It’s official (I think) so I can finally talk about it. A couple of weeks ago hubby had a little more of the corporate world than he could stand so he quit his job. He had been sort of miserable (okay.,.. a LOT miserable) for a LONG time so this had been a long time coming. And more and more lately I had been hearing him say to people how his lifelong dream was to own his own restaurant. SO…. it’s official…. We are opening a restaurant!
I think I may be more excited than he is! I find myself waking up early just because I am so excited I can’t sleep! I am excited for him and I’m excited for myself and I’m excited for us to be embarking on this new chapter in our lives together. WE are going to own a restaurant. Not just him. Not just me. WE. We are in this together. I told him I will let him be the CEO but I am going to be the CFO and I will let him be the head of the company… that just means I’m the neck (remember My Big Fat Greek Wedding?) so I get to steer him in the right direction.
I am thinking of starting another blog for the restaurant just to give the steps as we go through the process of getting this thing off the ground. It is a long and arduous and expensive journey but we are taking it together. It’s not going to be huge or elaborate. It’s only going to be about 50 seats so it will be small but that will allow Dwight to cook and still be able to mingle with our guests when he wants to.
Our thoughts are that it is going to be a sort of country cooking Meat +2 or Meat +3 for lunch and then like an upscale diner at dinner. What do you guys think? That will give him the creative power to change the menu as he sees fit. For those of you who aren’t from the south and don’t know what a Meat +2 or 3 is let me ‘splain. Every day we will have a selection of several meats to choose from and SEVERAL vegetables and depending on how hungry you are (or how much you want to spend) you choose which meat you want and which of the available 2 or 3 veggies you want to go with it.
We will still have a small set menu daily for those that do not want the daily offerings. Then at dinner is he decided that morning that he wanted to cook chicken and dumplings and shrimp and grits that night for dinner then he will. We are still kind of throwing around the idea of having “theme” nights, like one night having the specials be predominantly Italian, and one night Cajun then we can. We’re still settling on that. The main thing is that he will be able to satisfy his creative cooking side while providing our guests with a delicious meal. He said his concept is that if you’re single and want to come in every night you could get something different. You won’t be bored by the same old menu night after night!
When all this started we immediately started looking for a space and things just kind of fell into place. We found a space in a small shopping center that is only about 3 or 4 miles from our house. It is directly across from Chapel Hill Middle School. It was formerly a Japanese grill. It was called Suki Japan and I jokingly told hubby we could just take off the “Suki” and substitute “Made in” since he used to always joke that if he ever got a tattoo he was going to put one on his butt that said “Made in Japan” (since he’s half Japanese?). It would be cute but too many people would think we were a Japanese restaurant. Then we thought of taking my cousin’s suggestion to call it “I Don’t Care” because every time you get a group of people together to go out to eat and someone asks where they want to go at least one person invariably says “I don’t care”. But then people might think that meant we don’t care about our food or service.
We seriously have gone round and round about this name thing. We officially named the corporation “Dwight’s Delights Café & Catering, Inc. but after much deliberation and going back and forth I think we are going to just call the restaurant “Burke’s” or our daughter says we should call it “Burke’s House” because everyone loves to eat at the Burke’s house! If ya’ll have better suggestions please feel free to leave them or email me either one.
The biggest problem is that when the Japanese restaurant closed in 2008 (I think) they took EVERYTHING with them… including the kitchen sink! There is NO equipment so we will have to buy all the equipment but they did leave the hood system which is good because that is expensive and they did leave the plumbing so the entire restaurant has been plumbed out and the gas lines have been run!
Over the next few weeks I’ll be letting you guys know exactly what we’re dealing with on a daily basis as we undertake this monumental and life changing task. The best part is that hubby and I get to spend pretty much 24/7 together! Good thing we love each other and truly enjoy one another’s company. We may be sick of each other in a few weeks but I think we can handle it! I do know that Dwight is happier and more relaxed than I have seen him in years and despite the fear of the unknown and the uncertainty of “not having a job” is nerve-wracking… we are both happier. I’ll leave you with a few pictures of the restaurant as it now stands and as it progresses I’ll post more pictures.