Some unexpected restaurant issues came up in the health inspector's land yesterday, causing her to miss the planned Dear Mom inspection. The owners (Oliver Piazza, Jay Beaman, Paul Bavaro) decided to open anyway. They just had to give everything away for free, because that's the only way to keep it legal. Ms. Health is dropping by today at noon, so if all goes swimmingly, beers will probably be exchanged for dollar bills tonight. As you can see by the menu snapshot above, food items are all standing at the ready: French beef sliders, grits and shrimp, and—Laurent Katgely's Frenchy take on mac and cheese—baked four-cheese farfalle. The interior is looking rather impressively different from its former days as the El Rincon Cuban dance hall—especially considering the owners did it all on their own dime from a cocktail napkin sketch they drew a few months back.
Beaman is especially proud of "the nipple" at the bar. As you can see, the center protrudes, creating an extra "corner." Based on years of extensive bar research, he's noticed people always like to gather around bar corners the most, so why not create an extra one? You'll also notice 52 super-low-wattage bulbs hanging from black chords strung from the ceiling. "It looks like a sea of fireflies when you walk in," says Beaman.
Still, the joint is a work in progress. Whiskey goes on the wall this evening; 4,000 bottles of beer just arrived (and we're not just talking PBR and Highlife); draft beers are coming in tomorrow; bar stools should be arriving next week; and they'll be slowly adding in wine and whiskey barrels up front to serve as "tables" and break up the large floor space up front. "We're not Lehman Brothers," says Beamann. "We don't have tens of thousands to throw into this place. We just scraped together everything we could to get this up." Monthly TBA guest bartender appearances from Broke-Ass Stuart should help with the early cash flow. [UPDATE (12:30 p.m.): Dear Mom just passed it's health inspection. They shall open at 5 p.m. every night this week, at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and at 11:30 a.m. going forward, Monday through Friday.]
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