Come June 5th our first-born (Lucky 32 Restaurant) will be fifteen
years old. We are not dealing with pimples or braces, but we have decided
that this would be a good time to give her (and her latter-born sisters)
some loving attention. This attention started with an honest look-see
using our Oklahoma Eyes. (That is what we call the mind-set
we use when we pretend that weve never been in the restaurant
and that weve heard that it is good but were skeptical.
It is a difficult mind-set to hold, but when we do, it is wonderfully
After a few months of this soft gaze, weve concluded that we
like Luckys a lot (thank goodness), but she has a few lazy habits.
We love that were comfortable wearing khakis or dressed for a
cocktail party. The Get Lucky & Go service is fantastic. Overall,
the flavors are quite good, its a good value, and we really appreciate
the wine selection and its fair pricing. Being able to make a reservation
is great. The seasonal menus are fun and we order off them about half
the time. We like the food from the Field Truck and find ourselves anxious
to taste the flavors of Spring, even though we are enjoying the hearty
fare of Winter. We especially appreciate that the service is courteous
and efficient but not overly familiar. On the lazy side,
we found that the house salad, the cheese bread, and the riso pasta
and some other recipes need some attention. We also found ourselves
thinking, These restaurants make such an effort, especially considering
their price point, to offer honest fare using local ingredients,
that it seems to us that they ought to relate even more to the evolving
food traditions of the South. (Ill bet that youll
see the impact of this thinking pretty soon.) We could go into more
detail about all of this, but we bet that you get a flavor for our thinking.
Read on and youll learn about some romantic ways to celebrate
your love/lust for your Valentine, our pretty wacky design process,
a Winter recipe, and the calendar for upcoming menus.
Cheers! Dennis & Nancy King Quaintance
Full Circle Design
rambling by Dennis Quaintance)
or Design Intervention, if you prefer. These
names fit our approach to designing spaces for our guests. We wouldnt
recommend our process, even to our friends sometimes it feels
more like a curse than a blessing, but we have so much fun that we cant
imagine changing. The notion of writing about this came up because many
people have quizzed us about our process, so we decided
this would be a good way to answer.
I know this sounds pat, but we begin with the end in mind,
the end always being pleasurable and comfortable experiences
for our guests. We ask, What, optimally, ought our guests
experience when they arrive, while dining, en route to the restroom
(this one is of particular interest to me), and so forth. Then,
after agreeing (which most often takes awhile), the Q-W Right Reverend
Minister of Design, Don Rives, and I sit down and commence arguin
(we have never come to blows, but there have been some pretty dramatic
demonstrations of exasperation).
From here we agree upon a sort of vignette. For instance,
with the Green Valley Grill, the vignette was a fantasy that we had
discovered an early 1900s brick, Tuscan-style building that had
once housed a mill or a store. With our Cary Lucky 32 restaurant, we
began with a fantasy of a freestanding art-deco styled post-war
grocery store. So, the first step with both of these projects was to
design what we discovered, then we designed the restaurants
to fit that aesthetic.
With the O.Henry Hotel, we wanted it to appear as though it were built
as any citys best hotel at the turn of the last century.
We pretended that the late Charles Hartmann, the architect for the 1919
vintage O.Henry that stood in downtown Greensboro, was our advisor.
We studied the design of the original O.Henry, and other Hartmann buildings,
to come up with the various architectural features that we thought Mr.
Hartmann would insist upon. Then we commissioned Chip Holton to create
a painting of a hotel incorporating those features in the proportions
we imagined. Only after all of that did we start putting lines on the
Crazy, isnt it? Like I said, dont do what we do
its nutty but it works for us. And, its a lot of
fun. Its childish and free and, in candor, its a wonderful
indulgence. (As a side note, our friend Chip Holton shared Bruce Maus
Incomplete Manifesto for Growth with us and it really struck
a chord [brucemaudesign.com].
In it Mr. Mau says, Process is more important than outcome.
To paraphrase his words, when the outcome drives the process you
will only ever go to where youve already been. If process drives
outcome you may not know where youre going, but you will know
you want to be there. (Reading this was affirmation that were
not the only ones who go through our posterior to get to our elbow.)
Our mantra during all of our design processes is Its about
our guests experience, our guests experience, our guests
experience. We just hope that you enjoy the spaces we create half
as much as we enjoy creating them, and that the fun and excitement we
have with this process shines through and enhances your enjoyment when
you are in them. (I sure as fire hope that this doesnt sound like
bragging. Its not. More than anything it is an excuse for how
long it has taken us to figure out how to add outdoor dining to our
Greensboro Luckys and how to enhance the outdoor dining experience
at our Winston-Salem restaurant.)
Wed be real surprised if you are not as pleased as punch if you choose our O.Henry Hotel and Green Valley Grill for your wedding events and your out-of-town guest accommodation needs. Well bust our cans to make sure you say what Mrs. Juli Jadick said, Gracious Amenities. Attentive Staff. That is your motto and it is so evident! I wanted to let you know how fantastic your staff was during the planning and the weekend of my wedding. We held a rehearsal dinner in the Pavilion and Leslie was a joy to work with. (Were not making this up we arent Madison Avenue enough to spin such a yarn.) Visit o.henryhotel.com for more information, including menu samples, or contact Leslie Dupuis at 336-544-9609 or email@example.com.
The O.Henry Hotel has been awarded the AAA Four Diamond Award for the
fifth year in a row, plus weve been rated in Canada at the same
level. Were thrilled that our hotel has been chosen for this top-notch
rating yet again.
We now have Hi Fi Sony Stereos with CD players and AM/FM radios
in each of our guest rooms so our guests can enjoy their favorite music.
The O.Henry has been accepted for membership in Boutique Lodging, a
worldwide, online network of boutique hotels. The O.Henry is the only
hotel in NC to be accepted. We recommend visiting their site if you
are looking for a small, distinctive hotel, no matter where youre
Local artist and sculptor, Jim Gallucci, is installing an elaborate
design in our guest elevators that include an O.Henry twist.
Stop by anytime to see his craftsmanship.
Weve chosen the name O.Henryetta for our London Taxi. Thanks to Jayne Ericourt for being the first of about fifteen people to suggest that name. Now we want to know, what do you think the O. stands for? If you have any ideas drop me (Dennis) a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.