Day 17 ( A Step Story)

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

When a colleague says “I've got a friend who just opened a restaurant,” anything is possible. But since we were in New York on business and I didn't have other plans, I tagged along.  

To my surprise, what I found when we got there was a super cool wine bar and chef’s table called Ruffian in the East Village. It was day 17 and these guys were hopping! There's a good chance they hadn’t slept in the last 17 days, but it must have been worth it. The dream was real.

I spent a few minutes talking with Patrick Cournot (owner) about the genesis, and now reality, of the dream to open a restaurant. His answers were fascinating; so much so that I wanted to share them with you. Here's his STEP journey in his own words. 

What was the biggest challenge you faced in the pursuit of your dream to open a Restaurant?

Patrick: Getting started - It was very hard to estimate the costs and risks without spending money. It was hard to decide on the scope and scale of what we could afford.

How did you overcome that challenge?

Patrick: We shot for small - opening a wine bar had limited costs and less elements to estimate.

What was the single most important step you took in the process of pursuing your dream?

Patrick: We stopped looking for restaurants (kitchens with gas) and started looking for smaller spaces that could only use electric equipment.

Was there a time when you considered not taking that step? Why? And what ultimately pushed you over the edge to take it?

Patrick: Many of my friends and confidants were excited by the idea of a restaurant and less so by a wine bar. The small size and lack of gas equipment made most normal people uncomfortable, or made them think that we would be doing “simple” food.

If you had to give one piece of advice to someone on the journey but not quite as far as you, what would you say?

Patrick: Don’t be scared to innovate. We were very familiar with small spaces and electric equipment. Though no one was really doing what we were doing in a restaurant, we had experience with similar work while catering.