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Stulman on Little Owl Seating: 'we only have 28 seats'

We hadn't set out to make this "Little Owl Day" at Eater, but if that's where the tide takes us, so be it. We'll soften our focus by Wire time tonight, if not sooner.

[Gabriel Stulman, owner of Little Owl, by Turkell, 11/26/06.]

Just now, a letter from Little Owl owner Gabriel Stulman (above) has arrived on the topic of getting a table at his massively popular West Village restaurant. If his detractors get to vent about how hard it is (and it is pretty damn hard), he gets to respond. The rules are rules, folks, so let's keep it moving:

To all eaters.

We read the earlier email, and were sincerely hurt. We approach every day here at the little owl with one common goal. That common goal is to provide as many people as possible with a special experience. A special experience that is focused around friends, loved ones, food, and hospitality. We have been blessed and are grateful every day for the warm reception that New Yorkers have given us since we opened our doors last May. Everyone here puts their hearts and passion into their work everyday in a hope that we can touch one more person in a positive manner. We are constricted by our physical size, and we only have 28 seats. We only have 28 seats because that is all we can fit, while trying to provide the experience we wish to. And in these 28 seats we strive to feed as many people as possible without rushing anyone. So far, we are proud of our efforts, and our only complaint is that we do not have more space and more seats with which to share our place with more. But, then again, maybe it’s our size and how our small size allows us to interact with everyone in a personal manner that people enjoy and embrace. I can’t say for certain what people enjoy, but I can continue to try to improve on what we have.

And, we try and challenge ourselves daily to improve. We have tweaked our reservation system several times in attempts to allow us to accommodate more people without compromising our vision. We are truly sorry that this eater has not had an opportunity to share in our place. And it is by no means because we don’t want them here. But only, because, we attempt to treat everyone that wishes to join us equally and fairly. And when, waits become long, and reservation slots become scarce, we still try to be as accommodating as possible. We reserve three of our ten tables for walk-ins and gladly take phone numbers so our guests can pass their time elsewhere. We take this observation to heart, and we will look at and continue find ways as we always have to make this place easier to share with as many as possible without sacrificing the ideal that we approach our business with.
Sincerely and with regret,
Gabriel Stulman
the little owl
· FW: Getting a Table at Little Owl [~E~]

Little Owl

90 Bedford Street, New York, NY 10014