Tag Archives: Robust Wine Bar


Dec 26, 2012

What I’m Going to Figure Out in 2013 – The Continuum

It all started with David Siteman Garland’s recent interview of Seth Godin. About eight minutes in, David asks Seth about his blog and why he turned comments off. In a world of social media best practices, not accepting comments on your blog is practically a cardinal sin. Seth gives a very convincing reason why he turned them off, and why it has worked so well for him over the years (hit play below to hear the reason).

I was then interested in getting a steak. I saw an ad for the 1904 Steakhouse at River City Casino, which is actually closer to my house than I had ever imagined. I looked up their Yelp reviews and it was pretty mixed, and mixed in that mix were some reviews with biting, negative language. In fact, I wonder if Yelp encourages such prose, as you can rate individual reviews as “funny” or “cool.” The inner food critic is unleashed in all of us.

Well, I thought to myself, “This is a casino steakhouse; why are you surprised it might not be good?” So to reestablish a baseline of what a set of generally positive reviews might sound like, I went to Robust Wine Bar’s Yelp page. (full disclosure: yes, I’m a huge fan of Robust. You probably knew that already. I don’t own a part of Robust, nor do I work for them. I just love them). Their average score was indeed higher than the casino steakhouse, and yet there were still some negative reviews. This should not have been surprising to me, as it is impossible to please everyone. I know this – the people at Robust want to please everyone. They really do care. Those negative reviews may have been deserved – it’s entire plausible that great restaurants have off nights, or that particular servers have off nights. But those reviews bother Robust. Reading them makes it a lousy day for the owners. I hope they don’t mind me saying, but this should not be surprising to you: WE’RE HUMAN.

Which led me to consider a continuum of engagement. On the one extreme, you have Seth Godin, who rarely engages. Watch the entire interview with David – he really doesn’t use Twitter, doesn’t allow comments on his blog, and generally turns down all coffee/lunch/pick-your-brain invites. On the other side are heavy engagers that lay everything out on the line every day, engage directly with those that choose to disagree with them, and generally expose themselves for consumption by the general public (not that kind of expose, get your head out of the gutter.)

Where do I fall on this continuum? Where should I fall? Where should my clients fall? As I reveal in this podcast, when I “get into it” with someone online or off, it ends up pretty much ruining my day. Confrontation is not fun for me. And yet, I do allow comments on my blog, I do public speaking when time allows, I do debate when the topic is dear to me, I do go to networking events and have coffee with people. I do leave myself exposed to criticism (not in some heroic way – just sayin). Maybe I should be more like Seth. Maybe I would be less afraid to take chances, and more apt to get the important stuff done.

In 2013, I want to better understand this continuum and where I should be falling on it. Should I gravitate more towards the Seth-like cocoon?

What do you think? Please leave a comment below.

 





Oct 15, 2012

My Appearance on Food Talk STL on 590 The Fan, KFNS Radio

Thank you David Craig for inviting me to appear on Food Talk STL on 590 The Fan, KFNS Radio in St. Louis, MO. Let me be blunt: I will talk about food anytime, anywhere, for any length of time. So it was an honor to be on the show.

TAKE A LISTEN HERE

 





Mar 31, 2010

The Social Media Divide

I was having an email conversation with a 60 year old person, telling them that I had met a friend of theirs while drinking at my favorite wine bar Robust.

They were excited that I had met their old friend, and asked about Robust.  I told this person, “Robust is over in Webster Groves. Really cool wine bar and restaurant. I made friends with the owners thru Twitter, and now I go there and drink red wine to excess. Good times!”

And this person responded “How in the world would you make friends through Twitter…. I am so behind the times.”

There are still vast swaths of our society that aren’t using Social Media, that don’t understand it, and that have never even tried it.  OPPORTUNITY!





Mar 4, 2010

Link Roundup on Rizzo Tees – What I’m Reading 3/4/10

Playing the part of Internet DJ, here’s a sampling of what I’ve been reading the past few days.

1.) Tim Ferriss and the 4-Hour Work Week – I have not read this book, and had no plans to. There is no shortcut to success, and the whole premise of his book sounded flawed to me.  However, I am reconsidering the book, and may even buy the new updated version of it, after reading this post on the 9 habits to stop now.  Included on the list is something I’ve been giving great consideration – somehow getting a better handle on email. I need to turn it back into a productivity tool instead of a business ball and chain.  Why did voicemail never turned into the time suck that email has?

2.) Mark Hayward is a new blogger I’ve stumbled upon.  His recent post, “It’s OK to BE Different” is just what the young, nascent entrepreneur needs to hear.  The psychology of the entrepreneur is one of risk-taking, but not all entrepreneurs are balls-out crazy.  Therefore, it sometimes helps to have people rooting for you. And those people would hopefully be friends and loved ones.  When they are the ones telling you that you are crazy, it’s good to have a.) thick skin, and b.) a solid, bullet-resistant business plan.

3.) Jason at A Smart Bear talks about “sunk costs” and explains that throwing good money after bad is quite obviously a terrible idea. And yet, businesses do it all the time.  This is a must-read post for not only entrepreneurs, but anyone in a decision-making position in business.  Kudos to A Smart Bear on this post – it rocks.

4.) Philip at UrbanBacon interviews one of my favorite people on earth, Arlene Maminta Browne of Robust Wine Bar. I have had some rough (read: awesome) nights at Robust, and I especially appreciate their embrace of Social Media.  Plus, it’s hard to forget that I met Gary Vaynerchuk there and got to drink wine with him.  If you can feel a certain enthusiasm coming from Arlene in this interview, that’s no mistake – she and Stanley love what they do.  Restaurants, take note – Social Media can help your business!