Wednesday, July 30, 2008

One Man Steel Drum Band Goes Online

Michael George, (AKA the one man steel drum band ) who has been entertaining our brunch guests for over a decade has just launched his website.   Click here  The Pan Man, as I call him,  is able to play about 10 different instruments at a time resulting in a very one of a kind tropical sound.  Check out his website or see him at our brunch every sunday from 10AM - 2PM. Congrats on the website Micheal.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Shot Ski is Back!

While Manager Mark was cleaning a storage area at the restaurant, we stumbled across our beloved Shot Ski.  The Shot Ski has been missing for over 2 years and I assumed that someone "borrowed" it and "forgot" to return it.  The shot ski is a piece of party equipment that allows three people to simultaneously take a shooter. Always a good time when the shot ski comes out.

Monday, July 28, 2008

More Chicago

A new joint in Chicago. The Weber Grill restaurant. All the food is cooked on over sized Weber grills. Interesting concept.


On the way to Oshkosh we decided to make a quick stop in downtown Chicago so the Mangoettes could experience shopping on Michigan Ave. I took the camper right into town and dropped them off at ground zero for Michigan in front of Forever 21. You have to be a chick to appreciate this stop.

They were in heaven.

Two and half hours later I pick them up and it's up to N. Chicago to Dad's stop. Smoque BBQ. A new urban BBQ place featured on the food channel.

I'll have to say it was pretty darn good BBQ. Pictured here is the brisket and a over-the-top macaroni and cheese side dish.

Driving the RV down Michigan Ave., I got a pix of this dude out in front of Bennigans handing out free mini cheeseburger sliders along the side walk. Check out the face out of the guy passing trying to decide to grab and go.

The downside was getting involved in 95 type rush hour traffic as we headed out of town on Friday. A normal 3 hour trip to Oshkosh took is nearly six hours. stop Oshkosh.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Mango Family Vacation

Slow news day on the blog so its vacation photo time. (Bill you better start posting).

We fired up the camper and headed west to the annual EAA airplane fly in and airshow in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

On the way out we made a quick detour off the Ohio turnpike and headed into Drew Carey land - Cleveland. Perfect opportunity to visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and we weren't disappointed.

Right on the shores of Lake Erie, next to the Cleveland Brown's Stadium it is an impressive building. Unfortunately they were incredibly strict with the no photo policy, with eagle eyed guards on the watch at every exhibit. They even cautioned Donna when she was just sending a text message to keep the phone low on the horizon.

All the exhibits were great and a spotlight exhibit on one of my favorite groups, The Doors was well done. Including, for you Alexandria Fans, a set of report cards for Jim Morrison from George Washington High School in Alexandria. His actual High School Diploma was signed by Superintendent of Schools, T.C. Williams.

The few photos I have are lobby shots, which are permitted.

Roy Orbison's 1967 Red Corvette, 4 speed, 427 engine with side pipes. He drove this classic until his death in 1988.

Dakota helping to dock the ore freighter William G. Mather, which is on display for the touristas.

... next stop Chi Town.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Staff Meal

One of the perks of being a Mango Mike's Alexandria employee is our family style employee dinner.   Everyday, after the set up is finished and before the restaurant opens, the entire staff stops working and sits down together for a free staff meal.  It works well at keeping our employee morale high as well as combating the front of the house vs. the back of the house mentality.  Since we started the staff meal program two years ago, staff arguments and infighting have dropped dramatically. The idea is that everyone sits down before the shift and eats together,  employees can relax, talk about their lives outside of work and take a break before the hectic shift starts, which in turn makes for a more pleasant working environment.
 Typically it is something easy such as Lasagna, Tacos, Chicken Pasta, ect... but today, (since I lost a bet), everyone ate like kings.  Filet Mignon, Caesar Salad and Veggie Cream Pasta was on the menu.  If you happen to come in for dinner tonight, chances are your server will be in an  especially extra good mood.

Instant Slurpie (MangoRita) Maker

$9.95 Click Here

From the website:

Changes almost any beverage into a delicious, frozen dessert. Keep Slush Mug in freezer until you're ready, then pour in drink and watch as it thickens into an icy full-bodied slush in minutes! Your drink's flavor stays strong and undiluted since no ice is used! Use over and over again.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Luke Wilson

Mango's in Bethany was proud to have Luke Wilson as a guest all of last week. He came in 8 times and sat with us at the bar. The star of such movies as Old School and The Royal Tenenbaums enoyed our Tuna appetizer every time he joined us. He is currently filiming his new movie "Tenure" in Philly. He especially enjoyed watching the British open, as he is apparently an avid golfer. He was very accommodating...signing plenty of autographs and taking photos with our customers. He said he will be back in 2009 to enjoy the company of the MangoBar staff and all of our loyal Mango happy hour customers. We look forward to having him back again, as he was very enjoyable as a customer. Cheers, Big Al

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Unusual Vehicle on Rt. 50

I travel back and forth to Bethany every weekend to work Mango's at the beach. Occasionally I see some strange sights along the road, but this one is probably in the top 5.

Right along Route 50 just West of the Bay Bridge. A boat. Yep, just a boat off the right travel lane. No trailer or truck with this pretty large vessel, just the boat sitting there looking for some water.

I'll bet someone has an interesting bar story on this deal.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mango Mike's Article in Alexandria Times

Click here for full Article

Wouldn't Gilligan's life have been unfathomably better if every Thursday night was Latino night at the lagoon? A little salsa, a few Coronas, a custom-made mojito . . . Maybe sleeping night after night next to the Skipper would have been a little easier knowing Thursday was just around the corner. It's too bad for Gilligan, though, that life for him was just TV, and the beach and deck at Duke Street’s Mango Mike's with its Island cocktails, steel drums, towering palms and Latin DJ with dancing Thursday nights after 10 p.m. were forever out of reach.

For the rest of us, though, Mango Mike's is reassuringly present. Its tiki-head cocktail cups and lush tropical foliage (trucked up from Florida every year and planted over the course of a couple days by the restaurant staff) remind diners of someplace bluer, warmer and friendlier.

Kids love the vibe of the place and the toys the hosts keep stowed behind their counter. Older folks love the menu and the Sunday brunch. Although the bar has decidedly grownup feel, the main thrust of Mango Mike's is easy fun. The fun is constructed, and Mike Anderson works hard to make sure that Mango Mikes doesn't just feel good, but that it feels island good.

"We had to Gilligan it up," Anderson said, describing the debate about how to make the drink menu more Mango Mike's. It turns out that it is a great deal of work to serve a drink in an actual coconut shell and is a process that involves power tools and ingenuity.

Like planting the deck to feel like a beach, which takes tens of thousands of dollars and dedicated teamwork, the whole of Mango Mike's easy feel is planned and articulated. "We see a whole cross-section of the Alexandria population," said Anderson, who has owned and operated restaurants in Alexandria's West End for more than 20 years. For him, things seem to come full-circle naturally.

In 1979, he opened Shooter McGee's with a partner. Anderson left the partnership to own and operate a number of Alexandria restaurants, including Easport Raw Bar, Radio Free Italy and Ramparts. Recently he sold Ramparts to his original partner from Shooter McGee's.

All of Anderson's restaurants have played iconic roles in the life of our community. They are not high-end dining, per se, but are places where people gather in groups. Extended families and communities form around restaurants like Mango Mike's and Ramparts, and every person, regardless of age, fits in.

Some of this populist passion comes across in Anderson's vocal support of the West End of Alexandria. "I love the West End," he said. "I live here. I work here. The people are wonderful, and the parking! Mango's has the best parking situation!"

What he means, and what is translated in Mango Mike's menu and décor, is that the restaurant is accessible. It is easy to reach, it is easy to park, the food is uncomplicated and attractive (especially the Bermuda Bread Pudding with rum sauce, available at brunch, which is, honestly, a gift from the island gods) and the emphasis is on comfort, palm trees and island laissez-faire.

Anderson and his staff, many of whom have been with him for years and whose personalities give shape and depth to the restaurants they work in, are working to reach out to a new community.

Lease negotiations are in progress to open a barbeque restaurant on Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray. "We're excited about the community there," Anderson explained, "It is a community loyal to its businesses, but first you have to earn its respect. We look forward to that."

The barbeque restaurant is an outgrowth of Bubba Mike, a BBQ catering operation run out of the Mango Mike's kitchen. It too is a circular story, worthy of a Sherlock in Bermuda shorts, but solved, ultimately, through the tenacity of the Alexandria police.

The Mango Mike's BBQ smoker, a huge thing on wheels, was stolen. Lost notices for the "beloved smoker" were posted and a five hundred dollar reward was posted for information leading to its return. A tip led to the smoker’s returned and a reward for the tipster. "It's hard to put the story in a nutshell," Anderson said, "but the tipster was the thief."

An elected official from a neighboring state, the thief had stolen the smoker for the season, rented it out and returned it for the reward. "We got the money back, but it wouldn't have happened without the Alexandria Police Department."

Fresh Corn on the Cob

On the way back from working at the beach I try to stop at my favorite Farmers Roadside Stand. The Little Wagon produce stand is on 404 about 7 miles East of Denton, MD. Run by the Vanderwende family I've been buying corn from them for about the last eight years.

Being a farmer has got to be a lot tougher than being a restaurateur. These guys work like sled dogs and are constantly at the mercy of the weather.

According to son Breck (holding the basket of fresh picked corn), they pick the corn every morning prior to opening the stand. The corn is picked by hand and sorted right in the field. On an average Saturday Breck, his dad, an uncle and a couple of others will pick 5,000 ears of corn in about 3 hours. That's a lot of corn. An acre, weather cooperating, will produce about 10,000 ears of corn. To make sure it's fresh they plant, starting in late March, every 5 days or so. Freshly picked corn is so sweet that you can eat it raw and it tastes like candy.

This year again they're fighting the weather and the birds. With a shortage of water the birds are looking every where for moisture. So they scratch at the top of the corn cob exposing about 1 - 2 inches of corn. As a result the corn at the top turns black and attracts bugs. Scratch one ear of corn.

If the weather holds they will be picking corn until mid October.

We will be offering the Vanderwende's corn all week long at Mango's.

Right down the road is Elmer's Market. Don't even think of stopping there - rude owners.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tiki Bar on Wheels

Can you imagine the attention you would get from the APD as Andres poured you a cold one as you tooled down Duke Street on this TIki bar on wheels?

Perhaps it would be better suited for a party in your backyard.

From their website.

Constructed of beautiful bamboo and Honduran mahogany woods, Event Hog’s Tiki BrandStands are perfect for indoor and outdoor venues creating a sense of relaxation in a tropical island-like atmosphere. Equipped with standard and optional features, the Tiki BrandStand creates a comfortable aura for kicking back, relaxing and entertaining your customers in a virtual oasis-type setting wherever your event may be.

click here

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mango Customer Wins on "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader"

Bob Simon, an old Mango's Customer before he moved to California, won $175,000 last Thursday on Jeff Foxworthy's Gameshow.  I talked with Bob, who was also my fraternity brother, and he told me he plans to use the money as a downpayment on a new home.  Nice work Bob, next time you are back to the area make sure to stop by Mango's and buy the bar a round.

Friday, July 18, 2008

One Happy Guy

This is my buddy Tony Hanagan. Actually he is a friend of the whole Mango tribe and was a Mighty Mango when I was coaching soccer for the kids about 10 years ago. Tony was the goalie, and a great one at that.

But in this photo Tony is in teenage heaven. The tip off is that smile, a little goofy, but extremely satisfying.

Tony is smiling as he has his arm around singing teen sensation Taylor Swift (songs: Beautiful Eyes, Tim McGraw).

Now I have no idea how Tony wrangled this photo op, but I do know the whole Hanagan clan is one creative bunch when it comes to networking.

Congratulations Tony - you're living the dream.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hey Belgium, don't forget to feed our dog

Now that the inbev and Anheuser-Busch thing is a done deal, it looks like many changes are looming for the city of St. Louis as well as other cities and distributors for the King of Beers.  I keep hearing people at the bar talking about the change of ownership and what that means for one of our oldest and most storied American Companies.  I have one concern, that it seems no one is talking about...What is going to happen to Spuds MacKenzie?.... Will he be alright? 

 Spuds made his debut in a Bud Light beer commercial during the Super Bowl in 1987. Spuds, who also functioned as senior party consultant for the Anheuser-Busch Company, purveyors of Bud Light beer, was an affable rake with an egg-shaped face and a black circle around one eye. He became a marketing sensation almost faster than you can say, "This Spuds' for you." Nearly every time you turned on a sporting event on the tube, there was Spuds--water skiing, skateboarding, lounging by a pool with a bevy of beautiful women or doing something else that was more glamorous than what you were doing.

Bloggers Edit: It has been brought to my attention that Spuds MacKenzie died of kidney failure in 1993, I am sure he is rolling over in his grave right now.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

truck and camping trailer crash into bank roof

This is no way start a vacation. Although the truck cab was crushed, both occupants escaped with only minor injuries.

History of the Mango

Cool website if you are a fan of mango fruit, filled with recipes and mango facts. You can be sure to see a few of these interesting recipes show up as nightly dinner features at Mango Mike's in Alexandria
From the National Mango Board Website:
Mangos originated in Southeast Asia and India, where references to the fruit are documented in Hindu writings dating back to 4000 B.C. Buddhist monks cultivated the fruit and in fact, the mango is considered to be a sacred fruit in the region because it is said that Buddha himself meditated under a mango tree. The mango belongs to the same family as the cashew and the pistachio nut.

Mango seeds traveled with humans from Asia to the Middle East, East Africa and South America beginning around 300 or 400 A.D. Mango trees need a tropical climate to thrive, and today a majority of the mangos sold in the U.S. are grown near the equator in countries like Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Guatemala and Haiti.

Mangos have been grown in the U.S. for a little more than a century, but commercial, large-scale production here is limited.

Because mangos need a tropical climate to flourish only Florida, California, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico grow mangos. The United States Territory of Puerto Rico has been producing mangos commercially for the last 30 years. Currently about 4,000 acres of mangos are being cultivated for export, but the majority of this crop goes to Europe rather than the mainland United States.

In the Coachella Valley of California, around 200 acres of mangos are being produced, with about half of these being certified organic. Slow, gradual growth in mango acreage is expected in California, where the competition for suitable land is fierce. Mangos are susceptible to frost, and farmers who own appropriate land are hesitant to switch from tried and true crops such as grapes and citrus. In Hawaii, the estimated space devoted to mangos is around 300 acres and nearly all of this fruit will be sold locally.

Many mango varieties have been cultivated in South Florida, as part of a seedling program initiated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and spearheaded by David Fairchild, founder of USDA's Section of Foreign Seed and Plant Introduction. The program focused on introducing mango varieties to the region, with the goal of producing mangos that could be exported.

Over time, new varieties were developed, and some of these were introduced to growers in other parts of the world. Today, many of the popular varieties of mango grown around the world were derived from this program in Florida, including the Tommy Atkins, Haden, Keitt, and Kent. In fact, the Haden was a seedling of the Mulgoba, a seedling brought to Florida by the USDA from India during the late 1800s.

While the mango industry in Florida thrived for some time after the mango's introduction, its commercial acreage peeked at 7,000 acres in the early 1900s. The mango industry in Florida has since been diminished by freezes, urbanization, hurricanes and competition from other countries. Today, it's estimated that less than 1000 acres of mangos are still in production, and most of these mangos are destined for local farmers' and specialty markets. Meanwhile, backyard trees in Florida continue to thrive and bring joy to residents across the southern part of the state.

In addition to these backyard mangos, Fairchild Tropical Gardens, named after David Fairchild, continues to cultivate mango varieties and work with mango growers all over the world. Fairchild is known for its annual International Mango Festival, which draws thousands of mango lovers each year to its Miami-area location in a celebration of all things mango.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mango Mike's Top 15 Favorite Life Songs

Monday, July 14, 2008

All Parade Photos Available on Line

We finally have all the photos from the 4th of July parade in Bethany on line at the site.

Click here for the link.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Debbie

Everyones favorite hostess Deb is celebrating her Birthday today. I think she turned 26. Next time you see her make sure to wish her a happy birthday. Anyway, congrats Deb, Stay away from the Tequila Shots!

Everybody wants into the Food Business- Part II

Tommy Bahamas, not content in just selling you a $125 mango inspired shirt is now in the restaurant business. Adjoining their clothing store in the Market Commons (a new section of Myrtle Beach where the Air Force base was located) they have added a very nice restaurant. Reportedly the millwork (everything wood in the joint) cost them $1.2 million. I will have to say it was very well done, food was better than average but I didn't think they were very busy for a Friday night during the season. If it was one of my joints I would be concerned. I'll guess they'll just have to raise the price of those shirts to $135 to help compensate.

One of the neatest things on the menu was the Scallop Sliders. An seafood twist on the burger sliders we used to sell at Ramparts. (Sliders - a style stolen from Little Tavern).

Note Kevin the "thorn" between two roses.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Myrtle Beach

Mrs. Mango and I headed down to Myrtle Beach for a few days to visit the inlaws. We were able to join up with a high school friend of Donna's, Gwen and Kevin Murray. A ride up the intercoastal on their speedboat at sunset was just the right touch after a tough day on the beach.

LIfe is good for the Bud distributorship in Myrtle Beach. The photo is of his 8,000 sq ft house overlooking the water way. I guess this would be considered the house that BUD built.

Bar Blast - Portable Collapsible Bar

Now if they would come out in a tiki bar version you may see it on the deck at Mango Mike's.

Featuring interchangeable Plexiglas panels, you can jazz up the evening with different colored neon lights. Coming to its actual purpose, this bar on wheels can accommodate 65 soda cans. Also features energy drink top shelf, two removable lexan ice bins, two built-in cutting boards on each side and also 15 bottle speed rail. Enough to last the evening while unwinding with a bunch of dear buddies.

Weighing just 75 lbs, it can stand firmly on one spot with heavy duty locking coasters. Folds down to 5" for storage.

No idea on price.

Click Here


Friday, July 11, 2008

Back of the House

As I made the transition from bartender to management I was forced to really learn all aspects of the restaurant business.  Without a doubt, the most difficult job in the business is line cook.  These guys work their ass off, its hot, you can get burned, or cut (unintentionally or intentionally if you piss off one of your co workers). Plus, ungrateful servers, managers, food runners, and bartenders are constantly screaming at you for their food.  When I worked with Andres (longtime kitchen guy) behind the bar, I once asked him which job was more challenging Bartender or Line Cook?  His reply was that the bar was more difficult because dealing with a sea of live customers was more of a challenge than a whole bunch of tickets (I think it has been too long since he last went behind the line).   The line cooks are the unsung heros of the restaurant, they get no respect and work 3 times harder than any server does.  And, as Andres pointed out "there are no girls back there!"(I think that is his motivation to work at the bar)

One of my favorite celebrity chefs, Anthony Bourdain, wrote a book about his life as a line cook, and life in the back of the house in general. It is a great window into the what a restaurant kitchen is really like.  Check it out "Kitchen Confidential" by Anthony Bourdain. Here is a clip from his TV show, showing what working the line on a busy night can be. Enjoy, and please if you work in the restaurant business, cut these guys some slack.

Waffle Cone Maker & Holder

With summertime here there's nothing better than an old fashioned ice cream cone. Unless of course it's Dickies Custard down in Bethany.

From their website:
Flavorful waffle cones without the wait! In just minutes, this electric waffle maker’s dual non-stick surface bakes up deliciously fresh sugar waffles that can be shaped into a cone or dessert bowl. Just fill with your favorite ice cream, sorbet, frozen yogurt or fruit. An easy-to-use cone form for creating perfectly shaped cones and instructions are included. Has power and ready indicator lights. While making your cones, place them in the rotating ice cream cone holder to cool and fill. A fun and mess-free way to serve ice cream cones. Easy-to-clean chrome finish stand. $29.95

Click Here

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Caulk Shots - You've got to be kidding me.

Now I'm a big a fan of Home Depot as any man, but I draw the line at having my shooters coming from a caulking gun.

A new low for jello shots.

From the website:

Sometimes I think I’ve seen it all and then along comes Caulkshots- the jello shot in a caulk gun device. You mix up your jello with a little vodka, pour it into the Caulkshot, refrigerate for 8 hours, and then start boozing it up out of your caulking gun just like Ty Pennington does when he’s offcamera.


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Could this be the Meanest Man in Bethany Beach

Jim W. from Bethany Blues tortures his family every year in the 4th of July parade.

The Facts:

He makes his wife wear a pig suit for the parade (outside of the suit she is a babe). How hot do think it gets in there along the parade route, even with the bratty kids spraying you with the garden hose and the super soakers.

He makes one of his kids ride in the smoker. He swears it's off, but I'm not convinced.

The float isn't powered so it's rumored that the underpaid BB staff has to push it around the parade route.

So for your next trip into Bethany Blues (great bbq by the way) make sure you let Jim know of your feelings on this matter.

Sure makes all those kids working for slave labor wages over at Dickie's Custard appreciate their jobs.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Andres Still Better Looking Behind Bar

The good news is that you probably don't have to tip.


Asahi Beer has experimented with robot bartenders in the past, but it looks to have really outdone itself with its new Mr. Asahi bot, which just made its public debut at Selfridges in the UK. Apparently, the robot was built in about 200 hours and spent a full six months fine-tuning its bartending skills, which includes being able to serve customers in less than two minutes. That's done with the aid of a discreetly-hidden PC that controls the compressed air and the robot's various switching mechanisms, not to mention its pleasant demeanor. Be sure to head on past the break for a video of the bot in action courtesy of Channel Flip.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Best Seat in the House

About 4 years ago the Bethany FIreworks Team, shooting off the beach, nearly burned down a beachfront home. After that mishap they started shooting from a barge about 200 yards off the beach. So this year we're getting a little concerned about not seeing the barge, and wondering with the approaching storm if they're going to postpone for a day.


20 minutes ahead of schedule the fireworks are again being launched right off the beach, just a couple of blocks from Mango's. I would guess that with City budgets tightening up Bethany decided to save the $15k barge fee.

No homes were burned to the ground, to the appreciation of those living on the beach.

And the skies opened up with a torrential rain storm just as the fireworks were finished. The powers to be must have been watching the weather radar and started early in anticipation of the storm. Great Job.

As you can seen by the photo, those dining on the decks at Mango's had a front row seat for the display.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Beer Goddess - World's Largest Beer Glass

Imagine this full of MangoRitas, although that wouldn't be legal in Virginia as the state has a 24 oz max container law for alcohol.

From the Gothamist Blog:

Heartland Brewery has just announced what they believe to be the Largest Glass of Beer Commercially Available (an application has already been filed with the Guiness World Records), it is dubbed: "The Beer Goddess." The three-liter glass holds 6.3 pints, 101.4 ounces, or 8.5 cans...and no matter what way you measure it, it's likely to be warm by the time you reach the half way point.

The glass can be filled to the brim with a choice of four of their Clinton Hill-brewed beers, with two additional beers available in the summer. The novelty is likely to wear off after a few ounces are imbibed, no matter what's in the glass. If you still want to take on the massive drink, however, it'll cost you $49 (plus tip!), and does not include the glass itself. The company has made a limited edition of only 100 Beer Goddess glasses, in circulation at their restaurants, and encourages only one per customer per visit.

Though the price tag may seem big, it comes out to a little over $7 bucks per (pint) beer...meanwhile those suckers in Park Slope are shelling out $95 for a regular sized (extremely rare, and allegedly tasty) lager.

click here

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Bethany Beach 4th Parade 2008

The weather was just a little on the warm side, but otherwise perfect for a 4th parade. A slight breeze helped keep things cool.
Our tiki girls handed out 5,000 leis to every kid along the parade route.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

End of Era • Ramparts Sold

I bought Ramparts six years ago from one of my best friends, Rob Zimmerman, who was the original owner of Ramparts when it opened in 1978. He was partners with Ben Benson, who Zimm later bought out and Ben went on to open Southside 815 in Old Town.

After six years it was time for a change and I received an offer from Tom Jackson and Steve Mann, owners of Shooter McGee's (my original joint on Duke St) to take over Ramparts. Ten months later it was a done deal.

Steve and Tom plan on keeping the name, concept and staff at Ramparts as they believe it's tradition as a great neighborhood restaurant should remain.

Look for them to spend some money in upgrades, especially in the pub room. The next few months there should be exciting times.

Pixs of me with Joannie, who has been a staff staple at that location even before Ramparts, with 33 years of customer pleasing satisfaction.

Vena the head day cook with 24 years of good grub.

Vena, Hector and Jose.

Good luck to all. And thanks to Linda Farmer, GM, and all the Ramparts staff for all their excellent work over the years.

Thanks for the memories.