Garage Life / Griot's Garage / Sweet Builds

A New Garage! Part 4: Momentum


If you’ve ever restored or customized a car, you know there’s a tipping point where the project just takes off. Plans have been refined and committed to memory, the vision is clear, and the tedious groundwork has been laid. It’s a satisfying time. Every night when you turn out the garage lights, you’ve made real, tangible progress.

In our last installment, we shared a couple architectural renderings. Here’s the latest, showing more of the landscaping and some of the exterior details that will give this building a 1950s gas station feel. Be sure to click the image to see it in full-resolution!


Yep, our barn find is a beehive of activity right now. Everyone involved knows his job and is getting after it with speed and focus. Oh, and it probably doesn’t hurt that Richard Griot is often down there in a hard hat, making sure the details are up to Griot’s Garage standards.

Custom, multi-pane windows are being fitted. These will provide much greater thermal efficiency than the old glass and, trimmed in Griot’s Garage Red, also look pretty slick.


New windows as seen from 38th Street.


Windows inside the future Creative Office, looking out to 38th.

In many parts of the building, windows are being enlarged, or created where none existed before. The offices and public areas will be full of light… essential in our gray, Pacific Northwest winters (and sure to be spectacular in our sunny summers).


This office will be getting a new window where before there were only bricks.


The same window 1 week later. Framing and sheathing are happening quickly.


These former loading doors will be converted to large windows.

We are adding two “clearstory” skylights to the building, in order to provide natural light to rooms with no exterior windows. This is one set, located in the future Indy Cafe (break room and food service area). You can also see the two clearstories on the architectural rendering above.


New skylights will flood the Indy Cafe with sunlight.

The next two photos, taken just a week apart, show the great progress being made in the expansive public areas. In the second photo, the area just beyond the first framed wall will house the museum, where visitors can check out historic race cars and other automotive rarities. Beyond the second framed wall, the large Retail Store and Car Care School will make their new homes. Note, too, that the metal beams have received a first coat of Griot’s Garage Red.



The public areas are really starting to become defined.

The office area in the next photo will take on a distinctive gas station feel. The concrete floor will be raised four inches and radiant-heated. The metal “curb” will be painted Griot’s Garage Red.


This concrete form will remain after the pour and be painted red.

This concrete form will remain after the pour and be painted red.

Well, that’s the latest! We hope you’re having fun following along with this build as much as we’re enjoying bringing it to you. The new Griot’s Garage will be a place for car guys and gals to gather, and we intend to share it every step of the way. Keep watching for more updates!

Photos courtesy of the Author and Gregory Gulley.


  1. I like it that the passion that you have for your business really shows in the new place. Looks like a vacation destination.

    • Thanks Boyd! It’s going to be much more than a vacation destination… Envision yourself and the entire family camping out on the concours field for three months while you sample everyone of our products and check into the car care school for month long classes!!!

  2. I was actually thinking I need to make a vacation trip up there and see it once it’s done.

    It is really coming along nicely and looks great!

  3. When is the grand opening and what sort of event is planned?

  4. Hey – where are the car shows going to be held?
    You know, important things first 🙂

  5. I’m a local and in Tacoma once a week. This is 38th and ……? I can’t wait to see this when it’s done.

    • Craig, the building is at 38th and Lawrence. Drive by every once in awhile and I think you’ll start to see big changes!

  6. Jim Stott says:

    Wonderful dedication and progress to fabulous enterprise. I volunteer as a Docent at Le May Automobile Museum in Tacoma. The new Griot’s Garage will be a wonderful addition to the automotive scene in the South Sound. Congratulations and keep up the good work!

    Thanks and take care,

    Jim Stott

  7. The only bad thing about the new location is that it will be further away from the Fife, Washington office of Bally Technologies. I try to stop at the Griot’s Garage store whenever I go to the Costco next door.

    Of course the new location will have quite a bit more to see so it will be worth the trip.

    Do not confuse me with the Bruce who works at the Bally office in Fife. I’m the Bruce that just visits from time to time!

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