Cafe Society

The writing's on the wall at Scratch Burrito and Happy Tap

If you catch a glimpse of the lines written by the bar inside Scratch Burrito and Happy Tap, which I review this week, you might think Clay Markwell found more than a new career when he left advertising. But in this case, "May God bless and keep you always" points not to a rebirth, but to one of Markwell's favorite songs: "Forever Young" by Bob Dylan.

See also: Scratch Burrito and Happy Tap takes burritos -- and customers -- on a trip around the globe

"If you've ever taken the time to read the lyrics, [they're] poetic and how I want to live my life," Markwell explains.

What isn't so poetic, however, is what it takes to open your own restaurant. "Reality stinks a little bit," Markwell laments via phone. "I'm here open to close every day, except for Sunday."

But even on the longest of days when he doesn't feel like he can "build a ladder to the stars and climb on every rung," as Dylan sings, Markwell still thinks a long day in the kitchen still beats any day in advertising.

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Gretchen Kurtz has worked as a writer for 25 years; during that time she's stomped grapes in Napa, eaten b'stilla in Fez, and baked with Buddy Valastro, aka the Cake Boss. Her work has appeared in publications including Boulevard (Paris), Diversion, the New York Times and Westword. Our restaurant critic since 2012, she loves helping you decide where to eat and drink tonight.
Contact: Gretchen Kurtz