The Bielers bought the downtown building for $500,000 and spent the next 18 months redoing the storefront and interior at an additional cost of $800,000. They retained the original flooring and brick side walls.
They actually raised the roof above the second floor by three feet. Bieler said that was done to give more overhead space to the gigantic showroom.
Bieler said when he bought the building, it had been vacant for at least a year.
“It was an eyesore, a disgrace. We took it from that and made it something worth looking at,” he said.
Bieler said he is pleased with what is happening in downtown Norman, where several businesses have been remodeling and new ones started.
“We have quite a few good eating places here,” Bieler said.
A few weeks ago, Bieler said 24 members of the Fort Worth astronomy club were visiting Norman and wanted to know a good local place to eat.
Bieler said, “We directed them to the Diner,” which they had heard of on the “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” TV show.
Bieler said he also is telling people about new eating places, like the Syrup Breakfast Boutique that opened across the street.
The Fort Worth club intends to come back for the grand opening and bring along twice as many people.
“Every third person we talk to says they are coming to the event. We will just have to see how many show up,” Bieler said.