|Superfly business flying high with customers|
|January 25, 2012 04:57 am|
Ryan Webster opened the bar and grill to get more people familiar with his company’s vodka. The Pilot/Steve Kadel
An attractive décor, affordable prices and a vast variety of martini flavors has proved to be a winning combination for the Superfly Distilling Co. Martini Bar and Grill.
Ryan Webster, 36, began his restaurant career by washing dishes in his father’s Chico, Calif., eatery as a 12-year-old boy. Now he owns the bar and grill on Railroad Street with his brother, Eric, of Portland.
It opened Sept. 20 as an extension of the distillery that has operated in Harbor for the last two and a half years.
“It helps promote the brand and lets people know how to consume the product,” said Webster, a fourth-generation restaurateur. “The vodka is the prime thing. We only serve our own vodka.”
The liquor gets dressed up with dozens of types of fresh fruit, according to what is in season.
Now through May that means kiwis from California. Melons will be featured starting in May, berries during summer months and citrus in the fall and winter.
Plus lots of other tastes, which account for the “dozens and dozens” of martini flavors Webster said the bartenders can whip up.
As for food, the menu doesn’t have anything priced above $8. Choices range from Oriental chicken salad to seared pork loin with fries, grilled Korean street ribs, and seared Pacific ahi.
Minors aren’t allowed in the bar portion of the establishment, but are welcome in the dining room where an 8-foot, high-definition television dominates one wall. The owner is proud that his clientele includes families with young children, high school students and senior citizens.
For Webster, much of the fun comes from thinking of unique touches such as the lack of a telephone in the restaurant. Customers must walk inside to place orders to go, although Webster is toying with the idea of online ordering.
There’s no phone because that would distract a bartender from giving full attention to customers, he explained.
“It’s a hospitality thing,” Webster said.
He and Eric have discussed opening a second restaurant, considering such places as Bend, Springfield, Grants Pass and Coos Bay.
“Maybe at some point,” he said of expansion.
The newest wrinkle comes this Sunday when Webster will unveil a buffet, something he wants to include each Sunday from now on.
The restaurant employs 28 people, split about half between part-time and full-time workers.
Webster said he moved to Brookings from California to be near his parents, who retired here. He’s encouraged that the local scene includes what he calls “a lot of young, talented entrepreneurs.”
They run such Brookings-Harbor favorites as the 101 Bar and Grill, Pine Tavern, Movino’s and Vista Pub. Besides making a living, Webster said, it’s important for business owners to give back to the community.
That’s why he has held fundraising events for the Brookings-Harbor High School cheer squad, bringing in $1,100 in three hours; the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life; and a possible future effort to help finance high school music programs.
“Community service for a business is almost a requirement,” Webster said. “It’s important for us.”
The bar and grill opens at 10 a.m. Sundays and at 11 a.m. every other day. Closing time is “whenever people stop eating and drinking,” Webster said.