Sunday, December 28, 2008



mmmhmmm, thanks to all who cruised in last night- excited for next year/excited for future opportunities to rock special things at special times...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

beezy's and mittenfest!

two great tastes that taste great together... a spur of the moment decision was borne last night:

beezy's will open tonight at 1 am for a breakfast buffet with 33% of the proceeds going to 826 michigan

roll on by post elbow room!

9 dollars, a lotta good food, and some coffee to keep you partying like the rock star you are or want to be...

Friday, December 19, 2008

end of week 6

and there's this amazing snow that, while forecast, sorta hit all at once between my falling asleep around 3 am and waking up (late) around 6:30. A damn mess really.

wanted to get an update out about holiday hours:

Christmas Eve: open 7 to 4 pm
Christmas Day: closed
Friday Dec. 26th: 10 am to 6 pm
Saturday 27th: 7 am to 6 pm
Sunday: closed as per Sunday

New Year's Eve: same ol' same ol'- 7 am to 6 pm
New Year's Day 10 am to 6 pm

Also, we will be open on my birthday, Jan 9th. It should be a holiday, but isn't.

love & light

Sunday, November 23, 2008

utilization dreams come true

I had two huge food wins this week that I pulled right out of my ass...

the first:
harvest vegan soup

I wanted to make a roasted sweet potato soup. My natural inclination is to saute applewood smoked bacon with mirepoix and add pureed sweet potatoes, finish with heavy cream and sprinkle on some sharp cheddar.

But things took a turn at 7 am. The last of my gifted apples from Petoskey's Jennifer Eis (of Ward & Eis gallery) which were picked over at Bill's Farm market starting getting braised with the mirepoix (no bacon yet) and then I hit them with some crushed red pepper and cinnamon and molasses. And then some apple cider and white wine to deglaze. And then, and then... a butternut squash was roasted and pureed along with the sweet potatoes. Combined them all together and thanks to Stef's suggestions, we cut the sweetness with some lemon juice and a little salt. It was so full of flavor and the texture was outta sight- though the base of the soup was pureed, the chunks of carrot and apple, as well as the rough puree of the sweet potatoes (no thanks to me not having a commercial food processor yet!) made it less baby food textured than squash soups often come out to be....

The second started out as a series of losses.

I make the caramel sauce for the espresso drinks/cider/chai whathaveyou- and the first recipe Sami pulled- I didn't think reading the recipe that it would turn out as sauce, but I gave it a shot anyway. What I ended up with was more of a burnt sugar syrup, close to butterscotch. Very very tasty, but not thick and saucy like I wanted for the drinks.... so I stored it and it had been floating around since a week or so before we opened. I knew I'd find a use for it, but....

On Tuesday my bananas were finally ripe for banana bread. I make, what I believe to be the finest banana bread on the planet- hand mixed and wickedly banana-y, but not sweet. I crust the pans with cinnamon sugar and the loaf comes out airy and dense at the same time.

But at the shop, I doubled the recipe. Only to recognize that my bowl was much too small and there was no going back- I couldn't divvy it into 2 bowls because the ratio of ingredients would be off, etc. So Genevieve suggested I use a bucket- it was difficult for me to think outside the bowl, but I went for it. And the results were what I would expect- there is a certain hand and wrist motion that occurs working with a bowl... a bucket lend itself to shovelling- something quick breads don't love so much.

Once it was baked, I had what felt like 5# loaves of sunken banana mash. boo. But I sliced a loaf and put it out for sale by the slice and I didn't feel good about it, so I covered the other loaves and put 'em aside until I figured out how to deal with my mess. All the while :this is so good:best banana bread:tell me when you make this again comments were floating around. I shrugged and said it was alright, but not how the recipe was supposed to turn out. meh. (food depression isn't pretty)

But... I thought maybe it would make nice french toast. A good baked french toast casserole (I love casseroles) a good saturday breakfast & brunch special... and then the wheels started spinning. Bananas foster... rum, lime, yeah.

walked over to Dos Hermanos to get some whole cumin for the homefries and black bean veggie soup, my apartment to grab the ol' mortar and pestle, called my daughter's dad who was once a pretty renowned chef (Andante, opening chef at Chandler's, Douglas Lake Bar amonst others) around the Petoskey area and starting laying out my idea- he offered some helpful tips regarding cooking off the rum and a plan was born.

later that day while Christine from the Ypsi Citizen was interviewing me, my idea took another level... (oh and thanks to the beer cooler for that rum, it really was for the french toast). I had some egg nog from Calder. I don't really enjoy eggnog, but it would mean that I could cut the amount of egg in the recipe, plus I'd get a nice, rich, perfectly spiced custard out of it. I mixed the egg nog, some extra vanilla, some rum and a few eggs and poured that over 3 loaves of sliced banana bread, covered it with foil and said, "see ya in the morning, drunken monkey bread to be!"

the topping spread was going to be shredded coconut with butter and toasted almonds, and then I'd make a lime rum sauce to serve it with.

Once the morning came around, I saw my burnt sugar sauce sitting on my prep table... and another bunch of bananas. And the pan of soaking banana bread. pow! sliced the bananas and poured the sauce over the bananas in the pan. Let it bake for about 40 minutes... it crisped and caramelized the bananas beautifully. Then I spread the topping on and let it bake another 20 minutes, until the top was golden brown. As that was going down, I started whisking brown sugar with water and lime juice over the stove, then chugged the rum, I mean, poured the rum into the pan and got a little flame (fire at 6 am is a beautiful thing!), it coated the back of a spoon and voila, I was done. Took a spoonful out of the french toast pan and my first bite made my knees buckle.

It sounds like a lot of work- and maybe it was- but it was just a succession of work and experimentation that turned into a happy accident. And it will probably never turn out as deliciously as it did this time, but thanks to my fine obsessing, I recall every detail and it will undoubtedly translate again, likely with a subtle nuance due to humidity, the ripeness of bananas, my hungover and sleepless state or some other astrological pattern I won't be able to put my finger on til after the fact!

all in all, a great week- steady sales and lots of new faces, but even better, lots of the same faces daily and so many wonderful comments....

"I want to move to Ypsi so I can eat here every day!"

"We like your place a lot- [other guy chimes in] No! We LOVE your place!"

"I haven't a soup this good in I don't know when"

Really?! Me?! Us?! We're doin' it!

Yesterday Anna worked on a mini menu in 'veganeze' which could also be adapted for gluten free in the coming weeks.

Almost all the dressings are made from scratch ('cept the ranch and caesar) and I have the ingredients on hand, same with the soup. And the bread. But I just learned about someone having a soy lecithin allergy (I'd not run across that in my years in this business) which is a concern since I use a pan spray that contains it- and I couldn't tell you where I don't use it. The salads are safe. But anything that has touched a pan in the oven or on the stove has likely been hit with it. Hmmm.

end of week 2!

beezy's: out of survival mode, the ICU, and starting to settle into being and growing and progressing...

if you've talked to me through the summer, you know that basically the work of two people amounted to the majority of the transformation of the space. One of those people was not me. That not me person was my fiancee. I'm still there. And the restaurant is terrifically unfinished. Does that cover it?

There's lots of big and little buttoning up to do- but all our guests seem to either find it charming and real or offer their tools and hands in exchange for lunch. It's amazing. I had harbored fantasies that we wouldn't be as steady busy as we are and would be able to get more done during the day- aside from caulking, attaching base coving around the counters and trying to catch up with all the rock dust and building debris it's a slow going process. I feel a little like a superheroine- soup & breakfast girl by day, contractor girl at night and best mom in the world through it all. (delusions of grandeur anyone?)

but it's working. and we haven't burned the building down yet. In fact, it seems to be working really, really well:

ypsi food bulletin

best cafe ever

beezy's runs on ...

beezy's buzzing with business

and my first Yelp! review

pretty sweet stuff!

and my crew is amazing- strong personalities, strong sense of caring, and a huge support to me during my difficult personal problems.... I'm amazingly lucky that I have them in my life! thank you jon, erin, nick, jamie, stef, jess, emily, genevieve and my daughter, sami for working so hard and being so awesome!

Friday, November 14, 2008

5 days down (er, or UP!)

Sunday night, midnight? 1 am? I am freaking the fuck out. Been up since 7 am or so and busting ass and brainsorting all day. This picture does no justice to how trashed it was.

then here we are, 3 am. about ready to set up the tables in some reasonable and inviting formation. No more metal shavings on the floor. But everything. everything. is crusted in a fine layer of dust.

4 am. it's hazy, my hands are shaky and if I'm gonna be any kind of worth a damn in an hour, I better go home and shower. And let the dust settle for a second. Sure the menu isn't up on the chalkboard, the menus aren't printed and we have nothing to hold ice in, nor is there any ice in the building yet. But every single menu item is available.

then Robyn was our first customer! just after 8 am- we took down the opening soon sign and signed it for her to keep. She keeps coming back and emailed to say it's her new favorite place. (thanks SO SO much!)

it's only Tuesday but all these people I know start showing up, and suddenly I'm putting smiles on faces while frying chorizo and flipping homefries and washing dishes and cartwheeling through the cafe.

more later, I gotta be at the shop in a few hours... thanks beyond thanks for the tremendous support already, it's AMAZING.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


that is all

see you soon

more soon

check out:

far more eloquent than I can muster right now!

thank you to all who've stopped by, who are stopping by and will stop by!


Sunday, November 2, 2008

torches and pitchforks

I forced the staff to shop at the Downtown Farmer's Market. Then, they prepped stuff so I could make the first supper (maybe the second?)

cheesy pumpkin soup, sourdough toast and rockin' little salad. mmm. housemade tongue and groove table :D

but really?

who thought (ok, I did, I reallllly reallly did but I've been accused here and there of being an overachiever) we could actually open a restaurant in 2 months? I mean, even if the joint were in perfect shape it'd been difficult. But still, we're verrrrry verrrrrrrrrrry close, so put away those pitchforks and quit rioting outside and sending me threatening emails.

The reality is, Bennett is working with some challenges... the least of which is my being hyper organized and having held the vision in my bosom for over 5 years now, the bigger part of which is dealing with a 140+ year old building that has suffered a bit and is hesitant to be restored and well, that's bennett's rant, for I could never ever do it justice.

It looks so easy on paper. It does, I can show ya. But the results are gonna be worth it.

here's a peek at what's happenin':

emily, nick and me in the first aprons.

jamie rockin' calder cappuccinos instead of spraypaint!

stefanie holds deli meat near and dear

gratuitious leaning shot of exhaustion

building happenin':

here we have bennett- not only an expert in mangenuity,
but also unicorn catcher of the jigsaw sea

the bennett floor money shot

when you see it, it'll have a rug on it, so appreciate it here, alright?

this is what you see when you walk in: go right on up to that purple counter and place your order!

money shot #2 notice the light grained ash, the walnut inlay, and then the darker ash? meow.

room to grow...

barista area coming together

floor grain beauty

sometimes I forget that natural light actually comes in and it's freakin' gorgeous

look for open doors very very soon.

beezy's will be open at 7 am and close at 6 pm
(and I'm still debating being open on Sunday; I keep going back and forth...)

in fact, we're hosting the space tuesday "after hours" for a nice little test run private party

the health inspection granted us operational status on Friday, now I just gotta have everything squared with the city and all before we're totally legit.

So a soft opening with little fanfare, and then on into a nice grand opening party later in the month- thanks for all the support, kind emails, gentle nudges, leads, opportunities, staff leads, hugs, smiles and I look forward to serving you!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

long time...

I lost a huge post from earlier this week- lotsa photos of the coming together of bennett's beautiful custom counters, jess wearing a dust mask, and several unnamed butt-cracks (isn't that what renovation is *really* about?)

but mostly this week, small equipment has been trickling in, and the gorgeous Cyncra Synesso 2 group machine of caffeinated happiness is here.

Jon, Genevieve and Jamie endured the fabulous Espresso 101. I finished reading 'Omnivore's Dilemma' which was fantastic.

I've been fine tuning the menu copy and (still) working on the format.

look what genevieve made:

but there's more than that... breakfast menu with oatmeal, breakfast sandwiches, bagels and specialty cream cheeses like veggie herb and blueberry lemon, an array of baked goods made in house and fresh fruit, milk from Calder dairy and as much produce & meat we can get from the bounty of each season from neighboring farms and producers.

Monday, August 11, 2008

the mr. man show

this photo was taken by Sam- pretty sure we were talking about lights with Sue...

I'm not so great at this keeping a beezy's blog- but the internet is my friend so I know I can do it.

This blog is dedicated to Bennett, who is working as my project manager and CMO (chief mangenuity officer)...

he's the brains and brawn behind pulling the renovation off. He's sourced all the materials and is doing oh, 96% of the labor and I certainly haven't given him his due. Part of that is my innate separation of work & personal life, part of it is that it's so special I really don't have the words for it. It's something to witness, be a part of, and I'm sorry for not displaying it more obviously.

What started as, "oh, I just wanna move this counter, fix the floor and move this stuff to the back" has become the stuff of many a sleepless for the Bennett. It always takes longer to do things right, and while it's a tough go right now (please send more easy tin ceiling vibes! or start!) it's going to be totally rad! And, no doubt, an ongoing struggle to improve and continue renovating even once beezy's is open. I hope that friends, guests, the staff, cheerleaders, and the community finds the work and love in the place charming and a vast improvement! A warm and welcoming spot where you step in and really feel all the love and care, where the blood, sweat and tears we've already poured in is a visceral and passionate part of the story of 20 N. Washington.

Oh, and remember all those invitations to stop by? Lay off for a week so we can get some shit done, alright? Or come by late in the evening! (really!) Or find us at the Tap Room for lunch and we'll chat you up... or Bennett for that post work beer...

so... here's some of the amazing work so far:

the gorgeous wood sourced from John Haling, bottom coat on

layout of the tin ceiling tiles

tearing down the prep area wall and the parts and pieces of the ceiling grid, and HVAC vents, wheeeeeeee!

and there's others scattered through the previous blog posts too!

It ain't pretty right now, but as Bennett's sister mentioned, it's a lot easier to see all the potential.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

So Jess Ex came by the shop in July- here I am in front of the mural (slated to be primed and repainted this weekend) Most of the ceiling grid was still in place and that purple carpet I love so much...

Later on that evening, Ben was in town and needing a Denny's fix with Holly and Chuckie and he helped with a minor water 'incident' in the basement.

Ever the sacred janitor and dishwasher to the stars, he jumped in and took me up on an offer to help for a while on his way down to Texas (though he didn't make it there, he DID come and help; I now have a clean Christopher Walk-In

(this is Ben doing a pretty bad ass Henry Rollins)

some carpet rolling and grid removal in progress...

(insert Nina somewhere in here too!) We also had some help from the beautiful and mysterious Nina and her canine pal, Coby- from the use of her truck, to walking around Washington with a Bloody Mary, to pulling nails out of wood and schlepping crap from one side of the cafe space to the other, it was a blast to have her here and part of the process.

goodbye purple carpet, and thanks to the ladies who took it off our hands.

and sorry to the upstairs tenants who get to endure a lot of banging.

I'll make it up to you somehow.


and more this sunday too.

So wherever July went, I would like a rebate please... sure we achieved quite a bit, but here Sam has already returned from her summer sojourn, I'm officially all moved in (erm, maybe once the last of the mail is picked up over in Ann Arbor...then it'll be official?) and I'm a scant 3 weeks away from my opening target date!

I spent the better part of a week interviewing a gang of amazing applicants, who made the whittling of choices one of the most difficult tasks so far. I wish I could hire everyone that applied- it's so easy to see what each person had to offer. In the end, or well, the beginning here, the selections I made I think will be a great balance for the opening team.

Bennett is hard at work with the ceiling restoration. It's amazing- and grueling to witness. Corroded tin and ancient sheetrock, eye blinding rusty dust and some of the most amazing boogers are to be had.

Jon has come on as a helper- an extra set of hands and some comic relief and he's at least 6 foot tall so that helps too. (thanks Jon, you're more than just a tall person)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

celings and floors and cleaning, oh my!

this looks like fun, doesn't it? It's a damn tragedy what people have done over the years- stuffing this here and that there; ruthlessly ripping tin tiles throwing up a pipe here and dear lord, all the fluorescent lighting...

while I'm not a fan of the existing decor- baby blue walls and purple carpet and acoustic ceiling tiles; it's obvious that it was put together with love and care.

I'm giddy whenever I give someone a tour, because I see pure potential. Bennett is working on matching tiles, but not being obsessed with matching tiles is going to have to be alright. I mean, I patchwork quilt, so I have no issue with 'em not matching. It's amazing how much more open it is already- it's only something like 12 inches.

now the floor- Bennett started getting the carpet up and the subfloor looks sound so far. Going from this:

To some amazing reclaimed ash from Washtenaw county by local sawyer John Haling
this isn't a picture of his wood, but it'll give you an idea of it:

I think I should be getting ready to go the Shadow Art Fair or dinner with Bennett at over at Dawn's. I fell asleep reading 'The End of Food' by Thomas Pawlick then shook myself awake from a dream about painting beezy's.

Yesterday I saw a ton of visitors- Allen from ZCC came by and then Jess Ex of Flint fame; then Ben, Holly and Chuckie of Petoskey fame... Chuckie is now roasting back at my old stomping grounds
They had come down for Warped Tour in Detroit and needed the requisite post show Denny's and there I was a mere 30 minutes away...

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Yesterday I picked up the keys for the space!

This week is a whole lotta back and forth (the next couple weeks, really) moving, cleaning and clearing, calling and sorting and filling out a helluva lot of paperwork!

But, GAME ON!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

and there's people like this

this is the spirit that moves me

and the willingness to accept that maturing ideals doesn't have to mean selling out.

what gets me excited...

Part of being high on Ypsi for me is certainly the potential- not the potential to become some hoity toity tourist area, but the potential I see through so many Michigan towns that have suffered from the bust of the auto industry and factory jobs... that of taking the reins of a new era of commerce that is based locally, cooperatively and passionately.

Yesterday, Sami and I were walking over to the new Jefferson Market (which has an nth the appeal of when Jean Henry was there, but I still want to support it and see it thrive) and a wave of pure happiness washed over me- I am doing exactly what I want. It's so cliche, but absolutely true; all these years I've worked hard, worked smart, been watching and learning, actively arranging resources and waiting for a better moment...

In some respects I couldn't have picked a worse time. The economy is in the crapper (but when in the last 8 years hasn't it been?), gas prices are astronomical (IMO not a bad thing since it forces folks to become more resourceful, eventually leading to the types of community I'm after [see above]), restaurant start ups have a phenomenally high failure rate, Ypsi faces a great many challenges based mostly on what seems to be perception (oh my! there are poor people and strip clubs and panhandlers and a whole lotta people who don't look like they rolled off the pages of a Land's End catalog).

And then to fight, with sheer determination and force of personality (thanks Bennett) against the prejudices of being a young white woman who really oughta just settle somewhere 'nicer'. Well, screw that, if I wanted that, I'd have stayed in Petoskey. There's a big lake there too, even.

The past couple of months haven't been what I ever anticipated what this path would look like. Some days, I can't believe I made this far, and it's really not even begun. But there's this bank thing happening, then the property.

oh and the whole moving to Ypsi thing too.

thanks for being so welcoming thus far Ypsilantians.

ya got my heart.
(and my imagination)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

beezy's to be

It's almost time.

Check in hand, going to the Bank on Monday, get all official.

so much to do!

The last 2 months, time has dragged like walking on a velcro floor... and suddenly the reality of being READY in August... in a mere 8 weeks-ish.

just getting this up here for consumption, more soon!