Starting a small Tavern in rural Northern California. Barley and Hops Tavern catalogs the trials and tribulations of the restaurant biz, and teaching wine country to love beer.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday number 1

It has been quite a few days - so much so, that I've been negligent in updating the blog. I've been getting home after 1:00am and leaving early, until today. Sometimes, you have to get a few hours of sleep.

We've been getting about 4-5 tables a night, and some bar traffic - everyone seems to be leaving full and happy, which is why we're here. I need more traffic to continue to be here, and this weekend will certainly be telling. With the Farmers' market, and the foot traffic, I think it's going to be a great night.

Unfortunately, an experienced line cook who was in for a bit had other obligations, and had to cancel the job, leaving Nikki short handed.

It's interestingly nepotistic - all of the chefs rotate among the local kitchens, and everyone knows everyone. Last night, Nikki's (and now my) friend Tish pinch hitted for a while for a couple beers and a meal. That's the environment- everyone helps everyone else.

I drove down to Brian's place in Santa Rosa yesterday morning to pick up a much-coveted keg of Death and Taxes, which is a black lager akin to schwarzbiers I've enjoyed. Brian is a local operation with a small space who turns out some incredible brew. I encourage all locals to seek out pubs carrying Moonlight Brewing. In addition, Peter from Stumptown, a brewpub in Guerneville (gern-ville) hooked me up with what has become my number one selling handle so far, Rat Bastard. Rat is a great beer with a lot of hop on the nose, but not overwhelmingly so- it's a study on balance. Peter didn't provide me with a handle (ahem!) so I've made one for that draft.

One staff member, Bailey, is an exceptional barista. I've learned a lot about pulling a proper espresso from her. Unfortunately, the tavern crowd doesn't order a great deal of espressos, cappuccinos, and the like. I'd really like to see more use on that front.

Attending to the business of the business is time consuming. Paying the bills, computing the payroll, programing the POS, making deposits, keeping up on the regulatory agencies... it's nearly a full time job.

Mir's out east at a wedding, this weekend, so we'll see how a super-small crew handles the Friday rush that I'm expecting.

Pictures soon, I gotta get in the ring for round 5


Anonymous said...

do you serve any wine, or only beer?

Barley and Hops said...

We have smoking loon pinot, chard, and cab by the glass, a very special chard by the local Boheme winery by the glass, and about seven wines by the bottle. Cheers!