Common Craft: Beer Bars, Wine Room, ‘Speakeasy’ Cocktail Bar, & Bistro in Burlington, Massachusetts

By: Patrick Maguire

Book Chapter: Human-to-Human Service

Posted: 3/4/2022

Pivoting from advocating for service industry workers to promote Common Craft, a very cool, new concept opening in my old hometown. I’m proud to announce that there’s an awesome project supporting independent, small business, on the way to Burlington, MA, within Burlington Mall.

In a world of Pandemic Pivots, repurposing mall spaces has hastened considerably. Simon Property Group (owner of Burlington Mall) has been proactive, creative, and aggressive with their strategic planning. They are known for creating “experiential-centric” destinations, including ‘Lifestyle Centers’ across America. Including Common Craft is consistent with Simon’s stated intention of “aggressively pursuing high-quality tenants to populate the new facilities which are intended to appeal to the retail market.” [Simon letter to Burlington Planning Board-Burlington Patch May 4, 2018]

“We’re a company of experiences and therefore perfectly positioned to capture the hearts, minds and imaginations of our shoppers with new, exciting and dynamic ways to live, work, play, stay and shop at Simon,” David Simon, chairman & CEO of Simon Property Group –Commercial Property Executive May 18, 2018

The Common Craft space is adjacent to some of the Lifestyle Center space that is part of the new construction. However, Common Craft is a stand-alone, self-contained entity with 4, uniquely branded rooms (2 beer, 1 wine, and 1 full liquor) with a separate entrance. It is not part of a Food Hall or a Beer Hall, like Harpoon in Boston, MA.

I recently visited Deacon Giles in Salem, MA and Idle Hands in Malden, MA, enjoyed their libations, met the owners, and toured their shops. I also communicated with the owners/principals at Vineyard Road and Hermit Thrush. They all welcome the opportunity to speak with media and welcome you to their facilities. I’m also happy to make introductions to the folks at Simon Property Group for comment.

‘Common Craft’ is a celebration of similar, independent artisans who excel at their craft. When I met with Larry Leibowitz and toured his vision in progress, I was intrigued and impressed with his mission of collaborating with, and promoting, independent, small brands that share a common craft. The craft being celebrated at the mall is craft beverages, beer, wine, and spirits from small, independent producers. Many of us champion the #BuyLocal #MomAndPop #SmallBiz ‘Support the Underdog’ mantras. Common Craft will allow us to live that, and to have some fun at the same time. Please share this post with any of your colleagues who may be interested in researching and broadcasting this local story.

Press Release

Boston, MA March 25, 2022

Common Craft, a first of its kind Craft Beverage & Bistro Experience Opening in Burlington, MA Spring 2022

   Craft Beer Bars, Wine Bar, Speakeasy & Bistro Dining Under 1 Roof

Media Contact: Maguire PR & Promotions Email: patrick@servernotservant.com

We’re thrilled to officially announce that something innovative and dynamic is coming to Burlington Mall, taking the tap room concept to the next level. Common Craft is the first venue of its kind where guests can experience multiple, branded beverage concepts collaborating under one roof. When you visit Common Craft, you step into a carefully curated and rotating selection of hospitality experiences without ever leaving the building.

The industrial warehouse design features approximately 9,000 sq. ft. of beverage and dining choices in four uniquely designed and branded rooms. Common Craft will be the first to feature special brews, spirits, wines, limited time offers, and seasonal exclusives from select, independent producers. Upon arrival, guests will notice the cavernous ceilings, exposed brick walls, and iron beam trusses. They are encouraged to meander through the great hall filled with seating, live greenery, choices of craft beverages, entertainment, and food.

Local MA and New England branded rooms at Common Craft will include innovative, award-winning Idle Hands Craft Ales (Malden, MA), which will play host to a beer hall style room featuring a wide selection of craft beer. “Belgian beer dates back to the Middle Ages when it was only produced in monasteries. Over 500 years and 500 beers later, the depth and breadth of Belgian beers is tremendous with most of the popular styles and brands still brewed in Belgium. Today, Belgian beers are frequently paired with a variety of food offerings to complement and enhance the flavors of both.” -Idle Hands

“We are very excited to partner with Common Craft to open a location in Burlington Mall. The Common Craft team is doing an awesome job envisioning what an Idle Hands satellite taproom would look like, taking cues from our home in Malden. It truly will be a home away from home for us. We are just thrilled to have another location that we can do fun things with, including another Oktoberfest, unique releases, and food/beer focused events. The sky is the limit!” -Christopher Tkach, Founder & President Idle Hands

Hermit Thrush (Brattleboro, VT) craft beer bar will highlight their collection of signature sour beers using only local yeast. “Fermenting since 2014 with only wild Brattleboro mixed culture yeast. continually pushing boundaries of new sour beer. Brewhouse fueled by wood, not fossils. To truly understand terroir and wild yeast, a brewer must come to terms with the type of beer that “wants to be made” in their region. We are proud of Brattleboro’s wild yeast for its balance, its stone fruit and pecan character, and how dry and effervescent it leaves the beer. We are grateful to our region’s farms for the availability of world class hops and fruits, as well as to our area distilleries for unique and beautiful oak barrel flavor histories.” -Hermit Thrush

Deacon Giles Distillery (Salem, MA) adds the energy, feel, and enthusiasm of their winning ‘speakeasy’ concept, complete with dim lighting, plush seating, and award-winning craft cocktail menu. Their Dry Gin, Spiced Rum, Amber Rum, and Vodka have been very popular in Salem and beyond since 2015. “All of us at Deacon Giles are excited to be partnering with Common Craft in opening such a great community space that brings together an impressive lineup of quality, local craft-beverage producers, and a kitchen, to elevate the guest experience under one roof.” -Ian Hunter and Jesse Brenneman, Co-founders, Deacon Giles Distillery #DamnRighteousSpirits

Wine geeks and casual fans alike will love with élevage Wine Room – a curated selection of boutique wine producers from around the globe, highlighting specific themes and craft vintners. Massachusetts-based importer and distributor, Vineyard Road, will be sourcing the wines, specializing in small production and artisanal producers. “We look to find talented growers who are committed to making real, honest, and above all, delicious wines.” -Vineyard Road #TruthInWine

Outside patio space will double as a lounge and game area and will be the home of seasonal events like Oktoberfest, Rosé all Day, Tiki Summer Nights, and live music. A large projector screen will also treat guests to important sporting events, classic movies, and retro cartoons.

Common Craft guests are encouraged to share and pair items from the food menu with beverages from the four craft beverage partners. The approachable menu, offered throughout the entire space, will feature creative, upscale twists on gastropub classics-heavy on appetizers, starters, and snacks, in addition to salads, burgers, sandwiches, and entrees. Ingredient sourcing will weigh heavily on local and small producers, as well as products from the producers at Common Craft that will double as ingredients within many menu items.

Upon leaving Common Craft, guests can visit a separate retail bottle shop where they can purchase packaged beer, wine, and souvenirs from the featured producers, with items exclusive to the Burlington location.

Adjacent to Common Craft’s patio, guests will enjoy Burlington Mall’s new ‘Open-Air Lifestyle Center’ outdoor space full of greenery, Adirondack chairs, bocce court, warming tables, and nest swings. A visit to the mall will be more fun, relaxing, and entertaining than ever!!

“We are excited to welcome the first-to-market Common Craft to Burlington Mall. Our shoppers crave connecting and finding joy in discovering the new and different. It is a great time for Common Craft to join our premier center in the new open-air lifestyle area and provide an even greater experience to customers.” Laura Schwartz, Simon Properties – Regional Vice President – Leasing New England

ABOUT THE CONCEPT

The craft beverage industry has become extremely popular and competitive. Small producers struggle with competing against the big corporate brands for notoriety and shelf space. Common Craft will help solve this issue by shining a spotlight on craft producers and further elevating their independent brands in a meaningful way. The unique concept makes it the perfect venue for a date night, group event, casual meet up and private events.

ABOUT THE TEAM

Working in the hospitality industry for over twenty-five years, Larry Leibowitz saw the trend in craft beverages expanding at a record pace. He also observed many fantastic, local producers competing with beverage industry giants for brand recognition, cooler space, beer tap lines, and menu listings. Larry’s role as the National Director of Culinary Innovation for a global catering company earned him a spot on the Forty under 40 Griffin Report and led to the creation of two highly regarded restaurants in Salem, MA, Bambolina and Kokeshi. The pair of restaurants have been featured in several publications and have received numerous accolades, including Boston Magazine’s Best of Boston, and five-time winner of the BONS award from North Shore Magazine.

Common Craft is hiring all positions: Executive Chef, AGM, Craft Cocktail Bartenders, Beertenders, Winetenders, Barbacks, Hosts, Line Cooks, Food Runners, & Bussers.

Architect renderings of the space, floor plan, logos, and sample menus for media are available upon request. Media Tours are currently being scheduled. We look forward to welcoming you.

Please contact me with questions, or feel free to contact Larry directly for interviews and media inquiries.

Thank you for your consideration of sharing the news about Common Craft.

Cheers-Patrick

CONTACT:

Larry Leibowitz
Founder

larry@commoncraftholdings.com

www.commoncrafthospitality.com

Permalink | Posted in Human-to-Human Service | No Comments »

‘Rules’ of Engagement in Civilized Society Include Restaurants by Dee Wolf-The Lobster Shanty Salem, MA

By: Patrick Maguire

Book Chapter: Rules of Engagement

Posted: 1/19/2022

Today’s guest post by my friend, Dee Wolf, Chef/owner of The Lobster Shanty and Wolf Next Door Coffee in Salem, MA first appeared in my Server Not Servant Facebook Group where it garnered more attention than any other post in the history of the group. As of today, Dee’s post has been shared 350 times, 700 people reacted to it, and 136 humans commented on it. [The FB post cannot be shared any longer because it has been slightly edited.]

Diane is a savvy, seasoned, salty restaurant industry veteran, and clearly her poignant message has resonated with many. I’m reposting here to encourage more people to read and share her message with your networks, including media contacts for publication. The link to this blog post will make her message easier to share.

The more restaurant customers and humans who read Dee’s work, the better…

From Diane ‘Dee’ Wolf:

You don’t need to go out to eat.

You don’t need to sit at a bar and have drinks with friends.

If you want to, then there are some rules that our society needs you to follow. If you want to drink, you must be 21 years old, and we can only serve you during the hours that our liquor license allows. We require guests to be fully dressed, including shoes and a shirt. You can’t misbehave or disrupt other guests. You cannot smoke or vape inside the restaurant or on our patio. When you drive here you can’t just leave your car anywhere, you need to park it in a legal spot, or you’ll get towed or get a ticket. Don’t drive if you’re drinking alcohol. If you bring a dog, she can’t sit inside, and we need proof that she has had a rabies shot.

What I’m saying is, having rules of engagement in any society is nothing new.

We have the legal right to refuse service to anyone, at any time, for any reason, or no reason at all. But we are not unreasonable, and we welcome you to join us and stay. We want you to stay, we are in the hospitality business – but it is a business and there are laws, rules and societal norms that we all must follow to be part of this community. We take community building seriously.

I didn’t need to buy a restaurant.
I didn’t need to get a liquor license.

But I wanted to – so I had to do a few things; I got TiPS certified, ServSafe Certified, went to culinary school (which required me to be vaccinated for MMR, Hepatitis B, Chicken Pox, & Meningitis). I also trained with NEHA (the National Environmental Health Association) and created a HACCP (Hazzard Analysis Critical Control Point) plan to make sure my team handles food safely. I wrote a business plan, took out loans, and sold some personal items for seed money. I applied for a food permit & a liquor license. We had to have a health inspection, plumbing inspection, fire inspection, and building inspection just for our occupancy permit. Can’t just hang a sign, need to go before the Design Review Board for approval first. Want an A-frame sign? Need a special permit for that too. We must file and pay meals tax to the city and to the commonwealth, monthly. I need three or four different kinds of insurance, a payroll service, a trustworthy accountant, pest control, quality food & liquor vendors, trash, recycling, & compost removal. I must arrange for cooking oil recycling and knife sharpening. Clean that grease trap and snake the drains every quarter. Clean the exhaust hood and have the fire suppression system tested regularly. Train my crew, write a menu, buy plates & glassware, decorate the place, maybe get a couple of TVs, pay for cable or a satellite, maybe a jukebox service and an ATM. (Don’t forget to pay the four different musicians unions if you play a radio or have live music) Buy a Point of Sale system, arrange for credit card processing. Maybe secure a line of credit (or bootstrap it like we did). All of this needs to be done before we serve a single burger or pour one beer. The goal is to create a culture and an atmosphere that folks want to go to.

Yeah, you could eat at home – my job is to entice you to come join us and be part of our special community. Do you have to? No. Do I want you to? Yes.

We have done SO MUCH to get this restaurant ready for you, to make it fun, to make it safe – so you can let loose and relax for a while. The least you could do is not give my host pushback for asking you to follow the rules. Rulemaking is well above our pay grade here at our little Mom & Pop restaurant. Anyone who wants to ‘punish’ a local business for following new mandates from the city or commonwealth is shooting themselves in the foot – because all that will be left are big chains of boring food dished out by large, soulless corporations. If you want to live in a thriving, unique community; a community with heart and soul, do your fucking part. We’re tired of arguing with you, we’d just like to get back to hospitality if you don’t mind…

In the comments, Dee added, A handful of folks in cities with new vaccine mandates want to punish restaurants by boycotting them, I find this infuriating and heartless. If you want small, independent restaurants in your community, you need to support them.

Amen, Dee Wolf. Amen ♥

Dee can be reached via email at lobstershanty@gmail.com.

Subscription to these blog posts is currently free by entering your email in the blue box on the upper-left side of this post. To support the mission of the Server Not Servant blog and expedite publishing of the forthcoming book, please click on ‘Support Server Not Servant’ in the blue box on the upper-right side of this post. Venmo: @Patrick-Maguire-32. Please email me about personal or corporate book sponsorship opportunities at patrick@servernotservant.com.

And please consider sharing this post if inspired to do so.

Cheers-Patrick Maguire

#ServerNotServant

Permalink | Posted in Rules of Engagement | No Comments »

Fuck You, #BoycottBoston Boors. #FuckYou

By: Patrick Maguire

Book Chapter: Rules of Engagement

Posted: 1/17/2022

I’ve spent the most of my life living and working in and around Boston. Right now, I’m embarrassed for Boston and the America many of us grew up to (mostly) love and respect. The recent degradation and desecration of Democracy, ‘patriotism,’ and ‘American’ ideals that we have witnessed, and are in the midst of, are absolutely disgraceful.

A friend posted the following on social media on Sunday morning, 1/16/22:

I never turn off comments for Facebook and Twitter posts, but I did today for the posts about the [Boston] vaccine card mandate once I started getting Nazi stuff and other nastiness. I’d like to think we’re better than this as a country but apparently, we’re not.

Oh, and to those saying they’ll try to push their way into restaurants without vaccine proof because “a mandate doesn’t have the same power as a law”? Guess what–they both have the exact same power of enforcement. And again, don’t take it out on restaurants who are already struggling enough as it is.

Seriously, don’t be a dick.

My response on that thread:

100%. ‘We’ are not ‘better than this’ right now in Boston and America. There is a pervasive entitlement under the auspices of ‘freedom,’ and in rejection of ‘tyranny’ that is rampant in our culture. Many of the #FreedomFighters, including the #BoycottBoston tribe, are opportunists seeking any chance they can to desecrate the very democracy that supports their right to do so. It’s like a sport for them. Vaccine mandates, designed to protect workers and customers, are not easy decisions made haphazardly to ‘oppress’ anyone. And they wouldn’t be necessary if the majority of our populous were intelligent and open enough to research, learn, and trust science on their own without incentives or mandates for the greater good. Self-preservation is a strong motivator, and critical thinking is nearly extinct. And anyone or anything who threatens cultist’s long-ago, established ‘worldview’ will be subject to hateful, vitriolic, and sometimes violent attacks. ‘Different’ will always be a hated enemy to them because it makes them uncomfortable. And thoughtful, 2-way conversation (and potentially changing one’s mind) using meaningful words is too hard and risky for them. Being wrong and vulnerable is a sign of weakness and not an option. Extremists on all ‘sides’ will always be one of our worst enemies in America.

On Saturday, 1/15/22, proof of Covid vaccination, or tiered vaccine mandates went into effect in Boston, Brookline, and Salem, MA with several other cities/towns considering following suit.

From the City of Boston: 

Starting on January 15, 2022, to address rising COVID-19 cases and encourage vaccination, individuals will be required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to enter certain indoor spaces in Boston. People working in those locations will also be required to have received their vaccines.

The best way for Boston to stay healthy and support our communities, our businesses, and cultural institutions is for more people to get vaccinated.

Covered businesses are responsible for checking proof of vaccination and posting a notice about the COVID-19 vaccine requirement…

On the days leading up to Saturday, 1/15, several restaurants posted reminders to prospective guests about what would be required for entry.

In response, as predicted, along comes a handful of self-serving, often anonymous, cowardly pack of ‘patriotic,’ assholes attacking restaurants and calling for boycotts of the restaurants communicating what they are required to enforce to operate.

Here’s a sampling:

 

 

The profile from the last tweet states, “…help fight for liberty and religious freedom against totalitarianism and tyranny.” Yup, tyranny… As expected, the engagement on social media became vitriolic and vile. After I supported one restaurant under attack after their facebook post about the mandate, I received this pathetic missive in response:

 

Fuck off, ‘Robyn RM.’

Late last week, on the days leading up to implementation of the vaccine mandate, hateful protesters gathered early in the morning at the private home of Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. Boston Globe columnist, Yvonne Abraham was spot on in her assessment on why we even bother with idiots…

At the Mayor’s house, a measure of how low people can go

Excerpts from Yvonne’s piece:

It’s often best to avoid giving odious people air time.

There’s little to gain from engaging with the ugliness that passes for political protest these days.

But the ugly protests outside the Roslindale home of Boston Mayor Michelle Wu are impossible to ignore. The folks protesting the city’s vaccine mandates have been particularly nasty, and personal. They have crossed all kinds of lines.

Critics of Wu’s policies requiring all city employees to be vaccinated, and proof of a jab to enter certain businesses in Boston, have laced their arguments with racism and misogyny: One protester’s sign at a recent public event in Mattapan called Wu, the daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, a “communist [expletive],” and read, “Welcome to the Peoples Republic of Boston.” {Admin edit, where Yvonne used ‘expletive,’ the protestor’s sign said ‘cunt.’}

In Roslindale, the rabid vaccine resisters have shown up early in the morning, making as much noise as they can in an effort to wake not just Wu’s family, it seems, but the entire neighborhood, joking that they’re the mayor’s “alarm clock.” Their presence is all the more jarring in a progressive city like Boston, where Wu was elected in a landslide just a few months ago.

The protesters’ rhetoric mirrors the poisonous, pandemic-prolonging talking points that have infected millions across the country, a rejection of science becoming a kind of perverted patriotism that is integral to conservatism these days. They parade their ignorance even as hospitals are at their breaking point and public health professionals beg for mercy.

The protesters in Roslindale rail against “forced medicine.” The most vocal of them work in public safety, a field in which their refusal to take the most basic precautions should be utterly disqualifying. They proudly post videos of their disruptions. In one clip posted to Twitter on Friday, Wu’s birthday, somebody in the crowd converging on her car kept yelling “Happy birthday, Hitler!”

Earlier last week, my colleague Stephanie Ebbert heard one protestor say something menacing to Wu, a mother devoted to her two young boys.

“You’re not going to be around for your children cause you are going to be held accountable,” the person said.

Even by the standards we’ve come to expect from these protests, which is to say none, that is despicable. There are human beings in that house, including little kids, and Wu’s mother, who has struggled with mental illness. Imagine how terrifying it must be for a kid to have people show up at your home and say such awful things. It wouldn’t be the first time enraged adults have behaved despicably around children in the city, but one would hope we’d grown as Boston grew more welcoming to people of color.

Instead, we seem to have regressed. Threats, veiled and otherwise, are the currency of public discourse these days, from school board meetings in Derry, N.H., to the office of the nation’s top COVID expert, Anthony Fauci.

The targets of anti-vaccine mobs face an impossible choice: Call out the threats, thereby giving them a bigger platform; or ignore them and risk normalizing the behavior, knowing that one in the mob may actually do them harm. Increasingly, those railing about tyranny are doing more than just posturing, a fact last year’s insurrection made plain.

Wu has gone back and forth, struggling with how best to respond to her increasingly hostile critics. In tweets on Saturday, she called out some of the slurs and said: “To have a chance at healing & building community, we can’t keep normalizing hate.”

Every elected official expects to be the target of protests, particularly in this fractious era. And Wu’s critics have the right to express themselves, no matter how wrongheaded their point of view.

But do they have to be this appalling, this cruel? Can we at least agree that the protests should be confined to public settings, and not the homes of elected officials — of either party — who deserve to feel safe where they live?

Or have we lost the capacity for even that basic decency, too?

[If you want to adhere to the notion that there are still intelligent humans reading, digesting, and responding to articles like that, do NOT read the comments. Your ‘faith in humanity’ will not be restored…]

So many of these comments and actions are disgraceful for Boston and America, but this is who ‘we’ really are. The ignorance under the guise of ‘patriotism,’ the ‘victims’ being ‘oppressed’ by ‘tyranny,’ and the #FreedomFighters fighting for their narrow, incendiary, self-serving version of ‘freedom,’ clearly demonstrates how pervasive hate, divisiveness, and extremism is in our culture, and that SO many people would rather ‘die on the hill’ of their long-ago, established ‘worldviews’ than research, study science and facts, learn, admit they were wrong and change their minds. Civilized society has laws, rules, and social contracts, and consequences when they’re not adhered to. Unfortunately, MANY humans, when left to their own discretion, ‘freedom’ of choice to ‘do the right thing,’ for the greater good, never will.  So embarrassed for Boston and America right now. And no, I’m not leaving, but I will keep speaking up.

On twitter, I responded to tweets like those above with the following:

Researching and supporting the efforts of the Independent Restaurant Coalition is the very best course of action that we can take right now to ensure that our favorite, neighborhood restaurants survive. I can’t emphasize enough how critical this is. This absolutely IS life or death for SO many Mom & Pop shops. For many restaurants, business is absolutely awful right now in the dead of the winter in Boston. The very last vestige of hope for many restaurants to survive is replenishment of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

There is a Day of Action tomorrow, Tuesday, 1/18/22 at noon that I encourage everyone to participate in and spread the word about.

 

Last night, I experienced the vaccine mandate requirement first-hand at one of my favorite spots, Trina’s Starlight Lounge in Somerville, MA. It’s the first time I’ve been inside anywhere knowing that everyone else in the room was vaccinated to some degree. And it felt very good knowing that…

After getting home last night, I saw this post on my Server Not Servant Facebook Group from my friend, Diane Wolf, chef and owner of The Lobster Shanty and Wolf Next Door Coffee in Salem, MA. The timing of this ‘boots on the ground’ insight couldn’t have been better on the heels of an often contentious, extremely difficult weekend for restaurants in Boston and beyond…

Diane is a savvy, seasoned, salty restaurant industry veteran and ‘good people’ who I have a lot of respect for. This poignant post cuts to the core:

You don’t need to go out to eat.

You don’t need to sit at a bar and have drinks with friends.

If you want to, then there are some rules that our society needs you to follow. If you want to drink, you must be 21 years old, and we can only serve you during the hours that our liquor license allows. We require guests to be fully dressed, including shoes and a shirt. You can’t misbehave, or disrupt other guests. You can’t bring a firearm with you if you’re drinking alcohol. You cannot smoke or vape inside the restaurant or on our patio. When you drive here, you can’t just leave your car anywhere, you need to park it in a legal spot or you’ll get towed. Didn’t feed the meter? You’ll get a ticket. Don’t drive if you’re drinking alcohol. If you bring a dog, she can’t sit inside and we need proof that she has had a rabies shot and she’ll need to remain on a leash. What I’m saying is, having rules of engagement in any society is nothing new.

We have the legal right to refuse service to anyone, at any time, for any reason, or no reason at all. But we are not unreasonable, and we would like you to stay. We want you to stay, we are in the hospitality business – but it is a business and there are laws, rules and societal norms that we all must follow to be part of this community. We take community building seriously.

I didn’t need to buy a restaurant.
I didn’t need to get a liquor license.

But I wanted to – so I had to do a few things; I got TiPS certified, ServSafe Certified, went to culinary school (which required me to be vaccinated for MMR, Hepatitis B, Chicken Pox, & Meningitis). I also trained with NEHA (the National Environmental Health Association) and created a HACCP (Hazzard Analysis Critical Control Point) plan to make sure my team handles food safely. I wrote a business plan, took out loans, and sold some personal items for seed money. I applied for a food permit & a liquor license. We had to have health inspection, a plumbing inspection, a fire inspection, and a building inspection just for our occupancy permit. Can’t just hang a sign, need to go before the Design Review Board for approval first. Want an A-frame sign? Need a special permit for that. We must file and pay meals tax to the city and to the commonwealth, monthly. I need three or four different kinds of insurance, a payroll service, a trustworthy accountant, pest control, quality food & liquor vendors, trash, recycling, & compost removal. I must arrange for cooking oil recycling and knife sharpening. Clean that grease trap and snake the drains every quarter. Clean the exhaust hood and have the fire suppression system tested regularly. Train my crew, write a menu, buy plates & glassware, decorate the place, maybe get a couple of TVs, pay for cable or a satellite, maybe a jukebox service and an ATM. (Don’t forget to pay the four different musicians unions if you play a radio or have live music) Buy a Point of Sale system, arrange for credit card processing. Maybe secure a line of credit (or bootstrap it like we did). All this needs to be done before we serve a single burger or pour one beer. The goal is to create a culture and an atmosphere that folks want to go to.

Yeah, you could eat at home – my job is to make you want to come join us and be part of our special community. Do you have to? No. Do I want you to? Yes.

We have done SO MUCH to get this restaurant ready for you, to make it fun, to make it safe – so you can let loose and relax for a while. The least you could do is not give my host pushback for asking you to follow the rules. Rulemaking is well above our pay grade here at our little mom & pop restaurant. Anyone who wants to ‘punish’ a local business for following new mandates from the city or commonwealth is shooting themselves in the foot – because all that will be left are big chains of boring food dished out by large, soulless corporations. If you want to live in a thriving, unique community; a community with heart and soul, do your fucking part. We’re tired of arguing with you, we’d just like to get back to hospitality if you don’t mind.

Don’t like the rules? Stay home. You don’t need to go out to eat.

In the comments, Diane added, A handful of folks in cities with new vaccine mandates want to punish restaurants by boycotting them, I find this infuriating and heartless. If you want small, independent restaurants in your community, you need to support them.

Amen, Diane Wolf. Amen ♥

Subscription to these blog posts is currently free by entering your email in the blue box on the upper-left side of this post. To support the Server Not Servant blog and expedite publishing of the forthcoming book, please click on ‘Support Server Not Servant’ in the blue box on the upper-right side of this post. Venmo: @Patrick-Maguire-32. Please email me about personal or corporate book sponsorship opportunities at patrick@servernotservant.com.

And please consider sharing this post if inspired to do so.

Thank you-Patrick

Permalink | Posted in Rules of Engagement | No Comments »

Anniversary of January 6, 2021-Donald Trump & #Cult45’s Attack on America and Democracy

By: Patrick Maguire

Book Chapter: Rules of Engagement

Posted: 1/6/2022

Never Forget. I posted the following on Facebook on the night of January 6, 2021:

Reflections after being riveted to the TV today during the ‘Raid on Democracy’ by Trump’s willfully-ignorant, sycophantic, naïve, manipulated, pathetic thugs/mob who stormed the Capitol and violated American ideals to support their psychotic, narcissistic, criminal demagogue:

-Self-preservation (justifying one’s existence/beliefs) is a strong motivator. Even neanderthal, Soprano wannabes, willing to put themselves at risk, do so for selfish reasons. They formed their insulated, bigoted, hateful ‘worldviews’ long ago. They’re done reading, studying, brainstorming, learning, and evolving. Critical thinking isn’t even in their lexicon, never mind on their radar. Trump has enabled and empowered their latent, suppressed voices of hate, and the Trump cult has given them a forum and a platform to be ‘loud and proud,’ finally. So they heed the clarion call of their demented demigod. That was clearly on display today. Never forget, more than 74 million Americans voted for Trump in 2020. Widespread ignorance will always be pervasive in America, and combating it with education to make progress, will always be a huge challenge.

-In our present condition (especially after today), America IS (not looks like) a ‘Third World Country.’ I’ve always abhorred the notion of being, “The greatest country in the world.” In many respects we are, but in many respects we’re not, and never will be. And that’s ok, we don’t need to be. We just need to strive to be a great, global neighbor. “American Exceptionalism’ is bullshit. Today we were no better than the unstable nations around the world that we’ve always been horrified by.

A few of my ‘live’ tweets from today:

– “Seriously, it’s ridiculous that the National Guard and/or the military and Homeland Security have not secured the buildings by now. There is no excuse for this. The US was totally unprepared, and the delayed response is disgraceful.”

– “Never forget that Donald Trump, Thug-In-Chief, called the mob/scum that stormed the proceedings in Washington to sanction our elections, “special people,” and said, “We love you.” Trump is an absolutely horrible ‘human’ who has desecrated America, again.”

– “It’s disgraceful enough that security was breached, but how is it possible that these thugs have been allowed to occupy these buildings all afternoon?!? Where is the cavalry?”

– “If today’s mob/terrorists were members of Black Lives Matter, marine helicopters would have landed on the lawn and we would have seen a violent, overwhelming show of force in no time. On a day that started out w/so much hope coming from Georgia, I am so fucking angry + sickened.”

– “The rage is slowly giving way to sadness for America because of the sycophantic, ignorant, hateful mob manipulated and inspired by one of the worst demagogues on the planet, Donald Trump. He’s reached another disgraceful low, and America has suffered greatly, again.”

The inauguration can’t come soon enough. Trump has presided over one of the darkest chapters in American history. His inept, incompetent, selfish behavior is beyond immoral and unconscionable, it’s criminal. Justice must be served, sending him to prison for the remainder of his life in order to preserve the integrity of democracy.

Good Night-PM

Permalink | Posted in Rules of Engagement | No Comments »

Cheers to a ‘Decent’ New Year 2022, PLEASE?!?

By: Patrick Maguire

Book Chapter: Human-to-Human Service

Posted: 1/2/2022

Well, that was another hellacious, exhausting year, punctuated by a Covid encore, resembling more of a perpetual ‘purgatory’ than a joyous crescendo. We’re on an unenviable 5-year roll in America. Like many of you, I personally know more people who recently tested positive, than at any other time since the plague’s invasion. Reflections of ‘gratitude’ become more of an important, elusive challenge at the conclusion of years like 2021. I believe there is a just tendency to downsize our grandiose, forward-thinking expectations during these precarious times. ‘Reality Bites’ is more than ever ominous, foreboding, and true…

The clichéd, “Happy” New Year, despite good intentions, reminds me of the unsolicited, “You should smile more!” exclamation from grating, perky humans, without even a patronizing greeting first… And ‘Happy’ is subjective and personal. (I know, ‘issues,’ but I’m a jaded optimist.)

While gathering questionnaire responses for my book and blog, one server replied to “Advice for customers?” with, “Despite all of the requests for big tips, I believe that, more importantly, most servers wish that all of their customers would just be decent humans.” Amen. Bring on a ‘decent’ in 2022…

In that spirit of simplification, I’m sharing the same message here with SNS readers that I did with my 9 siblings on New Year’s Eve:

And a supplement on Instagram; Looking forward to following through on those walks, coffee/tea connections, drinks, BBQ’s, diner breakfasts, ‘breaking bread,’ field trips, and live chats we keep postponing… (Let’s make these happen.) In the recent words of America’s Poet, Amanda Gorman, “Whether we like it or not, we are in this together.”

Speaking of walks, the pic of the bird in the upper left of this post is a Great Blue Heron that I frequently see in the water at Hall’s Pond Sanctuary, a short distance from my home. On New Year’s Day, it was perched in a tree due to the colder water, according to a chatty nature enthusiast I met.

Stan Grossfield, two-time Pulitzer prize-winning photojournalist in today’s Boston Globe Magazine, 1/2/22. Fly Me to The Moon: The space race you never knew about: Stan Grossfield’s NASA competition with Walter Cronkite:

In some circles photojournalists are treated like second-class citizens. “Are you a reporter or do you JUST take the photos?” has always annoyed me. Actually, I do both. If there was only one seat, why not send me?

[Sound familiar servers and bartenders?!? “What’s your REAL job?”]

Stan continues: I no longer want to go into space. That money would be better spentsaving our beloved Earth and trying to unite these Un-united States. As the worst epidemic of the past century continues to divide us, I wish we could just take a giant leap forward together, be kinder to each other, and spread some good karma around this beautiful planet we all share. 

Gratitude 2021: Frontline Workers, Scientists, Family, Small Victories, Sibling Safety and Health, #5 #MiddleKidsForLife, Loyal Friends, Generosity, Kindness, Empathy, Compassion, Teachers, Nurses, Doctors, Nature, Journalistic Integrity, Trust, Medicine, #SwimClub, Peace of Mind, Walks & Hope.

To support the mission and expedite the publication of the Server Not Servant book, please consider a contribution on Venmo @Patrick-Maguire-32 (last 4 digits of cell: 5682) or click on “Support Server Not Servant” in the blue box on the right-hand side of this post. Please contact me for personal and corporate sponsorships via email: patrick@servernotservant.com. Cheers-Patrick

Permalink | Posted in Human-to-Human Service | No Comments »