As Warsaw’s One Ten Craft Meatery closes in on two years of operation, I had the chance to sit down with its owner, Jason Brown, to take a look back at the last couple years as we discussed among other things the debut of The Vic and the rewards and challenges of opening a new restaurant.
The Vic, One Ten’s event space, was created to house corporate events and private events for small and large gatherings and consists of two spaces. The eponymous main area can hold up to 100 people for a cocktail hour or 85 for a seated event such as a luncheon or dinner party. “The Prohibition Room,” a smaller space in the back of the building, can hold up to 35 for standing room only or up to 24 people for a seated event such as a meeting or private dinner.
The Vic wouldn’t have been possible without the support received via a Kickstarter fundraiser and Brown was surprised and humbled by the amount of support they received and put the money to good use. “We used the funds to simply complete construction with some pieces that we knew we really wanted to have for guests. For example; the marble bar top, recycled barn lighting, and the 4-beer tap system,” stated Brown. “The funds also went to use recycled barn wood in The Vic. We are very excited to start hosting bands and tastings in the new space so locals have a great place to listen to live music.”
The support One Ten received via the Kickstarter program didn’t end when that fundraiser came to a close. Much of what Brown and his staff have learned has come from their customers with recommendations on how they can meet and hopefully exceed their expectations.
While there are always challenges to opening a new restaurant, the experience has been a mostly positive one for Brown and his staff. The “farm-to-table” idea has become a trendy concept but to the employees at One Ten, it’s much bigger than that. Asked how his customers have responded to a concept new to the area, Brown responded “Our customers have accepted the way we source and that because of it, we change our menu seasonally and run out of items on occasion due to limited supply from our farms. That said, when we first opened, we worked really hard to find farmers to supply us and now we have farmers come in all the time asking if we can use what they grow or raise, so our products are continuing to expand.”
Brown recognizes that employees invested in the business helps as well and is a big part of the reason his restaurant has done so well. “I believe a business is only as good as its people and I have to say, we have been incredibly fortunate with the staff that we have. They take ownership in our business because they’re proud to be a part of what we do, which breeds a sense of pride that you can’t just create.”
At the end of the day, it’s been a rewarding experience. “Overall, the support we’ve received from our staff and the community has been by far the most rewarding aspect. There are ups and downs every day, just like anywhere else, but we are incredibly grateful for how far we’ve come in our first couple of years.”