what we’re made of

When I started this blog not so long ago, I envisioned flighty little posts about flowers and plants, the odd crafty project here and there with some foody things thrown in.  I did not anticipate posting many weighty things, and I’m sorry if that’s not what you signed up for.  I know how that feels.  But when the weighty stuff starts to take over, you have to release the pressure somehow, and this is my way.

As I write this, we have yet to hear anything official about the offer we submitted yesterday for the building the bar is in, only that the landlords’ first response was “not to respond”.   Their broker says they have two offers $100K higher than ours.  Since our offer was based on market rents and recent sales, I feel we offered a  reasonable and fair price, and it was as much as we could afford.  They may actually have those two offers, or they may be playing games with us.  In any case, it’s a waiting game now.

In the meantime, we’re back to the beginning – looking for alternate space and wondering what the hell we will do if we can’t find any.  More weighty stuff.  But what keeps us going is the amazing, never-ending stream of people, some complete strangers, who continue to wish us well and even more incredibly offer us money toward the down payment, WITHOUT even being asked.  Just when I am so beat down I am ready to quit, to turn my back and walk away, I get an incredible letter from a fellow restaurant owner I’ve never even met.  Or an email from a regular offering money and friends who only ask how much and when can they give it to us.  Or The Geek gets an email from a long lost friend reminding him of the community we’ve created along with some of the best people on earth.  A Facebook page started by a long-ago Roanoke fan that now has 1,400 FREAKING fans that post the most amazing stuff.

Those are the things that keep us going, that make me keep checking Craigslist and the Commercial listings for spaces and bars for sale, that make me drive around writing down phone numbers from lease signs.  My quitting cannot be the reason we fail.   All that love you’re sending our way? That’s what we’re made of.  It makes the weight a little lighter.Thanks for helping us bear it.


when the going gets tough

hello out there…

Been a rollercoaster over here lately and i have been remiss in posting.  Apologies.  I had expected the tide to turn in our favor, if that damn horoscope was to be believed, but alas that is not the case.  At least, it seems that way now – in a month or so, we may be saying it DID turn in our favor, we just didn’t know it.

We found out Friday that the Roanoke has until July 31st in our current location.  Bittersweet news to get on the eve of our 15th Anniversary party.  We seriously wanted to just pull the plug on the party – definitely didn’t feel like celebrating – but folks had come from far and wide and plans had been made.  The show must go on.

SO glad we did.  JunkBelly rocked the house, and no one seemed to notice how small  our tiny little back room was.  They were up close and personal with the band.

Photo by Mike Frantz

The Keeper then took the stage for some mind-melting metal…

Photo by C. Mendenhall

Any sadness we’d been feeling was tempered by so many people telling how pissed and shocked they were to hear the news.  Lots of hugs and good wishes made it a night of celebration after all.

Photo by C. Mendenhall

Yeah, it sucks to go out this way.  But with so many people behind us, we’re fired up to find a new space and make the Roanoke even greater.  This place means something to us and a lot of other people, and we can’t just throw that away.  So thanks to those of you who came and showed us the love – it was just what the doctor ordered.  Onward and upward.

Oh, and if you hear of a bar that needs a tenant, let us know.

what it’s all about

Lately I have been feeling like quite the failure, things going not our way despite my best efforts to change them.  Then this morning, I got this:

Suddenly the black cloud got a little dimmer.  Maybe at least I haven’t totally screwed them up.  And there may come a time in the near future when we don’t have much.  But I will have them.

oh dear

I spent an hour while held captive at the Ballard pool yesterday cataloging all the plants that I’ve procured this spring, beginning in March at the Early Edibles sale from Seattle Tilth, then the Early Bloomers sale at the Arboretum, the Northwest Perennial Alliance sale,  the Arboretum’s Florabundance sale, and last but not least, the Master Gardener’s spring sale. I believe there was also a trip or two to *cough* Swanson’s, Sky Nursery and Home Depot.  Oh, also the sweet delivery from Annie’s Annuals.

Let me tell you, it did not seem like a lot of plants at the time. However, line 1 in my spreadsheet is the title line.  The plants start on line 2 and end on line…66.  Yep, for those of you who are mathmatically challenged, that’s 65 FREAKING PLANTS.  Hello, my name is flush puppy and I’m a plantaholic. At an average of $5 a plant, that’s roughly $300.  However, for the budget-minded, bear in mind I haven’t bought a single pair of shoes or even a haircut since January.  And I NEED a haircut.

I’ve been pretty good about planting the new arrivals, but there are still some waiting for their forever home to be cleared out. Luckily, the Boy Child works for cheap.