround — a few coats of paint, some cleanup, and a quick reopening.
But that went out the window when Olivieri found the leak.
"There were layers upon layers of flooring that I pulled up," he said. "Underneath it all, there was this beautiful ashwood flooring."
The partners made the decision to put in the time, energy, and capital to fully strip the space and start from the floor up. Olivieri pulled up the flooring and refinished the floors, bringing them back to life.
Watkins faced the walls with brick and chemically treated the tin walls to rust them just enough. The wood for the tables and bar top came from Lee and Connecticut.
Local companies were used whenever possible. The bar's marble countertop was created by Rock Solid, a few miles north of the center of Sheffield. Great Barrington's Gilmore Heating and Plumbing hooked the site up for water, and Aloisi Electricians wired the site.
A year later, they're ready for their grand opening.
"We officially open Wednesday, but we had a soft opening this past weekend," Watkins said.
The low key weekend opening was a smash success, Watkins said. The restaurant seats 36, so places were hard to come by.
"Our only complaint was that we couldn't fit everyone," he said.
The team is looking to expand seating. The back yard may eventually be used for patio seating, Olivieri said.
For now, though, Watkins and the Olivieris are concentrating on making the restaurant work as it is and building a reputation for good food and a family-style atmosphere.
"We're looking forward to seeing everyone in the weeks and months to come," Watkins said.
Bash Bish Brew & Que is open Wednesday through Monday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. It is located at 113 South Main St. in the center of Sheffield.