We've opened countless restaurants in our 20-plus years of business. We love the excitement in the days leading up to the big reveal. Every time we visit there's something new to see. At first you can't imagine anything great emerging from the rubble of construction. Then the walls go up, the kitchen gets installed, the tables and chairs appear, the art gets hung and a beautiful team of cooks and servers line up.
And just like that: a restaurant is born.
Over the years, we've learned a few valuable lessons. At the forefront? Always expect the unexpected. With so many variables in play, from construction and permitting to staffing and weather delays, there are a slew of reasons why a restaurant may or may not open on time. Even if the stars line up and nothing goes wrong, we take note not to lean against the walls at a restaurant opening. Odds are high that the paint is still wet.
Last week we had the great privilege of opening Bottles & Bones. These fine folks have everything going for them: amazing Chef Ryan Smith (formerly of Watershed, Food 101 and The Landings in Savannah); Emile Blau as GM (formerly of Bones) and a savvy husband-and-wife team of owners who set out to open the kind of great restaurant they thought their neighborhood needed.
At first we teetered through a construction site on a cold December afternoon. We looked at the plans and shrugged hopefully. But we could see the excitement in these folks' eyes. They were embarking on something great.
Soon enough, there were walls -- including a couple of glass wine walls. Then one of the first Josper Grills in the southeast fired up, tables and chairs were in place, art was hung and an incredible team of cooks and servers hit the ground running.
And just like that: Bottles & Bones opened.
Think aged prime steaks sourced from Nebraska, daily fresh seafood and a wide variety of gluten-free selections as well as an extensive appetizer menu, including a house-cured charcuterie board. They serve dinner nightly with live entertainment in the lounge.
Fortunately, there was no wet paint. We ate great food, welcomed happy guests and cheered on our clients for another successful restaurant opening on the books!