Wednesday's New York Times chronicles the bar and restaurant vision of Gabriel Stulman, who continues to borrow from the departed Cafe Montmartre and staffs his places with legions of 'sconnies.
"Cheers" is one model, [Stulman] said over breakfast at Joseph Leonard on a chilly Friday in January. But one closer to home was Cafe Montmartre in Madison, a clubby, easy-spirited bistro where he tended bar at night while an undergraduate.
The article also mentions Adam Benedetto -- "known for his three-piece suits and easy hugs" -- a longtime Restaurant Magnus staffer and former Dane County Sheriff candidate.
Stulman's philosophy seems remarkably similar to Christopher Berge, Benedetto's old boss at Magnus, who has intentionally not marketed places like Natt Spil and the Weary Traveler. "The less accessible you make your place to a wider audience," Stulman explain in the article, "the more accessible you make it to a local audience."
Stulman's vision speaks to the sentiment of every Manhattanite who, upon hanging out at low-key Madison joints like Genna's, Mickey's or even The Old Fashioned have said "This place would kill in New York!"
It also defies some in Madison who continue to insist that the city's residents are a bunch of goobers who rave about places that could never cut it in New York's competitive bar and restaurant scene.