Week Six and business is doing well. A shout out to a flow of regulars like Holly, Larry, and Melanie, just to name a few. I have been paid a few visits by chefs, business owners and wine people (industry) which is encouraging because they can eat anywhere and decided to give Pata Negra a try. Terroir has opened one block away and already they are packed. The residual has trickled in, and some ladies have complained to me that they smell of fried food, a problem Iâ€™m sure Marco and Paul will be fixing forthwith.
A note on the people at Hearth. I have yet to meet Marco, but I did meet Paul at Insieme a few weeks back. He was very professional, confident and courteous. While having a drink at Hearth, I met a Haitian guy named Jeff who was having cheese and wine at the bar. It turns out he works there, and we had a long chat. Later on in the evening he came by Pata Negra and we listened to old Haitian songs sipping more Spanish wine. Matt has been by a couple of times as well, and it just seems to me that the crew over there has got it together. Whenever I have a night off, I will try the food.
Siesta is coming along, although I feel some people really need some time off, so much so that when the bill comes and theyâ€™ve had five drinks each, they scratch their heads as to the accuracy. My sangria is quite strong. I would lose count after five.
Making it out of February was a challenge financially, but I juggled it right, even with sales tax due and insurance premiums. There are some other issues with the management company that are not resolved, but that Iâ€™ll tell later.
Pata Negra product has been selling well, and I have been running out frequently. I apologize if you arrive and I limit your purchase. My reserve wine list recently took a hit, with some of the stars shining out of the bottle â€“ Torre Muga 1998, Gran Albina 2001, La Rioja Alta 904 1995, Vina Alberdi 2000 etc. I will try to restock soon.
My work crew is settled, with Andres the wunderkind from Guerrero painting perfect plates of ham and cheese, and Juliana, a no-nonsense Brazilian who is learning her grapes quite rapidly. Add the Spanish dove Paloma on Saturday night and Iâ€™m set.
As I look ahead towards April, I will be reconfiguring the room for larger groups and install fans of course. Spring is here! Sticking to my menu, changed some wines. Had a couple of reviewers come down for a chat. Held a private party for the ever gracious Sarita of Sâ€™Mac, the popular Mac-n-cheese shop next door to me. Contact me if youâ€™d like to do the same.
Late September, Community Board meeting, I attend with Lolo. Thereâ€™s a packet of stuff to fill out, with pictures, diagrams, blueprints menus affidavits. Itâ€™s all mind boggling. The Community Board is an ominous meeting of residents and a panel who have a clear agenda. At CSD2 their agenda became very obvious, no more bars. At one time there was no business in the
End of September 2006