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Becoming Relish Craft Kitchen & Bourbon Bar

March 2017

What's in a name?

Everything, for a restaurant. A restaurant's name introduces it to the world, summing up everything about it while still rolling off the tongue.

Relish has always worked for us, as a name. But "cafe & bar" seems to trip people up. Customers walk in looking for fancy lattes and a cute little bistro space. And while we find ourselves very cute, "little" just isn't in our vocabulary. From our portions to our proportions, we are decidedly not little.

From the beginning, we have struggled to put a name to what we do. We know what we are not: we're not a sports bar; we're not fine dining; we don't have counter service. And we know what we DO offer: lovingly crafted, local ingredients and laid-back but hospitable service. But we didn't know what to call the enigma that is Relish (short of Sharon's crazy-wonderful brainchild), so "cafe & bar" we have been for the last six years.

About a year ago we started a journey to transform our bar. If you know Sharon, you have heard the story that sparked this transformation--it involves Old Fashioneds, ladies night out, and Bida Manda (shout out! We love what you do!). But it's a long story, and what you really need to know about this journey is its conclusion: Bourbon. We just love it, and we've spent countless months (and one amazing trip to Kentucky) learning everything we can about "America's Spirit." Our extensive list of bourbons and whiskeys offers a curated selection of rare items, old favorites, new distillations, and everything in between. We've begun training our staff to share their bourbon knowledge with you, our loyal customers, and our bartenders are hard at work crafting the best new cocktails to please your palate.

So now the Bourbon Bar part is obvious, right? We thought so, too. But how to explain the restaurant part of Relish without resorting to dull and overused terms? So we thought some more about what we do here, drew a few (poorly-executed) doodles, got sidetracked by bourbon, and then stumbled upon the perfect words: Craft Kitchen.

Why not scratch kitchen, you ask? While we do make most of our food from scratch, we also rely on a series of local vendors to supplement our menu. We've taken (what we think of as) the best ingredients in the area and crafted some truly glorious (in our humble opinion) southern comforts from our wonderful and slightly overcrowded kitchen. So, voila! Craft Kitchen!

Whew! We're so glad that's settled. And we're so glad to introduce you to the new Relish Craft Kitchen & Bourbon Bar!

Let us conclude this post by reassuring all of our loyal customers that, at its core, nothing has really changed at Relish. We still offer those well crafted (and decidedly not little) southern comfort dishes you've all come to love. We still strive to create a welcoming atmosphere of southern hospitality. And we still have bourbon--just more of it than we did before. We've just created a better definition for what we do here (and given it a pretty package, which doesn't hurt). And we hope you like our new look just as much as we do. :)

P.S. Giant shout-out to Kimberly Ridge of KLR Designs for creating the best logo and menu design we could have asked for. You have captured exactly what we do here at Relish and put it on paper. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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