I met Gregory when I was singing and dancing my way across America and paying for my dance classes when I was back in New York by hostessing at his restaurant. Cheesy I know.
Anyway, about the only subject I’m good at at Trivia Nights is random facts about musicals. Yes, Phantom of the Opera is the longest running musical on Broadway. And today when I walked into the space and really saw Ashley’s design coming to life, I thought of a line from a song I haven’t thought of in years.
To build a tower up so high to a cloud, you anchor, build it one tiny brick at a time.
It’s from a musical called Barnum, which was probably not successful enough to ever make into a pub trivia night, so that’s all I’ll tell you about that.
But it’s a perfect summary of the fit-out of this restaurant. Of the fit-out of Gregory’s dream really.
The first brick? We had to meet. Then we had to pay off his college debt and he needed to build his resume by working with and for a few more fancy people and places. A few more bricks there. Some of them I wanted to throw at people, but that’s a story for another blog entirely.
Then I had to get him back to my homeland. Actually not that tough a brick to build in the end, because he fell in love with the place on our first visit home.
Next brick was growing our very own human and delighting in her every move until we felt confident enough to focus again on building other parts of our dream.
And that’s when the building of the restaurant started. The long talks with Ash, over beers and sunsets on Venice Beach, the restaurant and location shopping, the investor finding, the concept solidifying. All little bricks that we slowly but considerately put in their place.
And now here we are, not even six months on, and look how far we’ve come.
The lovely Kevin O’toole knocked this poster up for us in a hot minute. His studio is literally around the corner in the old flower mill, which he may come to find annoying, because now that we’ve found him, we’ll be using him for all our printing needs.
There it is people. Our fears were for naught, it looks just like we hoped it would.
It sort of clambers along the wall like a vine and continues out the back to build the greenhouse.
After being named and shamed in a previous blog, my eldest brother took a day off work, drove down from Newcastle and joined the chain gang.
The reclaimed wood looks incredible. If we ever left this space I’m taking it with us. And the banquette. And the piping. And the marble bar top. The terra cotta tiles can stay.
I didn’t really understand all of Ash’s designs to be frank. I think I’ve mentioned before, I don’t have an eye for detail. So I was completely surprised and thrilled when this partition wall went up.
One of the best parts about Ash is that she’s worked, owned and run her own restaurants so (unlike most places I’ve worked) the space is designed with the purpose in mind. Everything is placed to optimise the flow of a restaurant.
And behind this partition is the cut-out in the wall that goes directly to the dishwasher in the kitchen. There is another cut-out for the pass leading directly to the dining room, which means therefore, that the kitchen is the chef’s domain. No pesky little waiters wanting a side of mayonnaise on their well-done steak need ever enter their territory.
You can see the banquette in place in front. I believe sometime today the backing will be attached and there you’ll find me, sitting in comfort, writing my blogs to the world…
But the best part of yesterday?
The beer is now on tap.