When we found out on March 17, 2020, that we’d have to shut down, I was panicked. I thought sure that shutting down for as much as, say, two whole weeks would be the end of us. Obviously, it wasn’t, and thanks to some generous PPP funding, and thanks to all those of you who’ve been contributing to our donation runs, we’re still here, albeit one day less each week. I’ll say this, though: I didn’t think twenty-eight months and ten days ago that we’d still spend our days wondering what the next day would look like.
I’m monumentally grateful that I was able to get my turn at Covid and have the restaurant run without me for a week, and that I got to take my first healthy week off in two and a half years and the restaurant, again, ran without me. On the other hand, coming back to the New Normal is disheartening. We continue to lose people and to replace them piecemeal, only to lose the replacements that we’ve invested time and money and effort into, all as we continue to pay sick pay as this most recent wave of Covid sidelines one or two people at a time, and overtime to the people covering for the sick ones, and interviewing and interviewing and interviewing. Truly, I just got back from two breaks and I’m ready for a break. And we do get people about whom we’re enthusiastic, but it no longer feels save to relax for a minute and think they’re a good fit, because the last three we felt that way about just didn’t come back for their second day.
What it does, besides demoralizing us and knocking the wind out of us like a kick to the solar plexus, is make us value the people who’ve stuck with us through thick and thin. So I say this to staff and guests alike: thank you for not stopping. Thanks for your faith in Feast. Thanks for shopping here, you wine shoppers, and for selling here, you servers, and for dining here, you guests, and for making beautiful food here, you cooks. Thanks for putting up with me when I mope and my fuse is short, and thanks for tolerating that we’re still closed Sundays and that your dinner took longer than it should have. Thanks for reminding me what community means, and for letting me be a part of yours.
I’m going to cross my fingers that the guy we interviewed yesterday will show up tomorrow, and that the guy we interviewed today will show up on Friday. I’m going to envision them fitting in with the rest of the crew here, and love food like we do, and love our guests like we do, and love each other like we do. I’m going to imagine that the people we’re interviewing later this week will show up, and fit in, and that we reopen on Sundays, and that we get days off where we don’t spend the whole day catching up on the things we couldn’t accomplish because we were covering for a coworker with Covid, or putting out a figurative fire, or, God forbid, interviewing someone else who isn’t going to show up on the day we hire them to start.
In the meantime, I’m going to keep tasting wine as a distraction from it all, and because it’s something I love. And I invite you all to taste along with me. We’ll be tasting a bunch of remarkably affordable old vine wines this Saturday,
and then taste some exciting Italian wines on Sunday,
and we’ll continue our summertime wine deals well through the next month and change.
Then, assuming everyone shows up, new and old alike, we’ll start a new menu next week, and we’ll whip up some specials for Ferragosto, and we’ll keep bending over backward like we’ve been doing for nearly two and a half years, to keep giving you a reason to go out and be nice to yourselves once in a while. In fact, now that today’s fires have been extinguished, today’s interview has been completed, and today’s emails have been replied to, I’ll se to work on that right this minute, with the odd break to go out to the dining room and thank some of you personally. Here goes.