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Dos Perros is born (well, sort of)


detlef
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So, last night was our first "friends and family" night at the new restaurant. Honestly, it went off without a hitch. There were a few things that I knew I wouldn't have an answer for until we actually started seating and serving people and those questions were answered. Fortunately, they're mostly minor tweaks. Everyone loved it and I really had to mine for any complaints. Pretty much all of them being things that I also knew needed work. Considering that we were initially planning of running a skeleton menu and ended up actually doing the whole thing. That this was the first time the mise en place was ever set up for service. That we're actually still missing some equipment. That we did about 1/3 of what we hope to do on a weekend night. And the fact that the kitchen was, none the less not remotely stressed at any point and put out essentially flawless food throughout. I'm feeling really good. We really nailed the menu in terms of having plenty of cool options that are really integrated from a production standpoint. Thus, a few guys should be able to feed plenty.

 

Tonight we have a few more people coming in (last night we had about 70, tonight it looks like it's going to be about 100 considering there are bound to be a few people who walk in off the street and are happy to stay once they know the deal (that deal being that we don't yet have our booze permit (long freaking story that should be concluded by Monday's opening day) and that we're heavily discounting the food because it's basically a practice run and they should expect us to ask them a lot of questions about their experience and should not judge us on minor flaws).

 

Monday lunch, we roll...

 

Here's a local blog entry about the place.

 

Muy fired up.

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Dude, very, very cool!

 

At the rate you're going you'll have to put together a det tour of all your places. ;-)

Edited by Kid Cid
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Update:

 

Monday was a rough day. Our liquor permits did not come through and we got completely pounded at lunch. Doors opened at 11:30 and the dining room was full by 11:45. The problem was, after doing more than we expected over the weekend (people who weren't invited for the trial runs walked in thinking we were open and we obviously couldn't turn them away), we were starting from scratch. At any rate, we basically ran out of food by 1pm and had to close early. While running around that afternoon to the Mexican groceries gathering emergency supplies, I realized that, opening that night would just invite more of the same. Well, that and the fact that we still didn't have our freaking ABC permits. So, I made the call to shut her down that night and just have the full kitchen staff work all evening building us up to decent pars. That and knocking a few more things off the to-do list and making some minor tweaks to the kitchen set up.

 

Turns out it was about the smartest thing I've done in a while.

 

Tuesday we opened, locked and loaded, had a very busy lunch that went off without a hitch and a bustling dinner. Honestly, I was amazed at how lucky we seemed with the dinner. It was as if someone was standing outside the door moderating the flow of customers. It was like every 10 minutes or so, a party walked through, all night from opening to 9:30. At 7:30 we were completely packed but at no point did it ever get crazy. More importantly, absolutely everyone was completely thrilled.

 

Oh, and I got my freaking liquor permits Tuesday morning, so that didn't suck either. You would not believe the crap they make you go through. Allways throwing one more thing your way. She tried to pull that crap with me again and I insisted I could make a few phone calls and work it out.

 

Today was more of the same. Slightly busier at lunch, just a few less at dinner, and I'm now enjoying a beer, telling you all how happy I am, and about to head home "early".

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One weekend night in the books and we rocked the house to the tune of about 170 covers (about 2.5 turns). My manager Raul is a machine and my kitchen staff has totally risen to the occasion. We have a downstairs room that we're going to primarily use for private events but also for over flow seating and it was not my intention to use it this first weekend just so I wouldn't get the kitchen in trouble. My chef said he was cool with opening it up, so we sort of did.

 

That was a minor mistake, not because we got overwhelmed, because we didn't. Rather, because I learned we either need to seat it fully, or not at all. Just putting a few tables down there was a bit odd and I think I might have felt sort of odd if I were eating in a sparsely sat room while there was a rocking restaurant upstairs. Mind you, they were all walk-ins and were essentially told that's all we had. None the less, we need to figure out how to balance that.

 

As for the rest, the place was packed pretty much all night and everyone had a great time. We only had to 86 one entree, one appetizer, and one dessert all night, so the kitchen is doing a great job prepping. I had to let a guy go in the morning because, frankly, he just wasn't all that strong despite having a seemingly strong resume and, thus, negotiating a pretty high salary. My hand was forced because he and another guy nearly came to blows and dude was pretty confrontationall with much of the staff. For now, it's addition by subtraction, but we're going to need to find more bodies back there or I'm going to wear out my crew. We've just added some guys in the prep kitchen who seem like good kids, but they're pretty green. We need one more really solid guy right now.

 

Of course, the most important thing was that everyone seemingly loved their experience. That was ultimately my only goal for the night.

 

We have, quite possibly, among the coolest cocktail list I've ever seen.

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