As much as the Birdsall House means to me, I have another satifying endeavour - helping Brandy raise our 2 children - our son who is 3 1/2 and our daughter who is 8 weeks. So I spent yesterday with my family. It can be a difficult balancing act, as most days (except Sunday) I'm gone before anyone wakes up and I'm often home after the kids have gone to bed. I'm a small business owner, but I'm also a father. My family and I went into Manhattan yesterday and as anyone who has a toddler and newborn knows, going anywhere, especially on a belowing freezing day, can be like moving a small army. You must have a plan of action (as well as a plan B), be well stocked on supplies & patience and have eyes on the back of your head. But it's always worth it. My son is still young enough that going just about anywhere is entertaining to him, which I'm thankful for as his happiness and laugh are intoxicating to me. We left the house at 8am and returned home just as the sun was setting. After making dinner and reading my son two books, everybody got a good night sleep. It was a great day.
Today I'm back at the Birdsall House (after waking early to wash my sons pee soaked sheets and make his bed) cleaning out the basement and trying to fix an old ice machine. We still have a laundry list of items to check off before we open, which is why we haven't been able to set an opening date as of yet. But this little tavern becomes more beautiful to me everyday and hopefully, in the near future, to the patorns who frequent the Birdsall House. We are building a good place and after over a decade of being in the this buisness, I like to think I know a little about what it takes to build a good place and a successful business. As owners, John and I can only do so much. We can control what the place looks like and who we hire and keep a close eye on the product we serve. But it's the people that frequent your establishment that make it a great place. If culitvated correctly, I believe that bars and taverns can build bonds almost as stong a family and for some it can replace the family bond. A great tavern should not just be a place to get a cold beer and meal, it should be one of the centers of the community, a place where news and information are shared and heard, good or bad.
It can be dangerous, but we have set our expectations high. Hopefully we will have it all: great beer, great food & great conversation. In my opinion, all three can be inspiring.