I'm sad to learn that another great restaurant- Artisanal Brasserie at the Bravern has closed! Joining some of the nationally renowned chefs like Wolfgang Puck of ObaChine, Roy Yamaguchi of Roy's, and Todd English of Fish Club who've tried, but failed to call the Greater Seattle home.
Why is it so difficult for small businesses --specifically retail and restaurants-- to thrive (not just survive) here in the Pacific Northwest? When Artisanal first opened, I was thrilled that we would be seeing something other than the usual Thai or Mexican restaurant or national chain mall favorites like The Cheesecake Factory or PF Changs. Artisanal was just what the Eastside needed --something new and different. Where else in the neighborhood could you find a fine French bistro with the ambience of a Parisian street side restaurant?
Were they doomed from the begining because they were located in the Bravern? More often than not, I hear negative comments about the Bravern such as "snobbish", "pricey", and "dead". My advice? Experience the mall and its offerings yourself, and understand that the commerces are hand selected high-end boutiques and restaurants with a niche market in mind. If high-end shopping is not your cup of tea, simply enjoy the beauty of its interior design and product selections, and DO expect curteous customer service while you windowshop.
To the nay-sayers: Competition and diversity is ultimately what makes us better, so welcome and support new businesses that stimulate not just the tastebuds, but the mind, and eyes as well.
Balancing Work and Life
Between motherhood, career and health, this week was truly a balancing act for me.
The constant war between working moms and stay-at-home moms baffles me. A mother's job is not easy no matter how you look at it. I choose to be a working mom because it nourishes my self-esteem, which in turn makes me a better mom and I think a better wife. Even at the most challenging times, like this week where I had to interview numerous candidates both for home (nannies) and for work (sales associates) while fighting a terrible cold, I realized we can do it all. Of course, it depends on how you define "all". Having it "all" to me, is being happy when my family is happy, and knowing that each day I try my best to maximize my own potential-- that's good balance.