Crickets. Or I guess we’re lucky there are no crickets.

Dear Feastlings,
As much as we’re delighted that dinner service is back in action, I have to say that lunch is still only just limping along. We’re still in need of enough staff to run lunch in a semi-normal way, and still at the mercy of who responds to an ad, whether they’re qualified, and whether we all feel like we’d be a good fit for one another. Until then, we’re here pretty much just prepping for dinner service ad not much else. We’re interviewing someone else today, assuming he shows up (only about 20-25% of them show up for the interview, and then another chunk are peeled away upon hiring, given a start date and THEN don’t show up.

Whether it’s a question of the enticement of collecting unemployment without having to interrupt one’s videogame schedule, or whether it’s a question of the equally difficult problem of rounding up trustworthy child care, or maybe that so many people have just left the industry altogether, we’re decidedly not where we want to be yet. Yes, we’ve crossed a major hurdle in opening the dining room to half capacity and shortened hours, but until we can fully staff the restaurant, fully seat the restaurant and fully operate under our normal schedule, we are by no means out of the woods. So if you come in and jovially say, “aren’t you so glad it’s all over and everything’s back to normal?” the grinding noise you hear will be my teeth.

Again, not to be ungrateful. I know you’re rooting for us, and I know that most people see people in the restaurant and think everything’s coming up roses and daffodils. And truly, compared to the previous fourteen months, it absolutely is. I may even be able to throw away the Money Shovel by the end of the year. But the next time you’re in a small business, particularly in the hospitality industry, and they’re smiling away at you while you hear that tooth-grinding (my dentist tells me that he’s seen grinding-related issues increase geometrically,) take a deep breath before you get irritable that your meal is taking too long- it’s probably because they’re understaffed, and not for lack of trying.

Meanwhile, we’ll keep doing what we’re able to to do, and chipping away at what stands between us and fully reopening. What, you ask, are those things? in chronological order, here’s what we’re up to:

First, we’re excited to feed another 201 people at COPE, both residents and staff, at six live-in facilities and at their treatment clinic as well. That happens on Friday, and we’re still trying to drum up a few more donations to help fund this thing, so if you’re feeling both flush and magnanimous, here’s the information on that:

The staff and residents both, at COPE

That happens on Friday. On Saturday, we’re pouring Continental wines for our 2 pm Saturday Zoom tasting,

All Continental- catch our drift?

in contrast to the Island wines we’re pouring for our Last Sunday tasting- the one with the food pairings- the very next day:

Island Wines

I’m hoping you’ll call today to order it, first, because it will give the staff something to do, and second, because we’ll have an idea how much food to prepare for the tasting- this month will be harder to guess at, since so many of you have left town for the summer, or for the week, or for Memorial Day weekend. So calls that come sooner than later will be very much appreciated.

Next week comes the new menu, which isn’t finished being written just yet, so I’ll stop writing this and start writing menus again, but let me sign off with this: I know that my emails can often be gloom-and-doomy, and I’m grateful that it often spurs a sweet and sympathetic response from a great many of you, but there’s no need to fret about us- we’ll make it through this, but we’ll also thank you to remember that we’re still in the thick of it and remember that, on top of being flawed human beings as are we all, we’re maybe a bit fragile for the next bit. We’re also strong overall, and whether we feel like it every waking moment or not, we can indeed see those roses coming up, if we look hard enough.

Thanks for being nice to us, and to someone else as well.



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