one year

coming up on our one year anniversary at the restaurant. piano bar is slamming. food is slamming. my feet always hurt, and this is the hardest job ever…but looking back at the past year, today is easier than it was three months ago, six months ago, a year ago….another 14 years to go perhaps?

functions with lots of people

It’s was crazy. One of my Friday bartenders went with me to a fundraiser tonight…it was a tasting event, filled with 25 restaurants and liquor vendors, all with tables for folks to come and taste their food. Despite our 7 page menu, I merely took one dessert.  It’s the dessert at the top of our menu, the one that has the description that says only “speaks for itself”.

Yes, it was something chocolate.

At first, the two hundred and something people walked through the doors and walked right by us because they wanted to eat the other food before dessert, they kind of crinkled their nose at the thought of it at that moment….

…and then when it was dessert time, a few tried it….we sent about ten of them out into the room and suddenly there was a swarm….a huge swarm of them….and then, it was gone.

200 plus desserts gone, in a half hour.

I didn’t tell them that I spent four hours baking it all this morning. I didn;t even tell them that I was the one who made it. I doubt they cared, because all they cared about was how good it was.

That made me feel pretty damn good. Like I am doing something right.

where your feet hurt

running a restaurant and bar, is 24-7. add children to the mix (which are also 24-7) and you have a 48  hour day.

and no matter what, at the end of the day, my feet hurt like crazy

we are going into our 10th month and we are exceeding our summer sales in the dead of winter, which I find a blessing. the winter kills you here, but for us, it has given us confidence that we will survive them each year….we have this year.

i think what I know is that no matter what, and no matter what shoes I am wearing, my body will still hurt at the end of every day and my feet will kill.

I do paperwork and bills and liquor inventory and ordering on Mondays, Tuesdays we are closed and it’s our “day off” which really means, we work all day until the girls are out of school and then we stop working and try to spend the evening not talking about work….

On Wednesdays I do more paperwork and some marketing stuff, I bake all the desserts and make the salad dressings on Thursdays. Fridays I do everything I didn’t quite get done the whole week, including maybe, some laundry.

I rarely clean my house.

Sunday night is date night. J doesn’t play the piano aside from an hour at four for kids (kids piano bar!)…and then we sit and have some drinks (my kids are with their dad on Sundays) and some dinner and listen to the acoustic musicians we hire in on Sunday nights. Who are fabulous.

I love how my kids love being there. I am teaching my ten year old, Red, to make the Tiramisu. My 8 year old, Blue, likes to set up the front of the house, but only if I give her two dollars.

I still cherish the times when we are all home together with nowhere to be. And that time is rare, but the times we are out doing other things together, especially in our restaurant, are times we all love so much.

Loving our friends, those who grace the doorway regularly, those who are new and smile when they eat and hug us when they leave.

Best job ever.

Best thing I have ever done, with my man, with my children, ever.

despite being so tired and despite how much my feet hurt.

 

a blur

…it’s such a blur but things are more sane now, in our fourth month of being restaurant and piano bar owners.

We are sort of on a schedule. We both sleep alot more than we were. J built a walk in cooler (BY HIMSELF) to house our kegs and beer….ah yeah….my man can do anything and watching him do the things he does around the restaurant and then his sexy thing on the piano, well, I love him even more….not to say we have our moments where we are about to strangle each other…but then in the next moment, we kiss and make up…and of course, it is usually his fault….ahahaha…anyway…

I spend most of my time doing paperwork, payroll, accounting and managing the bar, when I am not being a mom…I spend plenty of time in the restaurant kitchen baking the desserts…I bake them all except the cannoli shells (I make the filling) and the tiramasu….but I plan to learn to make that soon…

Did I mention we have a ghost?

The building we are in is WICKED old. Old in a way where our walls are stone and brick and there is at least one ghost…a friend of ours who also works for us has also said he has seen and felt things…and he’s more grown up than I am…so it must be true…

…we are capitalizing on that for our Halloween bash in a few weeks…

I have heard from some different old blogger folks that may be in the area, and want to some say hello…please do and please email me and let me know. Would love to tell you where we are and meet you and have you check the place out….

In the fourth week

We’ve been open four weeks and I can say I am exhausted.

Our place is slammin’.

As in, SLAMMIN’.

I love our staff and our customers.

The piano bar is so great. We have people calling for reservations to reserve tables for dinner, to stay through piano bar. Which means, these people are eating and drinking all night long.

We’re adding a few tables to get more seated.

We’re booking acoustic bands for Sundays through Wednesdays.

Everyone is ordering my triple chocolate bread pudding and ricotta orange pound cake.

I love the early mornings that I get into the restaurant to bake the desserts.

I love the ten o’clock hour when I get up and sing and have a small glass of wine (or a shot of whiskey)

I am writing every day about this adventure and hope to do something with it when I have time to get it organized.

WOW.

I guess the only bad thing is the lack of sleep.\

And some stress. But lack of sleep really bites.

Piano Bar

We’ve been open a week and have had repeat customers already. When I mean repeat, I mean, a good handful of folks who have come back more than twice, bringing people with them, and then those people have come back.

Juggling things has been interesting and without my mom to help babysit, I would not be able to do this. The girls are with their dad this week so I am working around the clock, AND managing to clean up my house, which has been in this state of array for, oh, say, three months.

Anyway, I will just end with this.

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whew

i eat a luna bar every morning on the run and coffee. cannolli’s for lunch after some calzones or an italian sandwich.

where our restaurant is, is on the Italian end of the street.

while we work in the space and get it ready to open, we still don’t have our own food yet, so we are eating lunch out often at our neighboring restaurants.

next week we are trying for a soft opening with a limited menu.

We got our liquor license from the state in 2 1/2 weeks, after the city delayed us for three months. That is a record, for the State and I have to say, someone was watching over us and some simple advice from a contact who is familiar with liquor licenses in our state, guided J to connect with someone who helped us get this done.

Having our liquor license is like a pass to move to “go”.

Sorry I ain’t bloggin’.

Again, we have a facebook page and a website and I have my own facebook page as well, all are updated with photos and info. If you would like to connect, send me an email thisnewplace@gmail.com.

we’re pseudo “in”

So, we got a fun (not so much fun, I am being facistious) delay with our city liquor board. They enjoy playing God once a month, when they actually decide to HAVE a meeting…delays at the expense of people trying to do business.

At any rate, we are IN THE SPACE!!! sort of.

We are sharing the space with the seller, since he closed up but is cleaning out his personal stuff. We won’t “close” on the business deal until the liquor license comes through, but we can be in the space that we are leasing and start our work in the kitchen and bar.

We’re running new lines from the fridges we are buying for kegs, from the kitchen to the bar. We won’t have to carry kegs from the storage to the bar. Woot!

New ventilation for the kitchen.

Um, (ugh) redoing bathrooms and adding a handicap bathroom.

refinishing floors

moving grand piano

Still hiring.

We have an amazing bar manager. He’s already working for us and always ten steps ahead.

Our head cook is training up north at J’s sister’s restaurant (we are opening a second location). The feedback from their chefs are that he’s amazing and talented and they can see why we hired him.

We’ve got three waitresses on deck and two kitchen guys aside from our head cook.

Still need more, but we still have a few months before we open. Or 6 weeks.

Staaay tuned.

So sorry for the lapses in time here.

Visiting

I am back for a visit, the last month has been insanely busy, with signing leases, finding vendors (I believe our bread vendor is going to be right across the street from our restaurant), hiring the guy to make our sign, licenses, permits, hiring….hiring…we found our bar manager…ah we are are excited. He triples as a piano player/bartender/manager. Initially we were referred to him by three unconnected friends, for a few nights of dinner music piano playing (because J can’t do it all, and J is the piano bar player later in the evening)….so, we were talking to him about piano playing and then come to find out later that he is a bartender…so J called him back to ask him and when the guy picked up the phone, he happened to be online, on Craigslist, responding to our ad for “Bar Manager”, not knowing it was us!

We think it was meant to be.

We are very excited.

We should be in the space by May 3rd, if all goes well, to do our work and wait for the liquor license.

I promise I will post sometime again before too long.

Again, if you want to connect on facebook, I will be posting the link to our website in a few weeks and you can stay updated there. (and we will have a facebook page)

email me at thisnewplace@gmail.com if you want to connect over there.

introductions

so, I am waning here on the blog, with not much to write about other than the piano bar and I find myself not wanting to write daily accounts here on the blog about it.

I haven’t stopped writing, but am writing  (it reads the way I write, here on my blog) on the computer for documentation, journaling, and maybe one day will turn it into something. Or not.

If you want to be on the list to get information on our place when it opens (like, the facebook fanpage, our website, etc) email me at thisnewplace@gmail.com and I will make sure you are on the mailing list.

Some of you I am already friends with on Facebook and we know each other’s names. If you want to introduce yourself via my email as well, and connect on facebook, I would be happy to do so.

The next few months are going to be crazy, as each day already seems to be.

But it is VERY exciting for us.

Keep your fingers crossed.