Garage Life / Griot's Garage / History / Sweet Builds

A New Garage! Part 3: Rolling Up Our Sleeves


Anyone who’s had a project car in the garage knows that it takes a certain “vision” to imagine what is possible. In our case, Richard Griot is the man with the vision… and the project is our garage! In the last update we gave you the history of our new digs. Since then, Richard has put his ideas into motion and the work has begun!


Richard in his new garage.

The hope for the new Griot’s Garage headquarters has always been that it could be more than mere office space. Like Richard himself, everyone here is passionate about cars, and the building will reflect that feeling in every corner. Red, white, black, stainless steel… it’ll be fast sitting still!

Equally as important, the new Griot’s Garage will be a community destination. A place for car guys and gals to gather and share in this exciting hobby.

A vastly-expanded Retail Store will showcase more of the Car Care products, tools, garage goodies, and accessories that you have come to expect. A large Museum will house historic race cars and other automotive rarities. The Car Care School, where anyone can learn the secrets of pro detailers, will be comfortable, warm, and well-appointed.

Our already outstanding car shows and events will take on a concours feel, with dedicated space for enthusiasts to showcase their most prized possessions. The park-like show area will even be available to the community for hosting their own special automotive events.


An early elevation of the new Griot's Garage in Tacoma, WA


A 3D rendering of one proposed design.

Richard’s vision will take a bustling corner of Tacoma from run-down-blight to retro-bling. As he said in a recent Tacoma News Tribune article, “If you picture yourself back in the 1950s at a Texaco gas station – bright, white with red trim, that’s what we’re going for. Art deco type of look on steroids.”


The original wood building had to be removed.

Ok… time to put on our coveralls, gather some tools, and let the neighbors know it might be a little noisy at night. Let’s get to work in on the garage!

It became apparent early-on that the original 1912 wood building had suffered serious neglect and could not be saved. Kind of like finding a rotted firewall in the ’41 Chevy you just brought home. So, the structure was removed.

In the 1950 brick building, things were much as-left by the former resident. A neat discovery was that the old timber ceilings were in good shape, albeit under 60 years’ accumulation of paint and grime. It was blasted with corn cob media, revealing a beautiful wood surface. The design team will also leave many of the wood beams exposed, reminding us of the building’s heritage. Steel beams will be painted Griot’s Garage Red, making for a great contrast with the natural colors.


Before work started, looking from the future Museum toward the Retail Store.


A similar view now, with ceilings finished and wall framing underway.


Beautiful wood under the paint. Like finding a quarter in the couch cushions.

In-floor, hydronic heating tubes have been set in place. This system allows water to run through the tubes and heat the rooms from the floor up, providing a much more environmentally-positive energy use and reducing the amount of dust that conventional forced air heating gives. While not all areas of the building will be heated this way, the public areas and some work areas will be.


In-floor heating system in the future Retail Store area.

Most of the internal walls are framed and the electrical and data plans have been completed. New concrete slabs have been poured throughout. All the plumbing is in place and the new external walls are being built in the Retail Store and Car Care School areas. Coming right along!


The main office area during floor demolition.


The same area now, framed in with a fresh concrete floor.

Outside, the building has been painted, and is awaiting new multi-pane windows that are being custom built. Two new skylights/clearstories were added over the future Indy Cafe (employee break room) and the Customer Service Center. These two areas are internal so they have no windows. The clearstories will allow natural light into the building, further reducing energy usage and providing a nicer environment for the Associates.

That’s where it stands now, folks. We’re hammering out the dents on this barn find, getting things sorted for its big debut this spring. Keep watching for more updates on the build and pending festivities! Will you be here for the party?

Photo credit: 1
All others, courtesy Mark Greene, Joel Ballard, and Steve Kovach


  1. As someone in the architecture profession, it was interesting to read this post. A nice floor plan and maybe a couple of sections would be interesting to see! I’d love to see what other architectural features were cooked up just for Griot’s Garage =)

  2. Can’t wait to see the final product, but just as with any good auto restoration, getting there is half the fun! My only regret is Tennessee is a long way away from your building.

  3. Jennifer says:

    I am really excited to see the final product! I drove by the other day and it is looking good!

  4. Those ceilings are magnificent! What a find. And three cheers for being so eco-friendly in this build out! Goooo Griot’s!

  5. Be sure to send out a notice for the Grand Opening!!

  6. Joe Kruskamp says:

    Outstanding Work and Execution Richard!
    I hope that someday, even us in the Ford Pinto classic groups could venture up to see the place in Person! We promise to have our gas tank repairs in place =-)

    Highest regards,

    Joe (the Pintosopher) Kruskamp

  7. Very impressive! Love the wood! Can’t wait for a visit, say car show/detailers school weekend?

  8. Can’t wait to see the garage when it’s done. I assume there will be big party?

  9. Dave Abel says:

    As a long time customer I hope to see this great new location when it’s finished. Best of luck to you Richard and to your entire staff in your new future location!

  10. justin odaniel says:

    It was to see all the concret truck running in and out of the building

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *