I’ve only been working with Peter Breslow Consulting & Public Relations for two weeks, but I’ve been lucky enough to have a new and exciting experience each day of work. A handful of encounters in the past week have especially stood out, but I am truly learning something new every day.
The first event was our meeting last Thursday with Christian Mora and chef Brian Oliveira, the creators of a new brasserie named Girard that will be located on the 300-block of East Girard Avenue and Marlborough Street in Fishtown. We discussed the creators’ backstories with them as well as their countless unique ideas for Girard. I absolutely love the concept of their French brasserie, and Girard will always be special to me because it is the new client that inspired Peter to hire me within his company.
The creators of Girard have strong ideas for what they want their restaurant to be, and they are sticking to their guns. One of the most interesting aspects of Girard is its no-tip policy, which Philly.com and Zagat.com recently covered extensively. Instead of paying servers a very small wage with tips added on, Girard will prohibit tipping and instead pay their employees around $11 an hour with paid sick days, health insurance, and even profit sharing. Girard will be the first restaurant in Philadelphia to pay their employees in this fashion.
Further, Girard will install a system that allows all customers to make reservations ahead of time so no one will have to wait. It’s a really unique combination to see the old-school sensibilities of Girard’s French menu and the innovation of their reservation system.
Out of all of the restaurant’s features, I think I might be the most excited about Girard’s coffee program. Girard will be the only restaurant in America using a high-tech Nuova Simonelli Black Eagle coffee machine and single origin coffee. The restaurant will offer three coffee options: coffee, espresso, and espresso with milk. As someone who exclusively sticks to drinking black coffee, this idea sounds perfect to me.
The second experience that really stuck out to me was meeting all of the guys at 320 Market Café in Swarthmore. Two brothers David and Jack Cunicelli own and operate both of the 320 Market Café locations, along with their hilarious, but professional staff. On this day, the guys shot 15 commercials that advertise their incredible Summer beer selection. I loved 320 Market Café, and it was overwhelming to see the seemingly endless meat, cheese, fruit, vegetable, bread, and beer options. The cafe even has its own cicerone, and he’s one of only five cicerones in the entire state of Pennsylvania. Needless to say, these guys take their beer pretty seriously. The shoot went great, and it was impressive to see just how naturally the guys at 320 Market Café took to being on camera. The commercials were funny but tasteful, and I’m really anticipating the finished product.
What has recently set 320 Market Café apart is its newest creation. The café has released what’s called the “Sugar Burger.” This burger is pieced together with two Linvilla Orchard cider doughnuts as buns, a ¼ pound seared grassfed beef patty, Granny Smith apple slices, house-cured bacon, caramel, and New York cheddar cheese. Perhaps even crazier is that the total price tag for this burger is only $8.95.
The Hattery Stove & Still is another wonderful client we met with last Friday. The restaurant is located within the gorgeous Doylestown Inn, and some of the decor is overwhelmingly beautiful. You can find an entire wall built out of old suitcases, lamps built out of hats above the bar, and a bar made out of a classic 1930s car. Needless to say the restaurant is very unique, and The Hattery is throwing around some new ideas that are just as unique. The Hattery may soon be offering some intriguing food deals including a bacon bar with at least three types of bacon, “Mussel Monday,” with cheap deals on delicious mussels, and “Buck-a-Shuck Tuesdays,” where oysters will be only a dollar each. The Hattery is located right in the heart of historic Doylestown, and this was my first trip to the town. I was transfixed on the beauty of the town, and I couldn’t think of a better place for such an original restaurant. The Hattery also features live music like blues on Sunday evenings, and the restaurant plans to add more days with live entertainment. The Hattery may have been a long haul to get to from Philly, but the trip was well worth it, and I’m excited to go back.
At the end of the day on Friday we met with our final client of the week, Paris Bistro & Jazz Café. The restaurant is spectacular and open in the dining room and if you check downstairs, the intimate and cozy jazz bar will immediately pique your attention. The Chestnut Hill restaurant will hold a Bastille Day celebration featuring food and drink specials as well as an artist producing live paintings which will actually be for sale at Paris Bistro, and it’s very interesting to see how a restaurant can incorporate other formats into the dining experience. But without a doubt, the most exciting moment of the week came when Chef Al Paris unveiled his plans to hold a very special cooking event this summer. Unfortunately, I can’t yet describe exactly what this will entail, but I can say it will feature some of the best known and respected chefs from Philadelphia. A few weeks ago, I could have never imagined I would be sitting in a room while the premier cooking event of the year was being planned.
In general, working with Peter Breslow Consulting and Public Relations has been an incredible ride so far, and every day I’m reminded just how lucky I am to find myself in this position. Seeing the creativity and innovation in all of our clients like the owners of Girard, 320 Market Café, The Hattery, and Paris Bistro is truly an inspiration to work as hard as possible to become the best at whatever it is you choose to do with your life. I still have a lot to learn, but I’m certainly in great company to do so.
By Zach Martin
Zach Martin is the newest member of Peter Breslow’s PR team. He hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but transplanted to Philadelphia in 2009 to attend Temple University where he double majored in Journalism and Political Science. Before working with Peter, Zach worked in the Public Affairs department of the United States Department of Labor. He has a tattoo of a pizza and is a die-hard Pittsburgh Penguins fan, to the chagrin of his boss. Zach spends his free time with his adorable German Shepherd/Chow, Bodhi, and is determined to soak up everything there is to know about restaurant public relations in Philadelphia.