Thursday, April 8, 2010

house of Kress

I have four days to plant five hundred vines, set two hundred posts, and find a space for my wine bar.

I am moving back to the farm and opening a wine bar in Salina-- not sure I've said that here yet. All that money I spent on food and drink? Investment.

I have been operating on Bay Area rules. I'm not wealthy (broke as a broke-dick dog) so I figured I'd start in a walk-in-closet-sized space and grow? But when I rolled into town, my dream space downtown, across from the fox theater, down the street from the art cinema, in a recessed basement of the newly renovated Kress building, was still free.

So this morning I called. The man answered, I explained myself, he said can you meet me today?*

He gave us a tour of the whole building-- street level shops, second story lofts, and then the open, waiting, basement with courtyard.

Before I know it, this has happened:

He'll build walls, kitchen, etc, to our specifications for a slight increase in (very reasonable) rent.

He suggests grant money from the city for downtown development.

He can set us up with a potential investor, apparently just waiting for this kind of thing.

He can do it all by August.

I'm working on a business plan now to present to him tomorrow, and he's working on a concrete cost estimate.

I also emailed the chamber of commerce about their business incentive programs and got an email back immediately and have a meeting tomorrow about what the city can do for me.

So that's what the menus are for. Just a sample of what I can do. Not to mention the focus on Kansas products, art, music, etc. I'd like to anchor the business in Place, so that it has elegance and meaning inherent to itself, rather than borrowed, like so many restaurants, like so much everything.

Oh-- best part?

GM and Barman? Me.
Host and Front of the House? Cousin Murphy.
Kitchen? Chef Cousin Chris.

My family has been secretly training for this.

All of this is extremely provisional, but goddamn if it doesn't feel right.

'bout time something did.

Hey Stace-- what's your angle?

Speaking of Family, I'm a sorta uncle thrice! Congratulations to Cousin Clarissa on her third weasel, one Levi somethingorother Mackenzie, the first boy of the new Murphy generation, god help us.

*One of the things I love about Kansas especially when compared to the Bay Area: when you find competent people in Kansas, they get shit done. Immediately. No fuss, just done, usually saying it was no trouble anyway, or even if it was, hell, it's just how things are. Bay Area? It's all Yeah, that sounds great, lemme talk to x and y. I'll give you a call. Next week? No, I don't know. I have a meeting. I'll talk to you in April after I get back from Japan...

2 comments:

sarah said...

This sounds wonderful, William. The thing I was just marveling about when I was home was the possibility of being. In Kansas there is a much smaller gap between the conception of an idea and its actual creation.

Jeremy Russell said...

Way to scout out opportunities. Sounds like the stars are really in alignment for this one!