Thank you Kim Holcomb @ Evening Magazine

If you’ve yet to come in and really enjoy what everyone else is raving about… still a little nervous… here’s some great tantalizing shots of our favorite dogs. Most importantly, note; it’s true, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups = no so good.  But me + peanut butter and bananas = GREAT!

All Day Happy Hour on Sundays!

Sundays are fun-days at Po Dogs!

Drop in for a tasty weiner and enjoy our all day happy hour specials.

Two months into Po Dog – a recap of the early days

So I randomly found this OLD OLD OLD blog entry that I just never posted as I was thinking that I need to start blogging again. Here’s to my day full of wieners that has put the important things in life (blogging) on the backburner! ……..

 

What a whirlwind of two months if there was ever one. A big name celeb was caught cheating on his wife with a slew of women (big surprise), Haiti suffered a devastating earthquake and Seattle has had the most beautiful and mild winter seen in awhile. Oh, and this no-name twenty something chick up and quit her desk job thinking she could change the way Seattle sees the plain ol’ hot dog.

On November 14th, 2009 at 11am, Po Dog opened its doors to the general public.

When telling my story I seem to repeat the phrase about jumping into a shallow pool head first when it came to quitting a mundane job and doing one of the most challenging things one can do at 25 years of age.  Luckily I was on the swim team and did the shallow dives every day. So 2 LONG months after opening Po Dog, here I am sitting in the corner booth of MY restaurant reflecting on what has been the most terrifying, trying, tiring and rewarding two months of my life. The nerves still haven’t settled and it still hasn’t completely set in that I’m chopping tomatoes one minute and doing year end taxes for a business the next. I can’t even believe that I made it and that I’ve survived working 100+ hours for two straight months. Back to blogging here’s the list.

The exciting things:

-          The cheese sauce. Yeh, I complained about this and wondered what the hell I would do with cheese sauce but low and behold Dub-T. I love it and now I can’t stop eating cheese sauce. I recommend it for a fry dipping sauce. YUM. Proud of my team member, Kevin for taking the cheese sauce to the next level and making his signature “K-fat” sauce. A decadent blend of bacon, jalapenos and cheese sauce. You’d be surprised at how many requests we have for this creation!

-          REGULARS – Let’s face it, I sell hot dogs. Most of us eat them as a more seasonal food; Summertime BBQ’s and Fourth of July feasting. I LOVE the fact that we have people who come back on a weekly basis to share in my love for hot dogs. I can’t thank you all enough for your continued support and interest in what I’m doing. The familiar faces I get to see each day really make me feel like I am doing something right in the midst of all this craziness.  P.S. I love all our new customers equally as much. You each have a story and I am eager to listen.

-          Customer Suggestions – I’ve gotten so many dog creations holy snap. Thank you.

-          Blue Painters tape – I freaking love this stuff and if you ever come behind the counter you will see just how much I love it!

-          UPCOMING PRESS AND MENU CHANGES – Stay Tuned!!!

The Hardies:

-          Garbage and recycling. So seriously, I don’t know why I kept having missed pick-ups but man was it horrible. We were overflowing for a few weeks here and every morning I would pull up on the sidewalk to a flock of asshole crows choking on the latex gloves they had so nicely ripped out of the neatly stacked and tied up garbage bags. I like birds, but I wish they didn’t beak holes in the garbage bags and try to harm themselves with our used indigestible items. I think we’re on track to more normal pick up times now.

-          STANDING FOR 15-18 hours a day.  (this is the only personal complaining I will do)

-          Losing team members is never fun. Losing more than one team member during one of our busiest weeks is double time no fun. My team is great and those that we lost we were sad to see go, but family and medical circumstances had to be tended to. In the past month I’ve hired on 6 new people and almost doubled the staff I had initially started out with. Hey, this is a great thing!

-          People who have no appreciation for the hard work of others.

Some Stories That Might Interest You –

  1. COUNTERTOP – I never claimed to be great at anything involving numbers (pray for me come tax season). After getting all the equipment, chairs and countertops installed it should have been no surprise that I completely mis-measured the height of pretty much everything.  Resulting from this seemingly minor mishap comes a great conversation piece.  Consensus says that about 47% of our customers don’t seem to mind it while the other 80% mumble WTF phrases under their breath and end up relocating to a “normal” proportioned table/chair combo.  Look, I apologize to those of you who have issues with the height. I have shopped thousands of taller barstools to accommodate, but f’ugly is just not the way I want to go.  It is what it is. I’ve got an arsenal full of excuses for anyone wishing to comment on the height. Come in and I will share.
  2. THE DOGS – YES, I have tried every single one of those dogs on the menu AND THEN SOME. And to be quite honest, I do eat a hot dog pretty much every day (if not two). Contact me in 5 years and I’ll let you know how many thigh dimples I’ve been blessed with as a result.
  3. THE BLUE TAPE EVERYWHERE – I bought in bulk. So what? As a result, I was using it to label things in the restaurant and after I ran out I had to buy more… it just became a habit and now I am hooked on blue tape and its multiple uses.
  4. I’m NOT PERFECT – I called my restaurant supplier the day before I got my first food delivery because I was absolutely freaking out that my brand new freezer wasn’t working. He was nice enough to schedule a last minute early morning maintenance guy to come out and check on what the problem was. That morning before the maintenance man arrived, I noticed there was a switch on the top. Need I say more?

TO BE CONTINUED.

Steam burns, luggage under my eyes and eau de hot dog

What a whirlwind of two months if there was ever one. A big name celeb was caught cheating on his wife with a slew of women (big surprise), Haiti suffered a devastating earthquake and Seattle has had the most beautiful and mild winter seen in awhile. Oh, and this no-name twenty something chick up and quit her desk job thinking she could change the way Seattle sees the plain ol’ hot dog.

On November 14th, 2009 at 11am, Po Dog opened its doors to the general public.

When telling my story I seem to repeat the phrase about jumping into a shallow pool head first when it came to quitting a mundane job and doing one of the most challenging things one can do at twenty five years of age.  Luckily I was on the swim team and did the shallow dives every day. So 2 LONG months after opening Po Dog, here I am sitting in the corner booth of MY restaurant reflecting on what has been the most terrifying, trying, tiring and rewarding two months of my life. The nerves still haven’t settled and it still hasn’t completely set in that I’m chopping tomatoes one minute and doing year end taxes for a business the next. I can’t even believe that I made it and that I’ve survived working 100+ hours a week for two straight months. I go home smelling like hot dogs, fall asleep for about three hours to the throbbing pain in my legs and wake up to do it all over again. With every ounce of energy left, I love this place and the life I am living.

The exciting things:

-          The cheese sauce. Yeh, I complained about this and wondered what the hell I would do with cheese sauce but low and behold Dub-T. I love it and now I can’t stop eating cheese sauce. I recommend it for a fry dipping sauce. YUM. Proud of my team member, Kevin for taking the cheese sauce to the next level and making his signature “K-fat” sauce. A decadent blend of bacon, jalapenos and cheese sauce. You’d be surprised at how many requests we have for this creation!

-          REGULARS – Let’s face it, I sell hot dogs. Most of us eat them as a more seasonal food; Summertime BBQ’s and Fourth of July feasting. I LOVE the fact that we have people who come back on a weekly basis to share in my love for hot dogs. I can’t thank you all enough for your continued support and interest in what I’m doing. The familiar faces I get to see each day really make me feel like I am doing something right in the midst of all this craziness.  P.S. I love all our new customers equally as much. You each have a story and I am eager to listen.

-          Customer Suggestions – I’ve gotten so many dog creations holy snap. Thank you.

-          Blue Painters tape – I freaking love this stuff and if you ever come behind the counter you will see just how much I love it!

-          UPCOMING PRESS AND MENU CHANGES – Stay Tuned!!!

The Hardies:

-          Garbage and recycling. So seriously, I don’t know why I kept having missed pick-ups but man was it horrible. We were overflowing for a few weeks here and every morning I would pull up on the sidewalk to a flock of asshole crows choking on the latex gloves they had so nicely ripped out of the neatly stacked and tied up garbage bags. I like birds, but I wish they didn’t peck holes in the garbage bags and try to harm themselves with our used indigestible items. I think we’re on track to more normal pick up times now.

-          STANDING FOR 15-18 hours a day.  (this is the only personal complaining I will do for now)

-          Losing team members is never fun. Losing more than one team member during one of our busiest weeks is double time no fun. My team is great and those that we lost we were sad to see go, but family and medical circumstances had to be tended to. In the past month I’ve hired on 6 new people and almost doubled the staff I had initially started out with. Hey, this is a great thing!

-          People who have no appreciation for the hard work of others.

Some Stories That Might Interest You –

  1. COUNTERTOP – I never claimed to be great at anything involving numbers (pray for me come tax season). After getting all the equipment, chairs and countertops installed it should have been no surprise that I completely mis-measured the height of pretty much everything.  Resulting from this seemingly minor mishap comes a great conversation piece.  Consensus says that about 40% of our customers don’t seem to mind it while the other 80% mumble WTF phrases under their breath and end up relocating to a “normal” proportioned table/chair combo.  Look, I apologize to those of you who have issues with the height. I have shopped thousands of taller barstools to accommodate, but f’ugly is just not the way I want to go.  It is what it is. I’ve got an arsenal full of excuses for anyone wishing to comment on the height. Come in and I will share.
  2. THE DOGS – YES, I have tried every single one of those dogs on the menu AND THEN SOME. And to be quite honest, I do eat a hot dog pretty much every day (if not two). Contact me in 5 years and I’ll let you know how many thigh dimples I’ve been blessed with as a result.
  3. THE BLUE TAPE EVERYWHERE – I bought in bulk. So what. As a result, I was using it to label things in the restaurant and after I ran out I had to buy more… it just became a habit and now I am hooked on blue tape and its multiple uses.
  4. I’m NOT PERFECT – I called my restaurant supplier the day before I got my first food delivery because I was absolutely freaking out that my brand new freezer wasn’t working. He was nice enough to schedule a last minute early morning maintenance guy to come out and check on what the problem was. That morning before the maintenance man arrived, I noticed there was a switch on the top. Need I say more?

TO BE CONTINUED.

Capitol Hill Hoopla

Date:
December 8, 2009 – 10:00am

Po Dogs will be providing the food for the Capitol Hill Holiday Hoopla taking place at Pravda Studios.

Come try our weiners, meet Capitol Hill Businesses, and celebrate the holidays!

http://www.capitolhillholidayhoopla.com

WARNING: Entrepreneuse has some missing puzzle pieces

This process is like a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle (that you find out later had a few missing pieces).

Corners are always the easiest to get in place, or at least they should be. I’m still missing one of the corners of the puzzle, but still building none the less. I lay awake every night thinking in my head what I have to still get done, then I wake up and realize that I can’t remember all I was thinking about the night before so I start the thinking process all over again. There is so much I have yet to understand about the business and this process and by no means am I afraid to admit that. The scariest part of all of this is that I’ve got less than 4 weeks before my projected opening date (*insert anxiety attack here*).

Hell, if someone like me can do this I have faith in that the rest of the world has some pretty serious untapped potential. Instead of the Things We Love list this week, I’m giving y’all a little insight into the personal lessons I have taken (found pieces) from this journey so far:

3. Do not let the idiosyncrasies of another influence how the rest of the day, week or month will go. Sometimes you have to be fine with the way people are.

Puzzle piece #326: There is this personality I have to deal with almost on a daily basis. Hates hot dogs, I can pretty safely assume has a strong dislike for me as a person and sends (in my personal opinion) the not-so-friendliest of emails when any concerns (large or small) arise. This used to piss me off to the point where I would want to come home and throw a frozen hot dog at the window in hopes of breaking it (the window, not the hot dog). After a few unpleasant phone calls and email exchanges I came to realize there was little to no way of connecting with this person so now I deal with it and have stopped wasting perfectly good hot dogs. Hard-to-work-with-personality, I appreciate you for reminding me that I’m not going to sell a million point six hot dogs because not everyone has an appreciation or liking for such a delicacy.

1. If you’re opening a restaurant and are unmarried, you should try to get engaged to an architect. They can make anything happen.

Puzzle piece #21: ADA requirements. Acronyms can stand for a lot and this one stands for You Must Comply Or Else. The not-contractor in me went ahead and approved the moving of two toilets in my space in order to accommodate an easier piping path…. Oops? Yeh, that didn’t work so well since a few inches all of the sudden changed the world (insert architect fiance here). FIXED. There are a million other things I can list that I did wrong that Super Architect Fiance had to come in and fix. Let’s just say I haven’t had to pawn my ring due to any costly unfixable mistakes just yet.

12. You can’t always trust that sales people have your best intentions in mind because 93% of the time, they don’t (and trust me, I can’t blame them).

Puzzle piece #166: After a few bids and more time spent reviewing and reviewing, I realized that my Fiat budget was nowhere in the minds of some of my vendors. Seriously, did I really need a solid gold toilet or a diamond-encrusted bar top (slight exaggeration on both)?! I knew I didn’t, but I somehow expected them all to feel sorry for me and give the “she looks like she could use a break” discount. Didn’t happen, at least not on all of them. I can’t blame them for trying though. I’m still working on perfecting the “give me a break” face.

5. Sometimes things don’t always have to go in the “correct” order and they still end up working out just fine.

Puzzle piece #2: It just seemed appropriate to put this for a number of reasons. I’m what they call an entreprenuese which translates into being capable of coming up with some creative solutions to seemingly impossible roadblocks. None of it makes sense right now, but in the long term it will!

The first and last time I’ll state why this blog exists.

Blogging. Due to recent calls and statements, I feel the need to explain why I am doing what I am doing.

I don’t have a college degree in hospitality or restaurant management. All of my exposure to the service industry has come from hands-on experience working in a restaurant. By no means does this make me an expert at opening one, nor does it make me an expert in knowing how to deal with the issues that I have to deal with on a daily basis during the process. This blog is my story. It’s here to share with family, friends and the community all the ups and downs of opening my first restaurant. Like any route in life, we are all bound to come across difficult obstacles and difficult people and in it, we are all dealing with those roadblocks differently. I chose to write (blog) about mine. That being said, take reading this blog for what it is. Nothing is to be taken personally and if you find this offensive, you have the choice to close the browser and not read it. In the end, things are as they are and there’s always another day. Yesterday’s dirty break-up is tomorrow’s new relationship. I have respect for everyone that has been a part of this whether they were the ones standing in my way or cheering me on in the sidelines.

Concrete crayons and Patty the Pleaser. Employment anyone?

Week – I’ve already lost count

Let me put the good before the bad this time. Here’s a list of things we LOVE so far this week:

1. The name ‘Not Dog’ …. taste TBD

2. People who remind us that you can’t always be Patty Pleaser and sometimes have to play Assertive Allen

3. Crayons that can write on concrete and vanish with the sweep of a shoe (or is that just a dirty floor?)

4. Our lovely neighbors, Lifelong AIDS Alliance (LLAA) who do such a great job of keeping their storefront clean … I am now determined to not be the embarrassment of Union Street by picking up the garbage that unnamed patrons use our driveway for.

5. The Liquor Control Board for finally returning my 5 voicemail messages over the past two weeks and calling me back at 9:37pm on Sunday.

6. Blogging. Thank you to everyone who left your messages and opinions about our mural, good and bad. Tough skin, but not on a hot dog :)

-

NEW PLUMBER! This is the good news of the day. The previous plumber and I had mutually determined that I didn’t have time to look up plumbing codes for him and that his ”stress induced” days off from working my job were just not going to work for either of us. All I can say is, what a relief! I received a few last-minute bids from other plumbers and discovered that there are actually people out there who know what they are doing. No more hot dog girl having to look up plumbing codes and having ‘pow-wows’ about plumbers feelings (seriously, that happened). This has already started out to be a great week.

Still dealing with the mural issues. Not going to mention this person’s age, but they are significantly older than myself and now they’re wanting to bring their mother, yes I said their mother into the deciding factor. I will quote, “it’s all up to our mother in the end and if she doesn’t like it, there will be nothing on the wall”. I am guessing that as conservative and traditional as this person is, the mother is probably that times 10. I’m crossing my fingers that I’m wrong! I know a few ‘Gammy’s’ that have crazy colored hair and an alternative way of dressing. All said and done, you can’t please everyone. And really – who cares. All that really matters in this world are hot dogs and beer.

Po Dog is here and here to stay a very very long time. We couldn’t be more excited to get open and be a working part of the Capitol Hill community! Thanks for all the support!

Side note: WE’RE HIRING! If you have industry experience and want to be a part of a company that will change the world, send us your resume – info@podogs.com

Roadblocks – at least we have a big bag of liquid cheese!

Preface: The bad is coming before the good. If you don’t feel like reading through the BS, I’d suggest scrolling to the bottom to see a list of THINGS WE LOVE this week!

I’m fairly certain that things couldn’t get any worse for Po Dog this week, unless some alien force came and made the building disappear. We have run into some pretty serious and unavoidable issues that for the worst-case scenario could set our opening back up to three months (!) and tack on another $20-30k. I have graduated from my plumbing code duties of last week to trying to figure out a way to work around this new city ordinance that has the potential of prolonging my opening and putting me even further into the hole. For a normal everyday person who’s trying to make the world better by spreading the joys of the hot dog, it’s hard for me to understand why I would have to spend about three months and an enormous amount of money to shut down and dig up a part of Union Street when I have a perfectly useful electricity line overhead. Apparently that’s an eye-sore to the community and Seattle is trying to rid of them by making you dig up the earth and disrupt traffic and businesses if you want to upgrade your electricity to support a new business. Surely there has to be a deeper reasoning behind having to do all this, but I’m still experiencing some confusion in all of this.

Aside from that mess, I am about at my breaking point with one of the contractors I’ve hired. Let’s face it, the economy is tough and there are plenty of people out there who need jobs. I would rather give work to someone who needs it rather than someone who seemingly doesn’t appreciate the fact that they have a job that will pay their bills and then some. I am giving it the rest of the week in hopes that I’ve spelled out loud and clear what needs to get done. It’s my first time, things like this will happen and although it may take me a bit longer than someone else to get the dream up and running I can say that I’m glad I’ve been able to learn a great deal along the way.

On to better things, since the week can’t seem to get any worse I can’t wait for what lies in store for the rest! Here’s a list of the things Po Dog loves thus far:

-People that know what they’re doing and communicate well to those of us that don’t know much about their world

-Mini all-beef hot dog sliders that don’t have an overpowering amount of bun

-John Osgoods murals and the fact that we’re making progress in getting one on our wall

-The fact that my food supplier randomly dropped off a large bag of liquid cheese, two Walla Walla sweet onions, a bag of chipotle sauce, a small tub of BBQ sauce and mini hot dog sliders (note: we will have NO liquid cheese anywhere near or around the premise)

-Saving money(!) and having some really great people stand behind the work that has gone into Po Dog thus far

-The act of counting down the actual days until we open!

Cheers, we are almost there!

French fry varities and saving the world.

It was a french fry day. Out of 500 different fry varieties I was somehow able to narrow it down and only suffer through “having” to taste test only about 8 different varieties. In all honesty, I could probably find happiness in being a professional french fry taster if the after effect of that little phrase we call ‘heart attack’ wasn’t a possibility. Or maybe I should just not care and die a happy person full of delightfully tasty french fries. I had posted on our Twitter page (www.twitter.com/podog) previous to the tasting asking for what Seattle wanted in their perfect fry and got a plethora of different varieties. Had some great feedbakc and can’t say I was able to please them all, but I did come pretty darn close.On top of the fry tasting I was able to become easily overwhelmed by a tour of the company’s storables area. I mean, I do have opinions on what I want certain take-out and serving containers should look like but good lord who in their right mind really pays that close of attention to them!? I want black in this but it comes in all these other different varieties and shapes and sizes and then I’m told to consider maybe a more natural color in this and that which opens the door up to even more stress caused from my already indecisive nature. Perhaps I can close my eyes and point my finger. I am definitely going to try to keep it all compostable and have Po Dog be a little help in saving Mother Earth.Other than the french fry and serving experience today, we had a lot of activity at the Po Dog site. I think it was the perfect day for everyone to be out and about enjoying the last few days of warm weather. I can’t wait until we get our patio poured! That’s one thing I think Seattle is lacking from their restaurants, outdoor seating. Here’s hoping that we’ll be able to somehow put some heaters out there so it can be enjoyed year round!Next week will be a doozie.