Monday, 27 February 2012

I can almost see the end...

It's February now. Almost March. We've been building the bar for nearly two months. Well, to be truthful, most of the first month was spent waiting for that (expletive) building permit.

We have walls, a bar, a back bar, banquettes, almost all the trim, electrical roughed in, plumbing roughed in, a new radiator, a removed radiator, re-plastered crown moulding, primer on the ceiling (worst. job. ever.),  primer on almost all of the crown, chairs & stools purchased, the zinc for our bar top, paint samples, stain samples, light fixtures purchased, our mechanical drawing and guides for the HVAC, 25 percent of our equipment purchased, 70 percent of the liquor licence application completed, and I've started interviewing for staff.

Can we finish this thing in a month?

My posts have not been regular, mostly because I feel like I'm drowning and sometimes I get scared and feel as though I can't face this challenge of building and executing a dream. It's a very surreal experience... it's strange. I'm not a builder and I can't help do any of the construction, but everyday I see something new in that space it starts to look more and more like Le Petit Bar, and I become more and more aware of how much work there is ahead of me. Sometimes I feel like I'm not getting anything done at all (this has to do with the not-being-able-to-contribute-to-the-building), and sometimes the energy spent thinking and planning the logistics of opening and operating a wine bar makes me feel as tired as if I had been doing the hard labour for eight hours. Well done, Tom and Gabe! After spending a weekend priming the space I can really appreciate how hard the work you do is. Let me rephrase that - I already did appreciate your work (you guys are fast... and really good), but I can physically feel it in my body today, and it really hurts. How did you drywall the ceiling and tape and mud it without breaking your necks?

There is a pile of things that need to be considered, questions that need to be answered, problems that need solutions, and, I'm sure, a whack of complications I haven't even thought about yet. These elements are sort of piled up on top of each other right now, waiting for element one to be sorted out before element two can be tackled, but two depends on the element before element one, but also on the element after element three... and so on... if I'm making any sense.

I know we'll get it all done. And I think you'll really like it once it's finished. I really hope you do!

Oh! Please check out this review of Midfield Wine Bar and Tavern in Toronto. My good friend Christopher Wilton (a wine agent with The Small Winemakers Collection) pointed me to this place. I'm hoping to visit Midfield this weekend. Sounds like they've really nailed the wine bar concept. 

And now, the most recent pics of Le Petit Bar:

The only booth in the joint. Located in the back corner. We think it'll be a favourite with customers

The bar is really starting to come together.

It feels more and more like Le Petit Bar every day

Roland tucks a time capsule I made into the back bar. It will be sealed in there, buried for, I hope, a good long while


  1. The new bar and booth look amazing! It's incredible how much you've accomplished in such a short time.

  2. Kathryn Verhulst-Rogers6 March 2012 at 06:31

    Shannon! I saw the article in the Examiner. Congratulations on this amazing venture! I can't wait to come and try it out. :)

  3. Read about this awhile ago, and I'm glad to see about the progress in the Examiner. We're sorely lacking a good wine bar in Peterborough, so this will be fantastic. Also the idea of house-made charcuterie makes me as giddy as a kind in a candy store. Can't wait for this to open, I will definitely check it out and bring lots of friends with me!

  4. Hi there. The "refreshing endive, grapefruit & avocado salad" looks scrumptious. Is the recipe available? Cheers and best.