The Pop Up has come and gone, and we are left wondering, why did we do this? The big day was a long one – I think we (the brain trust) did a collective 28 hours on our feet – and a REAL introduction to the Restaurant Business.
We have had quite a few successes and to this point everything we have done in the food industry has been moderately successful (food festival, private catering, private chef, commercial catering, corporate events, packaged goods, etc.) so in our minds a restaurant – which is still Chef’s ultimate goal – did not seem like too much of a stretch for us. We’ve served thousands at the food festival, how hard could it be? We have a new found respect for the game.
Our first challenge was getting the space presentable. Our location was a musical venue. It has been used in the past as a pop up, but true to our vision, we had to “Pinx” the place. Easy right? Well not when you only had 9 hours to execute that. Where were you when I needed you Robert Irvine? That two days and 10K could have come in handy. We had to move furniture, clean, decorate, and prep for the service in the span of 9 hours, following an event at the venue. Needless to say we got it done.
The space – once transformed – was absolutely beautiful! Thank you to 2Complete, Tres Chic, Unica Party Rentals, Abby Party Rentals, and Solidified Elements. We have some amazingly talented family, friends, and Success Investors (we work so closely it is hard to call them vendors) without whom we couldn’t pull off half the things we do. Pics will follow.
The kitchen crew was ab fab. Not BBC AbFab like, but truly Absolutely Fabulous. The Graduate ran point (the expediter in the kitchen is much like a point guard, or conductor) like a Steph Curry/Chris Paul Hybrid Borg Child! It was beautiful to behold. I know some of the staff wanted to call her the Shepherd’s Sister, but I appreciated her command of the troops. Mello D and the Director were in the paint holding it down like Mutumbo and Mourning used to back in their old Georgetown Days. They had the Shrimp n Grits and Red Velvet Pancakes orders filled like they had worked for Chef Ramsey in a past life. Sue (finally finding her way off a milk carton once more) and Keisha Burns were on the backend fulfilling the Waffle, Frittata and Fruit orders. We even had a sixth man, well woman actually, we’ll call her glue because she stepped in to help hold Sue and Keisha together. Thank you Glue.
The real anchors though were the Sud Busters three. Like Thor’s compatriots these fellas kept the kitchen purring. It’s funny when you go to a restaurant you never consider all that happens in the back. All you want is your food in a timely manner with good service. I know I never considered it. And I saw firsthand what happens behind the curtain. The mask is off the wizard, and I have much greater appreciation for the unseen workers. Their labor makes it easier for the servers to look good.
So that’s what was happening behind the curtain the real show was the Barnum and Bailey act in the front of the house. After running around like headless poultry for the better part of 4 hours getting ready for the curtain to drop, everything was in place and the guests began arriving 15 minutes early! We started seating the first two waves and everything went swimmingly. Then it was 10:15 and the flood gates of the Foodie Horde descended upon us like the Walkers upon Rick’s horse at the end of episode One. The rush was relentless for the next 3 hours. Our room was bursting at the seams (70 person capacity) the waiting area and onto the street. Chef – I guess this day since she spent the majority of her time on the floor, was GM – ran around so much that her feet (though supported by some lovely pink suede Cole Haan Air wedges) were throbbing by 2PM. [Air wedges…c’mon man! That is some seriously good marketing because where are you going to put the air pocket in a high heel? I’m just saying.]
We missed Hustle Man. He wasn’t able to join us because he was in Cancun or Cabo or some other tropical locale. When you work hard, you get to play hard I guess. Mr. Positivity AKA Swiss Army Knife was on the floor with some new players: the Spanish MacGyver, Print Lady, Baker 2, and Fearless Lady. We could never have done it without them! The Service Assistants, the Hosts, and the runners all had a hand in our big day. The only problem was, we created such a cool vibe, no one wanted to leave. In the end, I guess that’s a good problem to have. Next time though…it will strictly be first come first serve. What were we thinking?
So if you made it out to the kick-off of our newest division in our food empire thank you for your support. There will be more to come. If you were not lucky enough to make it, stay tuned for news on our next happening. I will say this, and this is a paraphrased quote from one of our guests, “the food was so good it gave my (fetus) the itis”.
Life is short…eat something memorable.