Saturday, December 23, 2006

We've Only Just Begun

Tom says:
We bought a restaurant. We bought a restaurant in downtown Manchester, NH and we bought with it with every cent we have plus the belief we have that when you’re brave enough to leap, the universe conspires to make the net appear. And we need the net: whatever turn-of-phrase you’ve heard describe the process of opening a restaurant, it applies here—no exceptions. Lighting the stove with $100 bills is one we’re particularly fond of, but once the papers were exchanged and the keys were in our hand, I was actually relieved that we’d leveraged our future. I think that qualifies as some form of insanity, but I’ve been in this business twenty years and know that I’m in good company (Hi Pam! Hi Tim!). Each and every day of the last twenty years has been leading up to this one and there are moments when I can’t quite believe it’s here.

I/we own a restaurant?!

Still, the relief of having closed the deal is waning fast. In fact, it’s turning into something that hints of dread. To quote the Carpenters, “We’ve only just begun.” If this is my Everest, I’m only three-quarters of the way to the summit. The hardest part is yet to come: getting the doors open. Then, as any climber will tell you, once you reach the summit you’re still only half done. You have to get back down the mountain (alive) so you can tell about it. In this case, that means keeping the doors open. Restaurants are risky businesses--just ask the banks. The success rate is on par with marriage: only one, they say, out of every two will make it and the definition of making it is vague at best.

This venture will prove either to be a dream realized or a nightmare (on Elm Street) we—my business and life partner, Maureen—can’t wake from. But no matter the outcome the experience will be worth it because we were brave enough to take the chance (even if Maureen needed a little coaxing. Okay, a lot of coaxing, but that just means she’ll work even harder than she already does at anything she puts her mind to).

We’ve started this blog for two reasons: we want to document this phase in our lives and, with time already being tight, to create a place where family and friends can come for the answer to the question everyone’s already asking—How Are Things at the Restaurant?

I almost forgot: the restaurant’s called Z. More details to follow. For now, just the facts: We’ll be located at 860 Elm Street in the space that was formerly Little Saigon, next to The Chair Gallery (where, incidentally, we purchased our own dining set earlier this year). We don't yet have anything like a hard opening date, but mid-to-late Q1 ’07 is our target.

1 comment:

Thomas said...

Welcome to the neighborhood!

Having just taken the business plunge myself, I wish you the best of luck with your new venture. Your direction sound exciting and we're anxiously awaiting your opening. While downtown offers much in the way of food, having a location that specializes in fresh regional ingredients will be nice. And being right downstairs makes it even better.

We'll keep watching for updates!