Sunday, December 17, 2017

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes and a BIG Thank You!

Changes are happening at Salt....

It's a bag of mixed emotions here at Salt as we let you all know that Tony Mandeville, who has been in the kitchen with us here for 10 years, not to mention another 4 with me at bula in Newton, is leaving us. Tony has an opportunity to head up opening a new kitchen in Bath Maine, and being that Tony is a true Mainer, being originally from Maine, this is a "going home" of sorts. We first can't thank Tony enough for all of the work he has put into Salt...the endless hours from day one. From the normal prep and lunch/dinner service that every chef has to endure daily to being a plumber and electrician to a furniture mover and carpenter (Tony and I built the Salt bar exactly 10 years ago and moved every piece of furniture and equipment into Salt, and that meant a lot of times driving my small pick up into and out of the city with stuff hanging out windows, piled over the roof and hanging over the sides held with tie-downs.). He also played Dad, Doctor, Psychologist, Counselor, Boss and head of HR for many a young men and woman who worked their way through Salt, while at the same time maybe sending a few to see a psychologist or counselor. Tony literally gave us everything for 10 years, and we will forever be grateful. That being said we also wish Tony the absolute best up in Maine and with the new place and with everything he does....He will always be a big part of the Salt family, and will always be one of the "Originals"... he will be missed by everyone! Tony's last day is on Wed. Dec. swing on in before that, leave a note, say good-bye, send him a beer....whatever. We just want to give him a big THANK YOU. And I for one can't wait for my next "Research & Development" road trip up to Bath Maine!

Thursday, November 16, 2017


Hard to believe 10 years is around the corner! No shit, where does the time go...I mean, it actually feels as though it's been a lifetime and that I have lived my entire life at Salt. At the same time it seems like yesterday we were just putting this whole thing together. Wow. That being said, where the hell did this year go? I would swear the last time I posted a blog, the "looking 50 in the eye" (a year ago almost to the day)was just a few weeks ago...Well, here we are, and here is another post... I keep telling myself that I need to get on here and let things out, to talk about things that even if no-one reads them I can get them out of my head and onto "paper". But life seems to get in the way, time seems too quick and then shit just fester's in my head....and as Kristin, our mixologist extraordinaire/bar manager/advice giver/therapist/listener and so many other things said today that I am always just "slightly angry", as I was giving one of my beer sales reps a sarcastic ration of shit in our weekly Thursday meeting today (yesterday). So I am going to make this the first year I actually make some resolutions for the new year. I will make a bunch, knowing that not many of them actually make it to let's start the list. 1. Blog more often to get things off my mind and put it out there in the world. 2. Be a little less "slightly angry" as Kristin describes it...I see more meditation in my future. 3. Running with the Salt Shakers again this year...clears the mind, sheds a few pounds, brings a little more focus, and hell they are a fun bunch of crazy ass drinkers with a running problem 4. Replace a low-boy refrigerator in the kitchen, though no-one out there gives a fuck about that, nor should they...but Tony will be happy 5. Bring in some incredible music to the Salt Stage, some of you may give a shit about that. 6. To continue to be an important part of the community through giving back, helping those that need a hand and being aware and appreciative of what's going on right here at home 7. To continue to strive to make out restaurant "green" and good stewards locally and globally. 8. To continue my Research & Development for the restaurant, by having to taste beers, foods and spirits. I know, I say "Brad, how do you keep the pace? How do you constantly taste beer and food and spirits from all over the world? I would hate to be you". Believe me, I know..It sucks. But it is the sacrifice I make and it is an important sacrifice that I am willing to make to better Salt for all. That is probably enough for now...maybe I will add some as the end of the year gets closer...But for now...Say-La-V

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Looking 50 square in the eye

I had forgotten about this blog place, and when I stumbled upon it again I actually had a lot of fun reading the older posts, though they seemed ages ago....and I mean ages. I sit here now looking 50 square in the eyes as it quickly approaches.....a mere 26 days away, and think to myself, Fuck.
Yep, thats the first thing that comes to mind and seems fitting for most of what has gone on over the past 10, 12, 15 years.
Let's see
*The "baby" started high school this year- Fuck
*We opened 4 restaurants- yep, thats a Fuck
*We helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for local charities and the community- Fuck
*We had David Johansen, yes, New York Dolls DAVID JOHANSEN, THAT David Johansen, not once but twice play at Salt-Fuck (and thats a kind of high pitched long drawn out Fuck)
*We made my Grandmother Tillies chicken paprikash the national dish of Salt and the most highly anticipated Fall event in the North East, and this one I will give to her, because wherever she is, and looking down upon me she is saying Fuck (again in that high pitched long drawn out kind of way)
*Sprouted quite a few gray hairs, but managed to keep it all for the most part-Fuck
*I still drive the same truck I have had through all 4 restaurants, and probably the only car my kids ever remember me driving, yep-Fuck
*Ran not just 1, but 2 NYC marathons-Fuck (as in Fuck Yea)
*I was on "Chopped" and lost in the dessert round-Fuck (as in Fuck me, and you Scott Conant..fucking pasta)
*Lived to see the country elect Donald Trump as President-Yep, another Fuck (as in Holy Fuck,take that one how you will)
There are sooo many more "Fuck's", I could go on and on, but those are the first top 10 that popped in my head,so we'll leave it there for now. I have so much to be grateful for over these years as well. The family have all remained healthy, a few scares over the years but have all come out the other side. We have a great "work family" that we love as much as our own blood and are grateful for all they bring us and contribute. We have the most loyal, most giving and caring customers in the world and who really make Salt a community thing.  Again, I could go on and on about how much I have to be grateful for.
So here's to looking (with a raised glass of Ballantine) at 50 square in the eyes and saying Fuck You! Bring it on 50! I may look like hell and feel 90 years old and have a bum knee and the beginnings of arthritis in my hands. I may need a nap in the afternoon, and it may take me an hour after I get out of bed to finally lose the limp and straighten my back fully. I may now need "readers" (I didn't even know that fucking word a year ago) just to read my own menu. And so what if sometimes I realize midway through the day that I put my underwear on backwards, or that I don't give a shit if my socks match. Bring it on...

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Here we go again.....some "research and development" for some future Salty endeavors....a trip up to Monhegan Island, Maine...a long over-due trip that was gifted to us 2 years ago......Laurie and I finally picked a time we thought we could get away, a time that would be perfect.  We picked early September, which typically is a slightly slower time at Salt...a kind of transition time.  The weeknights  slow down a bit with school starting, yet right on the cusp of getting our asses handed to us with catering.  So what better time to try and take advantage of a few days.  Total bullshit!  The night before we are to leave is the night we host Shockenaw Mountain Boys for an awesome night of music and fun...which it was.  Then the power went out.  Not during the show, thanks to the music god's...but sometime during the over-night, something right before we are to leave for the weekend.  We get word from Mike at 8:44 am, "Powers out at Salt"....I think to myself, "Ok, this has happened numerous times, power goes out for short periods of time quite a bit, hell it is JCP&L...this is to be expected.  We did have quite a heavy rain and some wind last night".  Not in my wildest dream did I expect it to kill our Friday lunch business...but it did.  So now on our way north towards Maine we are texting and calling Salt and our team there, friends, the town offices, councilmen, the mayor and JCP&L.  Feeling eerily like something that happened in the not to distant proved to be not much different.  JCP&L knew nothing, nor did the town...but I can tell you, our Salt team knew!  No power, and no answers...from anyone!  So as I trek my way north towards Maine, with a knot in my stomach, but thinking all along there is no way this can be like last time.....after all it was a fucking rain storm.  No tornado. No hurricane. No fires. Not much of anything out of the ordinary. The trek towards Maine continues after talking to JCP&L and feeling pretty sure that power will be restored by mid-lunch. Yeah right...  Word we keep getting to us that 6:30pm latest...then midnight latest, then Sat. by noon, and definitely no later then 8pm Saturday night.  At this point I am throwing up outside the car, not really, but mentally....By the time we hit the Maine border we are both sick with anxiety and guilt for not being at the restaurant during such a crisis, a crisis we had no idea that was upon us.  As we enter Maine and the sun has fast set...we hit the black highway and get slammed with  sheets of rain.....the kind of rain that makes you feel as though you are entering Hell itself.   Sight is about 3 inches from the windshield, the wipers can't keep it off fast enough.  No lights on the highways up here, nothing open past 8pm...the highway is deserted, dark and fucking creepy.  At this point I am waiting for the car to careen off the road, land in a ditch and the wife and I have to meander through the Maine woods hoping to find life, only to be found by some three eyed, twelve fingered beauty to invite us in to get dry.  Or perhaps a "Brad" moment in the Rocky Horror, which may have been fun, but anyway....
  We keep forging North....finally coming upon our  exit..."Port Clyde"  and the rain slows....but man, we are in the midst of nothing.  We drive around everywhere, looking for anything in the midst of nothing...and we found alot of nothing and not a clue as to where to turn.  Running in circles and dead ends we see a sign for "town". Literally a broken, wooden, hand painted tiny sign...what the fuck right? To "town" we go....sure as shit, thats where we needed to be, kind of.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

THANK YOU.......for 5 incredible years!

Big, Big Thanks to all of you for getting us to the 5 year mark!
Here are some of the things we have been able to accomplish in our short time here, again, thanks to all of you for your help and support.......

   *Salt has been able to raise or help raise upwards of $100,000 dollars for everything from PTA's to local police department's...From victims of crimes to breast cancer screenings....From local sports teams to victims of Hurricane Sandy.... From Boy/Girl Scouts to local Churches/Synagogues. We are proud to be able to help when help is needed, and it is our philosophy to give back.
*Salt, with help of our Salt Stage Program we have been able to keep the shelves of local food pantries stocked.
*Salt has been able to help those needing a helping hand through the holidays, be it meals, gifts or clothing.  Through all of your generosity with food and gifts our local community has been a better place to be in hard times.
*Salt was able to, with a huge donation by Hudson Farms, get the Roseville Community Garden started and on its feet.  With the help of a great group of volunteers this has turned into such an asset for our community and we are proud to have been able to launch it as well as to continue to be a part of it.
*Salt is able to employ numbers of local residents and hopefully provide a great place to work and an extended Family to be a part of.

*Salt has been able to do it's small part in supporting the local farming community by both using their produce/meats, but also to being a part of the local Foodshed Alliance in bringing awareness to "local" as well as raising monies through benefit dinners.

*Salt has done our part to try and keep people fit- with the help of a couple of "OS"'s (Original Salties) we have formed the Salt Movers and Shakers.  A group of runners and walkers who take off from Salt every Tuesday to hit the trails behind Salt, only to end up back at Salt and toasting their run with a cold one.  The membership has multiplied over the years, catching the attention of the NY/NJ Trail Conference, who this year agreed to grant Salt "Trail Head" status and our own connecting spur to the trail system.

*Salt put Byram on the Maps of The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and The Food Network!
*Salt has been able to bring to sleepy Sussex County a music scene that makes clubs in NYC jealous. We have been able to put on our stage "Grammy Winners" "Grammy Nominees" "Gold & Platinum" selling artists "Rock and Roll Hall of Fame" Members "MTV " darlings, members of the original "Woodstock" festival and numbers of Legends of the Music industry......We've been able to bring them here because of your support of our music  There isn't an act that we have had that didn't dig the vibe of the room, of the audience and would hesitate to come back..Thank You!

And lastly....we hope we have been able to provide a place for people to gather- be it to celebrate or to mourn...for that first date or that first drink.  A place to get a good meal, a good drink and to be able to just enjoy....

WE are celebrating our 5 years, but it's because of YOU and your support of what we do here that  we are able to continue what we do......So again a BIG "Thanks" to all of you for "Getting" us!!

Bradley and all of the Salt Family!