By: Amy | September 29, 2016
Last week I was in San Francisco for three nights, Portland for four. I got to connect with a few people– one, a stranger at a bar in Portland, really helped me take a step back and think about what Soom is and who we’re working with. If you wonder what I do: I talk and eat all day, repeat plus booze at night.
I sat down next to Scott at the bar and when I mentioned I was in town for work, he asked me why. He asked very thoughtful, relevant questions as I gave my Soom schpiel, even inquiring about the family biz dynamic, so I had to ask him what he did.
Scott is the co-owner of a family hospitality group. Ringside started in 1944 with an uptown steakhouse –they now also have a seafood restaurant, and a more casual grill.
Scott reminds me of my Dad; to be clear, of Papa Soom in the context of his father’s restaurant, Bassin’s. Our Dad always said he learned everything from his time in the restaurant business.
He’s started to reveal more to me lately, usually over a drink, about how he did everything at Bassin’s – set the tables , butchered meat, waited, tended to the bar, balanced the books, the list goes on.
But I digress… I think I’ll ask him to write it down.
Ringside has been around for over seventy years. Scott and his family believe in service and that restaurants are important places to work. When I told him that our grandfather seriously discouraged our father from going into the industry (they sold Bassin’s in ’76 before our Dad graduated college) he laughed and agreed that it is time consuming and very challenging.
Scott told me many of the Ringside next generation don’t want to go into the business. (and he doesn’t blame them) But he added that he loves it. He believes in the importance of good food, of going out to eat with your friends and family, and how a quality meal is the best kind of entertainment out there. His eyes lit up when he talked about how much he believes in fine restaurants.
I totally agree with him and I appreciate that Ringside has held onto a commitment to quality ingredients, people and experience. My favorite people to talk to are the ones that give their all to their craft. Chefs and owners who give themselves to the people and the place they serve.
Thank you to all those that create, work for, and invest in good restaurants (including those of us that just dine and enjoy!) What you do is so awesome. Thanks to the reps and chefs that have embraced Soom in San Fran; and thanks Ron, Katherine, Jenn and others who are so supportive from Portland.
Amy, aka The Voice