Honestly, I would never have thought to go there on my own. After all, S. Tejon St. has a reputation as a night spot and I keep a schedule based on chickens, early to bed and early to rise.
I talked to Chef Greg for what must have been an hour, learning how he got involved with the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction. I also learned McCabe’s composts, buys food locally whenever possible and does all of its advertising via local fundraisers and community events.
Chef Greg is my kind of guy. He’s focused on the community, not just McCabe’s. He’s even the driving force behind Live on Local, a daily deal site for local restaurants. He and Johnny from Southside Johnny’s started it to promote local eateries. Restaurants get more money from Live on Local coupon sales than they would from the national daily deal sites, which can be the difference between a successful ad campaign and something that puts a small restaurant out of business.
Aimee and I didn’t have time to eat, so I went back a few weeks later. Pk Powell of Helium Design, a generous friend who knows everyone in town, joined me for lunch.
Since Hungry Chicken Homestead is my own business and I set all the policies, I decided we have no rules against alcohol consumption during the day and ordered a beer. The server described the many options and helped me choose one I would like.
And then, in a moment I will remember a long time, I got to eat this delectable looking thing. It’s a Shepherd’s Pie, made with lamb stew and topped with potatoes and cheese. I would have devoured the whole thing, except it was huge.
Chef Greg knows Pk and even remembered me. He came out to talk to us, which is how I learned he got the lamb in the stew from our own Ranch Foods Direct.
Finally, I asked the question simmering in my mind.
“Who is your target market?”, I asked. In other words, did I, an early bird who barely knows a thing about beer, belong in a pub?
Chef Greg shrugged and said, “Everyone!”
“Everyone?”, I was confused.
He explained that McCabe’s is modeled after the the concept of the Public House, “pub” for short. Public Houses used to be a social center in small towns. People would travel to the town from their farms on Sunday, first to go to church and then convene for food and social time at the pub. Everyone was welcome and so it is at McCabe’s.
You’re part of that group called “everyone” and I recommend eating at this socially responsible, community minded pub with the skillfully prepared food. Even if you’re an early-rising amateur chicken farmer!