Thursday, May 29, 2008

Welcome Back

Whew!  What a whirlwind.  As our good friends down south at The Linkery said recently, dying is easy...construction is hard.  But we did it, we are back, and we couldn't be happier to see all of you.  Even as old traditions end, new ones have already begun.  Every time I walk through the front door I see more and more longtime regulars congregating around the new communal table.  Some of you are discovering new favorite seats.  Many of you are finding new favorite dishes while others are eating their way around the menu, trying everything.  The sausage program is a hit (early favorite: boudin blanc, followed by the "pastrami") as are the new sandwiches.  Me?  I like the roll mops.

All of us keep looking up at the phantom beer board when trying to order...that one's gonna take some getting used to.  Never fear, as our friend Oliver DiCicco is constructing the new one as we speak, to fly proudly over the center booths.  For now, we're busy admiring his light fixtures.  The Mirror Guys (John and Doug) have a few tricks up their sleeves still to come, and yes, the hooks under the bar will be back tomorrow (thanks, Mike), hopefully before we make the no-hooks-bar hall of shame (there is one).

Speaking of Mike Olinger, how many contractors get to say they built the same bar/pub/restaurant twice?  I'd like to say it was a pleasure seeing all of these folks plying their craft in some sort of harmonious symphony, except that's not at all how it went down.  We were all in each others way, we tried to do way too much in 9 days (it turned into 10, but could have easily been 20), and it was a chaotic, hair-raising adventure putting everything back together last Thursday.  Nonetheless, I'll be eternally grateful for the long hours and dedication last week of Kevin, Devin, Mike, Ray, Lisa, Chris, Oliver, Howie, Jeff, Eduardo, Arturro, Greg, Cornelius, Martin and family, Neil, Ben, Dean, and a handful of others who got it done.

Meanwhile, Brandon, Justin, Ron and their crew in the kitchen braved the construction chaos and managed to put together the best Magnolia menu yet.  This is what we were talking about: carefully sourced, seasonal, sustainable, and delicious.  It's the real deal after many a long year working toward this kind of food vision.  I now feel about the food like I always have about the beer and, like the beer, I can't wait to get to know this menu better.  

Lastly, Dean and Neil rallied the front of house troops and seized the opportune downtime to spend several days training and working out better systems to help you all have a better time here.  From the retooled wait list system (sign up on the chalkboard by the door) to new table assignments and other service improvements, they were pretty much ready to rock at 4:59 last Thursday afternoon.  Turns out it's pretty hard to work on that stuff when you're open 363 days a year for ten years straight.  This was time well spent.

I know some of you are sad and miss some or all of the "old" Magnolia.  I understand and I miss it, too.  Right now, it's all a little strange, honestly, after ten years.  And I've had over a year of planning to sit with these changes in my head before I made them.  It comes as a surprise to some of you.  Change is hard, but believe me when I say this change will yield amazing results for your little neighborhood brewpub.  It feels a little like it did ten years ago...a little too new...not lived in enough.  But that's just on the surface.  The soul of Magnolia lives on, same as ever, and with your help we'll have it feeling alive and vibrant again within months.  As always, it's a work in progress.

And if you're not quite sure, if your first impression didn't take, I humbly invite you to come back, relax, have a beer, and put down some new roots.  This place is the sum of all of our energy.  We couldn't do it without you.  And if you're still not happy, and you need to vent, lay it on me.  I'm not going to argue with you.  It IS dramatic.  But I really will try to get you to join me on the next chapter of this nutty adventure, even if I have to use beer to do it.  Cheers!

13 comments:

Neyah White said...

The pub looks GREAT!!! Congratulations to all.

Daniel said...

Love the new look! It's really just lovely, modern and cool, but warm and friendly and super old school feeling. The light fixtures are gorgeous and the communal table is genius. We come for Sunday brunch pretty much every week, and the new menu was fantastic - those doughnuts rocked my world. ;)

tonyleachsf said...

Congrats! I do really like the common table.

Ryan said...

Its good to have Magnolia back!
Now how about making some more Weekapaug Gruit? Its a beer for all seasons!

Ross said...

what happened to your on-line menu? I'd like to order to go, but now I can't :(

knoxville said...

I'm seconding ross's comment...when's the on-line menu going to be restored?

Boss said...

love the new look, the common table and the bar are just lovely. I get desire of wanting to keep the old but applaud your decision to move on with the new. Suggestions: menu online as soon as is feasible, keep us appraised of where your food is from and keep it as local as possible. The more in season and local the better as far as this fan is concerned. good luck - we'll be there often! -jos and mikeD

Dave McLean said...

Thanks, all. The menus will be back online by the end of next week, with the rest of the website updates coming shortly thereafter.

steff, anders, and eric said...

so i tried out the new magnolia. i like the new look and LOVE the out with the old ale.

i have just one complaint - i found the new menus kind of hard to navigate, and the beer list less informative as the old one.

anyway, will be hitting up magnolia for delicious beers and grub for years to come !

viygo.com said...

Sad to say I don't like the changes. The interior changes are nice. I do like the new table, but I think Magnolia is having an identity crisis. Is it a pub or a restaurant. The beer is still good, but $14 for a hamburger? Please. I can't decide if magnolia is more interested in being a beer destination which it was or a restaurant. It was better as a beer joint with a good menu and poor as a "nicer" resturant with good beer. Sad. I go there often but I'm not sure for how much longer.

jcsockeye said...

I've been in at least twice since you've redone the place and will definitely continue to go back. We live in the neighborhood so we're more concerned with food/drink and prices than with murals (we don't miss them). We're not too old (yet) but we have a bit of trouble reading the smallest print in the menu. They are beautiful though -- and the food so far has been mostly great, a couple things have missed but I'm sure things are still getting worked out and overall still great food. So glad we can keep enjoying one of our two favorite neighborhood restaurants! (we love the Alembic too)

Lil'Judas said...

The new Magnolia is terrible. The "soul" which for a restaurant resides in the decor, menu and the staff, has largely been ripped from the building. Funky, lively, warm, decor replaced by... absolutely nothing, really? gold and mirrors?. What was formally a decent menu replaced by "well we're out of these items" as entrees or crappy appetizers like the cheese plate (un-origional) or chicken wings (bones, skin & sauce). With Comment Moderation enabled it is unlikely this comment will ever be actually viewed but oh thank god for YELP :)

Don said...

We stopped for lunch today more or less at random, during an ad hoc tour of the City such as we do when down there for a stolen afternoon. We knew nothing of history or tradition or any possible losses thereto, just loved the neighborhood and walked around and went in there for a meal. Gotta say it was delish -- El Cubano for me, that sausage thing just below it on the menu for my wife, and I also enjoyed the Cole Porter very much. So, good luck with this venture, I hope it goes well for you, it certainly ought to if our experience was an indication.