We accomplish things at the restaurant now that would not have seemed possible when we started up over six years ago. Slowly but surely we grow our capacity to do more and more, and to do them better. It takes at least eight passes of the pasta sheets through the pasta maker to create the proper texture for the batch we make each day. It takes quite a bit longer than it did when we made only two passes, but now we do eight. There was a time when we bought paté from my friend Paula, who owns Chop, but … Read the rest »
The Ground Beneath Our Feet
Many of you know our story: how we took over the meal assembly business at this location and then transformed the space into a restaurant… almost. We are ready to do away with the last remnants of Dinners Ready. The reach-in in coolers in the dining room must go, the ceiling system is a disgrace and the lighting really needs a tune-up. We have already expanded the kitchen – though there is more work to do – and we have built two new toilet rooms in the expansion space but we have yet to figure … Read the rest »
Shortly after we threw in the towel on our attempt to open a second restaurant, The Table, one of our regulars came in and asked about it. Learning that we had walked away, he gave us an outline for a deal to take over a restaurant space in a premium location downtown with extremely (very extremely) attractive terms. It was certainly worth considering. Perhaps our angels had only pushed us out of the previous deal to make room for this opportunity? (Though it had been my conviction that our angels were simply trying to save us from … Read the rest »
For a period of time, as we looked around for an opportunity to grow our restaurant empire, we worked hard on our business plan. A key element of this plan is the ”Vision Statement.” The Vision Statement is comprised of three parts. The Purpose – the star we follow; the Mission – the mountain we intend to climb; our Values – the guideposts we use to find our way. When we did the work on writing the values statements, “Striving” rose to the top of the list. Janet will never say, ”That’s good enough for who it’s for” and she … Read the rest »
There are various pattern languages used in the business of selling. The most common of these focuses on ”overcoming objections.” It is safe to assume that this system wouldn’t be “common” if it didn’t work. But it is the language of sociopathy, not the language of relationship building. For those who shy away from this Say Anything methodology, I recommend the language of Promises and Requests. Here it is incumbent upon the seller to first make a complete catalog of his or her promises. Then, as they hear the considerations of those with whom they wish to do business, they … Read the rest »
Be Careful What You Wish For
Looking back over the past year of endeavor to open a second restaurant we find so many stories within the story. Back and forth negotiations to select a site, agree on the size and resolve the lease terms, each of these phases had a life of its own. We involved an architect to complete an initial design and feasibility analysis. Then we used those documents to preselect the contractor and obtain a preliminary … Read the rest »
The Magic Ingredient?
Commitment forms a relationship between where we currently stand and some point in the future, to which we are connected by our intentions. When we cast that commitment forward it shines light back into the interstitial space between its distant point and our current position. In doing so it lights up that void and reveals things we would not otherwise see and of those objects change. Problems become simply challenges and we are surprised notably less often.
In five years of operating Bethany’s Table I had offered limited commitment. I always wanted to bring the business to … Read the rest »
There are so many stories to tell about our year of restaurateuring adventures. I want to tell them all and I hope I will get a chance to.
In October of 2014 we signed a lease to build a new restaurant just less than four miles from Bethany’s Table at Timberland Town Center where the new Market of Choice is located. Named “The Table,” it has about 120 indoor seats, a full bar and a premium group dining and private events space. There will be 60 outdoor seats with a covered fire table out … Read the rest »
Starting a new restaurant from scratch is like jumping from a train going 40 mph. It is hard to keep your balance. Heavens there is a lot to do, and a million decisions to make.
How many tongs do we need?
Big tongs, medium tongs or small tongs?
If we buy big tongs and little tongs, do we need medium tongs?
I don’t know, let’s decide on tongs later.
What about meat forks?
It goes on and on. The outdoor fire table nestled under the octagon-shaped pergola should be all the signage we need (note to self: order the sign) … Read the rest »
We have decided to build a second restaurant less than four miles away at Timberland Town Center on 118th and Barnes Rd. Within this seemingly simple statement there are a thousand stories to tell. What an adventure!
For years we have been holding off on making some necessary improvements to the restaurant as we coveted the space next door, longing for enough space to cure our ambiance deficit and create a well-appointed kitchen. Last winter, with the County breathing down our necks about the non-compliant use of our space, the building shrouded in scaffolding and plastic netting, and having had … Read the rest »
Just how much Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is out there? The numbers are a little hard to parse out. SAD is a form of major depressive disorder (MDD); in other words, patients with SAD can be just as depressed as patients with MDD and are often more so. The only distinction between these depressive disorders is the timing of the episodes, which occur during the short, dark days of winter in patients with SAD. Research consistently turns up 6% as the percentage of the US population that is affected by SAD in it’s most marked form. Another 14% of the … Read the rest »
You can’t make a lot of money on a 50-seat restaurant.
But you can live darn well!
To demonstrate this fact we leave soon for Italy and France where we plan to do some serious poolside contemplation between trips to historic wineries and inspiring restaurants. We have selected representative wines from each of the wineries we will be visiting. Janet has designed a menu consisting of small plates that pair showcase these fabulous wines.
One seldom gets the opportunity to taste wines of this caliber. And we have never heard of a restaurant providing sample pours of $100 wines. But … Read the rest »
Here at the Table, we in the kitchen often personify our freestyle identity. Amongst the crew we swap stations regularly… as chef-owner, Janet is the Energizer bunny with an eight-inch Shun knife, skipping from hot line to pantry to the office to the floor and back; Kyle mostly works the expediting (or expo) station, controlling the plating and timing of the kitchen as a unit, but he slides over to the hot line to handle the meats and pastas, and he even assists in the dreaded front of house from time to time. However, of everyone in the kitchen, the … Read the rest »
This month we are excited to host two wine dinners. Once upon a time we put on wine dinners twice each month. It was a cornerstone of our strategy to introduce ourselves to people by offering a fun-filled yet educational night out for a very attractive price. Then, because we became so busy, we had to move them from Friday night to Saturday night, and then to week nights, and from there they kind of fizzled. I don’t think that our customers lost interest, but it’s possible that I got a bit lazy. Janet has an opinion on that question.… Read the rest »
Some of you may remember the kitchen biographies posted many moons ago. Well, that was almost two years ago, and as is the nature of the industry there’s been some turnover since then; we’ve bid our farewells to a face or three, but we’ve added a few new names to the roster! Today, I want to focus on the woman who’s taken on a truly epic role in the kitchen, and the name you’ve probably noticed on the dessert menus: Stacy Foster. If you’re eating lunch at Bethany’s Table, you’re enjoying Stacy’s handiwork, and that fresh-baked focaccia is hers, too. … Read the rest »