Running a small business is difficult. I watched Annie , Margo and the rest of the crew create a successful restaurant and I learned a few things.
Connect. I don’t mean ‘make connections’ in the business glad-hand way, but truly connect. Talk to the people in the neighborhood. Tell them what you are thinking , what you want to do , what issues you are facing and how you want to deal with them.
At one point, the Vine took reservations. But this was actually blocking business. The restaurant could be almost empty, but they couldn’t seat anyone – because reservations were headed in. Annie talked to a lot of people before she stopped taking reservations and the transition went smoothly
Let people help. in the case of the Vine – painting , tables , etc wouldn’t be there without help. And it is another way to connect , of course. A little community ownership never hurts.
Be open, frank. I know a bunch about the financing of restaurants now. I know why Salmon is a big feature on the menu. I can tell you all about the restaurant advantages to kegged wine. Annie’s openness about the business side of things, made it really easy to be frank in return.
Love it. No matter what you do – some days are just drudgery. Yes, Annie loves food. but she also loves the restaurant. There has always been pride and pleasure in her voice when she talks about The Vine.
This seems to be my latest thing. I go to events , and end up staying longer than planned. So to keep myself amused , I take photos. Today there was an art show at the Niles Gallery. the niles Gallery is a framing shop, but they have shows as well. Today’s opening was for a show of works with the theme of Niles . It was good, with a number of artists I had not seen before. But is was a small show. I planned on stay for half an hour, maybe an hour. I didn’t know that DH was playing, so I took pictures. Not so much of the show , but around niles.
an olive tree:
I don’t know if anyone has put up any videos from the Open Mike, but here is one taken on a new tiny video camera ( Kodak Z x 1) . This is David, one of the owners playing The Wild Rover :
Micheal has a lot of eclectic collections in his shop. Makes for great picture taking,
Well, it looks like there is going to be a happening in Niles. A friend of mine is putting together a creative event in October. Rena is gathering a bunch of artists together and on the 10th of October you can meet, greet, and learn. There will be classes, idea swaps, and, with the price of admission, a box of stuff to create with, To read more about what will be happening ( and it changes ) read createartnow.org.
A while ago I wrote a bit about the history of the Niles nursery. It has been part of the landscape around here, because the local owners of the nursery are going out of business. What to do with that space is on everyone’s minds. Happily, it is in a park — so it won’t become housing. Or a major commercial enterprise. It can’t without an act of congress. while there is one commercial Nursery that we would love to come in, there is another group. A non- profit group would like to have some combined use of the space — agricultural education, community gardens , garden co-op, demonstration gardens for landscapers, etc. It is really quite exciting. However part of me was listening and thinking more projects….