If you assumed from the Rookery's relative paucity of recent email newsletters that not much has been happening here of late, well you'd be wrong. True, the past few months tend to be our most quiet of the year in terms of absolute numbers of dining guests. But behind the scenes? We've been busily preparing for the beginning of our fifth, and hopefully best year to date.
On the one hand Chef Mike has been working up some all new menu items. A few of which will be introduced this very weekend, just in time for Mother's Day. Check out our new SPRING MENU that will be effective from now 'til we resume our 7 nights per week summer schedule on June 15. At which time we'll be adding yet a few more surprises.
June 15 also marks the beginning of summer lunch hours at the Rookery, serving Friday and Saturday from 11:30 to 2:30. We also just posted our SUMMER LUNCH MENU online this week.
The biggest change from last year is that we're serving "lunch" on Sunday two hours later (from 1:30 to 4:30 PM) and featuring an all-new outdoor PATIO GRILL MENU. Why the adjustment? It's all part of our major focus this year on continuing to expand the Rookery's live outdoor music series.
This summer we'll be offering a full schedule of 16 musical performances every Sunday afternoon from June 17 thru September 30. Some of your favorite performers from last summer will be back, including Hayward's own Molly and the Danger Band, who had so much fun last year they've signed on to perform twice this season. We're also excited to be welcoming several new performers who got wind of the Rookery's budding music scene from as far away as Eau Claire.
This summer promises to be more fun than ever. We've already booked musicians for 13 of the 16 available dates, all of which are posted on our new online LIVE MUSIC CALENDAR. And what better to enjoy great tunes on a beautiful summer afternoon than with a cold beverage in hand and the wafting aromas of grilling food in the air? It's gonna be a true sensory delight!
We're also working hard to promote the Rookery's Sunday afternoon music series much more vigorously than last year, including print advertising, posters, and underwriting announcements on WOJB, our local public radio station. But as always, the very best advertising is word of mouth. You can help us keep the music coming by telling anyone you know who appreciates good music. Be sure to tell us too if you know of a good location to place our music calendar poster.
Return of the $390 "Salad"
The Rookery will be celebrating our 4th anniversary on May 22. We've come a long way since that first summer, as I'm sure many of our long-time guests will attest. Hopefully any refinements and other changes we've made have been mostly for the better. But there's at least one concept from our very first summer that was somewhat regrettably kicked to the curb while we focused on other improvements.
Perhaps you might remember this from our first menu back in 2008? Rookery Salad: Special Edition - $390. We intended it to be an attention grabber, and that it was. Of course some people read beyond the headlines and some do not. You wouldn't believe how many expressed sticker shock upon seeing that price for a salad. And no, it wasn't because we tossed in some sort of exotic French truffles.
What we were promoting that first summer was a farm share program offered by the nice folks down in Barron, WI from whom we purchase much of our produce. $390 actually was the price for a full season of fresh organic produce, delivered each week to the Rookery to be picked up at the subscriber's convenience.
The Rookery guests who took advantage of this program expressed rave reviews. But it fell by the wayside, mainly because as our business continued to grow we lacked sufficient capacity to keep all those boxes properly refrigerated until they could be picked up. But with the addition of a new walk-in cooler last summer, we decided now is the time to offer this great option to our guests once again.
And here's some more great news. Four years later the price is still just $390 for a half bushel box of fresh vegetables (enough for 2-3 people) for 22 weeks (June 11-Nov 12). And this time around our friends at DragSmith Farms have put together a special vacation package for our more short-term seasonal guests: $225 for 9 weeks of fresh veggies (July 2-August 27).
The contents of each box vary by season, but will usually contain salad greens and 6-8 other vegetables, cooking tips, recipes, and other useful information. It will be delivered to the Rookery (most likely on Thursdays) where we'll keep it refrigerated until you're able to pick it up at your convenience.
Sound good? All you need to do is drop off your check at the Rookery (payable to DragSmith Farms) and we'll do the rest. Or you can mail it directly to DragSmith Farms, 1346 16-1/2 Ave, Barron, WI 54812 (in which case be sure to tell them you'll be picking up your farm share at the Rookery). Any questions? Call the Rookery or speak with someone directly at the farm (715-537-3307).
We're happy to make this opportunity available once again to our valued Rookery guests. We hope you take advantage because we know you're gonna love it!