Above Biwa, on the 3rd floor, we have an office and as I sit here and look out over the neighborhood I ask myself “How did I get here?” And then I say to myself “My god, what have I done.”
Remarkably, ten years ago this week we opened Biwa, and reflecting upon this improbable but inevitable near miracle I am awash in cliché memories glowing restaurants in a fine light and demonstrating their wondrous power to bring us together.
Over the weekend a couple came in to Parasol, our new bar. They looked around, probably confused by our recent renovations. As we talked, they shared that they had been on their first date at Biwa and had since moved out of town, and that they had just gotten married and were returning to visit the location of that first date. How nice it is to be part of moments like this literally every day at work!
There are, of course, less magical parts of the restaurant day. I am pretty sure that something breaks as soon as it becomes the most inconvenient possible time (which seems to be Sunday), and I have become good friends with our plumber and it has snowed a lot this winter, hasn’t it? But over the years we have shared all of these moments with countless wonderful staff and guests, many of whom have become friends and then more like family.
Our recent, wonderful renovation by Constructive Form and Deform has breathed some exciting new energy into Biwa (and made the space for Parasol to join our family) and looking out over the neighborhood from the office at all of the new buildings, I am very excited for the future, for the next ten years of Biwa and all of the new friends that we will make and memories that we will participate in.
So as not to slight our younger sibling, I should mention that Noraneko is also having a birthday this week. Our sweet, fun little ramen shop and all night diner is such a delight, especially now that she has grown up a little. Like having two cats to keep each other company, Noraneko has been a great companion to Biwa these last couple of years.
To celebrate the birthdays there will, of course, be parties. For the last ten years we have cooked hamburgers for the Biwa birthday party. This year we will be adding bratwurst to the menu, as well as karaoke later, balloons and cake, and I have, so far, promised to cook the hamburgers myself over at Parasol. At Noraneko we will be throwing a no-holds-barred Nachos and Ice Cream Party, because it sounds like fun, an excuse to buy a piñata, and because more people need to know about James’ wonderful, limited availability Ramen Nachos.
We hope that you will be able to join us for the birthday, or will stop in soon to say hi and see what we have been up to. It is always nice to see you!
Thanks so much for ten years of support. We couldn’t do it without you.
Gabe & Kina and everyone at Biwa, Noraneko and Parasol
Biwa 10th Birthday Party (to be held at Parasol!!!)
Noraneko Nachos and Ice Cream Birthday Party
4:00 – 2:00
Please wear a festive outfit