Remember me? It’s been a fortnight or two since we’ve posted here, but I felt the time had come for some news from us at SBC.
Last night we collaborated with one of our own – Melanie Boden – to host a beer supper at her new downtown venue: Jubilee Events & Catering. Together, we shared a supper with 50 of our closest friends in our first beer dinner we’ve been able to do in Ord since opening. To say this was a dream of mine when we opened SBC years ago would be an understatement; I’ve wanted to do this for over six years. Breaking bread is a common theme in our life, a common mission here at SBC and the intent behind our event. We were excited to see how the event was received.
The evening was full of incredible fare, as we shared a multi-course supper that focused on fall flavor pairings between beer and food. The quality and consistency of the meal was perfect. And while the focus of the event was this delicious collaboration, the most valuable outcome was breaking bread together. Breaking bread. Simple but powerful.
Since we opened our doors, we’ve dedicated ourselves to building community amid a society of newly invented disconnection. Technological advancements, as wonderful as they are, have given us more impression points but at the cost of deteriorating relationships. We know more people, are connected in the ether is some tenuous way, yet the value of our relationships are not what they once were. Quantity has surpassed quality. Last night, without interruption, we broke bread together and enjoyed the quality of our time together. That means something.
I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking, working and building community since I was 20 years old. And one specific aspect of the physical, built community that is essential to any place is the concept of Third Spaces. We need these places as a hub for community to come together; without them we are work-robots moving from home to work to home again, without the enrichment of community gathering or social engagement. Social media is a poor vaporware attempt at being a third space without the actual physicality of being present with other humans. And it’s failing us. We need third spaces to be together, as a commUNITY.
Often, community builders and economic developers have their sights set on attracting, growing and developing job creators. There is no argument of the value of growing the private sector; it’s imperative. Yet rarely is the third space, the communal hub, a priority in building community. Engagement is a buzzword that is bandied about constantly, yet I really don’t think very many folks understand without somewhere in which to come together, engagement is critically impossible.
So what am I going on about? Perhaps we need to take a step back in this really weird, divided time we live in and ask ourselves the question: where are we engaging our community? Is it online, or are we going to start focusing on building spaces where true engagement and relationship quality is grown and developed? Many of you have often heard me say: Scratchtown is a place where people come together to break bread, our bread happens to be beer. Last night was a beautiful night for that, and I want to personally thank Melanie and her team, Mike and our production team, and those that joined us for making it so wonderful. This truly has been a dream come true and I can’t wait to have you back at our table. Bringing America back together has to start around the supper table. As it always has.
An old friend often says in his restaurant: “we’ll set the table – you bring the conversation.” Here’s to the next time we break bread together.