Happy July! I hope you are all enjoying the beautiful weather that we’ve been having. There is something so refreshing about great weather. I appreciate the freedom that we have when we don’t have to hassle with boots, scarves, heavy coats, etc. Simply put, I feel freer this time of year.

This summer—and the past year—has been different. I haven’t experienced much freedom. If you read this column, you may remember I purchased the Urban Wine Company in the Old Market last summer. I am thrilled to announce that we rebranded on June 9, and we are now Bricks & Mortar Bar and Bistro. There is a new name, signage, website (www.bricksandmortarbarandbistro.com), menu, and interior and exterior updates, plus totally revamped internal systems. Wow, has it been an experience.

Manny Chavez, my general manager at Bricks & Mortar, and I were talking about how starting a business is a lot like having a baby. We both have experienced severe sleep depravation. I had never heard the term “staggering tired” before, but now I know the term and what it feels like. We both have had to “discipline” the child, reign in the “out of control” systems, and create new rules and regulations. I know that I have had to fight back tears of frustration and exhaustion while taking a deep breath and being patient with our “baby.” All of this to watch our “baby” take its first steps...

I have learned more in the last year about business, myself, my life, other people, friends, and family then I have learned in the past 10–15 years. Has it been hard? You better believe it. I have had friends and family tell me that I was “out of my mind” to take on this endeavor. Were there times when I thought they were right? Absolutely. I think most of those came when I was staggering tired.

With the rebranding, we are onto our next phase of raising this baby. I want to thank Manny for everything that he has done to make this baby what it is today. I couldn’t have done it without you. I also could not have done it without the support of the “aunts” at Women’s Edition. My staff has been phenomenal at taking care of my “oldest child,” Women’s Edition. Thank you, ladies, from the bottom of my heart.

The next 12 months will be a little easier, I believe—just like the second year of having a baby gets easier.

Enjoy your Independence Day! See you next month.


Read more about Bricks and Mortar Bar and Bistro here!


Janet Van deWalle,
National Publisher

11570 West Dodge Road
Omaha, NE 68154

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