Two years ago, Heavy Table founder James Norton was at a career crossroads. His popular dining- and cooking-focused website had fostered a wide and engaged readership.
“But we hit the end of the road in terms of the financial model,” he said. “At that very moment I got a very nice job offer from the Growler, and it just seemed easier to get a real-person job, and an office.”
Heavy Table went into cold storage. Today, due to COVID-19, Norton has found himself at another crossroads: The Growler folded, and he’s decided to revive Heavy Table (the extensive archive survives), this time asking readers to subscribe.
Twice a week, the website (heavytable.com) will offer new content that’s available to all; no paywall. And once a week, Norton will release one of two newsletters — the Tap, and the Churn, sharing an every-other-Friday schedule — to a subscriber base. A $5 per month subscription will buy one of the newsletters, and $10 will include both.
Norton is reaching out to former Heavy Table contributors, and recruiting new ones. He’s also hoping to revisit some of the popular events that Heavy Table staged since Norton founded it in 2009.
“That would be joyous and I’d absolutely love to do that,” he said. “Those are probably longer-range considerations, and it depends what happens with the pandemic.”
As for the Heavy Table name, “I get asked about that a lot,” said Norton. “I had this idea for a convivial place where a lot of people would gather, sharing food, sharing drink and sharing stories.”