For Your Photoshopping Pleasure #ravenwingburn


#ravenwingburn by Jody Parmann of Raven Café. Click image to enlarge.


Since Supernatural TV star Misha Collins’ retweet of the Times Herald story of the fundraising collaboration between the Deidre Murch and the Raven, folks from around the world have been contacting Deidre asking for photo of the wings empty so they can photoshop themselves in. Here they are! Because Deidre has now secured a spot on the trip, she is asking that donations instead be made to her friend Taylor, who is still working on her fundraising campaign. The money goes to the same place either way, so why not help get another worthy girl to Nicaragua? This is Taylor’s donation page: Thank you very much & enjoy!

What’s good here?

staffServers often get asked, “What’s good here?” So, in honor of National Wait Staff Day, we polled our wonderful staff regarding what they enjoy at the Raven. Here are their responses:

Ian: “Loss of Breath” Grilled Cheese Deluxe & Peanut Butter Banana Yerba Mate Chiller
Todd: “Mother’s Sinful” Sicilian Hoagie, Mushroom Brie Soup & Stewart’s Root Beer
Carol: “Loss of Breath” Grilled Cheese Deluxe & Caramel Hazelnut Latté
Alyssa: “Mother’s Sinful” Sicilian & Espresso
Katie: “Valentine” Vegetarian Sandwich & Caramel Hazelnut Iced Coffee
Brittiany: Grilled Peanut Butter & Jelly, Mushroom Brie Soup & any Flavored Latté Over Ice
Mike: “House of Usher” Turkey Sandwich & Blake’s Flannel Mouth Hard Cider
Jeanette: Hummus Pita Pizza & Chai Chiller
Storm: “Bon Bon” Olive Feta Melt, Mushroom Brie Soup & Vanilla Hazelnut Yerba Mate Chiller
Erin: “Oval Portrait” Spinach Salad & Super Green Fruit Smoothie
Eric: “Landor’s Cottage” Salad & Atwater Vanilla Java Porter
Kristen: “El Dorado” Mesquite Chicken Salad & Raven’s Brew Wicked Wolf Coffee

In conclusion, I’m pretty sure our Mushroom Brie Soup and Caramel Hazelnut-flavored anything is off the hook! Come visit your favorite server and give them a BIG FAT TIP in honor of the day.

Let’s Sit Outside

It’s finally starting to warm up in our fair city…well, most days any way.

What’s better than hanging out at the Raven, consuming delicious food and libations? Doing it outside, of course!

Both of our patios are officially open for your dining pleasure! Our upstairs outdoor seating area overlooks the Black River & Desmond Marine, and is located on our second-floor balcony. We also have our Sidewalk Cafe erected for the warm season, located in front of the building on Military Street. And, while we are a seat-yourself establishment, please check in with the bartender inside to be seated in the Sidewalk Cafe.

patiosThe Sidewalk Cafe is particularly prime real estate while enjoying a latté or cocktail and partaking in the following upcoming Downtown Port Huron events:

Run With The Sturgeon 5K Race & Festival
May 30, 2015, 9 a.m.
Great Lakes Martime Center

Vantage Point Flower Market
Every Tuesday & Saturday
Vantage Point

Be A Tourist in Your Own Town
June 6, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Downtown Port Huron

International Day Parade
July 15, 2015, 6 p.m.
Main Street Port Huron

What do you call a group of ravens?

shirtsShirts are here! For the season we’ll be featuring all the collective nouns that describe a group of Ravens. There are three, and they change depending on the the group of ravens’ activities.

    • CONSPIRACY: When it comes to intelligence, these birds are in the same league as chimpanzees and dolphins. People imagine that if any speceies were capable of such dark collaboration, it would be them.
    • CONSTABLE: This refers to the group of ravens often seen flying around the Tower of London. Historically they were thought to be watching over the monarchy in residence there.
    • UNKINDNESS: Ravens are clever and very adaptable. While they mostly feed on carrion, occasionally they will team up to hunt live prey. As you can imagine, it’s a gruesome sight to see.

babyravenThese threads are $15 when purchased at the Raven. They’ll also be available online via CafePress.

With the glut of T’s coming in we’re reducing the price of all Baby Raven apparel (onesies & baby-doll T’s) to $10 each, with an additional 25% off for Loyalty Members.

Big, Black & Beautiful

wingburn_lgWhat could be more Ravenesque than giant black wings? Absolutely nothing.

I was watching one of my favorite serials called Supernatural, and an epic battle culminated in an angel dying, which burned giant beautifully macabre black wings on the concrete where he lay. I instantly started plotting how and when I’d reproduce them. The idea was perfect for three reasons:

  1. As an artist, they took my breath way.
  2.  As the owner of the Raven, a big black bird, they made sense.
  3. The best way to photograph the reenaction of the scene is from above, with the subject lying down. The Raven has a second-floor balcony that’s the perfect vantage point.

The opportunity arose when my dear friend and community activist Deidre Murch was raising money to build a school in Nicaragua with non-profit outfit Random Acts, headed by Misha Collins, an actor we both have an affinity for, who plays an angel on Supernatural. All of a sudden I had a good cause to make beautiful art! So, coming up in this month I’ll be creating giant black wings in the alley behind the Raven (weather permitting). I’ll be announcing the date one week in advance. Supernatural fans, cosplayers and folks who just really want a unique photo are invited to come get their photo taken with them.

We’ll have a donation jar available to help Deidre get to Nicaragua. Stay tuned to Raven Cafe’s website, Facebook and/or Twitter for the announcement of the date!

Life After the Raven Cafe

geraldThe Raven’s former owner, that lovable cantankerous old lawyer, has turned thespian! Gerald Edson is staring as Willie Loman in Port Huron Civic Theatre’s presentation of “Death of a Salesman”.

Honoring the man who dreamed up the Raven, we invite interested patrons and theater-goers to come for drinks and a meal before any of the three showings. To evoke the sweet feelings of nostalgia and discomfort of when Mr. Edson would sit at the bar and yell at people, we’ll have tickets on hand for $10! That’s half off the door price ($20).

Show Times:

  • Friday, May 8th, 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 9th, 7:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 10th, 2:00 p.m.

Port Huron Northern High School’s Performing Arts Center
1799 Krafft Rd., Port Huron, Michigan 48060

Staff Spotlight: Storm Bradt

storm4x6Meet Storm Bradt! A Port Huron native, he’s been working at the Raven since August 2014. Initially hired as a cook, he missed working with the public after his experience working as a jailer at Michigan’s Annual Renaissance Festival – fear not, he’s retired his stockade apparatus and now attentively takes orders and delivers libations and fare to Raven patrons.

When he’s not rocking the floor as a competent and friendly server, he’s auditing history classes as research for books he’s writing. He’s currently working with a friend on a children’s book about the unlikeliest of friendships.

Storm’s colorful history includes growing up in what his friends called the “Bat House”, a gray house with black trim that sported the form of actual bat houses on its façade, along with gargoyles. As you can imagine, he fits right into our macabre little family here at the Raven.

It’s not all darkness and flying mammals, though. Storm spent two years traveling around the west as a farm hand. He’s been as far north as Portland and as far south as the Baja Peninsula, where he spent a month living on the beach. While there, he experienced bioluminescent algae in bloom, and the experience was nothing less than magical. He lamented that at his age he should have more such experiences under his belt. He hopes to go on an extreme journey to a teahouse at the peak of Mt. Huashan in China, where patrons must climb the heavenly stairs at the base of the mountain only to traverse a treacherous planked ledge, with only a chain securing them to the side of the mountain. The teahouse is Taoist temple which rests at the top of the southern peak, with an altitude of 7,087 feet.

Storm’s Raven Favorites

  • Fare: Bon Bon Olive Feta Melt and Haunted Palace Classic Greek Salad
  • Beverage: Super Green Smoothie, Hot Chocolate with a Shot of Espresso and Raven’s Brew Wicked Wolf Coffee
  • Beer: Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale

Job Opportunity for Creative/Responsible Student

librarian2HOURS PER WEEK: 9
PAY RATE: $8.15 per hour
APPLICANT: High School or College Student

1. Manage Library

  • Check in new books
  • Organize and clean bookshelves as needed
  • Research old books, list on Amazon / process and ship orders

2. Manage Kid’s Table & Games

  • Check in new children’s books
  • Organize and clean children’s bookshelves as needed

3. Some photography and photo editing

4. Stock and clean gift corner as needed

5. Assemble and package gift sets

6. Maintain online presence via Facebook and WordPress

7. Similar miscellaneous jobs as needed

Ideal candidate will have strong communication skills (writing), basic photography knowledge, be comfortable working on a computer (Microsoft Word and Office) and be well versed in social media interfaces such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and WordPress.

Candidate will be a self-starter with the ability to work independently and without constant supervision. They’ll show a sense of urgency while working and be responsible with managing Raven social media vehicles without engaging in their own personal correspondence.

Interested candidates should submit a resume and 250-word writing sample that reviews a book or author they are familiar with to

A Green Thumb Inquiry…

My thumb is black. I’m a serial killer when it comes to plants. I jokingly say that things don’t cry to be fed are doomed to die in my care (I don’t keep fish either).

gardenOn that dour note, I’m wondering if my green-thumbed readers might be able to help me out with some input. We made a small planting bed next to the back door of the Raven and are planning to grow some herbs. I’m a big fan of form and function, so I’m looking for a list of plants that are both aesthetically pleasing and useful that would thrive under the following conditions:

  • Occasional saturation of soil from the building’s down spout
  • Has a shallow root system (only about 6″ of soil to work with)
  • Direct sunlight for half the day

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

A Project in Nicaragua with Local Impact

deidreI was recently approached by an old friend, Deidre Murch, about helping her fund a trip to Nicaragua, where she and her Random Acts/Dreams to Acts Team would build a high school for local residents. High school education is not free in Nicaragua. Teens and adults who cannot afford it are considered “second class citizens” by the state, their community and even themselves. She and her team will be heading down in November to give these deserving students a beautiful campus of their own, complete with library and a computer lab. Deidre asked me what I look for as a business owner when donating to a cause. My reply? Local community impact. How will it help my community– MY people?

In response to my reply, Deidre has pledged to educate local middle and high school students on life in other countries. She will be sharing a presentation of stories, photos and videos of her time in Haiti in 2013, as well as Nicaragua.

Before Sadaat and I purchased the Raven, I worked as the activities manager for a local after-school program where kids had the opportunity to learn real world skills and receive homework help. Many of the students were defined as “at-risk”: bright kids with challenges outside of school (financially, domestic, etc.). The most challenging part of working with these students was overcoming their sense of apathy, which seems to run rampant in our schools today; students with fabulous brains that could utilize their high school as an opportunity to start off their adult life in a great way- all they need is to see its value. I believe Deidre sharing her experience is a beautiful way to drive home the importance and privilege that is an education. Please help us help her. Donate today!


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