Garage Life / Griot's Garage / Sweet Builds

A New Garage! Part 6: Rounding the Bend

You’ve had projects in your garage, so you know… There comes a time in every build where the finished product is in sight. Idea has transformed to rendering has transformed to reality. Just over a month ago, we showed you the progress on our barn find build and asked you to use your imagination. Now, you won’t have to.

Exterior, Front

When you pull in to the Griot’s Garage building, you’ll be welcomed by a spacious parking lot, a dedicated ramp leading to the climate-controlled Car Care School, and a wide staircase to the Retail Store. Don’t worry, you won’t miss our building… just look for the 20×30-foot American Flag waving out front!

Posts were installed for a canopy. Landscaping retaining walls were formed.

Walls, steps, and sidewalks were poured. The sign framework was erected.

A nice retaining wall detail, formed with foam that was later removed.

Sidewalks are very broad. These bay doors lead to the Car Care School.

The Retail Store entrance. Picture yourself walking through these doors soon!

The "traffic circle" curbs at the main entrance were formed...

And a 70-foot flagpole was prepared for installation.

Before raising the pole, Richard and a few lucky employees signed the top.

Six smaller poles line the ring. Checkered and Griot's Garage flags will top these.

Old Glory will be visible from quite a distance!

Exterior, Back

In its former life as a Coca-Cola bottling plant, this part of the building served as loading docks for the big rigs. For Griot’s Garage, all but one of those bay doors were converted to large windows, and one was reserved as a cargo door for deliveries and shipments. This side of the bulding will play host to car shows and other special events.

The back of the building has been given new life with floor-to-ceiling windows.

Retaining walls will hold a wrap-around walkway and landscaping.

Exterior, Lawrence Street Side

Separate roll-up garage doors will provide restricted, drive-in access to the automotive display area and photo shoot areas from Lawrence Street. A large pillar will bisect this long wall, providing a visual break and a structure for one of three large, neon-lit Griot’s Garage signs. A new sidewalk and curb have also been poured here.

The new Lawrence Street sidewalk is almost complete.

These details (Richard calls them "cargoyles") are spaced around the exterior.

Exterior, 38th Street Side

Tacoma’s 38th Street is a well-travelled thoroughfare. Home to every kind of retail, food service, and specialty shop imaginable, Griot’s Garage will be another destination for the vital area. Our main parking lot entrance branches from 38th, and our building will be highly visible with neon signage (and the aformentioned awesome flag).

For the signage structure, a considerable footing was poured.

The steel beams were then moved into place, ready to accept the sign.

Interior, Retail Store

Sure, you’ll be able to restock all your favorite Car Care products and see the latest tools, accessories, and garage goodies here. But our flagship Retail Store and Car Care School will be more than just a shop. It will be a community gathering place, somewhere you’ll want to hang out… mission control for car-guys!

A view of the Retail Store during framing...

And the same view now, with drywall, paint, flooring, and lighting done. Wow!

Some unique and innovative details were framed out at ceiling-height.

Those details were finished nicely to add to the "50's gas station" feel.

Interior, Offices

From its days as a two-person shop run out of Richard Griot’s own garage, our business has enjoyed a very steady growth rate. That’s all thanks to you, our valued customers. Well, the new headquarters gives us room to stretch our legs and continue striving for the perfection you’ve come to expect!

With walls done and painted, it's hard to imagine this space as it once was.

These cubicles are large enough to house two desks each. Room to grow!

The same cubicle row a month later, carpet, lighting, and finish work done.

Offices are carpeted in Griot's Red (of course) and flooded with light.

The copy/print room painted, and carpeted. Only one thing missing...

There, that's better!

Interior, Restrooms

When sharing the progress of a construction project, many businesses would not choose to highlight the restrooms. You know by now, though, Richard Griot is overlooking no detail in this build. From floor-to-ceiling tilework, to Griot’s Red laminates, these normally “utilitarian” rooms are anything but!

Red, black, and stainless. Even on drinking fountains, this combo looks fast!

Is this a 5-star hotel wash room? Nope, it's Griot's Garage.

Tile work has been completed in the stall area. Floor to (nearly) ceiling.

The stall doors are engraved with "pit stop" numbers.

Interior, Customer Service Call Center

We pride ourselves on customer service that exceeds expectations, and our call center is the vital link between you and the automotive products you love. Whether placing an order or simply asking a question, a call to Griot’s Garage puts you through to the best in the business… our Customer Service Associates!

The cubicle walls were drywalled and taped. Clearstories provide great light.

Walls have been painted, carpet laid, and fixtures hung.

Cubicle walls are topped with these great red and black laminate details.

Interior, Indy Cafe/Employee Break Room

Richard’s vision for a 1950s-look building is finding its ultimate outlet here. Clearstory windows flood the room with light. A large kitchen area is trimmed in atomic-era laminates and “metal-flake” textiles. Retro light fixtures hang over diner-style booths. Yep, the Indy is shaping up to be one heckuva car-guy hangout.

A month ago, the space was just getting drywalled and painted.

Now, the flooring is installed, and the furniture is moving in!

This ceiling structure really defines the kitchen space.

Light fixtures were hung, then covered to protect them from paint spray.

Booths were installed and are awaiting tables.

Red and white glitter vinyl covers all the booths and stools.

Interior, Automotive Display Area

The display area will be a real showcase for all kinds of interesting and rare automotive machinery. Located just off the Retail Store, this big space will be clean, polished, and filled with natural light. Best of all, it will be open to the public… So plan your visit soon after the grand opening!

The walls were framed, insulated, and sheathed.

The area was then drywalled, taped, and painted.

Finish details like these black-painted pipes really bring it all together.

Thanks for following along with our barn find build! It’s truly amazing to look back through the older photos and see how this project has progressed. We look forward to moving in to our new garage very soon… and inviting you down for the party. Stay tuned!


  1. Wow. This “Griother Half” wants to move in too!

    • Holy cow, guys! This is so exciting! I’ll be in for a visit pretty soon. To all my Griot’s buddies: GREAT JOB!

  2. absolutely CANNOT wait!!

    I hear you can see the flag from Hwy 16 😀

  3. Where’s all the network wiring! 🙂

  4. Grahnasaurus says:

    I heard that Richard and Mark wont actually ever be in the offices, but instead will work the cafe; Hiring body doubles to do their day-to-day office tasks.

  5. Adam 356 says:

    Guys, this is a dream come true… I wish you luck, but I don’t think you’ll need it!

  6. Looks GREAT…can’t wait til it’s all done.
    Looking forward to opening day…

  7. Just let me know when I can pull my truck in out of the rain and get caught up.

  8. I can’t wait for this to get done!! You’ve come a long way since Jason gave me a tour back in February!!!

    I need to call Jason so we can schedule the “Italian Gathering” down there in July!!!!


  9. So, where is the Mother-in-Law going to stay? Where is her room???

  10. Need to know the party date ASAP so I can plan a boondoggle, scratch that, I mean a *business trip* to the Sound so I can have the company cover my travel expenses. That way I’ll have some coin left to buy some goodies. Always more fun than having them shipped from the Plainfield warehouse.

    • Richard,
      I know you can’t wait for the doors to open, and neither can I.
      See you Tuesday.

  11. Richard, things are sure shaping up nicely. Seeing this project come together is exciting for me, I can only begin to imagine how exciting it must be for you. I know a few businesses in the area that have had thier bout with theft over the years. Including repeated success in vehicles driving through thier roll up doors. I just want to make sure all the Griot goodies are sfae and sound 😉

    See you soon, my son Enzo is nearly ready fro his first visit to Griot’s and I think we’ll hold out until you open the new doors!



  12. Stopped by the new digs today. Took some pictures of the progress. Guys it’s looking great. The foreman told me that Richard is down there every day pointing out details that need attention. He said he won’t have a punch list to complete when the job is done. Looking forward to May 1st and the first club event at the new facility.

    Mike Ellis,President
    BMW CCA Puget Sound Region

  13. I cannot WAIT for this to get done so we can all hang and talk cars and purchase stuff and…anyway, I’m really stoked and very happy for you guys to have a great new place. Good job – what an amazing place this is going to be!

    Geez. I may have to quit my job and come work for you guys! I’d dig it.


  14. Michelle C. says:

    I just can’t believe after all this time, hearing the excitement in Richard’s voice everytime he mentioned his idea for his ultimate garage in our meetings, that it is finally coming true. HOW EXCITING! Actually, I do believe it, he had such a confident vision for this that it had to happen. Its awesome that Richard stuck to his guns, did what he needed to do to make it happen. From the pics it looks phenominal and Im so bummed that I cant fly out to share in all the excitment with ya’ll!


  15. Bruce Rockwell says:

    Mark, it’s fantastic! I can’t wait till Tuesday, I’ll be there.

  16. New home looks amazing…Cannot wait to bring myself and the car up to indulge!

  17. The finishing details on your new building is fantastic. Its these small details that will really set it off from everything else. Outstanding!

    Best of luck on your upcoming opening.

  18. This place is amazing!!

  19. Ken Block says:

    I want to take the seminar to use the products when my wife & I are there to see Pam & Angelo.

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