Picking Walnut, Choosing Paint, Tasting wine!

The story of December 2015

This quote below sums up my life this last month of 2015 pretty accurately :)


And as part that, I've been shopping for walnut for the bar top. I had no idea until I visited this hardwood shop in SF that, walnut is the most gorgeous thing! Its this warm, huggable lumber that I just wanted to keep gazing at....Don't believe me? Check this picture out!

Yes, there were some knots - but isn't that what gives character to the wood? Just like our flaws and idiosyncrasies make us who we are? Sorry to get so philosophical - I'll just blame it on this one hell of an exhausting day and week!



Kalamata is the new Mauve!

Two colors weaken my knees - mauve and olive green. Somehow olive green did not fit the whole interior my designer and I pictured. So mauve it is! We were paint shopping on 24th Street and we both had an idea for what we were looking. My designer had mocked up a couple of images of eggplant like purple and shades of gray & pink. Eggplant like purple being on the forefront. After several hours of squinting at shades... we found it! Kalamata - the label said. We decided to paint Kalamata and another sample (a couple of shades darker) on the walls of the space. This was to see how the 2 shades would fare in late afternoon/evening timeframe - when Indian Paradox will be open anyway. And, it looked like this....see below:

2 shades of Kalamata...

2 shades of Kalamata...

This photo does not do justice, but the ligher kalamata (color on the left of the niche) just did it for me! It was this cozy color that I was looking for - and it represents some color palettes of younger wines: win-win!


Swirlin & Sippin

My most favorite part of this project has been on-going for a couple of weeks - wine tasting!

I tasted with a couple of distributors and some wines blew me away! I can't wait to create a wine list with all these amazing wines I have been tasting - so stay tuned good folks!

Until next year, I'd like to leave you with this wonderful image ;) - which is to become my life (for the most part) very soon!


Cheers y'all and happy holidays!!



We have been framed!

The Art Of Framing

Thanksgiving was a lot of Cremant de Limoux and Negroamaro Rose for me...

But after that, framing was all my contractor and I could talk about this past week. You would know why its such a big deal in just a little bit, when you see pictures of what framing can do to a space.

Framing gives a space a skeleton for what the end result would look like - for those who'd like to learn about Framing, here's a very useful link.

So now you know why I could not wait to be framed!

A family visit

As soon as my contractor informed that the space has been framed (for the most part) - I could not wait to take my family to witness this milestone in person.

And of course, we all had to take pictures of us standing in our very own bar!

We now have a bar!

We now have a bar!

The only time a 9-month old will be allowed inside the bar :)

The only time a 9-month old will be allowed inside the bar :)

What else is going on?

Currently there is a lot of discussion about finishes - as part of that, we plan to implement some 'niches' in the bar. As shown in the blue/white taped region below, there will be some niches in the walls of the bar - to serve as a means of decorating the bar and also to place a glass of vino if there's shortage of space (always a good problem to have at a bar!)


Next steps...

We are still awaiting the SF Planning to give their high esteemed green signal after the neighbor notification date expires on December 12th. My fingers and toes are crossed for this to happen seamlessly.

Other than that, there is equipment installation, furniture and lighting selection and so much more these upcoming weeks.

These days, anytime I meet a business owner or even enter a business that has been started from nothing, I have so much respect and awe for the person that has started the entity from scratch and actually turned it in to a success story - I can vouch that it is one uphill battle. Stay tuned for more updates shortly...until then drink some good wine and have fun! 






The sweet sound of breaking concrete!

The Story of finding my builder

I am so happy to inform that we have begun digging trenches and breaking concrete at 258 Divisadero - the construction has officially started to build out the new home for Indian Paradox!

Finding a general contractor who is genuine, honest and accountable is no joke! I can vouch for this now. The key was to find a builder who has references with great reviews ***after*** completing the job. 

After 2 months of sleepless nights, several cold calling and reaching out to near and dear in my network of SF bars/food contacts, I finally found my builder! Someone who gave me the impression of being hard-working with attention to detail, punctual and etc. Fingers crossed to complete all construction work, including inspection by early January 2016!

Witnessing a smiling contractor in a space about to be build out....truly priceless!

Witnessing a smiling contractor in a space about to be build out....truly priceless!

A sight for sore eyes - Intent discussion between my Builder (right) and Architect (left)

A sight for sore eyes - Intent discussion between my Builder (right) and Architect (left)

What else is going on?

Another MAJOR milestone that got me jumping up in joy was the news that was bestowed upon me by my liquor license broker on the day of Halloween - ABC has approved conditional license for Indian Paradox to sell beer/wine on the premises. If y'all do not already know about this, this is a big deal!! And I was dressed up like a hippie (Halloween costume!) and doing back flips as soon as I heard about this :).

The only thing remaining for ABC to do next, is a final inspection after build out is complete, so toes & fingers crossed for that too. 

**But, one this that is bummeris, I had also applied for off-premises sale of wine - with wine club etc. in mind for the Divisadero/Haight neighborhood, but that was not granted - oh-well, I'll take this for now!**


Last but not least...

Most importantly, I just heard from SF Planning that, they have completed all reviews of Indian Paradox files and have granted permits to put up a poster to notify the neighbors that, a wine bar serving Indian street food is coming up at 258 Divisadero - if all goes well and there are no concerns/complaints from neighbors, by December 12th 201 5, we may have crossed the most critical, obstacle - of obtaining planning permits!

Until then, I hope you enjoy your Turkey day with a nice refreshing Beaujolais Nouveau - at least that is what 'yours truly' will be sipping!

Cheers to good times and good wine!




When a dream becomes real

The Story of the past few months...

The story of the past few months began around May 2015...right around the time when the entries here started to dry up....and for good reason.

My life was slowly starting to look more and more crazy - with an infant who was few months old, a day job that I was getting back to after maternity, one pop-up at 18 Reasons in May and another in the works at Fat Angel (I love this bar!) in August...but then of course, I had to pile more than that, right? So I added to the list 'shop for space' to go brick & mortar with Indian Paradox.

The process of shopping for a space to transition from a pop-up to a permanent brick & mortar started to take shape sometime around the turn of 2015. However, the thought has always prevailed during all stages of my pursuit - from wine exams, to working in wine bars to (most recently) pop-ups.

For the past 4+ years, obtaining the space for a permanent Indian Paradox in my beloved city of San Francisco, in a neighborhood of choice was the "be all and end all" of this journey.

But, like most journeys, when I arrived at the so-called destination, everything was so surreal. And, there was a sinking feeling in the stomach - echoing questions like: 'What the heck have I done?'

'You have got to be kidding me' - I chided myself. And before I know it, I was done on the last leg of the nerve wrecking negotiations to sign the lease for a cute space at my favorite SF neighborhood

The much awaited day had arrived, to sign the lease...and I was still in a daze during my travel via Uber to the landlord's office. 'Wow - I am actually doing this!', I thought. And then it was done...just like that. Surely, there were mixed emotions, that felt like jumping off a cliff and jumping up in joy - all at the same time. But, this is what I wanted and strived so hard for...for so many years.

Slowly but steadily, everything that I believe in and live by came to my mind - led by the words of the author of this book I've been reading: 'In the Sphere of Silence', where he so aptly states: "Change requires risk. But how much are we willing to risk? The irony is, the things we are so scared of risking are like chips in a casino, useless unless they are risked'.

It then dawned to me  that, this means I've attained the first goal of this long arduous journey. A pursuit that was always on the side of a day job, an actual paycheck and a busy personal life. And now it has become real - very real. 

So all fears aside, I could not wait to take this project that I was longing to become real, in full swing now!

Earlier this year, even before I started 'shopping' for a space, I had found an architect  (after a lot of searching & interviewing) who has turned in to a trusted resource to bounce off ideas  in not just architecture and interior design, but even build-out tips and other helpful referrals.

I am so fortunate to have met so many great, resourceful people during this journey. And I have reached out to with so many of them with questions during these last few months. Now, I am in the process of interviewing general contractors to start buildout of the space. This has been another exhausting and yet interesting task - now I am pushing hard to find someone who will help complete this project within the budget and timeline (both very tight!) in plan. 

Oh, and did I mention that there has been a parallel effort on going to interview and hire my first and most important employee? The Indian Paradox lead Back Of the House (BOH). I have started to talk to some interesting folks in the industry - stay tuned for more updates on this.

Last but not least, how can any startup food/beverage experience be complete without the (friendly?) intervention of the dear most city officials of San Francisco? Thankfully, we have building permit to start build out from the SF Building Department. But, there is still permit to be obtained from the SF Planning department to sell alcohol (wine & beer). And so it goes...

That is it for now. On the finishing note, I have to say that when I received the poster to put up the ABC notice on the window of the space, I caught myself smiling smugly and thinking....the next few months are going to be one heck of a roller coaster ride. Almost immediately I also thought, what is life if we don't roll the dice at some point?

Before signing off,  if I'd like to leave you with one image of 'my life in a nutshell', then here it is... :)



To all those who dream and strive everyday to make them real....Sante!