Back in 2011, when chef Cindy Black opened The Blue Owl as a late-night pop-up inside Zen Yai on State Street, she’d joke, “Some nights, I’m Don Rickles with a vagina and a wok.” Eleven years later, upon opening St. Bibiana on West Ortega Street, she’s more like Louie Anderson with a vagina and a pizza oven.
You could say she’s mellowed, or maybe it’s just that the restaurant biz is very different when you’re 42 as opposed to 30. “Sometimes I don’t have the energy to give the customers hell even if they deserve it,” Black admits. “The fun banter at 30 I loved, and I miss the Blue Owl regulars and the fun chaos, but I don’t miss getting inebriated customers until four in the morning.”
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