January 2013 | Food Newsfeed
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January 2013

Gender Positives for Restaurant Operators

One of the things I love most in an interview is the unexpected answer. Like hearing Van Eure, owner and operator of The Angus Barn, describe herself as a teacher.Van is the consummate business woman and omnipresent restaurateur, with a commanding and sophisticated presence.


Photo courtesy of Richard Sandoval Restaurants.

Renovations Worth the Cost

Restaurant renovations are all the rage. But the price of being pretty sometimes defies the practicality.“Getting a good return on investment is a significant part of the determination,” says Dennis Lombardi, executive vice president, foodservice strategy at design firm WD Partners in Columbus, Ohio.


Photo courtesy of Salvatore’s Restaurant.

Promotions to Fill the House

Earlier this year Nancy Wilhelm—owner of the tony Tabu Grill in Laguna Beach, California, where entrée prices start at $34—noticed an uptick in empty tables, which threatened her bottom line.

Late Nights and Bar Bites

It’s midnight on a Friday in Washington, D.C., and luckily, Bar Pilar is open. Located on the white hot 14th Street corridor, the two-story local favorite has earned a reputation as one of the best places in the city to grab a late-night bite.


Geoffrey Smith photographer, courtesy of LookatLao Studio.

Expanding with Partners

The cliché that too many cooks may spoil the soup ironically doesn’t always apply to restaurant operations. A lot of cooks—and in this business those cooks can be restaurant operators, investors, or indeed the chefs—can make the restaurant run more smoothly, have greater financial backing, and lead to expansion.



Super Bowls

Creole-style BouillabaisseNew England Clam Chowder with Dill Drop BiscuitsChef Daniels’ DelightAt Marsha Brown Creole Kitchen & Lounge in New Hope, Pennsylvania, bowls are so big (both literally and figuratively) they have their own section of the menu.



In Sandy’s Wake

Hurricane Sandy ripped across the East Coast in late October leaving more than 8 million people without power and parts of Staten Island, Long Island, and the Jersey Shore were completely devastated.Restaurants in the storm’s path weren’t spared either.


Brad Smith Photography, courtesy of Roka Akor.

Chef Culture at Roka Akor

At Chicago’s Roka Akor, food preparation is more than just the focus—it’s the visual centerpiece. An 80-by-50-inch robata grill provides guests a front seat to the restaurant’s Japanese grilling methods.


Courtesy of the Chimneys Reaturant, Gulfport, Mississippi.

Resurrecting the Gulf

Say “Gulf Coast” these days, and two things likely come to folks’ minds: hurricanes and the BP oil spill. But many in the Gulf are hoping Americans, particularly restaurant operators and chefs, will soon think about something else: seafood.

Minding Your Guests’ Manners

While keeping customers happy is a perpetual challenge in the restaurant industry, some operators have learned that success may come from making a few guests unhappy.Operators who pride themselves on hospitality advise establishing clear rules on guest behavior and empowering staff to enforce them.



Skinny Sipping

New Year’s resolutions bring hefty challenges to the bar scene, where tipplers who are watching their weight want just as much buzz without the caloric intake. That’s a hard beverage to serve because many of the most popular cocktails are packed with calories: A glass of Long Island iced tea has nearly 800 calories, a piña colada is loaded with about 650 calories, and a White Russian contains approximately 450 calories.


Photo courtesy of Barcelona Restaurant.

Restaurants Debate Gun Control

Editor’s Note: Written prior to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, we invite you to share comments on the issue of gun control.In 2011, Wisconsin became the latest state to adopt right to carry legislation.