text: Ice Cream Factory
Tubby Robot Ice Cream Factory is
CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION
and is located at
4369 Main Street
Philadelphia, PA
September 24, 2016

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 greys!

The blues and greens!

The reds!

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.

September 14, 2016

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.

September 09, 2016

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.

September 01, 2016

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".

August 24, 2016

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.

August 15, 2016

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.

August 10, 2016

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.

August 05, 2016

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.

August 02, 2016

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.


This piece weighs over 800lb. Steel workers are apparently unconcerned supermen, they moved it into place by hand.


A post is installed inside the alley wall.


A hand-powered lift is used to place a facade beam.


That thing gets pretty high!


Once lifted, the beam is bolted into its final position.


The beams running along the ceiling will be visible inside the finished shop. In both form and function, this will be an ice cream factory.


Transom windows will be built between these beams. We've heard that natural light is something people tend to enjoy.


Our seating will run along these perimeter of these plate walls.


The steel plate will be visible outside as the lower portion of the new facade.

June 24, 2016

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.