Saturday, November 08, 2008

Clouse's Bar - Bascom, OH

Clouse's at dusk

Who needs glitzy sports bars? You just need that hole-in-the-wall where you can go and drink with no pretenses. You're there to drink and maybe grab some grub. A place to chew the fat with someone you've never met before, but friendly, nonetheless. I know y'all have a bar like this, so let's hear about them.

Drinking with the locals

7&7, ham and cheese sammich and Ballreich's potato chips

You could have a meetin' right here

Rumors of a gorgeous bartender were true, but she shunned the paparazzi

The backwards clock

Game room

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Halloween at FoJo


Another Halloween has come and gone. On Sunday the 26th, there was a parade downtown and we got a pre- and post-parade rush. Trick or Treat was yesterday from 4:30 to 6 p.m. There is something inherently wrong about having Trick or Treat during daylight hours. I don't like it one bit, no siree.

Some meddling kids after the parade

Representin' on Halloween

Small Halloween lunch crowd

Maria Shriver stopped by

Sunday, October 19, 2008

FoJo Coffee Works Grand Opening

Two shots of espresso

On Friday, Oct. 17th, FoJo Coffee Works opened to the public. We still had equipment and stock items arriving on Thursday, so we weren't able to do much advance advertising for the opening. Had to rely on word of mouth and customers that came to Jimmy's for burgers and wings.

This made for a sparse crowd, but allowed me to get organized behind the counter and work out some kinks.

I've also decided on our signature drink. My barista training manual calls it A Shot in the Dark. It's comprised of shots of espresso in a cup of dark roast coffee. For my purposes, I've renamed it.... The FoJo MoJo.

Cookies, scones, mini-muffins and cinnamon rolls

The counter area

A late morning coffee klatch

Stephanie admires her work on the menu board

The Command Center

Monday, September 22, 2008

Weekend at Jimmy's

My parents making the ceremonial first order

Jimmy's Grand Opening was this past Friday at 5 p.m. Earlier that afternoon, I stopped by my parents house and had the following Abbot and Costello-esque conversation with my Mom:

Me: Mom, I need you and Dad to be at the restaurant at 5 pm to be our ceremonial first customers.
Mom: OK
Me: Also, it's gonna be our first dollar, so no matter what you buy it's only gonna cost $1.
Mom: OK....but, we wanna pay for our meal.
Me: You will and it's only gonna be $1.
Mom: OK...but we really wanna pay for it.
Me: (sigh) You will and it's really only gonna cost $1
Mom: OK..............
Me: Seriously, be there at 5 and don't bring more than $1

I left before it got any more surreal. Then my head began to swim with scenarios where my Dad showed up with 4 quarters or 2 fifty cent pieces.

Anyways, we had a good crowd on Friday night considering we had little time to advertise. There were some bumps and missteps, but we're starting to smooth those out. On Saturday, we opened at 11 a.m. and stayed quite busy through 9 pm with the exception of a couple down periods.

By the time we closed on Saturday night, I had a chafe like you wouldn't believe; I was walking around like Fred Sanford. By Sunday afternoon, I smelled like fry oil with a hint of Gold Bond Medicated Powder. Holy crap. Sunday was pleasantly slow and we were finally able to catch our breaths. The word is getting out and we're already getting a reputation around town for having great food. Funny how that works.

Thanks for all your well-wishes and hope to see y'all soon.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Flippin' Jimmy's - Fostoria, OH

After nearly a year, we're finally finished with both the restaurant and the coffee house. Yesterday, we passed our county health inspection, so we have the green light to open. Our first food order comes today, so we're deciding whether to open Jimmy's tomorrow or Saturday. The coffee house will probably not be open until about Oct. 1st. Stay tuned.

FoJo Coffee Works Update:

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The County Seat Circuit

On Saturday morning, I took a drive around northwest Ohio via eight county seats. This part of Ohio is rural and heavy in agriculture. From the looks of the fields, there are going to be bumper crops of corn and soybeans. Plus, the farmer's markets were coming alive with the allure of sweet corn, melons, tomatoes and strawberries.

Findlay, OH -
Back in the day, when northwest Ohio was flush with oil and natural gas, Marathon Oil had its world headquarters in Findlay. Although the HQ is now in Houston, they still maintain an office here.

Hancock County Courthouse

Marathon Oil

Ottawa, OH - Nice little town of about 4500 people. I liked it.

Putnam County Courthouse

Sweet house on the main drag

Ottawa Water Works

Paulding, OH - A little smaller than Ottawa and it didn't seem to have a whole lot going on. Maybe its proximity to the Indiana border has caused some overflow of boredom.

Paulding County Courthouse

A storefront across from the courthouse

Defiance, OH - In a previous post on the Maumee River Valley, I wrote about Defiance, so I won't waste your time with more. I stopped here for lunch at Bud's Restaurant.

Defiance County Courthouse

Bud's Restaurant

An old Coca-Cola building

Bryan, OH - a thriving little town with a lot of manufacturing, including The Ohio Art Company and Spangler Candy Company.

Williams County Courthouse

Makers of Dum-Dum suckers

Makers of the Etch A Sketch

Napoleon, OH - Home to a Campbell's Soup plant

Henry County Courthouse

Former National Guard Armory

Abandoned grain elevators

Wauseon, OH - Not a whole lot going on from what I could see.

Fulton County Courthouse

A lighting store in an old building

Wauseon Depot

Bowling Green, OH - Home of Bowling Green State University. By the time I got to Bowling Green, I was wiped out, so I took a picture of the courthouse and went home.

Wood County Courthouse

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Camp Kippewa - Monmouth, ME

After visiting friends in Boston, (see post below) I ventured north into Maine to visit friends that are working the summer at Camp Kippewa - an all-girls, residential camp near Augusta. It was nice to get into the cool woods after a hot and humid weekend in Beantown. The camp was recently purchased by a company called CampGroup from a husband and wife, who had owned the camp for about 50 years. Kippewa has experienced decreased enrollment over the past few years and CampGroup buys distressed camps in the hopes of reviving them.

The campers enjoy activities such as land sports, water sports, arts and crafts, theater and horseback riding. Nice place to spend a summer.

View of the camp from the lake front

Bunkhouses nestled in the trees

More bunkhouses

Overlooking Lake Cobbesseecontee (pron. cah-buh-see-CAHN-tee)

Lakeside bunkhouse

The Playhouse

Old water tower

Climbing wall

Arts and Crafts building