I was sitting in a well known little restaurant in downtown San Diego, enjoying a rare luncheon with my wife. We rarely get a chance away from the kids. As we sipped on a glass of wine and nibbled on a charcuterie plate, I could not help noticing the staff and a middle aged lady hanging out at the bar. As I continued to watch, I came to the conclusion that she was probably the restaurant owner. She was answering the phone, saying good-bye to guests and talking with the servers. What was unusual, was that she sat there with a pile of invoices and paper work spread across one of the high boy tables at the bar. The restaurant was about 75% full and it was around 12:30-1pm, so right in the middle of the lunch hour. (more…)
Category Archive: THE RESTAURANT BUSINESS
I was so fortunate to be there on Monday, April 23rd, 2012 the day that the Reuben E Lee was hauled away after 40 years of being docked on Harbor Island. The Reuben E Lee is an iconic restaurant which was well ingrained in San Diego’s dining history. I bet every San Diegan born before 1990 spent some time aboard the Reuben E Lee. I can remember it being the obvious choice for a family get together or birthday celebration. (more…)
Vintana invades North County!
The date is still tentative but the team is in place. I am talking about the new Cohn Restaurant, Vintana! David & Lesley Cohn and Chef Deborah Scott are going big! It is scheduled to open in May 2012. It will be situated on the third floor of the largest Lexus dealership on the west coast in Escondido. If you are driving along highway 15 and you look to the west, you cannot miss it. It is the only dealership along the highway with a water fountain dancing along to music.
The name Vintana is derived from a play on words, “Vin” meaning wine and “Ventana” Spanish for windows. Yes the restaurant is surrounded by windows and it will be home to another great wine list. The best part is that it features two large event rooms and two large patios. The plan is to have outdoor concerts on one of the decks. The scoop is that acts such as Chaka Khan and Al Jareau are already booked for the summer.
The restaurant business is not for the weary at heart. It is a business which requires flexibility, the ability to make decisions under pressure and catering to someone’s else needs. What sort of night would it have to be for a restaurant worker to say, “I’m having a great night!” Each position in the restaurant has a completely different perspective on what makes a great night. It is incredible to see when a restaurant is running smoothly and all parts of the machine are functioning in unison. The outcome will most likely be a great night for the guest. (more…)
Meet Gladys and Mark, two of the many people behind your dining experience
Who are the people behind your dining experience? How often do you get to know your server? Everyone has their own idea of what the dining experience should and shouldn’t be. There are those diners who want a talkative and vivacious server and others that prefer a more aloof server. Some people consider medium rare as red center with a little blood while an others pink in the center. Some guests look at the menu by reading the right side first, the prices. Others read the descriptions and order according to what sounds good. Some people come to the restaurant to find something wrong and others expect to be blown away. It takes a special individual to meet the expectations of the general public. (more…)