So We Opened A Bar And Restaurant….

Timber&SaltFinalWhite….it’s called Timber & Salt. It’s in Redwood City California (a very cool town). We serve craft cocktails and artisan comfort foods with fresh seasonal ingredients (sound familiar?). We have a strong, experienced team and are off to a great start with plenty of regular customers. And we are more than a little tired…but very, very happy.

So now back to blogging. Please pardon our silence of the last few months, but at least we have an excuse. There are few things quite like opening a restaurant. It is a very involved process to build a restaurant from the ground up- normally you buy your first restaurant but we couldn’t pass up our location. It is in the center of town, next to the movie theater, a block from the train station and across from a new office development with parking, oh, and did I mention the sidewalk seating area? Yup, just had to do it….


Rio Star Cocktail

So you wanna know what you need to do to build and open a restaurant? Here we go: take a very deep breath, convince your spouse it is a good idea, get a decent lawyer, form an LLC, recruit your core team of experienced bar and restaurant managers, build a deal structure that works for all stakeholders (takes a while), scout 15+ locations, buy a place and have the deal fall apart, find a better location but you need to build, negotiate the lease terms for eight months (yes, eight months and that is considered “fast”), match the concept to the location and size of the space, get a good architect / builder, get an interior designer (you need one, you really do), do a real business plan with financials, sign the lease (deep breath, avoid panic), raise money, make sure you have an accountant, submit plans to the town and landlord, revise/repeat, select your builder, start buildout, buy furnishings, buy equipment and smallwares, start real menu development with team, set up accounts with multiple government agencies, finish basic buildout, start recruiting your staff, select and install a good POS system, select a merchant payment solution, fill out dozens of credit applications for suppliers (be ready to sign your life away), buy a ton of food and booze, buy all sorts of extra stuff you didn’t expect, train your team, install your furnishings and fixtures, do a few weeks of warmup and catering events, pass all of your inspections, tune the menus, set an opening date (another deep breath), open the doors and say a little prayer…..then smile, welcome your guests and make them feel at home.


Smoked Trout & Salmon Salad With Ecopia Microgreens

And that last one is key. We are in the hospitality business because we truly believe that time spent breaking bread with our friends and family is the most important time in our lives. We opened Timber & Salt because nothing is better than sharing that feeling of hospitality and welcome with our community. Every time a customer walks in to a welcoming host, smiles at the look of the room (a room without a TV, btw), relaxes with a cocktail at the bar, waves at friends when they arrive, then shares a good meal mixed with laughter and conversation is a small victory for civility. Our hearts rise. (Of course, we are crushed when we fall short, but we never stop trying to improve). In our minds, there is no better business to be in, even if it is hard work. And let’s face it, anything done well and with real commitment requires hard work.


Bacon-Wrapped Dates, One of our most popular dishes. They go great with cocktails.

Moving forward, we will be blogging and sharing more stories, images and recipes from here at the farm, but also the restaurant. We hope you join us “virtually” here at the blog, but also visit us in the “real” world at Timber & Salt. Now for some photos of the food and booze, and look out for more posts with new photos and recipes!


Black Pepper Quail Salad. Moving off the menu now, but will come back with warmer seasons.


“Ham & Cheese”. Cheddar gougeres and ham consomme.


Aged Rum Old Fashioned. Our flagship cocktail. Aged rum, Mauby Syrup (house made Caribbean spiced syrup), twist, big rock. Perfect.


44 thoughts on “So We Opened A Bar And Restaurant….

  1. Hi Putney Farm,

    A terrific, encapsulated account of the bar/restaurant. And those hors d¹oeuvres, cocktails and food all combine for a wonderful visit. The staff does indeed make one feel so comfortable.

    We thank you all!


    From: Putney Farm Reply-To: Putney Farm Date: Wednesday, November 4, 2015 at 8:26 AM To: Sonja Davidow Subject: [New post] So We Opened A Bar And RestaurantŠ. putneyfarm posted: “….it’s called Timber & Salt. It’s in Redwood City California (a very cool town). We serve craft cocktails and artisan comfort foods with fresh seasonal ingredients (sound familiar?). We have a strong, experienced team and are off to a great start wi”

  2. This launch looks amazing! Great small touches like the cocktail glasses and sweepers for the dates! Congratulations:)

  3. Congratulations! When I first started following your blog, almost 4 years ago already, I already thought that Putney Farm was some kind of ‘agriturismo’, a farm that has branched into the hospitality industry and serves its own produce. Later I realised that was note the case, but apparently I had picked up correctly the hospitality industry is in your veins. Sounds like a major endeauvour off with a great start, well done! I’ll certainly come visit when I’m in your neck of the woods, but that could be years from now.

      • You are pretty close to SF, where we love to go, so it is quite likely we will be able to pay you a visit. Since we already have made travel plans for 2016 and they don’t include the West Coast, it will be 2017 at the earliest though.

    • Thanks! Funny, we crowdsourced the branding online and it worked out great. We figured since we got started blogging we should use a tech-based solution and it was a good choice…

  4. This is very exciting news! Congratulations! So much work goes into any new venture, but I have always heard how difficult it is to open and “grow” a restaurant. Wishing you much success!

  5. Congratulations! What a HUGE accomplishment! I can’t wait to come visit your place in real life… And get to eat your food and drink your cocktails. I’ll be up in Santa Clara this summer and Will definitely stop by for a visit… So excited!

  6. I am sooo impressed with your latest venture. As Ann commented above, it sure IS a huge accomplishment. We’re all looking forward to ‘going along for the ride’ with you guys!! Wishing you all the luck in the world. (The food looks phenomenal !!)

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