Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Check in

Well time to check in again. I think this post I will tell you about the folks who work at The Cantina.

BOH (Back of House)

Devin, Kitchen Lead- quiet likeable guy. Makes no waves. Creates no problems. Loves the Mariners, Seahawks and Sounders. Pretty much Chaos free. And a most excellent cook in the kitchen

Maat- Maat is my Rock. He is a budding musician, and a great cook. And he is the kinda guy you want to work for you. Very reliable, very attentive.

Tyler- Likable young guy. Can be chaotic at times. But over all a good kid. His mouth and/or attitude can get him in trouble. (Reminds me of me)

FOH (Front of House)

Nell bell- The Grand Dame of the Cantina- Experienced Bartender. And a good friend.

Austin- Little tiny gay dude that looks like he is 12. But he is a very capable bartender. And also a good friend.

Mandolin- Very quiet country guy. Big Johnny Cash/Elvis fan. Fun to talk to because we have so much in common.

Jake (Bar Manager) Jake is very quiet and soft spoken. Harder to get close to than the others, but then I think that is a self-protective thing with him.The man knows how to mix a mean drink.

Dulci- Our Saturday bartender- Very personable, a definite customer favorite.

Jessie - Our Sunday bartender. Very knowledgeable and professional. Always has good hints from her years of ex[erience, and happy to share.

Rob- Fill in Bartender- My favorite of all. Of course it is me!

There you have the staff of the Black Zia Cantina, the group of cool folks that keep the cantina running like a top!

Friday, June 30, 2017

A New Day

Things are looking up for "papi" (a nickname from one of my bartenders, Austin, whom I love to pieces). I spent the, will go o close of the bar, with Jake, the manager, and can actually say I think I can do this! While he was counting out his till, I spent the time going over the food shopping and liquor shopping lists. The one thing I am truly good at is shopping.... anyhow, I figured the liquor out myself, Devin, our head cook, made out the food shopping list for me. Anyway, I know what I need, and tomorrow morning go and get the items needed at the "Cash and Carry", and get those things off my list! That and I had a really good time with Jake bullshitting about the bar business, restaurants and other non-related stuff. I actually for a second felt happy and secure with myself, something I haven't felt in a long time. that and I got a text from mone of the bartenders, Nell, my goddess in blue jeans,saying how much she appreciated me and our "dysfunctional family" and everything I am doing running the bar... small potatoes maybe, but hearing it from a seasoned veteran like Nell means so much! Anyway I feel the best I have felt for the last couple of months so for that I am grateful!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Mental Fitness

ne thing I am slowly learning is no one cares how I am feeling. Not the employees certainly not my customers, and pretty much everyone else. Oh they say things like "Oh you need to get your rest" or "remember to take care of yourself". But mostly it is indifference to me and anything I really need. All I know is I have to take care of myself because no one really cares. I have my two dogs and they love me. And for now that is enough. If I have a really bad day, some of my so called friends like to see how far they can push me until I break, then get all defensive on me when it happens. That is total bull shit. Recently I made decisions in business, like cancelling our weekend brunch, because, A- it doesn't generate enough income to override labor costs, and B.- I don't need the stress. And that  is all good and fine until one of my employees, decides... No more Eggs Benny? That's right mother fucker. My mental health is more important than if you get your favorite egg dish on Saturday or Sunday. Sorry if that seems selfish or I am ranting, but fuck it. I need to take care of me right now.

Monday, June 26, 2017

So this guy walks into a bar....


Well let me update you on what's new in Rob's World. Here I was, 50 something, happy, retired and so what do I do? I buy half a bar in Burien. The Black Zia Cantina is a "New Mexican" cuisine restaurant and bar.
WHAT IS IT LIKE OWNING A BAR, ROB?
Nothing like it I have ever known. I am now responsible for other people's livelihoods. And that means I get to be Daddy, Mommy, Aunt, Uncle and Boss. And so much other legal responsibilities. But hopefully, I am ready for it. And after dealing with employees, customers, fellow business owners, I must apologize to my Junior High school Vice Principle. (That is what I equate this to). I now know what the hell we put you through. I am so sorry, Mr Lopresti!
But  seriously, it is a lot of work. I have gone from 8 hours a week as a retired craft artisan to a bar owner/manager/bartender 50+ hours a week. And that doesn't include being a dishwasher, somewhat cook, delivery person et. al.
SO YOU CHANGING IT INTO A GAY BAR, ROB?
No. This would be cool. But I like to think of Black Zia as an Everybody Body. We have a sign in the window the states "If you are Racist, Sexist, Homophobic or an A**hole, don't come in. And I am good with that... since taking over, We have put on Drag Shows, hosted a Gay Pride After Party (Burien had it's first Gay Pride celebration! I will post more about that later!) and done a few things that put the bar out of the norm. Something Black Zia has always been known for, as well as being the center for Punk, Hard Rock and metal music in the city. That and our famous Summer-Ween and Halloween Parties! (Everybody likes to get dressed up!)
So now Rob's World is pretty much about the struggles and Victories of owning a little bar in Burien, my fair city!


Monday, August 22, 2016

4 Things to Make Summer Walks with your Dog Cool and Easy

I have a lot of friends who are getting new puppies and adopting dogs... They ask me Rob, what do we need to walk the dog... While not being a dog whisperer or anything, I give them the following advice:


1. A good leash- While I appreciate Dollar Tree for inexpensive items for the dogs, Their leashes are at best temporary as well as their collars. I personally use a Fozzy Dog leash, as it is sturdy and has a convenient pouch built in to carry poop bags, treats. There are other brands out there just as good, FozzyDog is my preference. And the have a great double leash That allows two dogs to walk comfortably, as well as mini leashes for the little guys. A bit expensive, but well worth it as it  seems to last forever. But look for a leash that is sturdy, has good snaps and not too long, so you can control your dog- 48" seems to be about the right length. And please stay away from thoseretractable leashes, especially if your dog is apt to bolt suddenly.

2- A good Collar or Harness- This does not need to be expensive. Just look for collars that , if they are adorned, like with jewels or studs, don't have protrusions on the inside of the collar, (it can rub and irritate the pooch) I usually buy mine at the Burien Farmers Market, there is a lady that sells collars there. But most pet stores should have them in stock, and should be able to help you with sizing.

3. Stainless steel water bottle Face it. not every destination is going to have water for your pooch. I find that having a Stainless Steel water bottle is a good answer. There are a lot of plastic water bottles for dogs, and I like a lot of them, but find the leak or get destroyed.

4. Collapsible Dog Bowl- A great thing to put your water for Fido in! Cheap, easy to fit into a pant pocket or on a leash sometimes I take two- one for water, one for food

Monday, May 9, 2016

My Movie!!!

I made a little movie for the BURIEN UFO FESTIVAL/BURIEN FILM FESTIVAL, so now I can say I have something in common with George Clooney (My film did win shit either, George). So, without further ado, May I present: "X-FILE: PLAN K9 FROM OUTERSPACE"

I must mention this film couldn't be done without my "bitch"/assistant director, Kellie Bassen, nor my editor who performed magic working with very raw materiel, Matt Wendland. Also I must mention my love of the movies of Ed Woods, whom without his inspiration Plan K9 would be but a passing thought!