Finally...the last Entry

What a time we have had these past two weeks. Sleep and food were low on the list of "things to do". But, we made it. On Tuesday - May 29th - we had our last health inspection at 3 PM, at 4:15 we had our licence and at 5:30 we opened. Whew! We had 9 customers our first night and felt great about it! Every night this week we've served a few more people, gotten a little more practice under our belts and slowly have started to learn the space and system and routine that will eventually become second nature to all of us here. I have a TON of pictures to post to show you a bit of that last row we hoed to get to this point.

This is going to be my final entry on this blog - the new, Brooks Tavern blog, is going to take over at this point. Kevin says it should be called 'So You Thought You Wanted to Run a Restaurant'... I will put a link on this site for it - http://eatdrinkrelax.blogspot.com - and hope you will join us there in the future. As I've said earlier, this is planned be a BT community blog that will let us share our life in the restaurant. We'll see how it goes.

Thanks to all of our readers for watching our progress on this crazy undertaking. I hope you enjoyed it and while I don't think it gives a true picture of the past 14 months spent trying to put a restaurant in a barn, it sure is a good log book for future reading!

Many pictures follow. See you at the Mill!!

The soda man is installing the soft drink system in the kitchen in the top left picture; top right is the Ruby in the office where she is safely barricaded away from trouble. The bottom pics show Holly - our wonderful Holly - unpacking assorted dishes that we've had stored elsewhere for over two months...(thanks Roy and Molly!) and Brad washing said dishes.

I know, I know, you can carry things too far...but for us, the first ice dropping into the ice bin was a highlight. Now, however, that damned ice machine is so loud you can hear it from the host stand as it continues to drop ice and drop ice and drop ice. I think we'll be selling bagged ice soon this summer!

And of course the new coffee machine was thrilling...now we could offer coffee to everyone who walks in the door, which is always a hospitable thing to do. Also above is Holly trying to figure out an opening order from the menu she and Kevin put together for the weekend's guinea pigs. (Thanks, guinea pigs!! You were a big help)

We held several staff meetings prior to our weekend of practice runs. The crew gets a little talk from Kevin about the food on the left. On the right is our first delivery to the loading dock. Break out the champagne!
There are about 20 pictures of Mr. Jacobs finishing the bar top - which he managed to do literally minutes before we opened the doors to our invited guests on Friday night of the guinea pig weekend...I'm just going to let them run without commentary, but the whole process of sealing the seams seamlessly was just wild. We have a beautiful bar, thanks to Jay and Roy.

And after a final sanding and polishing...

...our first "real" customers are at it on Tuesday night! Thanks Mr.Jacobs!

Meanwhile, back to the Friday, while Mr. Jacobs was putting up the bar top, Chesapeake Glass was installing the shelves behind the bar. Willie T and his crew did a fantastic job and the shelves look just as good as we had imagined. The pictures in the kitchen show Kevin with his new favorite piece of equipment - the utility cart. We bought it mostly for the me to haul cases of beer and wine from the back door to the bar - a very long way to tote cases one by one. As it has turned out, however, this cart is great for everyone! It has already earned it's keep.

Slowly the dining room gets ready for customers. We Go!

The staff is ready. And The Landlord has the lease - signed! finally! - and is at the first guinea pig night on Friday with Ginger and the two Moms. Thanks Randy for this wonderful opportunity, and we look forward to seeing you in the mornings for coffee in your wonderful (huge) kitchen! On with the show!

For my very last picture on this blog, I thought I'd post the Snake. Caught behind the bar. Before all the holes got plugged up SECURELY (don't worry). We think we might come up with a signature drink called the BlackSnake or something, in his honor. He's safely behind Radcliffe Creek now and we are surely snake free. But that was just one more exciting event at Brooks Tavern's pre-opening days, the Snakes At The Bar.

Thanks everyone!


We're Open!!

No pictures (NO TIME!!) to post at the moment, but we finally finally finally got opened on Tuesday. Lots and lots of stress and pressure and trips to Rose's and Dollar Tree, but we made it. So far we are just doing dinner, lunch will start in a couple weeks. We are still - of course - fine tuning and learning. The POS system is awesome...once I get the hang of it. All of the kitchen equipment is working great - even the reach-in that didn't want to work here at first has come around, thanks to EMR. Some lights in the DR need to be replaced, there's still a few (a few?? Calvin!!!) items on our punch list for Warfel, but for the most part we are up and running. We've been coming in at 7 or so every day and staying til close - poor Ruby is suffering greatly. Eventually she will be getting a better mid-day break with the Masters, but for now she has to make do with Jacob for company, a morning run and a late night rough-house. She's adjusting...

The food that Holly and Kevin and Company are putting out has so far - during our guinea pig nights over the weekend and the past two nights of service - been getting pretty good reviews. Still some fine tuning to do there but we know one thing for sure - the Romaine Salad is a keeper!