Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lilly Bistro Bar?

I've been getting asked, with increasing frequency, when Tom and I going to open our own place. I have a couple of standard replies to this question such as, "when the boys are old enough to stand on milk crates to wash dishes, " or "when the right location/opportunity presents itself." The truth of the matter is that the entire imagined process completely overwhelms me. Not the actual management of the place or the physical work involved, just the paperwork and financial risk necessary to become a business owner. I am completely confident that Tom & I would work well together - we generally share the same sensibilities about what makes a positive dining experience, and would perhaps even get to see each other more often if we co-owned a place. Tom's knowledge of wine and my sensibility about intuitive service would certainly provide us with a foundation to support a successful bistro/wine bar, but how does one get their head around all the other stuff?

I worry that I'm not ambitious enough - all I would want to do would be to provide guests with a quality product at fair value in a setting which is attentive to their comfort. I don't want to create an empire or make a killing. I don't want a humongous place - 10 or 12 tables would suit me nicely. I've always imagined a place with cushiony seating, mismatched china and good glassware. Perhaps a small bar where folks would feel comfortable eating and a positive mix of warm lighting and dim corners. A place that would open in the late afternoon and be appealing to a range of people - the early evening hours would attract families interested in a well-prepared dinner along with a thoughtfully selected bottle of wine, while the vibe would be decidedly more adult oriented as the night progressed.

Now, I can see all of this in my mind's eye, I can even hear the play list of music in my head, but what I can't imagine is how to find the nerve to make the leap. How do entrepreneurs find the daring to take a chance? Does this lack of courage mean the Lilly Bistro Bar will exist only in my imagination forever? Might this be an occasion when the right shoes, even some that are red and sparkly, might not be enough and I simply have to believe in myself and Tom and our abilities?


  1. I think it's a very nice name - it evokes the picture you described of how it would look.

    I don't know how people do it sometimes. I love watching Kitchen Nightmares, but the episodes where people have split up because of the lack of business just makes me sad.

  2. The truth of entrepreneurs may surprise you. Most aren't looking to build something... some are just looking to avoid the "straight" job. The risk that you fear is less fearful to them becasue their fear of the alternative is greater. They are secretly very lazy people just looking for a way out.

  3. Entrepreneurs are lazy? @Aloysius, I was with you until that line. If the alternative is cubicle corporate hell who wouldn't want to go into business for themselves? Hardly lazy, I'd say it's the opposite of lazy.

    @DelSo I hear you. I think about having my own place all the time.