Watching the Vine

March 24, 2016 at 12:05 pm (niles, thoughts) (, , )

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.

Thank You

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Pictures around Niles

March 7, 2010 at 10:26 pm (art, fun, music, niles) (, , , )

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.

DH playing:

an olive tree:


and wheels:

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Essanay Cafe Open Mike

December 19, 2009 at 6:16 pm (fun, music, niles) (, , , )

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 :

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Another Mudpuddle Shop Picture

November 29, 2009 at 11:39 am (fun, music) (, , )

Micheal  has a lot of  eclectic  collections in  his  shop.   Makes  for  great picture  taking,

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Art happens

September 3, 2009 at 8:59 pm (fun, niles) (, , )

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

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Nile nusery — update

July 22, 2009 at 11:22 am (domestic life, dream, fun, garden, niles) (, , )

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….

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