The death of an institution

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by danbrown, Jan 29, 2006.

  1. danbrown

    danbrown

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    Well...

    I've known about it for a while, but there was just a press release two days ago informing the Denver public that my restaurant is going to close. The Tattered Cover bookstore is leaving it's Cherry Creek location, and the Fourth Story is now in it's final four-five months. I've committed to the owner that I'll stay until the last plate of food is served, and I'm going to help the staff find jobs here in the Denver area (a large number of them I'd like to keep with me). I've already gotten a couple of job offers, but I'm looking to go out on a high note. I believe that knowing the date of the funeral will ensure all the old guests will want to stop in one more time.

    I feel that in restaurant life, once is constantly tested, regardless of how well one has done on the same test the day before (you're only as good as your last plate). This test, however, is a measure beyond mere cooking or management skills. I must continue to try and make it a profitable business, while knowing the end is in sight.

    I'm considering doing a full-blown blog, but I'm not sure if anyone would want to read it. I'll base my decision on feedback given here.
     
  2. cakerookie

    cakerookie

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    DB, sorry to hear about your restaurant thats not exactly how you want to go out I know.As a chef I know you do not know the meaning of the words "give-up" so keep plugging away. And as far as your blog I would read it.
     
  3. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Oh man, sorry to hear about that. :( Such is the nature of the business.
     
  4. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    Dan,

    We can help set you up with a blog/forum right here similar to what we did for Chris Ward. Please send me a PM if your interested. I think this would be very interesting for people to hear about the closing of a restaurant.
     
  5. jim berman

    jim berman

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    Dan, you seem to be taking it 'in stride.' That's the nice thing to say, anyhow. I am sure the only consolation would be for your place not to close. That said, an old Irish proverb tells us that "as one door closes, another opens." You're team at ChefTalk is here for you!
     
  6. andrew563

    andrew563

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    I just had the same thing happen to me here in Spokane. Ankenies atop the rooftop of the Ridpath closed after about a thirty year run. Corporate decision. We got the news in November and our last day was Jan.5. Yes I stayed on till the last plate went out. I would love to read a blog detailing your experiences, see if they match up with mine. But like someone said, for every door that closes, another one opens. Right now I have been asked to help open a new restaurant. I am in the process of costing out the menu, putting together a staff, etc., etc. It hurts to have a place you put your heart and soul into close, but, well, that is the biz.
     
  7. cape chef

    cape chef

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    Dan,

    What a great attitude. I know this must be so hard for you. If your menu's are any indication of your talent, you will land squarely on your feet.
    Good luck
    CC
     
  8. danbrown

    danbrown

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    Thank you all for your kind words, but understand, that for me, this cannot be a sad event (at least not yet).

    In order to be a true leader, I must help those around me see beyond the end of the restaurant. I must lead by example, and a positive attitude is the most important part of success, second is communication, and since all the cards are on the table with the staff, it's much easier to be honest with them about things which have been rumours that have needed to be quashed since I started. I feel a huge burden has been lifted by way of the press release, and in addition, it will drive the business.

    We did 211 covers in our 4 hour a la carte brunch today, that's the best brunch since December. I did 189 covers for lunch yesterday, and 179 for dinner. We're (almost) busy again, and it's just the shot in the arm this new menu needed to get buy in from the staff. I'm excited about the food, and my father's wise words regarding discovering ways to get the staff excited about my food has paid off. I'm doing what I know how to do to the best of my ability, and it makes people happy.

    I'm getting paid to be a creative cook, it won't last forever, but today is today.
     
  9. danbrown

    danbrown

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    I sent a PM to Nicko - I will begin the blog as soon as we've worked out the details.
     
  10. markv

    markv

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    Good luck Dan. May you not only land on your feet but one step above the rest as well.

    Mark