Saturday, July 5, 2014

Aroha Restaurant: Our Westlake Magazine Cover & In Other News: Interior, Meetings, Phone Calls, Repeat

This week has been one of the craziest, if not the craziest of the summer. I'm trying to think of the last day we weren't in constant meetings or on lengthy phone calls regarding Aroha.

We began the week meeting with our good friend and mentor, Elie Balas, of Menchie's Frozen Yogurt. After weeks of going back and forth on whether or not we'd need to hire a general manager, Elie's advise convinced us that we could in fact run the restaurant on our own. It's funny. That was our original plan. However, somewhere amongst the hectic summer days, we began to question if we'd need another hand. When there's enough time to overthink everything, plans can change drastically. Thankfully, Elie brought us right back to our original focus. We honestly couldn't have asked for a better mentor and are so thankful we met with him before this hectic week truly began.

The rest of this week has been a lot of running around and a lot of interior design. First of all, we found a fantastic muralist here in LA to paint the Auckland Skyline within our restaurant. He begins sketching it on Monday and we cannot wait to reveal it! Our 8 foot long water feature is also nearing completion. For the last two days, we drove back and forth around the valley looking at flooring, picking up samples, checking out equipment, meeting with various people, and spending our in between time on the phone or emailing. Among other things, we picked out the bathroom tiles and stalls this week. It's funny how when you plan to build a restaurant, there are just certain things you don't think about in terms of the design. I'd have to say that bathroom stalls were definitely one of them! Who knew there were so many different types and colors to choose from?!

We also picked out our beautiful floors and walls. We are still working on figuring out the cabinets and counter tops! Luckily, we're not quite there yet, so we have a little bit of wiggle room.

We are currently making many decisions about the interior design at Aroha Restaurant in Westlake Village. This week we picked out the floors and walls! We are still working on the counter tops and cabinets!

On Monday, the wires for the sign will be installed. We are still trying to determine when we want to put the sign up. Originally, we were going to wait until opening, however, with all of the buzz, we're now starting to think we should put it up sooner.

Construction wise, everything is progressing like crazy! At the beginning of the week, the crew was working on installing the air conditioning and heating system, as well as finishing the walls. By yesterday, half the ceilings were already up and the hood system was being installed! We are currently talking with someone to install our sound system and will hopefully have that underway next week. I am so excited for everyone to see the restaurant when it's completed.

The walls are being put up and the air conditioning is currently being installed at Aroha in Westlake Village.

The ceilings are currently being installed at Aroha in Westlake Village.

Typing all of this, I'm still not sure how we've done so much in just a weeks time. Besides everything mentioned above, I have also created all of the employee job descriptions. They are now ready to go and we will most likely begin our search within the next two weeks. As of yesterday, we now have a very talented man creating our wine list.

Next week, we will be looking at more equipment, as well as picking out our seats and tables! We're cramming in a whole lot on Monday, as on Tuesday, we're taking off to Catalina Island for our final three days of relaxation.

If there wasn't any better way to end this crazy week, our cover story in Westlake Magazine came out yesterday! We are so pleased with the article and would like to thank everyone involved for this incredible opportunity including the magazine's founder Rebecca Grossman, writer Charly Emery, photographer Jane Gibson, makeup artist Nicola Gerboc, reporter Robyn Flans, and Liz Barrett from the Chamber of Commerce.

July 2014 Food & Wine Edition of Westlake Magazine featuring Gwithyen and Justine Thomas of Aroha Restaurant, New Zealand Cuisine

July 2014 Food & Wine Edition of Westlake Magazine featuring Gwithyen and Justine Thomas of Aroha Restaurant, New Zealand Cuisine

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30990 Russell Ranch Rd Unit C, Westlake Village, CA 91362
© 2014 Aroha Restaurant.

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