Thursday, January 29, 2009

slow and steady

with a day or two to catch our breaths, we've managed to recap our first couple of months trading in this new biz. as most of you will know, the site we're in has been a fooderie of some sort since at least 1951, and possibly even longer than that, according to some old-timers in the area.

but after a few years of other operators trying to run a quasi-fine dining restaurant followed by two years closed space, we've always known that taking on this gig was going to be a big ask.

at this nascent stage, a few things are already evident: we're on the right track, as far as our menu direction and coffee quality goes. ditto for our price structure. many city types have commented that we appear to be 'too cheap', but we're in the ballpark of what the locals have been demanding, and we need their regular support.

the overall balance of the place seems to be working, the look and vibe of the room, the extras we offer (such as live music, the kids room, the leather lounges etc) all appear to be appreciated. we won't put much more work or money into decor or ancillaries as we probably don't need to, and we don't have any money anyways. a local artist is due to drop in shortly with some of his work, we may let him have some of the empty wall space in the back and do a pseudo-gallery (even though I personally feel that cafe/galleries are so last century....)

so we've ramped hours back to fridays, saturdays and sundays, at least until easter. we'll be watching the tourist trade very carefully, as january was a disappointing month for local biz overall. for every one that tells us winter is the big trading season up here, I keep reminding myself that an economic recovery ain't gonna happen in a quarter. we've gone back to our 'other' jobs during the week, and we'll feed and nurture this fledgling cafe at its own pace.

but it's promising.