Sunday, April 30, 2006

Bistro New Albany's kickoff party heralds a new era.

On a day filled to the brim with Derby activities, weddings, the NFL draft, NBA playoff games and an excellent beer festival, Bistro New Albany finally arrived and held a belated kickoff party last night in celebration.

Here’s the Tribune’s bNA preview from earlier in the week:

Bistro New Albany to open Monday for lunch, by Eric Scott Campbell (News-Tribune).

Note that regular business hours commence on Monday at 11:00 a.m. (not 10:00 a.m.), with a lunch menu and limited afternoon hours for May, and a more extensive evening operating schedule in June.

Here are a few photos from the event. Much to my chagrin, I neglected to squeeze off a shot of Dave Himmel, who resuscitated the project after founder Greg Merz’s untimely health problems put plans on hold earlier in the year.

However, Dave’s partner, Chef Dave Clancy, is shown below mugging for the camera before returning to a hot burner:

Gratifyingly, the common theme of conversations held during the course of the evening was optimism for New Albany’s future. I’ve always been aware that for some in the community, the advent of a dining and drinking establishment is not something to be regarded as a signal accomplishment, but for those already living and working downtown – whether their tenure is measured in months, years or decades – and for those everywhere in New Albany willing and able to learn and speak what amounts to a second language hereabouts – this being the language of progress, success and future thinking – the arrival of bNA and other bastions to follow preface a turning point.
Crucially, they provide us with “third spaces”:

What is a third space? It's a place that's neither work nor home; it's an in-between-space. It may be a coffee house or a bistro. Third spaces are generally busy and locally owned…with funky restrooms.

Absolutely. First there's Dave at Federal Hill, and now two new Daves at bNA; can we find more Daves to open even more third spaces?

I’ll provide bNA updates as merited.

You? Go out and find some Daves -- pronto.

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