About the Author

Column Archive

My Restaurant
1.22.2002 by JP

I’m studying to be a cook (or a chef if you want to get fancy about it). When I graduate a year and a half from now I’ll have my formal training behind me and I’ll set out into the world, travelling and working, honing my skills, developing my craft. I’ll do this until either I feel ready to start up my own operation or until it stops being fun, hopefully these two eventualities will occur at about the same time. When this magical time comes I’ll find some money and start a restaurant of my very own. Now I’m going to show you how it looks in my mind, this is how it looks today, in time as I change and grow as a person, as my knowledge of the industry increases and as I gain experience in the field maybe the restaurant in my brain will change too.

The Restaurant will be housed in an old 3 story house in an urban area with lots of college/university students. In the basement there’s going to be plenty of storage/freezer space and a small office, tho if there’s an attic the office will go there. On the main floor you’ll find a large open kitchen like one you might find in a diner with a long service counter and a bar at one end and a cashier at the other. I’ve decided that due to the huge cost of hiring a wait-staff the restaurant will be self-serve so you’ll place an order at the cash and they’ll give you a number or take your name and call it out when your order comes up. Take-out will also be availible from this counter. The rest of the main floor will be taken up by tables and chairs. On the next two floors the furniture will be almost exclusivly couches and coffee tables, they’ll line the walls and create neat little nooks for optimum chillin’. This setup will mean that the first floor will be fairly high-turnover (including takeout) while the other two floors will allow people to hang around for a while and enjoy themselves. The top level will have a stage at one end for shows and performances. Being on the top floor I assume there should be a minimum of supporting pillars and walls, thereby offering an unobscured view of the stage.

The atmosphere will be decidedly relaxed, imagine stepping into a womb but without all the gross/sexual conetations. During the day we’ll keep the lighting up but at night the lights will be dimmed and loads of candles will be put everywhere. The couches I talked about earlier will be pretty cheapass affairs, goodwill and the salvation army will be our sponsors. The place will be alive with plants too, possibly nice aromatic herbs used in the kitchen but most likely something hearty and low-maintenance. Besides the candles and the plants the walls will be covered with original art by local artists, the art will be on sale and renewed on a monthly basis, if something is purchased it will be shipped to the purchaser at the end of the month, this way we’ll always have enough to cover the walls. If we can pump it through faster than that then so be it. The music we play will probably come off a computer in mp3 form so we can have a huge selection of mellow chillin’ tunes. If the place is big enough maybe it could be devided by floor or room or whatever with different music playing in each “zone”. Storing the tunes on computer also means we can cue up a massive playlist and let it run without interruption all night long. On that note I want to mention that if possible I’d love to have the place open as late as possible, maybe 4am with most of the menu items availible until then.

Ok, let’s talk about the food, I’ve left this until here because although it’s important I don’t think it’s much more important than the atmosphere or the other fundamental principles of an operation. In my case these fundamentals are comfort and relaxation while keeping costs low by keeping staff to a minimum. The fundamentals will transfer into the menu quite nicely. The menu will be full of fresh, interesting food geared toward a public whose food knowledge has increased by leaps and bounds over the past decade. Comfort food will be what it’s all about but the new comfort food includes great japanese and vietnamese noodles in broth, falafels and other ethnic foods that have found their way into our diets. Fresh soups, salads, breads and dips will all be there too. Meat will be featured on the menu but vegetarians won’t be forgotten in the least, there may even be some vegan dishes. If your primary clientel aims to be students then leaving out these groups is a serious mistake. The primary concepts for the menu will be low food costs (kept low by using seasonal produce) and high skill cooking. With imagination, inginuity, seasonal produce and a range of cooking methods menu items can be kept low cost while still providing interesting new, exciting and comforting flavours. For example carrot soup can become roasted carrot soup by simply changing the cooking procedure slightly, no additional ingredients or costs are required. A fairly poor example, yes, but you get the idea.

In addition to all this fun with food there might even be a little music store right there in the restaurant “oh my!”. My good friend Gareth has agreed to leech off my presumed ability to raise funding for this sort of thing (shows how much he knows) and run the music side of things should the need ever arise. If the multi-room-big-house concept works a different album could be playing in each room and that albums jacket would be showcased somewhere (in a showcase perhaps?) and the album would be availible for purchase in the music-nook-type-area. If Gareth helps me with the music stuff not only will he get to live the dream of not being a homeless person but he’s also get a-fancy-title-strung-together-by-far-too-many-hyphens.

Well, that’s my restaurant, I hope you like it, if any of you have several tens of thousands of dollars you’d like to invest please drop me a line as this plea is my only plan for raising money and if it falls through I just don’t know what I’ll do. Probably something horrible, something involving your cat, I’m not really sure but it’ll be bad so gimme all your money. Thanks!

Disclaimer | Email Us | Dance!
Text, images, design, and our groovy mojo are ©
return to the top of the page