Seabees helping create new family-friendly restaurant at Sasebo
November 3, 2004
SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — The Seabees detachment temporarily deployed here is helping to create a new family-friendly, casual restaurant in the Galaxies Club by enclosing the open-air ground floor parking deck.
The Seabees of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Detachment 133 started the project on Aug. 26 and should finish the first week of December, according to Petty Officer 1st Class Lu Taylor, leading petty officer on the project.
Once the walls are in place and the ground floor enclosed, the Morale, Welfare and Recreation department will take over.
The restaurant will seat approximately 100 customers in an 1,800-square-foot dining area. It will feature a menu borrowing from various cuisines, said MWR Club coordinator Ken Taylor in an interview Monday.
“We learned from a recent Center of Excellence survey (Navy quality-of-life survey) that Galaxies Club customers wanted the family-friendly restaurant instead of the combination bar and restaurant on the second deck,” Ken Taylor said. “The atmosphere up there is basically that of a bar.”
The Galaxies Club is a popular all-ranks MWR facility with a large bar and gaming area on the second deck; the restaurant serves mostly quick favorites including hamburgers, pizza and tacos.
The third deck includes another large bar, a dance floor and a stage for live entertainment.
The new restaurant is estimated to open in January 2006. A scaled-down version of the current second-floor restaurant will remain in operation, the club coordinator said.
“We wanted to try something a little different. This will be a place where younger enlisted can come and bring their families. We’ll leave the elegant dining to our Harbor View Club. But it won’t be a fast-food restaurant either,” he said.
Taylor added that MWR has not settled on a name for the restaurant, or a theme for décor, but did say the varied menu will feature stone-oven cooking and rotisserie chicken and ribs.
“There’ll still be some of the mainstays and deep-fried options people are accustomed to, but we also wanted to offer some decent, healthier choices,” he said. “For instance, along with pizza cooked in the stone ovens, we’ll have piadina, which is sort of like salad enclosed in pizza dough.”
The Seabees soon head back to their home station in Gulfport, Miss., and take with them experience in a wall-building technique they seldom use.
“Most of the concrete we pour is horizontal, like curbs and walkways poured into a form,” said Lu Taylor. “This is the first vertical pour I’ve done.”
The project involves building the walls along the south, east and north sides of the ground level deck.
“The walls are about 74 feet on the south side, 76 on the east and about 40 across the north facing the street. Each one is about 13 feet high,” Lu Taylor said.
The Seabees build a grid-like rebar where the walls will be and then erect wood framework, or form work, on either side of the rebar. Then they pour concrete between the forms; the rebar serves to support the concrete like a skeleton.
The forms come down after the concrete has set — about eight days after being poured — and then it takes about a month to dry, or “cure,” he said.
“The thing is, you can’t pour concrete more than four feet. More than that, and it begins to separate. So we pour into the small windows cut into the forms at four feet, then in small windows four feet higher, and so on,” Lu Taylor said.
“In all, these walls will be made from about eight or nine full loads from concrete trucks,” he added.
During Typhoon Tokage, some of the wooden formwork already in place was knocked out of alignment, and had to be re-leveled and reset, he said.
“This is a good learning experience for us,” he said.