Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Sausage Fest 2012

Wanted to say thanks to all of the patrons who came out in droves to make Sausage Fest 2012 a great success! We hope you had as much fun as we did. Can't wait until next year!

Also a thanks to our incredible staff who really took it up a notch, ensuring everyone had a (responsibly, of course) good time. 

Finally, a big thanks to all of the local craft brewers who showed up to support us. This was as much a victory for small businesses as it was for food and drink. We hope you continue to support local artisans as they peddle their wares all around you. 

Charlotte is a fertile ground for entrepreneurship. (Check out this months cover story in Charlotte Magazine, 'Start up City': www.charlottemagazine.com) For those that believe small businesses are the key to economic growth, please continue to support businesses like ours. 

Here are just a few businesses - all local - who have helped us:

Matt Stevens Design (http://hellomattstevens.com)
Technekes (http://www.technekes.com)
Sign Connection (outdoor signage)www.signcon.com
Seismic Partners (entrepreneurial development)
RBA Architects (architecture)
Tega Hills Farms (lettuce, greens)
Bosky Acres (cheese)
Marshall Air Systems (Stainless fabrication, thermal systems)
All Star Signs (interior signage)
The Living Room (picture/poster framing)

Stick ‘Em Up (picture hanging) 
Bradley Construction (and a whole slew of talented sub's)
RDM Electricians ('lectricity)
Allan Weaver Plumbing (plumbin')
NoDa Brewery 
Foothills Brewery
Olde Mecklenberg Brewery
Triple C Brewery
Birdsong Brewery

Here are a few pics from the Festival. Thanks again! 
Support Local Businesses!

Bacon "Toffee" - Was used to infuse beer. Then we ate it. 
No Kidding.

Housemade Smoked Andouille Sausage

Housemade Turkey and Herb Sausage

Luther and Cox, In Full Flight

 The Whisky Dollars

Jeremy Guthrie, Jonathan Williford and Dan Botts contemplate their next move.

 Crimson - just being Crimson!


 Our adorable fans:

Cam Heliger...Inside @ SausageFest 2012
Crimson, Brandy, Jon 

 Crimson, Jonathan 

 Nick Shaw, tearing it up!

 Jon and WD$ drummer, Lou Mondelli

 Our Fantastic Staff 
(l to r, kiesha, crimson, sarah, julia, mike, dan)

Superfan, David Moreno

 Brandy and Jesse 

Funky Dan

Jeremy Guthrie and Brandy Newton

 Proprietor Jon Luther

 Josh Haynes, Slingin' Hooch.

 Melissa Luther and Dan Botts


Elephant in the Room

Chilling post by this chef and author from a heady food publication, Gastronomica. 


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

JJ's Hall of Fame : Gary's Handy Lunch, Newport, RI

Went to this place just about every day when i lived in Newport, RI in the early 90's. One of my absolute favorite places in the world. Great coffee, satsfying (and hangover curing) omelettes, crisp home fries and yes - ice cold coffee milk, the state drink of Rhode Island. 

The best thing about Gary's? The service. Kind, caring, friendly and good natured - even flirty at times! Yet quick-witted, abrupt and appropriately surly when called for. I learned alot by just watching. Once grillman Joel even lent me his pickup truck when my car got towed and i couldn't afford to pay the ticket. Of course, they gave me a bunch of crap about being broke, but that goes with the territory. Over the three years I lived there, they really were like family to me.

I went in last weekend 20 years later and the same folks were there. I was so happy to see them and to once again devour a 'sausage mushroom and cheese omelet with home fries, wheat toast and coffee.' It is very much a family place and one I hold in extremely high esteem. JJ's owes quite a lot to Gary's Handy Lunch. Whether they know it or not. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Ink on Paper

One of the reasons for starting this web log was to try to capture the design process in both the visual and narrative form. In songwriting, the term for putting lyrics to music is called prosody, and I think it can also be applied to describe how things come to life in the design process.

Ideas spring forth constantly, but at some point, they must be documented. And while it is likely impossible to pinpoint how specific ideas form - that is largely about electricity, or as Tenacious D would say, 'Inspirado' - it certainly is possible to trace how ideas develop over time.

Most often, the documentation begins with a simple sketch of an idea on a piece of paper. Early on in the project, I realized how powerful this was while working with and observing Matt Stevens. As a designer and illustrator, he draws and sketches incessantly. And on many many occasions we hashed out ideas by looking at and refining his luxurious and beautiful illustrations. (See his four part series on JJ's here and other incredible work here)

Tim O'Brien, head of design for our architecture firm, the RBA Group, also sketches for a living. And I observed him get five confused door fabricators on the same page with an ad hoc sketch (below) in an instant. That was powerful for me to witness.

I guess the lesson I learned is to be 'visual' as much as possible. I now take tons of pictures from many angles, capture ideas on paper with ink, and I really work at developing this skill. Doodles are fun, but take some measurements and refine those doodles into something useful for your subject. I think it helps everyone get on the same page very quickly. Find a good pen you like, a small notebook with good thick paper, and take it with you everywhere.

Below is a look at a few crude sketches juxtaposed with pictures of the the finished product. In some cases the time between sketch and finished product was several months. Prosody is all the hard work in between.



Utensil and Napkin Caddy
Sketch: Jonathan Luther
Fabrication: Marshall Air Systems/www.marshallair.com

Front Door Pull
Sketch : Jonathan Luther
Fabricator : Matt Ludwig/Ludwig Metals/www.ludwigmetals.com 

Front Door Assembly (Note door pull)
Sketch : Tim O'Brien/The RBA Group
Fabricator : Mr. Doorman/www.mrdoorman.com

'The Drum' Chandelier
Sketch : Jonathan Luther
Fabricator : Matt Ludwig/Ludwig Metals/www.ludwigmetals.com 

Floor Plan  
(Note "Racks" in upper right - these eventually became our hot dog caddies, also fabricated by Marshall Air and pictured below)

Architectural Drawings: RBA Group
Red Ink Alterations : Jonathan Luther and Jon Luther Sr.

Floor Plan:

Hot Dog Caddy:

VIP Mailer
Sketch : Jonathan Luther
Fabrication : Matt Stevens and Brandy Newton

Patio Planter
Sketch : Jonathan Luther
Fabricator : Michael Pearson/Bradley Construction