Saturday, July 31, 2010


We met with a few different coffee roasters over the past few months as we were trying to hone in on our vendors. By far the coolest and most genuine was Joel from Courier Coffee Roasters. Joel roasts out of a place on Hawthorne and 41st and delivers all of his coffee by bike.

He's grown a lot over the past few years and has his coffee served at a lot of places in Portland including Toast, Dovetail Bakery, Foster Burger and the former Little Red Bike Cafe. Him and his team recently took over the Half & Half Spot on SW Oak near Powell's Books. They're getting ready to open their own Courrier Coffee Cafe very soon (maybe even this week).

We're happy to be serving their coffee as well. We're not going the espresso route because we are three doors down from Stumptown and quite honestly, we don't really want to deal with competing with them. So for our customers, we have really good coffee from really good people. Good people go a long way with us.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

One by One...

... things are getting crossed off our list!

The picnic tables came today! They looked beautiful sitting out front for the five minutes before we took them in the alley to be stained.


and "after"

We passed our plumbing inspection! Electrical is tomorrow. Things seem to be moving at rapid fire pace now.

I unwrapped our mega-top sanwich prep table today, after two months of sitting in its plastic.

I'm not gonna lie, I felt like a kid on Christmas when I opened the lid and saw 18 cambros staring back at me. I can't wait to use it.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Clearing Hurdles

OLCC Liquor license: Check!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Series of Events

Now that the final permit has come through, people keep asking us when we're going to open. Well, we still have some major hurdles to get through, so we're hoping for like three weeks (Mid August) but seeing as how it took us 5 months just to get to this point, there's really no telling.

Next Up:

Contractors finish up and call for inspections
Pass said inspections
Hook up all plumbing
Close up (dry wall) our kitchen wall
Paint the kitchen with a washable epoxy
Bring in the rest of the kitchen equipment
Call for the final Health Dept Inspection
Get OLCC license in hand

Plus there's a lot more little things to do like hook up the beer lines, train our employees, bring in rental equipment, stain and seal our picnic tables, etc. So the next few weeks are going to be a little intense as we try to get it all done before the end of the summer. But luckily it stays nice in Portland through October so we'll definitely get some use out of the picnic tables :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Brief Update

Our apartment is starting to get back to normal! We've been taking all the cafe stuff that's been piling up in our house to its rightful place in the store.

I talked to one of the guys from the old Opposable Thumbs-now-turned-Dick's Kitchen the other day. When I told him I owned the store a few doors down, the first thing out of his mouth was that it took them a really long time to get through the City, too. I thought it was kind of funny that that was the first thing he said upon knowing who I was.

The City called today and the last of our plans have been approved! So now we can call for our inspections! Thank goodness!!

I sent our Sidewalk Permit to the OLCC yesterday so hopefully that should go through soon, too!

Step-by-oh-so-little-step, things are happening!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sidewalk Permit - Check!

So it may be a bit premature, but we got our Sidewalk Cafe permit today! The OLCC said we had to get it before they'd give us our beer and wine license. And the City said we had to get insurance before they'd give us the sidewalk permit so we've been paying insurance for like a month now. I tried to get everything to time up together, but it's impossible, so we just have to roll with it.

Originally, I had wanted to put bistro tables that fold up out front. We only have enough room for two two-top tables because the sidewalk isn't that wide. But, to my surprise, all stores (even online!) don't sell patio furniture in the summer time - it's past their "season." So we had to brain storm alternative solutions.

We ended up staying local and hiring a guy named Frank to build some custom made, eco friendly picnic tables for us. He operates a table building business out of his shop at SE 46th & Hawthorne and has supplied a lot of local businesses with his tables. We're happy to be the next!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Still Waiting

These days I find myself fantasizing about us being open, serving customers, listening to good tunes and having fun times. Sometimes I feel like if I visualize it enough then it'll just miraculously happen. But the truth is we're still in the City's Permit system and we really have no idea what's going on.

Brief recap - we had some plumbing issues, which prompted the plumbing inspector to want new plans, which then had to go back to every single department and get signed, which was then approved by said inspector and now it's just somewhere in the ether of the City. The plumbing dept was supposed to be the last stop. They gave us a number to call to get the plans, but it's been days and no one is returning our phone calls. So they're supposedly all approved, we just still can't do anything about it.

I have to believe that there's some kind of reason why we've had so many delays and that we just don't know what it is yet. Hopefully it's a really, really good reason. Because I'm getting tired of people asking if we're open yet and having to say no. Because gosh, darn it, we want to show off our beautiful new store!!!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Moving Forward

It's been a busy day and I've been getting calls all morning! We set up our on-site evaluation with the City's Sidewalk Cafe Permit Department for next week. They need to do a physical inspection of our sidewalk to make sure it's cool for us to have two tables out front. It shouldn't be a problem, seeing as how all our neighbors have cafe tables outside and Carl used to have some as well.

The OLCC wanted to make sure we got the cafe permit before they granted us our permanent beer and wine license. They said they'd give us a temporary one before knowing, but seeing as how we are still waiting on City Plumbing stuff we haven't been able to take advantage of that.

We set up a meeting with Grand Central Bakery as well. The last bakery we tried just didn't have exactly what we were looking for. We're just not willing to settle when it comes to the food and GC has a stellar reputation.

We also officially hired our last part time employee! Once again, we found the perfect combo of cook, server, barista and record lover in a Nate. We'd met him a few times in the past, as he was a fellow DJ at the Jade Lounge with Justin. But we got to know him better through the interview process and we're excited to have him on the team. Plus he's super excited to work with all of his loves; food, beer and most importantly, records!

Woo hoo for making progress!!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

THIS July!

One year ago, I put up a posting about how great things always happen to us in July. Well, 2010 is no exception. On July 3rd, 2010 Justin asked me to marry him at Lacamas Park in Camas, Wa. :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

More Media Shout Outs!

We've been mentioned a few times in the local papers, but this one really kicks butt!! It's about how cool our whole street is becoming.

Soon-to-be-trendy Belmont Street area now says ‘cheese’
Bread & Brew
The Portland Tribune, Jul 1, 2010

Click on the Blue Link to read!