Going local in New Brunswick

Red Whale Coffee Inc. logoTo the extent that we can, we’d like to do things locally — as in eastern Canada and, more specifically, New Brunswick.

Now, you when you think “coffee” you may not immediately think New Brunswick – but you should!

Last week, one of the many things we did was get our coffee machine in place. The machine is one thing, but the coffee is another. When it comes to java, we’ve arranged to get ours from Sean  and Dawn — and that would be Red Whale Coffee Inc., just up the road in Rothesay, near Quispamsis.

The local idea will also be true of the beer we serve. We’re lined up to carry Saint John’s Moosehead and Moncton’s Pumphouse and we’re hoping to be able to have Fredericton’s Picarroons on board.

We may be a deli, but it’s our hope to be a distinctly New Brunswick deli!

(Okay so not 100% local … we did get our plates at Fishes Eddy on our New York trip. But our communal table is local!)


Our communal table

Liz is particularly excited about the Urban Deli’s communal table (sometimes referred to as a “sharing table”). And what’s a communal table? As the name suggests, it’s a table where anyone and everyone can sit down to enjoy, not simply the food, but each other’s company. Some people are reluctant to try it because it’s not the way they are use to dining. But once they do try it, most love it.

At the Deli, we thought, “Atlantic Canada is famous for how friendly everyone is. Where better to have a communal table?

Our table was built by Christoph Malinowski of CM Woodcraft Inc. And the craftsmanship that went into it is amazing. If you see Liz and ask her about it, be ready to sit down for a while because she’ll go on and on about the table, Christoph and how thrilled she is to have it.

As for communal tables, they’re new but not really. According to an item from the Seattle Times, “Across Europe, in bistros and beer halls, tavernas, trattorias and tapas bars, people are accustomed to eating at large shared tables.”

You don’t have to go to Europe to see them, however. They’ve become increasingly popular in places like New York, Seattle, Montreal, Los Angeles and most other major centres. A story about communal tables in San Francisco from the San Francisco Chronicle provides a good sense of what they are like (including the romantic aspects!).

So … we’re pretty excited, especially Liz, with the possibilities of our table. And don’t fret, there will be other, more traditional tables for those reluctant to give it a try. We suspect, however, when you see how others are enjoying the communal dining experience, you’ll want to give it a try too.


Preparing ourselves (and our deli)

Urban Deli awning seen as you head toward the harbour front.Yes, we’ve neglected urbandeli.ca as we’ve been busily getting the Urban Deli (the actual restaurant) ready for the opening, which we’re hoping will be the end of June. And it will be, barring the unforeseen … You know, like earthquake, alien invasions or similar unplanned for calamities.

It hasn’t all been hammers and nails over here on King, however. A week or two ago Liz and her compadres made a trip to New York City (where her sister, Michael-ann, lives). It wasn’t a pleasure trip (though it was loads of fun). Liz was doing some “research” of NYC delis and picking up some necessities for the restaurant, like a steamer, plates and bowls and other equipment. We’ll do a separate post on the New York trip soon. Today, we’re just letting you know that while we’re working on getting the restaurant ready, we’re also getting our bums in gear as far as the site goes.

By the way, you’ll find a nice piece about us in the June edition of Streetscope, the monthly newsletter from Uptown Saint John. It’s the “New Business Feature – The Urban Deli.” It’s great feeling we’re a part of the city’s uptown!

Lastly, we had an absolutely fabulous time at the Fundy Food Festival here in Saint John last Saturday. We were giving people a taste of our ribs but at the same time we were tasting some of the foods other restaurants and food related businesses were providing. The chefs in SJ are absolutely incredible.

Does everyone in Saint John realize how good the food is here? As the saying goes, “To die for …”


The waiting game

As you can see, we’re a work in progress. “Under construction,” as the web sites like to say. We hope to be up and running soon, so please visit us again when we have everything in order. And thanks for coming by to see how we’re doing!