Friday, 26 April 2013

One year in...

This week marked one year of Le Petit Bar. Seems like a good time to look back and share some thoughts about our first year. It's always challenging and very rewarding.

I feel embraced by the Peterborough community, and to hear our customers say they are happy we're here is just the best.

When we started this project a little more than a year ago, the idea of introducing Peterborough to something new was a little scary. What if no one liked it? What if the timing is bad? What if it fails... ... ... ?

Of course, these fears still weigh on me, but a little less heavily day by day. Our customers seem thrilled with the charcuterie and cheese "experience". They are enamoured with Jamie Kohls and his weekly creations. The cocktails have been so well received. Customers are willing, and often enthusiastic, to put their wine selection in our hands and let us introduce them to new grapes, styles and regions.

Unfortunately, I think, from time to time, we still battle the misconception that we are an expensive stuffy wine bar. I think anyone who saddles up to the bar quickly realizes this isn't the case. Sure, you can spend $16 on a glass of wine if you feel so inclined, but you can also find something delicious and interesting for $7 a glass. I believe we've built a comfortable bar where one can enjoy a really, really great glass of wine, a carefully made cocktail, craft beer or some great food. To hear a regular customer refer to Le Petit Bar as their home away from home is one of the best compliments I ever get.

We've successfully made it through year one and we owe a lot to our customers and our incredible staff. Our loyal regulars who have also become friends (Pierre, Jamie, Emma, Gail, Pat, Gavin, Brent, Donna, Tommy, Phil, Dan, Andy and family, our friends at St. Veronus, and the others I am forgetting - I'm sorry!), and of course the staff. Jamie, Katie and Sarie who have stuck with us throughout this first year. I'm having trouble figuring out how to write about how important they are to us. Professional, loyal... we share a great first year with them. We've also been lucky to work with Christopher Wilton - we're always learning from him.

Something very important I have learned is how necessary it is to constantly be evolving. Try new things, experiment, take a risk - anything to stay ahead. Upcoming changes to Le Petit Bar include introducing a seasonal food menu. We've been happy with our changing weekly features list, but we're looking forward to a seasonal menu that we can take time perfecting and that you, our customers, can get familiar with. Look for this change in May. I can't divulge too much yet, but I can tell you that some of your favourite items will become fixtures (at least for approximately three months). We're looking to hire a bartender. We have an opening for part time bartending/wait staff. About two shifts a week, with the potential for more in the future. Mostly weekends and late nights. Three years experience required. If you're reading this and interested, please drop by with a resume. We hope to host more wine events in the future, like our upcoming Cabernet Franc tasting. Making the world of wine more accessible is our goal, and events focused on sharing wine and knowledge are key. We still have a few tickets left for this event. They're available at the bar.

Okay... I think this has been self-indulgent enough ;) Time to wrap this thing up! I'm so glad we made it through our first year. Here's to, hopefully, many more years to come...


1 comment:

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