Friday, July 13, 2012

Summer of Change


Hi all. It’s been a while since the Urban Chef posted, and for that I apologize and offer the following as an explanation for our absence. 

You know when you want something to happen so much and it just doesn’t, but you’ve been talking about it so much to everyone and it’s all they ask you about, that it just creates this big anxiety bubble and you never want to ever talk about it again?!  Your friends ask, with trepidation, so how’s it going with [thing you want to happen] and your face turn red and you start explaining things a mile a minute or just sigh and cry.  Well, that’s what was happening with us.  We were trying to open our restaurant and things just kept falling apart.  The major issue was that our landlord hadn’t evicted the old tenant so we couldn’t sign the lease, but she failed to mention this until a week before lease signing.  We then got in this cycle of “one more week, one more week” etc, and here we are, 6 months later.

BUT, everything turns out for the best!  We are signing our lease at 919 Fulton Street on Monday, July 16!  The Wallace will officially have a home starting Monday (just two days before my b-day!).  We still have our fingers crossed (because it’s Friday) so send good vibes our way!  Also, we have been approved for a small business loan (yay money!) So now you ask, what does this mean for me?! Well, it means that starting around Labor Day, your new favorite hangout will be open!!!  I mean what could be better than Jon Wallace’s cooking available at your fingertips 6 nights a week and for weekend brunch!  We also have a more functioning website, www.thewallacebrooklyn.com. Thanks to Daniel Shortell.

Now the fun really begins! I make a promise to all you readers, that I will blog at least once a week and let all you know all the dirty details of The Wallace.  So invite your friends who are thinking of opening a restaurant, like reading about restaurants, or like Jon or me, to follow us from now until opening day.  

To whet your appetite, a few things I’ve learned so far:

  1. Before you look at a place, make sure it’s actually for rent!
  2. Make sure you like your lawyer; you will spend a lot of time with them.  (Larry Welch, Esq is the best!)
  3. Money, money, and money, you can never have enough!  Everyone will want it, demand it and take it from you.  Don’t plan to do anything with anyone for your business without at least shelling out $50.
  4. NYC has a lot of community organizations that help small businesses, finding one that works for you is a lot trickier.  
  5. Small Business loans for restaurants are almost impossible to get – work with CAMBA or NYC Small business service for help.  Stay away from Brooklyn Coop bank – Jon and I wasted 2 months with those guys.  We are getting our loan from Renaissance Economic Development Corp and CAMBA.  
  6. Start an LLC.  In NY, it costs about $800 and takes 4-6 months.
  7. Be prepared to personally guarantee everything.  It kind of made me wonder why I have an LLC!
  8. Make sure the name you choose for your business isn’t already being used by some other annoying restaurant; yes you, Caribbean Soul with the big Soulé out front.  
  9. Nothing ever goes as planned, I remember our original business plan said we were going to be open in May!
  10. Everything works out…I don’t know how, and I sometimes don’t believe it will, but it just does.  

Stay tuned – your full access pass to The Wallace starts Monday.  Have a delicious weekend!

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