‘Restaurant News’ Category

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Closing for the Final(?) Remodel

Posted by David Bowles on Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Closing September 3rd through the 19th


New wine bar in progress

Looking good – but still a work in progress

Have you heard the term “scratch kitchen” before? It signifies a kitchen that does not use processed foods and makes everything from raw ingredients. Bethany’s Table is a scratch kitchen. Inspections by the local health authority have required some additional training. The inspectors in Washington County don’t see many scratch kitchens.

In that vein, Bethany’s Table is a “scratch restaurant.” It was built from raw ingredients, one trip to Home Depot at a time. In 2008 we were holding the bag on a meal … Read the rest »

Janet’s Springtime Corner

Posted by David Bowles on Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Big FishA first-of-the-season halibut arrived at our doorstep today. This $500 fish was swimming in some cold, cold water just a couple of days ago. The meat is rich and succulent. I love spring.

The signs of spring arrive well before spring crops. We will get some baby chard and kale, but we still largely rely on the squash and root crops that got us through the winter. It is actually the foraged veggies – fiddlehead fern, miner’s lettuce, sea beans – that first liven up our plating arts. Local asparagus will arrive soon and disappear just as quickly. But it … Read the rest »

When Is Easter?

Posted by David Bowles on Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Icon of the passionIt feels like Easter is flinging itself at us. In 2014 Easter took forever to get here and arrived finally on (Gregorian) April 20th. Easter in the West occurs on the first Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon, which is the first full moon (give or take a day or two) occurring on or after the Spring Equinox. In 1818 the Paschal Full Moon happened on the equinox, which was a Saturday, so Easter that year was the earliest date possible, March 22nd. The latest date possible for Easter is April 25th, which last occurred in 1943.

Originally Easter … Read the rest »

Janet’s Corner

Posted by David Bowles on Saturday, January 30, 2016

I touch the dough, I talk to the dough. We argue and, yes, even laugh from time to time. The bread begins as simply flour, water, salt. Just that. Flour, water, salt.  Then it becomes a living thing. I pour hard work and love into every step of the process. One simply needs to pay attention. Depending on temperature and humidity, I get know each batch, and every one is a little bit different. It’s an investment that is well worth the effort. You will know this if you have tried our bread.

I have had many conversations about food … Read the rest »

The 6th Love Language

Posted by David Bowles on Friday, January 29, 2016

food is loveValentine’s Day is a big day in our world. Janet really turns up the heat. She lands on a theme just after the first of the year and the eats, sleeps and drinks with her ideas for a week or two. She then spends two or three more weeks designing her menu. This year she decided to keep it simple so she limited the prix fixe menu to six courses (counting the amuse bouche) with no more than five items from which to choose per course. Sounds like a lot but a couple years ago she offered the same number … Read the rest »

Janet On Valentines Day

Posted by David Bowles on Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Food Of Love!

I actually MostlyMarthaenjoy Valentine’s Day so much more since I have started Bethany’s Table. With a mix of customers that includes dining experts as well as novices, I have found a fantastic audience that has come to look forward to what crazy thing that might come up with this year. Play and explore with ideas and recipes to see what my staff and I can pull off.

Every year I like to have a theme. It’s fun to explore within those boundaries. This year my theme is simple, although it did not start out that way! … Read the rest »

Retirement… Not

Posted by David Bowles on Wednesday, January 27, 2016

hindsightLast autumn we were short on staff at Bethany’s Table. It was a tough time. We lunged and stumbled for two months trying futilely to hire a cook and a server. What might it had been like if we were trying to staff a new restaurant with 35 fresh employees? Toward the end of our attempt to open The Table I would often find myself talking to customers about it, telling them I felt like I was pushing a large boulder up a hill while my angle was on the uphill side, pushing back. My angel was right. For this … Read the rest »

Building A Bistro

Posted by David Bowles on Monday, October 19, 2015

The Ground Beneath Our Feet

bistroMany 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 »

The Table: Looking Back

Posted by David Bowles on Sunday, October 18, 2015

Hindsight: Whew!


White flag, vector 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 »

The End of An Era

Posted by David Bowles on Tuesday, June 16, 2015

47For 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 »

Promises & Requests

Posted by David Bowles on Wednesday, April 1, 2015

sleazysalesmanThere 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 »

Opportunity Knocks

Posted by David Bowles on Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Be Careful What You Wish For

OpportunitySometimes opportunity knocks. Sometimes it picks you off in the crosswalk. Sometimes… you need to 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 »


Posted by David Bowles on Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Magic Ingredient?

comittmentCommitment 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 »

David & Janet’s Wild Ride

Posted by David Bowles on Monday, March 30, 2015

Constant Striving

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.

The Table Overall View

The Table Overall View

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 »

Table Madness

Posted by David Bowles on Thursday, February 5, 2015

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?

2015-01-22 01.01.25It 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 »

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