Saturday, February 23, 2013

Our Future Logo

A logo by definition is a graphic mark or emblem to aid and promote instant public recognition. Logos are either purely graphic (symbols/icons) or are composed of the name of the organization.  It anchors a company's brand and becomes the single most visible manifestation of the company. 

Over the last several months, I have worked with a myriad of designers and have narrowed the designs to three finalists.  As the search continues for our space we’ll hold off on making any final decisions on our logo and that also includes color and sizing. 

Factors that go into our final decision include: memorability, distinctiveness, likability  alignment to our brand look & feel, and appropriateness.

I welcome your feedback on the design(s) that appeal to you.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Glass Bottle Recycling

Call it a creative outlet for all my spare time or just temporary insanity.  The idea was birthed a few years ago while doing a holiday retail stint and fell in love with recycled beer bottles cut off and used as water glasses.  I conducted a little research and at the time deduced that doing it myself was more than I wanted to bite off.  Fast forward and a dear friend had sent me an article on the subject to reignite my obsession with making my own water glasses for B&H.   It didn't hurt that my present employer was turning up an endless supply of wine bottles for experimentation.

So at the end of January my dad and I set out to give it a whirl.  Sad to say, our first go at it did not produce a solid return on investment and left us feeling rather deflated.  I had purchased the Green G2 Bottle Cutter (roughly $25) as featured in the article and our success rate was at best 1 out of 10.  That model was returned and with the recommendation from a friend the Kinkajou was purchased and we are now feeling a much greater sense of accomplishment at almost a 50% success rate.

The process is quite simple and affordable, it’s just rather time consuming as you can imagine.  About ten hours in and less than $100 invested I have a dozen glasses so far.  Clearly I have my work cut out for me and pops if we’re going to have enough to supply B&H.  My supplies are limited to rubber gloves, an SOS pad, steel mesh scrubber, my grandma’s old paring knife, and the Kinkajou cutter.

First, I take home any used bottles I can find from beer to water, or wine.  I soak them for a night in water to assist with the label removal, and then I scrub off the glue residue to get a clean surface.  Once the bottles are dry they’re ready to be scored.  Once the etching in the bottle has been made you simply alternate running hot and cold water along the score mark until it breaks off at the seam.  Protective eye wear is suggested.  Sanding the edges is the last step to ensure a smooth, clean surface.  

I probably won’t make another entry on the subject so you’ll just have to see when the doors open if this obsession continues.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

An Unlikely Valentine

When this season delivered me a cold, I turned to Bourbon for consolation.  It is probably safe to say that when the season doesn't deliver a cold, I also turn to Bourbon for consolation.  It is my favorite winter spirit and can thankfully sooth a stubborn cough.

Classic cocktails are among the first in line for my taste buds and when I was recently turned on to this little gem, it was love at first taste.  Sometimes mistakenly called a whiskey Negroni, the Boulevardier cocktail actually predates the Negroni.  A tasty combination of bourbon, sweet vermouth and Campari, this cocktail is simple to prepare and a deliciously layered drink.

You may or may not be surprised to learn that most of my industry chums would name the Negroni or the Manhattan as their favorite cocktail, but it did come as a surprise to see several of my seasoned colleagues scratching their heads when asked to make a Boulevardier.  It is classically prepared with two parts American whiskey (rye or bourbon work equally well), with one part each sweet vermouth and Campari.  Stir ingredients together in a mixing glass filled with ice, strain into either a stemmed cocktail glass or a rocks glass with ice, to preference.  Garnish with a twist of lemon or orange zest.

Turning back a few pages to the early 1900's, Harry McElhone, the proprietor of Harry's New York penned the drink in his book "Barflies and Cocktails" and gave credit to Erskine Gwynne as the actual inventor.  Erskine was a well-off American living in Paris to start a magazine called The Boulevardier.

So tonight as the lights dim in the restaurant and the dining room is vacant and we are left only with the essence of love from all the couples that once filled it, I will belly up to the bar and have a drink in Mr. Gwynne's honor.  Oh Boulevardier, won't you be my Valentine?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Penny Profiler #55

Norm Babcock & Micki Kent.  These darlings are relatively new acquaintances turned friends.  You see Norm is the father to a wonderful man, Rand, that I am also lucky to call a friend.  A few years back Norm and his beloved girlfriend Micki joined our Christmas Eve tradition and I instantly fell in love. 

I think it is safe to say that they have more combined interests and hobbies than any other couple I know.  They are vital, active, sweet, engaging, curious, funny, and wickedly creative. Such an inspiration!

Their generous penny collection arrived in the piggy bank pictured above and I think it’s safe to say she’ll find a new home in the future office of B&H. 

Today also happens to commence the Chinese New Year.  This 2013 year of the Snake is meant for steady progress and attention to detail.  Focus and discipline will be necessary for you to achieve what you set out to create.  

Thursday, February 7, 2013


In the field of economics, the new buzz word seems to be crowdfunding.  By definition it is “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically, via the Internet.”

In conjunction with generating pre-opening word of mouth, Brimmer & Heeltap is considering taking part.  This is a unique pre-business marketing tool that has gained considerable momentum in the past few years.  The concept is pretty simple and maximizes social media and internet usage to propagate advance funding as well as publicity.  We would first set a preliminary financial goal and pitch our unique culinary concept that will also detail material incentives to participate in the business start-up.  An unlimited audience then has the opportunity to get in at the ground floor.

A great additional benefit to crowdfunding is its economical helping hand. Anything that aids in generating revenue is needed in our sluggard economy, and crowdfunding has proven to be a powerful force.  Not only is it pumping small businesses with desperately needed lifeblood, but it is also encouraging entrepreneurs to continue creating even in the face of slower times.

There are numerous crowdfunding platforms where consumers can safely ask for or donate money. Here are a few of the most rated:

       ProFunder -
       Kickstarter -
       Indiegogo -
       Crowd Funder -
       WeFunder -
       Peerbackers -
       StartupAddict -

Monday, February 4, 2013

Golf Tees + Bar = Match Made in Heaven

200 Rip Stixx have now found their way into my collection thanks to Annie Moore & Melissa Anderson.   I crossed paths with these two remarkable ladies while working at Marination ma kai who are West Seattle residents and the best regulars (turned friends) a girl could ask for.   

Most people might be asking what do golf tees and a bar have in common?  Well the sad reality is that fruit flies and gnats have a tendency to show up as unwanted guests to enjoy your delicious liquor collection if you don’t do something to prevent it.  This doesn't mean the establishment is dirty, but rather the bugs are quite resourceful.

A few years ago someone mentioned the trick and ease of putting golf tees in the pour spouts versus covering everything with plastic wrap.  Health Department Approved!  The idea stuck and has been a tradition behind the scenes in most establishments I've worked. 

As a parting gift, the ladies gifted me a hefty collection of my very own in Annie’s favorite color.  Thanks girls!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Penny Profiler #54

Denise Mohr.  Motorcycles and muscle cars are not adjectives I throw around in my circle of friends, that is, until I met Denise.  She and I met in one of the aforementioned workshops and as our friendship evolved a much softer side was also unveiled.  This sassy lady thoroughly enjoys photography and it shows in her body of exceptional amateur work.   Among her many attributes, she also appreciates well crafted wines and world travels.  No wonder we hit it off!

A survivor on many fronts this is one friend with 9 lives and counting.  I am honored to have her pennies among the collection!