A deep breath and here we go ...

Over the last few months we've been called crazy, courageous, stupid and savvy. As we open Lark, it's hard to say which of those words will be true. We're hoping for that last one but, yes, opening a restaurant is a big leap into the unknown.

My husband Richard and I are food and cocktail nerds. We've made a study of this all over the country both as a couple and before we got together a decade ago. We dreamed and talked and planned for years but could never quite screw up the courage. Then life happened. I lost my sister to cancer when she was 56. Richard lost one of his dearest friends after a brief illness just a year before retirement. It was a wake-up call. Tomorrow doesn't always come. And why live todays that don't fully inspire you even if you have decades of tomorrows ahead?

So we take a deep breath and open the doors with an incredible pool of talent behind us. Our culinary team, led by Olivia Eckert, has done a remarkable job getting out a menu full of big flavors every night since we opened. A recent graduate of the Blackhawk Technical College culinary program, she is a rock star.

Billy Burg is simply one of the best bartenders in the region, hand's down. He also has a passion for excellent service and the personality to make instant friends with anyone. We are honored that he has joined our team to manage what I think is one of the most comprehensive craft cocktail menus in the state. Amazing. 

We have a crazy-high goal for Lark -- we want to provide the best night of your week. We want to serve you food and drinks so delicious that you have to return again and again. We want our excellent server team to make you feel happy and at home. And because we're pretty obsessive about it (and have a team that's equally obsessed), I know we'll get there.

As I look around at this beautiful dining room, I think about what it looked like last September when Richard and I walked through the building on our wedding anniversary. Empty for eight years, it was a warren of dark, jumbled rooms -- no electricity, heat or water. It took a little imagination, but we knew we had found the right spot for Lark to take flight. We are so proud to be part of the exciting developments happening downtown. Thanks to Terrill Remodeling and all the many tradespeople who turned our diamond in the rough into a diamond. You did a remarkable job.

As for the look of Lark, I would like to thank Corin Frost for her inspired work on our logo and menus, Betsy Pelsue of Inspired Spaces for helping me shape a vision into a cohesive reality, and Shawn Harper for the gorgeous photos that you see on this website. 

Finally, thanks to our family, friends, neighbors, investors and the many new friends we've met through our Facebook page and around town over the past few months. Your encouragement has kept us going through the bumpy process of bringing our dream to life. 

So let the adventure begin. Thanks for coming on this deadly serious lark with us.