Thursday, June 30

Restaurant Graphics: Genessee Royale Bistro

Kansas City, Missouri
Art Direction: Brady Vest
Design: Jenn Rogers
"In addition to the modified  lettering for the word "Royale", we used Helenic and Trade Gothic and a nice typeface with a ridiculous name called Darling Nikki for all of the Prince fans in the audience. 

We used chipboard for the main lunch and dinner menu graphics. Chipboard is an industrial grade recycled board. The other papers are French Durotone and other various other scrap papers for small temporary menus we have printed for them. We contacted Dan Brewer at Arbuckle Signs to hand paint the logo on the window - that's right, hand painted, not vinyl. We wanted it to be as authentic as the older sources we were pulling from and it turned out perfectly imperfect. 

When we were asked by Todd and Tracey to develop the logo and identity work for their new restaurant project - Genessee Royale -  we were thrilled. We have been huge fans of Happy Gillis and were excited to be a part of their new restaurant. They gave us very little specific guidelines, other than the fact that it should have some aesthetic connection to its location in the West Bottoms and that it was going to have a subtle nod to French Bistro as well as some color directions.

We began to look at older sources for the logo references such as hand painted signage from small town cafes to gold leafed signage in authentic French Bistros. We tried to keep the crown as a connection 
to the West Bottoms, the American Royal, etc. while not making it too central to the logo."
{Brady Vest} 

See their press archive here. It's a big and impressive list that includes representation in design, wedding and home decor publications, a healthy presence in the blogosphere and chosen as one of the best rock posters "of all time" by
Hammerpress has an AWESOME store on Southwest Boulevard. Brady is engaged to Lindsay.

chell n.

Chell N. | Server
Years of Industry Service: 25
For the last ten years, Chell was a manager at a corporate restaurant. She recently quit that career path because "it was sucking the soul out of me." Now she's serving and back in school. A student at the University of Missouri, Kansas City as a creative writing major, Chell is getting her PhD so she can teach poetry. She's kept a journal ever since she can remember, her grandmother gave Chell her first diary when she was five-years-old. "I have a thousand journals that I've written in over the years." She likes spiral bound journals with pretty covers. The paper can be lined or unlined because she writes and sketches a little bit too.

Chell likens working for independent restaurants to being in "velvet handcuffs" because of the lack of health insurance. "You're out their on your own and have to figure it out for yourself." But restaurant service also gives her the freedom to pursue new dreams. Chell lives close to work and her regular bar, The Peanut, where she was spending the afternoon with bartender and friend Jessie. She has lived in a lot of different cities and thinks that everyone, including in Kansas City, is really pretty nice. 

  Make KC Better » Blow up P&L and better mass transit

Wednesday, June 29

100 Day Giveaway!

It's hard to believe that we started this blog 100 days ago. We've met so many great people who all love the service industry, the restaurant scene and our city as much as we do. Thank you for your support, your kind words and for saying hi to us when we are out and about, working on this project that we have so much fun doing. To thank you all for being our blog regulars, we're giving away a vintage flask set. Three, 13 oz. tin-lined flasks and four shot glasses that fit inside a brown, zippered case with a handle. Made in Germany. Check back with us tomorrow when we get a little misty-eyed and reflect on all that has happened these last three months. Thanks again and good luck!

 Leave a comment in this post.
Tell us what you like about the blog
so far. Or tell us what you don't.

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You have until midnight on Friday, July 8th to make a comment.
The winner will be chosen at random.
Photos by Linh Trieu

tea time?

Where are we?
Manhood & FemaleJoy. Where did we find these teas?
To see the photos, please find us on facebook or twitter.
Another blogger meltdown this morning, but we're not going to let that
stop us. This is what you call a workaround! Give us your best guess.
Leave your answer in the comments section below or
send us a message via facebook or twitter @ELoungeKC.
David Hayden is this week's winner! You can probably find these exact teas or ones very similar at any number of the Asian markets in Kansas City, but we were at Chinatown Market in the River Market. There were a ton of other hilarious teas too, you can check them out for yourself in Aisle 2.

michael f.

Michael F. | Maintenance
Years of Industry Service: 18, off and on
Michael grew up on and farm and even though he lives in the city now, "I'm a country boy at heart," he says. He still does "ranching stuff" and this summer, he built a tin barn. Michael met the owners of Californo's years ago. He was just a kid when he helped them save their horse, who had gotten its bridle caught up in tractor. Michael knew the names of area vets and helped contact them. For 18 years, he has worked at Californo's off and on, working in whatever position they need him in: bartending, serving, kitchen and valet. Now he's the maintenance supervisor. Michael is also a cross-country motorcycle rider. He likes to join up for New Belgium's bike and beer festival, Tour de Fat. This year's tour includes 13 cities from Nashville to Los Angeles.

  Make KC Better » A little bit more outdoorsy, more bike trails, camping, more things to do around lakes and ponds in the Kansas City area

Tuesday, June 28

Sweet Treats on the Go

Kansas City, Missouri
I so love the pastry counter at Cafe Europa. Their cupcakes are huge and their pies small. How cute is that? I would happily marry pastry chef Anna Morrow so I could eat her desserts every day. Tina got the Coconut Cupcake and Key Lime Tarte. She and husband Chris took them to Shakespeare in the Park for one of their romantic wedding anniversary dates. Mine went into the fridge and the whole thing disappeared. Never got to taste it. Not a crumb was left behind nor a bite saved. My roommate gobbled it all up and did not leave a single trace of evidence. 

--- {1} ---
Blackberry Mini Pie, $5.50

--- {2} ---
Chocolate Coconut Cupcake, $3

--- {3} ---
Key Lime Tarte, $5.50

fanny r.

Fanny R. | Baker/Owner
Years of Industry Service: 3 months, but baking since she was a child
Fanny Rivera has always loved baking. Raised by her baker-grandmother, Fanny has been making breads, flan, and cakes since she was a little girl in Veracruz Port, Mexico. From the front door façade to the tiniest iridescent sprinkle on her cupcakes, Fanny's bakery is covered in vibrant, feminine pink. Pink roses on every table, pink piñatas on the walls, pink streamers criss-crossing the ceiling, and pink shoes on her feet. It's a charming mishmash of colors, cookies, candy and soda, the air filled with the sugary sweetness of a well-loved bakery.

"It was my dream for a long time: a bakery in the West Side," she says. For years, Fanny had been baking on the side, making birthday cakes and quinceñera cakes while working her full-time job. Her customers and church friends started pushing her to start her own business. So three months ago, Fanny opened the doors to that life-long dream, proudly using recipes she learned from her grandmother. Her bakery, open from the early morning hours and well into the late night ones, is a family hangout. On weekends, Fanny says, "We dance. I put on salsa and people just start dancing. They love it."

As a first-time business owner on an extremely lean start-up budget, she works double-digit hours seven days a week doing everything herself. But when it's your dream, this chance to work for yourself and be a visible part of your community, you work for as long and as hard as you have to. Fanny has two daughters, one is at the private Catholic school Bishop Miege and the other attends The University of Kansas in Lawrence. "They come help me sometimes when they have time," Fanny said, "But the first thing is their education and school." Fanny works day and night to make it possible for her daughters to get a good education.

Many of her young customers, especially the Latino teenagers from the neighborhood, don't have the stable family life, support and finances to get the same education Fanny is able to provide for her daughters. Her voice trembled with tears as she talked about their situations, saying, "A lot of my customers come in and tell me about the problems in their family. It makes me so sad."

Fanny adamantly championed her teenage customers. "They have 100% potential. They are good, good, good teenagers, but they have problems." She thinks a better Kansas City starts with providing support and help to those kids. Provide them with a better alternative to drugs, alcohol and gangs. But those are big, complicated issues that require more than one-answer solutions. Fanny is doing her part for the neighborhood by being the kind, empathetic ear that those kids need. She is the warm mother with the comforting sweets; she says, "They leave here with a smile."
The Employee Lounge will be contributing profiles each month in Tastebud MagazineThis is our first one. Even if you've read it here, pick up a copy, read the rest of the fruit-themed articles and check us out in print! Next week, we'll show you a peek inside her pastelería and all her sweet treats.

  Make KC Better » Improved support system for troubled kids in her community

Monday, June 27

on the street: james v.

James V.
Kansas City, Missouri
Nice mix of large and small plaids for this pattern-on-pattern look. His green shoes and coordinating green belt were nice pops of color against the all-brown outfit. Worn, faded spots on the shirt were lovely, too.
Photographed on Main Street in front of The Rieger.

patrick r.

Patrick R. | Chef/Owner
Port Fonda
(Their website is just a landing're better off following them on facebook or twitter).
Years of Industry Service: 20+ (oops, forgot to ask exact)
Patrick rolled right into his interview as soon as our feet crossed the threshold of his domain; he had a lot to say and shit to do. After that, I just nodded my head, wrote as fast as I could and went along for the ride. That day, Port Fonda did its first lunch service, across the street from El Dorado Architects and under the bridge at 23rd and Washington. Rain and thunderstorms peppered the skies for most of the day, but still Port Fonda sold out 1:15. At one point, Patrick looked out and saw 30 people, all under the bridge sitting in a row on the curb, eating his food. "In the restaurant business, you never want to be out of shit." But in their trailer, if they can be so busy they can be done in an hour, then that's always the goal. 

For the foreseeable future, Patrick and partner/sous chef Max Watson are working "disgusting, horrible hours." But, he says, that's par for course when you're getting your business open. They learn something new every time they go out and just want to get better, stronger and cleaner. Their business has been a "perfect storm of something that's cool and unique and hot right now," he said. "I'd like to think that we're the best in the business." They are still learning what they're capable of doing. "Do what you're going to do, figure out if it works and if it doesn't, plan B."

Patrick says, "I'm a real fucking fidgety type of guy," so he's always thinking of new ways to differentiate himself from the rest of the pack. He is staying ahead of the food truck and restaurant game by working with people from all fields on a variety of projects. Partnering with other chefs and farms are a given, but he is also collaborating on projects with musicians, designers and anyone else who inspires him. "It's going to be fucking crazy how cool this is gonna get." Catering to the restaurant industry, his friends and supporters, is also key to their success. "Get the service industry behind you and everyone else follows. We cater to people who love food and love what we do."

When we sat with Patrick for their first dinner service inside the trailer and again during the interview, the thing that you always get from him is his passion, intensity and directness. He has a strong opinion and speaks his mind. He is ambivalent about social media because he doesn't want to hand-hold every person who tweets or sends him a message via facebook and it's just overwhelming. "When I'm working, I'm not on the fucking phone. If I responded to everyone, then we'd be closed." Our tip: the early bird gets the worm.

 Patrick wants his business to thrive and succeed in the Crossroads. "If I can make our money where my heart beats, then that's where I want to be." Although his heart beats downtown, he lives in Prairie Village. With two kids and their education in mind, he makes no apologies and no excuses for living there, he loves PV. When he was 22-years-old, Patrick would have never believed he would end up back in the burbs, but kids change your whole world.

Patrick is a self-described Chicago guy. He lived there for six years; it's where he met his wife, he worked at incredible restaurants there and it's where he still has a lot of great friends. "Cozy bars in Chicago in the winter time are the best." He is terrible with directions. He paid his dues cutting pineapples at Whole Foods. He doesn't want to be anyone's "guy" in Kansas City. He wants his business to be relevant on a national scale. And he puts his heart and soul into his work. "This is our fucking livelihood. Our entire fucking lives are in this thing."

  Make KC Better » Public transportation for sure. That ball got dropped a long time ago, not sure it will ever be picked up again. Downtown stadium. More stuff in the West Bottoms

Saturday, June 25

Link Love for the Weekend

Photo (used with permission) by Maddy Hague, Somewhere Splendid.
Make your own Lemonade Stand Popsicles
Immigrants are an important part of the service industry, here in Kansas City and across the country.
A must-read first-hand account of being an undocumented immigrant in America.
Hilarious ManBabies.
This beautiful, illustrated book is for map lovers, 20 maps of U.S. cities,
20 maps of international cities. Of course, Kansas City made the cut!
Move over food trucks, meet Lodekka, a double-decker bus vintage shop.
A food and love story.
Give Back: Give a Birthday Party to Low-Income Kids.
Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Hot Wheels. Art. Motion.
The Tease. Retro, pin-up styled music video with props by Liberty Belle.
Holy crap. A dog with bionic paws. For reals.

Friday, June 24

Outtake Friday

Ronnie G. // Justus Drugstore
Dan W. // Cafe Europa
Stephanie G. // La Bodega
P.J. // La Bodega
Donna F. // Donna' Dress Shop

rachel h.

Rachel H. | Baker/Barista
Years of Industry Service: 1.5
Rachel is a self-taught baker. She has always enjoyed it, but during college, she really upped her skills while baking with friends with whom she created a project called Cookie Bombs. They made baking fun and outrageous, surprising friends with their baked goods and their ideas. Rachel's masterpiece included building a Trojan horse filled with sweet goodies and sneaking into a friend's house to deliver them. Another project, named Operation Dessert Storm, involved rewriting a Donald Rumsfeld speech about the gulf war into a manifesto about baking.

Rachel has participated in a year-long internship at Wren Song, an 80-acre, organic, demonstration farm  in Northeast Missouri. Wren Song is electricity-free and all the machines are human-powered. Now Rachel helps run a smaller half-acre farm in Midtown with her neighbors. She also volunteers at two other community gardens and works at a greenhouse part-time. 

Rachel graduated in 2008 but is going back to school to study law. 

  Make KC Better » Improve public transportation
 Add bike lanes. 

Thursday, June 23

restaurant graphics: Manifesto

Manifesto by Fresh Fish Creative
Kansas City, Kansas
Art Direction, Design & Copy: Linh Trieu
The logo is Aviano and Carpe Diem Initials. For the menu, I used Love Letter Typewriter, Trade Gothic, Poplar, Playbill, Stud and P22 Underground. I used a lot of different fonts to achieve a letterpress style effect. The cocktail menu has gotten larger so a lot of the illustrative elements, which inlcuded some of the fonts, are now set aside.

Originally, the entire menu was supposed to be dark with white copy, but due to ease of printing, costs and time, I went with a 100# Classic Linen Natural White. It was a nice creamy color for that classic feel with just enough texture to not be too flat. The entire menu was printed in one color ink, black. The space is very dark at night and in the end, the natural white paper ended up being a better choice.

The checkout slip found in old library books was the inspiration for the menu layout. Drinks are broken down into categories and icons give visual information about how each cocktail is prepared and what kind of glass it is served in. Ryan and his staff provided drink names and ingredients as well as the rules on the back of the menu. I was responsible for the remainder of the copy. Since the bar concept was a modern day speakeasy, I thought simple calling cards would be better than a detailed business card. The copy on the card speaks to the Prohibition era. Only the phone number and initial M were on the card.

Ryan worked with another designer for the art leading down to the bar. Similar style fonts are used
and the bald guy in the Mind Your Head poster is an investor.