We were interviewed for a great article in Manayunk Magazine's summer issue, which just hit the presses this week. Stop by and check it out, or read it online! Our piece starts on page 36.
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|Thursday||12pm - 9pm|
|Friday||12pm - 9pm|
|Saturday||12pm - 9pm|
Space Invaders was released in 1978 and is one of the earliest shooting games ever created. The attacking alien fleet moves faster as it shrinks due entirely to the fact that the original hardware could render the movements of fewer aliens more quickly.
We're choosing between two vertical shmup ( "shoot 'em up" ) games for WALL-O-VISION this week: 1942 and Raiden. Vote for your favorite here!
Today we debut a new flavor of ice cream AND a limited-edition sundae: this one is for all the mint lovers out there.
Earn a merit badge in deliciousness with our "Cookie Season" sundae! A scoop of Chocolate Mint Chocolate is paired with hot fudge, cookie crumbles, and a Milano cookie.
I'd make a thinly veiled reference to a particular mint cookie, but I fear I'd lose brownie points.
Here at the Factory, there's only one thing that we like as much as we like ice cream -- video games! We knew right away that we'd want to incorporate honest-to-goodness playable video games in our ice cream parlor.
This was a challenging prospect, however, due to the limitations of our available space. Our building's interior width spans 8'10", so large-scale installations ( such as traditional full-sized arcade hardware ) were out of the question. Fortunately, we managed to come up with a system that makes use of the exterior itself as a display. We call this system Wall-O-Vision.
Utilizing a custom-built projection installation, we can now beam arcade images from inside the building onto the adjacent alley wall. While sitting inside the shop, you can play games using our homemade joysticks. We have two screens and four joysticks, allowing us to facilitate up to four players going head-to-head at any given time.
We plan on changing our featured games on a weekly basis, so be sure to check back frequently. If you have any requests, let us know! We just might make it a future "game of the week".
Spring is nearly here, and this one promises to be particularly memorable. Our freezers are filled with painstakingly-crafted ice cream, our refrigerator is stocked with from-scratch sauce, and our waffle maker is hungry for action.
We're ecstatic to announce that The Tubby Robot Ice Cream Factory will officially open on Sunday, March 19th, at high noon.
We can't wait to share it with all of you.
Can't wait that long? We're having a special sneak preview tomorrow, February 26, from noon to 4pm. Stop on by and check it out!
The factory is looking a little frostier than usual today. Stay safe out there, folks!
Inside, we're filling up the freezers in preparation for our long-awaited opening. After another day or two of churning, we should have all the ice cream we need -- until you guys eat it all. Then we'll probably have to make more.
The question we get most frequently is "WHEN? WHEN WILL YOU BE OPEN? OH HOW IT BURNS, THE NOT KNOWING!" We've gone from answering with a broad "We're not sure, but we're working on it!" to a more assured "Very soon! It's a matter of weeks now!"
As we prepare for our opening ( currently scheduled for the 18th of "when it's done!" ), we're finding ourselves diving into a wide variety of different tasks. Today we're flexing some of our interdisciplinary muscle and soldering together custom wireless joysticks.
These joysticks will allow you to play games on WALL-O-VISION, the unique gaming system built just for our shop. Once they're done, we'll share some details about how exactly it works.
At the same time, we're experimenting with combining ice cream with pineapple bread pudding because that seems like a pretty great way to spend an afternoon to us.
Ladies and gentlemen: we are ecstatic to share that this is the final week of buildout at the shop. The time between now and your first Tubby Robot sundae experience is shrinking at a discomfiting rate.
The exterior signage was installed today, and we hope Tubby's gleeful visage brightened the mood of Main Street travelers on an otherwise gloomy day.
Our sign has two components: 1) the aluminum logo art mounted high and 2) the three-dimensional "ICE CREAM FACTORY" lettering mounted on the lower beam. The lettering is internally illuminated and has some dandy inline cutouts that really emphasize the individual glyphs.
Our signs were fabricated and installed by the fine folks at Urban Neon, who were a pleasure to work with throughout the entire process.
Inside, the finishes have all been applied. Take note of the woodwork on the walls and around the windows; we think our friends at Deily Contractors did a fantastic job.
If you're local, you might be interested in the fact that we've been churning out test batches of ice cream all week. If you happen to stop by to chat while we're in there, there's a good chance you can finagle a delicious sneak preview. Don't tell anyone, though! It's a secret.
It's hard to believe, but we're just a week or two away from the end of buildout! Finishes are now being applied both inside and out, and we have heat and hot water flowing throughout the building.
The tilework has been grouted, and wooden trim elements have been installed.
The front of the shop has been outfitted with transom windows, which will prove integral to the forthcoming Wall-O-Vision™ game stations -- we'll have more on those later.
Outside, the upper marquee has been faced and is ready to receive lighting and signage.
The kitchen is slowly filling with equipment, including a wide variety of refrigeration and -- most importantly -- our new batch freezer. We should be churning out our first test batches of ice cream next week!
The architectural centerpiece of our renovation was installed today! This corner-wrapping window will serve as our sole seating area while letting in a great deal of coveted natural light.
These window panes are 100% removable, so we'll be letting in fresh air along with the light when the temperature is pleasant. As a side effect we'll very likely be releasing the tantalizing scent of fresh belgian waffles to Main Street at large, a situation for which we apologize in advance to anyone on a strict dietary regimen.
In the back of the shop, our kitchen buildout is nearing completion. We're scheduled to start receiving equipment next week that'll fill up a large portion of the usable space.
All three of the tile mosaics have been completed, and two of them have been mounted to the wall. You can also see that our stainless steel counters have arrived; we can't wait to wipe the construction debris off of them and line them with toppings.
Here's the process we're using to create the pixel tile mosaics for our incredible ice cream shop. This is the creation of a single 12" square panel; there are 60 panels in all.
I'm not using any performance enhancing drugs; this video is just playing at 12X speed.
There's a lot going on at the shop simultaneously, so we'll share a quick overview of the week's work:
There are now functioning doors on the building, which means we have honest-to-goodness keys to the shop.
All of our major masonry projects were completed this week, which included filling a ton of holes on the interior and the gaping tears on the exterior.
The ceiling insulation was treated and painted a lovely shade of gunmetal grey.
Kitchen tile installation is nearly complete! This will likely be the first finished space in the building.
In mosaic news, we've received a shipment of nearly 11,000 various glass tiles. These had to be separated from paper backing and sorted, resulting in a floor-spanning spectrum.
The blues and greens!
Mosaic assembly has begun, and we'll be at it for at least two weeks. We don't want to make any hasty calls, but we're getting the feeling that these are going to look pretty amazing.
As we write this post, the shop's ceilings and walls are being coated with spray foam insulation. This is one of the last steps before we can start applying finishes to the interior, so it's a pretty good time to share some of our decor-based plans with you.
We've been itching to build some video game-inspired mosaics ever since we started this crazy project. Now that the final measurements are locked in, we've been able to design three separate mosaics for our biggest open wall.
Once mounted, the pieces will be surrounded by subway tile and separated by wood trim.
These mosaics will be built with 3/4" glass tiles and will measure approximately 54" x 40". That's pretty dang big!
Each mosaic has been lovingly designed as an homage to a specific game. Can you name the inspiration for all three? Hint: They were all originally released for the Super NES.
With all the plumbing and electrical work roughed in, it's officially carpentry season! Our counter tops have been built and they're getting sent off to be wrapped in stainless steel.
Prep work for the incoming windows is underway, and we've officially taken down our construction barrier so everyone on Main Street can see what we're up to.
Next week we'll get to close up all of the utilities and start putting some finishes up. There is going to be a LOT of tile.
To save precious space inside the shop, we planned to install an external heating and cooling system on the roof. One thing we weren't sure of, however, was how exactly we'd get such a large piece of equipment up on such a narrow perch.
The answer, it turns out, was a massive crane. Thanks, massive crane!
This guy obviously has a deep trust in the process.
This thing could have easily lifted our HVAC unit above buildings twice the size of these.
Now, it sits upon our tiny roof.
Inside the shop, the electricity and ethernet lines are being run.
These particular receptacles will power our menu boards. By "menu boards", I do of course mean "LCD monitors mounted to the wall".
This week our major masonry projects are just about finished up. The most striking of these are the textured block columns that surround the doorway, which wrap the steel posts with a defiant "come at me bro" air of impenetrability. These columns will allow us to install a door (startled gasp) sometime next week, which should prove to be a great boon to the shop's business success.
The windows have been framed, and we hope to have glass coming in shortly. If cartoons have taught us anything, this means we'll have to keep a stern eye out for baseball-playing youths on nearly every future sunny day.
Just in time for the region's first wave of pleasant autumnal weather, our HVAC system is being installed! The spiral ductwork will be exposed; it is metal and therefore looks rad.
In our last update, you may have noticed that the exterior corner wall was surrounded by a rather deep trench. Now, that trench has been filled and topped with a handsome curb, reducing the population of ankle-hungry holes on the property by 100%.
Today also saw the completion of parapet wall framing, which will pave the way for our roofing crew to complete their work on top of the building.
Inside, the walls are being chipped down and refaced, which is probably one of the most visually transformative interior events we've had thus far. Every day, this thing starts to more closely resemble an honest-to-goodness building.
We have three distinct teams working in the shop today: carpentry, concrete, and plumbing. Our general contractor Tim Deily has been putting his carpentry chops to work building the counters from which we will prepare THE BEST ICE CREAM YOU'VE EVER TASTED.
If you close your eyes, you can just about smell the waffles and hot fudge.
This is a look at what you'll see when you first enter the building. The back of the shop will probably *not* be a pitch black void, but we're still feeling that one out.
Now that the steel has been installed, our crew is building the wood framing that will support everything else. With the construction wall down, we can get our first feel for how the shop will look to pedestrians on Main Street.
Standing inside the building, you can really appreciate the new open facade.
The next major phase of buildout is underway! We now have an unyielding frame of bulletproof steel to serve two important purposes: 1) support a fully-openable corner window and 2) look really cool.
Those of you who have visited Main Street in the past week have probably noticed the temporary sign attached to our temporary wall. I know at very least a few hundred people have seen it; traffic to our website sprang up as if to testify to the unholy power of advertising.
We're planning on starting our new structural steelwork next week. In the meantime, I have a photo of our permanent sign to share from our friends at Urban Neon. It's a precision-cut piece of aluminum, digitally printed with our favorite ice cream-eating robot.
Our friends at D+D Concrete finished demolishing the existing facade today. There are no longer any walls on the front of the building, because walls are for chumps.
This new arrangement really lets the natural light in.
We began preliminary work grafting an entirely new face onto the shop, but plans were scrapped due to an inordinate number of crying children distracting the crew.
Next up will be the new steelwork!
Last week, the final segment of our concrete floor was poured. You can see that the front of the shop is the lowest point (ideal for a no-step entrance), followed by a short ramp for restroom entry and three steps after that for admittance to the kitchen.
This week is all about demolition. We're tearing down the exterior walls on the front of the building to make way for the incoming wrap-around window.
To maintain structural integrity in the face of, uh, wall-lessness, the roof of the building has been shored with a lattice of temporary beams.
Don't worry about the old walls -- they seem to be pretty happy about the prospect of being eradicated.
I don't know about you guys, but I for one am really excited to see this orange stucco get smashed to pieces.
It's a generally accepted practice to prepare ice cream in a kitchen with a floor.
I casually tested the waters on this matter while in the health inspector's office. Playing it unbelievably cool, I wondered out loud, "Sure, non-porous floors are great, but I bet it would be ALMOST as code compliant to cook above piles of construction debris." The sharp look the clerk gave me told me everything I needed to know: floors are a required kitchen element AND my sunglasses look really awesome.
Today the fine folks at D&D Concrete started pouring our new floors, and they're looking fantastic.
Incidentally, I decided to make a poster for D&D Concrete.
Once the floors have been poured, facade demolition will begin!