Sunday, December 16, 2012

Major Construction Has Begun

After our first full weekend working all day on reconstruction, the restaurant is very quickly taking its new shape.  With the help of Scott's brother-in-law, Simon, and son (also Simon), we have a newly-constructed bar and server station as well as one less wall and a window uniting what used to be two very different sections of the restaurant.  Overall, the idea is to open things up and to make the space feel more open and inviting.  Tomorrow we get a new paint color throughout the restaurant, burnt orange.  The windows have been all covered up to make it all a big reveal.

The old owners had a very emotional parting with the restaurant as they turned it over to us after their last dinner service on Saturday night. They've worked in the building for 6 years and wish us the best.  They say that they like the changes they've seen and can't wait to check back for the finished product at the end of the month.

Also...we've all been battling with a small debate over the TV.  Maybe you all can help us out. A good friend of mine suggested that we not have a television in the restaurant - that it distracts from your personal interactions  as you enjoy your meal.  So...the thought was to remove the TV entirely instead of just turning it off so that we don't have people ask to turn it on.  Should we show select sports events?  Should we put the TV away entirely?  Pull it out only for the James Bond movie marathons around the holidays?  What are your thoughts?


  1. Also on the no TV tip. Merlin's does fine w/out, as does the Craftsman. Welcome to the neighborhood....

  2. I say have the tv and ask artists to it submit video art.

  3. Looking forward to it. No info on beer selection or at least philosophy (i.e. all local, rotating taps, etc.)?

  4. Welcome to Longfellow!! Can't wait to check out the new digs. We live around the corner.

    I vote no TV! It's distracting and like Dragon says, others in the neighborhood do fine without.

  5. No TV. It distracts from person to person interaction. Also, no ear splitting music. Try eclectic music. A few discs of French songs, then Portugese, then Spanish, then Thai, then country. Keet it background sound. Do you have any Ellis? She is wonderful and occasionally sings at Bryant Lake Bowl.
    You have to have something to make your place stand out from all the other burger and fries, wings and pizza places. Maybe a spectacular chili and serve it 5 different ways. Or, a white chicken chili served with salsa verde and fried tortilla chip. Want a recipe? I share.

  6. Hello. And welcome to the neighborhood!
    As others have mentioned, I too am excited you've chosen to open just down the street from my house.

    One thought regarding TV, install or not to install, and it doesn’t make a big difference to me personally. But I would think long and hard before deciding not to have one (I'm not saying you must have one, just think it through).

    As others have stated, Merlin's, the Craftsman, etc, don't have one and they do just fine. But that may be the exact reason you do want to have one. Perhaps you become the place in our neighborhood that DOES have a TV. At its start Merlin's very confidently announced they had no TV, then after several months began promoting their new TV and "come watch the Vikings game here." I'm not sure if they still show the games on Sunday or not, but it may be they saw a missed opportunity and put one in.

    Think of the assured audience on an otherwise slow Sunday morning for football. Consider the Twins, Wild, or Twolves, on an otherwise quiet Tuesday night. The Superbowl, playoff games, or presidential debates, quite a few options for the neighborhood gathering place that has a TV. It doesn’t have to be loud, maybe you turn the volume off. But the fact that the food focused Craftsman and the British Isles themed, Merlin's pub, do not have need for a TV, does not mean the decision to go without a TV is the missing link to restaurant/pub success.

    You can always turn it off. But having one just may be the reason someone walks out of Merlin's and across the street to you.

    Just something to consider, best of luck with your new place!