We are very excited to announce that Butterjoint is back to being open six days a week! Our hours are Monday through Saturday, 4:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., (kitchen closes at 10). We are looking forward to a more familiar schedule as we settle into the cozy season.
In addition to the extra hours of being open, entrees are just around the corner! You have told us you want more than burgers and pierogies, and we have heard you! Our new chef, George, started yesterday. Things on the near horizon are: steak frites, roasted chicken, and more seafood. And once we’re rolling with those things, it’ll be time to add the cold weather braises. We plan to roll out the first wave of new entrees the first full week of October.
Another thing happening in October will be the transformation of bakery into something new next door. We’ve hired a talented barista to get the espresso program going again and kitchen manager Brian Selya and I are working on a simple cafe menu.
So, things are approaching some kind of normalcy here. Even though COVID looms, at least we have normal hours, a normal menu coming very soon, and energy for what’s coming next door bubbling away. It’s starting to feel like a solid restaurant again, instead of being something en route to something else. We had lost a lot of momentum when we closed our dining room for a year, and a lot of key people who put so much into this place and made it what it was moved on. But the new team members who have joined us this summer already feel like family, and it’s really been beautiful to see how things are taking on a life of their own.
Running a restaurant is kind of a mystery in a way. It’s such a fickle business that when things work out, it’s hard to really know why. I used to think it was because I was in the kitchen six days a week, ten or twelve hours a day. Then I stopped doing that, and things were okay. Then I thought it must have been because of some magical energy that sourcing most of our food locally produced. But when we reached a breaking point where that became too difficult to manage and we found a middle path with sourcing, things were okay. Then I thought maybe it was because of certain personalities on our team. Then, when all but a handful of our key employees moved on to other opportunities over the course of the pandemic, things were okay.
Somehow, in this neighborhood with bad parking in a building cloaked in scaffolding for two of the past three years, we’ve survived. How? I don’t know, but if I were to make a guess, I think it’s because Butterjoint is a home for a craft that has been passed down from generation to generation for a long time, and that enough of you appreciate it to keep coming back. So it’s probably the willingness to put craft first, and your support of it, that allows the energy here to take on a life of its own and for people who have been here just a few months to be a part of this place, their presence here forever a part of Butterjoint’s story. It’s bigger than us.
I know Butterjoint is a little less polished now that we’ve been in the past, but we’ve been unpolished before. (I cringe to think about some of the services we had the year we moved from 34 seat Regent Square location to our current place!) I know from experience that just staying with the work, allowing the craft to transform us, and moving ahead one day at a time, we can expect to settle into something wonderful again. (Actually, it’s wonderful now too, but not fully bloomed.) It can’t ever look like it used to–because the world is so different now than when we started this place–but maybe that makes it all the more exciting.
Thanks for supporting a home for craft and this loosey-goosey energy, and don’t forget we’re open Tuesdays and Wednesdays.