EPISODE 67 | Relationship-Powered Renovations at Whiskey Bar Kitchen

Reading Time: 3 minutes

In the heart of Downtown Augusta, Georgia, the highly acclaimed Whiskey Bar Kitchen offers an extensive menu of craft burgers and Japanese fare, with a full bar containing over 200 whiskies sourced around the world. But when a helping hand is needed, it’s the people and relationships that really bring Whiskey Bar Kitchen to life.

These connections paid dividends when owners and brothers Kenny and Bobby Morrison called on a trusted electrician and friend — and, in turn, his go-to wholesale supplier and daughter — to help resolve electrical issues.

Issues and interruptions

Opened in 2012, Whiskey Bar Kitchen has built a reputation for excellence in Augusta. When electrical issues began interrupting daily business, the Morrison brothers turned to someone familiar with the situation: Richard Costello, owner and CEO of Lite Electric.

“Bobby and Kenny are good friends of mine, and I’ve been doing all their electrical service work,” explained Costello. “They were having issues with things tripping and coolers not working right, and we tried to manage some of it, but finally, it got to the point where we had to fix everything.”

With that, a plan was set in motion that would result in a quick turnaround for upgraded electrical infrastructure.

Family ties

For Costello, there’s one electrical wholesale supplier that stands out from the rest: City Electric Supply (CES), specifically the Aiken branch that his daughter manages.

“CES Aiken got involved with this project through Richard with Lite Electric. He’s one of our customers, but I also have a family relationship with him as he’s my bonus father,” explained Branch Manager Sammie Thomas.

“Lite Electric and CES Aiken have a great working relationship. They can get me the material on time. They deliver from Aiken to Augusta for me, and they just do a wonderful job,” said Costello.

Working together

“We provided the materials for this project — breakers, electrical metallic tubing (EMT), conduit, fittings, and miscellaneous items,” noted Thomas.

But with a quick turnaround time, getting the needed materials together was a collaborative effort within the City Electric Supply network.

“We worked with other branches and vendors to source the materials needed for Lite Electric. The timeframe for this renovation was about four weeks, and we did our best to get everything here for that,” Thomas recalls.

In addition to gathering materials, there was a lot of upfront work that needed to be done by Lite Electric. Costello’s company calculated the load of the building to inform the size of the service needed. “We had to get with the power company, run conduit and pull wire, reset panels… It was a big project for Whiskey Bar Kitchen,” he said.

A big project, indeed. Lite Electric and City Electric Supply did all they could to do the work with as little interruption to the restaurant’s daily operations as possible.

“We didn’t want to close the restaurant down, so we would come in here first thing in the morning and do what we could until 10:00 a.m., then come back the next day,” Costello recalls.

Smooth operations

After doubling the amp service, replacing breakers, and making other upgrades to Whiskey Bar Kitchen’s electrical system, business at the restaurant is smoother than ever, and all parties involved are thrilled with the outcome.

“Whiskey Bar Kitchen has had no issues. Everything is working perfectly now, and they’re doing great,” said Costello.

Taking a glance around the restaurant, Thomas shared: “My favorite part of watching these upgrades come to life is the end result. I mean, look where we are right now. It’s beautiful. If you’re ever in the Downtown Augusta area, you should definitely stop by Whiskey Bar Kitchen and get a drink.”

We definitely will.

Sign up for our top stories and latest industry news

Sign Up

Start typing and press Enter to search