What does "ground up" mean? Should I consider "build up" as a phrasal verb?
Great question. The phrase "from the ground up" is idiomatic and means from the beginning; starting with the basics, foundation, or fundamentals. It is meant to convey the image of creating a structure, such as a building. The "ground" is the foundation, and "up" refers to adding to that foundation until the project is complete. The meaning is to do something completely, starting with the most basic and adding all the details. So in this case, it lets us know that he has create this restaurant from the very beginning. The phrase is an analogy and can be applied to tasks that cover a wide range of activities, including things that have no physical components. "Build up" is a phrasal verb and is used the same as build. Ex: Don’t allow resentment to build up between you and your partner. Ex: These exercises are good for building up leg strength.