Add more to get Free Shipping!
Your order qualifies for Free Shipping!

Your Shopping Cart

cart empty

This store requires javascript to be enabled for some features to work correctly.

Introducing "The Build"

Introducing "The Build"

Listen to the complete podcast here

Introducing Eric

Jenny: This season, we're following Chef Eric See. You might have heard of Eric through his many accolades, including the James Beard Foundation nominations two years in a row, a rising star from star chefs, as well as features in Bon Appétit magazine. Eric hails from New Mexico and is now a Brooklynite. Alex: Eric's first iteration of Ursula was born during the pandemic and focused around the parameters of a small space. It was primarily quick service burritos in the morning, sandwiches in the afternoon. That's it, right? Coffee and pastries. Um, it was primarily it was primarily burritos in the morning, sandwiches in the afternoon coffee and a fantastic pastry program. With Eric's relaunch in a new neighborhood and a larger space, he's excited to bring other things into the mix, like fully plated dishes and dinner service that's been missing from his first location. 

Why Eric?

Alex: Finding the right partner for our first season of the build wasn't as easy as it may seem. It's a certain mix, I think, Jen, right? Of a person that we know is a qualified chef that has the financial backing ready, that has the plan and the program to get where it needs to go, and then also to do it in a timeline that is functional for a podcast. So tell us, our listeners, a little bit about how Eric came to us and how we found Eric at the right time in the right place of his journey.

Jenny: Honestly, I think we found out that Eric was at the right time, the right place, and the journey through our lawyer, Drew Macklin Law.

Jenny: Thanks Drew Macklin Law! Well, we've known Eric for several years. He's been a friend to Tilit, a friend of the brand, and just somebody we really admired, admired his food and admired how he approaches being a chef and restaurateur and building community, both in the queer space and for his employees.

Alex: Eric checked all those boxes, right? So he had the plan. We knew that he had a successful concept because he had our little 1.0, and he had the loans and, uh, financials in place to get this new, um, this new business off the ground. Right? So he sort of checked all those boxes, and he had a timeline that was aggressive enough to be perfect for our first season of, uh, opening soon. The build.

Jenny: So after some text messages to Eric saying, I hear you're close to finding a space back in November and asking, How do you feel about being followed for the podcast? He was enthusiastic and willingly agreed to record with us, so we're really excited to bring you this journey and have Eric tell you about his journey in his own words. So let's listen to it now.

Alex: Welcome to the Build. A brand-new season (of) Opening Soon. We're your hosts, Alex McCreery.

Alex: in Past seasons, we focused on the nuts and bolts of opening restaurants, and we have spoken with singular chefs, restaurateurs, um, different people within food, whether it's lawyers or accountants or food media. Um, and how each of their significant pieces contributes towards opening a restaurant. Whereas this season...

Jenny: So we're doing something different this season.

Jenny: And this season on the build, we're following people and following one chef. He's a star in real time as he builds out his second restaurant. And the thing that's so exciting about this to us and that things that we felt like were missing from seasons past is that when you're looking at things backward, if you're looking back in the past, I find things are always 20/20. You lose some of the real-time decisions, but this time we're going to hear it all. We're going to hear the ups, the downs. We're going to see why things get delayed in real time. We're going to see how things move forward. And we're just really excited to show everybody this journey from an insider's view.

Jenny: Welcome to The Build, a brand new season of Opening Soon. We're your hosts. I'm Jenny Goodman.

Alex: And I'm Alex McCrery.

Jenny: Do you want to tell our listeners about what we used to focus on in past seasons of opening soon?

Alex: Sure. So each of our episodes in past seasons, I think we've got over 100 now that you can go on and listen to later after you've listened to The Build. But basically, each episode has focused on a singular chef, restaurant, or media personality within food or, you know, like an accountant or, um, a lawyer. Everybody that sort of plays a part in getting a restaurant open. And the challenge with that is that you're picking out this one singular piece that they've either done really well or have reflective memories of being challenging. Whereas this season we're going to do something a little bit different, which is...

Jenny: Which is called The Build, but we're actually going to follow one chef and his journey to open a brand new restaurant in real-time. So you'll get a real-life peek into some of the emotional highs and the lows, why things went well in real time, how things get delayed in real time. And we'll get to follow this journey week after week from the moment that they signed the lease until the doors are actually open. We're excited to bring everybody on this journey with us. It's been really, really fun to record and to watch. So do you want to tell everybody about who our... Who our focus, who our chef partner is on this season of The Build?

Jenny: So, Alex. What is it that we're doing this season? And who are we following?

Alex: Well, you know, we're doing, we're interviewing somebody from start to open, which is very, very exciting. And I'm not going to tell you just yet who it is, but I can give you a little hint, a little teaser. He is a Brooklyn chef that has roots outside of the city. And it's a fantastic restaurant that he already has, and he's going to open a second version of it. Um, we've been there many times, and we will continue to eat there. We can't wait to get the new one, and you may find out who he is and what he's up to after the break.

Jenny: So let's catch up to present day. It's mid-March. We are freezing, on our third winter in New York City, ready for spring. And Eric is still in the process of building, which you'll hear more about later. And we don't know how it's all going to turn out. So that's why you're going to follow the journey with us and Eric on Opening Soon with Ursula this season.

Jenny: So, Alex, tell us where we are right now.

Alex: We are in the back of Roberta's in a shipping container. It's cold. It's winter. The customers haven't gotten here yet, but we are in the midst of chatting with Eric still. He is still in the middle of the build. Um, we have anticipated, um, still probably aggressive open date, but we're excited for it to happen, and we're here to keep following him through the rest of it, uh, until he's got the open sign on the door and the food on the plates and the customers' butts in the seats. We will be here recording and listening and sharing with you.

Alex: Jenny. Where are we?

Jenny: And where are we? So right now it's mid-March. In New York City, and it's still pretty chilly out. We're ready for spring. And we've been following Eric since November, and the doors are not quite open yet. There's been a few surprises along the way which you have to tune in to learn more as we follow Eric on his journey with Ursula 2.0.

Jenny: So if you're not already hooked on this season of The Build by Opening Soon, we have another treat for you.

Alex: Dedicated listeners will know that we've talked about our Goods experience in the past. It's a restaurant that Jenny and I opened before our current business, which is Tilit NYC, and it was also the impetus for this podcast that you're listening to right now. We've never gone super deep on the ins and outs, the successes, and the failures of that, but we will, in the process of talking with Eric and his progress of opening his restaurant, we'll sort of relate some of our experiences, whether they were good or bad, from that to his and what he's going through. So listen up.

Jenny: Yes, tune in so you can hear how we messed up before we got it right.