I've always imagined some magical demarcation point between building a restaurant and opening one for business. But right now, two weeks after my grand opening, I don't see it.
There's one question people keep asking me: what's it like to be your own boss? The answer: terrifying, humiliating, and lots of McDonalds.
Two weeks ago my liquor license arrived and I set a grand opening date. Now judgment day is almost here, and I've been having the worst panic attack of my life.
At 11:30, two inspectors from the Department of Buildings showed up to inspect my restaurant space. Like many New York City restaurants, I didn't pass. Here's why.
I'm often asked why I gave up the freewheeling life of catering to settle down with the headaches of opening a permanent restaurant. One of my answers is staffing.
Meeting with the Community Board is basically like doing martial arts. Win, lose, or draw, it's gonna hurt. You don't really engage so much as struggle for survival. And somewhere in the middle of all this, all you want to do is curl into a ball and whimper for your mommy.
I don't have an eye for design and I don't have much money to beautify my restaurant space. But decor goes a long way towards turning a restaurant into a neighborhood hang out. And once I learned I could build a bar by setting wood on fire, I gained a whole new interest in interior design.
Now that I'm working on opening a restaurant, I can have great days and awful days. They are often 18 hours long. Here's what a day in my life looks like right now.
Building a restaurant around Carolina-style whole hog is just bad business sense: the high food cost means slim profits. So here's how I'm making my restaurant a financially viable one.
In the Inferno, Dante travels through nine levels of hell. The first three are staffed by contractors.
It took months to find a retail space for my barbecue restaurant in New York City, but when it comes to real estate, there's a big difference between finding something and being able to call it yours.
The Arrogant Swine, my barbecue restaurant to be, needed a home. But New York's real estate market was less than cooperative.
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