The Clinic That Craig(slist) Built

Kinga and I met in October, after I went to a Dr. Tan seminar she was attending, looking for an acupuncturist. Dr. Tan is an acupuncture rockstar.

After we agreed to work together, we looked for the right place for 5 months, starting in November/December. There was a place down the street from my work in Wicker Park that had potential. However, it was too small and noisy. We looked for 5 months for an alternative.

Everything had something wrong.  Too noisy. Up some stairs so some people can’t get to us. Behind a locked door with a buzzer. Not big enough. Way too big. No foot traffic. Bad neighborhood. Next to a restaurant where gang members hang out, etc.

We finally found our place on Craigslist at the end of March 2012. It was a former Bank of America ATM location until Bank of America opened a full branch a block and a half away. Only the very front tiled area with glass windows was used. Before that was a video rental place – you can still see “slat wall” on one side of the clinic where our brochures are hanging.

The lease was signed in April. Then we started 7 weeks of construction and painting, including a week and a half delay when we found out all the electric wires were pulled out of the walls. Fortunately PPM Apartments (our landlord) has great guys who came in and figured the electric out for us.

Before we started it was all basically drywall, dust, ugly metal ducts and even uglier hanging fluorescent lights. It looked like this:

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What we had to do to make it ready:

  • Patch all the holes in the drywall. It was pretty unbelievable how many there were.
  • Paint the ceiling, including using special paint called “dryfall” to paint the ductwork.
  • Paint every single wall.
  • Install a floating floor in the back room over the concrete.
  • Strip the wood floor in front of two layers of tile and linoleum.  (This was the worst part, we rented a machine to do this, but it wasn’t strong enough to lift it up)
  • Sand the wood floor to remove the tile gunk.
  • Stain the floor and applied polyurethane (it took two weeks just to do this floor!)
  • Install a new bathroom, including tile, light fixtures, a new toilet and new bathroom sink
  • Replace all of the ugly fluorescent lights with halogen fixtures from IKEA
  • Then replace the halogen bulbs (they get hot!) with LEDs.  
  • Installed carpeting.
  • Paint/stain baseboards and installed them.

And, off Craigslist, we bought:

  • 14 chairs (5 with footstools)
  • Three desks
  • An armoire
  • A mini fridge
  • A water cooler
  • 5 storeroom shelves
  • A cabinet for supplies
  • Two really nice DVD cabinets (used for herbs)
  • Two stands for holding needles/supplies
  • A stereo system
  • Wireless speakers for in back
  • A cabinet for stereo
  • Nice shelves for reception
  • A glass top side table

We even found our handyman on Craigslist to put in the bathroom tiles and install the baseboards.

Without Craigslist, we wouldn’t have been able to start this clinic!