What’s a restaurant without a bar?
Not any restaurant Gregory or I would want to eat in that’s for sure.
We’ve always liked to belly up to the bar, sit side by side, chat to the bartender and indulge in the bar menu, which in my opinion is often way more fun than the one offered in the dining room. (Not that that will be the case in our restaurant, they will both be equally fabulous I’m sure).
So in our design brief to Ash (our fantabulous friend and designer) this was always a key feature of the space. (Luckily Ash knew just where we were coming from, as she had been sitting right next to us on many of our bar dining adventures).
It was with great joy and pleasure that Gregory and his merry men demolished the bizarre tiki hut complete with thatched roof and fence post sides the second we took over the space. And then they got busy building the new one… It’s really hard to capture just how magnificently outrageous the bar used to be.
This is where that accuracy thing I was talking about in the previous blog really became important. I believe that is where the coffee machine is going to be. We’re going to use Ed’s Little Marionette Coffee. Not only is he a super helpful guy and so generous with his time and knowledge, but his coffee is also delicious.
You know your builder means business when the sparks start flying. That’s the bar off to the left and my domain (the host stand) is opposite that. I’m not stupid people, it’s deliberately designed to allow for easy access to a glass of red on a rough night.
Day off today.
Gregory took advantage of the extra hour to recover from last night’s compulsory excursion to the Rocks Pubs. He said it was essential he show Ashley our fine harbour bridge and Opera House before she left.
Big week ahead people, stand by for updates.
Caption: See, you can see the outline of the hut. Awesome; That is the gas metre in the corner. It will be concealed behind a faux cupboard. So clever; That’s Gregory propping up the wall watching the builder do his thing; Look at that. A real life bar. See the special spot for water bottles. Easy access to the carbonation system.
It was established very early on in this project that I am not a woman of accuracies. What’s a couple of centimetres here and there? Does it really matter if we shift things a little to the left? The other three stand there umming and ahhing, analysing and measuring. The builder even has this groovy machine that flashes about the space like a 1980′s blue light disco so we can see where everything is going to be.
According to our fantabulous designer, accuracy is rather crucial. Our builder seems to agree with her, and when it comes down the the budget, I’m persuaded to think they might be onto something. The other day we all sat around the table desperately trying to shave money off it as the realities of this refit come to light.
Don’t worry, we managed to keep the chairs.
But not the banquet…my beloved banquet. Well, not in it’s original design at least anyway. Largely because when Ashley walked into the space she discovered that I had completely forgotten to mention the really big lovely long wooden bench that was running along the very same wall we were planning on putting our banquet against.
Woooooa. Fate. Or just a total lack of accuracy.
Whatever. Given how the past two weeks of this sale have gone, I’d say we deserve a spot of good luck.
Yesterday we had decided on the colour palette. Today, combined with the shelving, the revised banquet and the ‘just out of the factory’ chair colour, the colours battled it out again.
I am pleased to report that the lighter of the two greys won the great colour battle. Except it’s not just called grey. I think it’s called ‘terrace roof’ or something. Who comes up with these paint names? I think it would be a lovely job.
And it doesn’t require accuracy.
Caption: Gregory used this toy today. Usually when someone had something important to say; That’s our lovely designer’s arm holding up the wood, sporting a few injuries from some different treatments. If they pick the blow torch method, I vote myself out.
Yes, that is a bowl of christmas pudding and ice cream.
And yes, I am eating it at 2.30 in the afternoon.
And no, I don’t care that Christmas was months ago. There is enough alcohol in this thing to kill any lingering Christmas nasties.
I have resorted to such a desperate sugar treat, because the need was so great, I couldn’t even wait the 4.5 minutes it takes to make my famous chocolate brownie.
It has been quite a week.
The sale of the restaurant only just went through about an hour ago because (including but not limited to):
• one lawyer going overseas
• one party making a claim against another
• another lawyer never being available and leaving the office by 4.30 every day
• massive, utter, complete communication breakdowns which we were powerless to fix
• people getting the wrong dates on their calendars
• one party refuting claims made against them
• chinese whispers being a really ineffective method of transmitting information
• people are nuts
• and dodgy
• and sneaky
• and mean.
In short, we were the meat between two pieces of stale, crusty, thick-cut, doughy bread and there was absolutely nothing we could do about it.
But now it is done, and we are (we think) the official owners of a restaurant.
The refit has begun (ten days late) and somehow we’re hoping to still open on the original date intended.
(I’ve been in touch with the night elves and they reckon they can work their magic over a few nights if I leave out enough magic dust).
What’s done is done.
We’ve got a restaurant to open.
Once upon a time there was a chef. He worked at a busy New York restaurant and one day he decided to ask the hostess out on a date. She accepted and the dates went so well they decided to get married 18 months later. A year after that, they decided to move back to her homeland, grow their own human and set up a new life in the land down under. They decided that new life would involve a restaurant.
They researched and studied, inspected, shopped around and inspected again until they were happy with the space they had chosen for their new home.
Lawyers were engaged, papers were drawn up…and then nothing happened. And the next day nothing happened. And the day after that each lawyer blamed the other lawyer for nothing happening. And the day after that, the chef and the hostess (now with their builder and designer standing by twiddling their thumbs) really needed something to happen.
That day is today folks, stand by.
Something is going to happen.
As it turns out, purchasing a restaurant space is not quite as straight forward as we had naively hoped it would be. They want to sell, we want to buy, we all agree on a price, sign some papers and bam…the restaurant is ours.
How hard can it be?
Harder than that apparently.
Don’t fret, it’s just a delay, but it did give reign to a bit of diminished enthusiasm from the two of us today. So we went to the garden to see how it had faired during last night’s storm.
Look at those treasures of the soil.
If they can retain such beauty and form under the relentless rains of 2012, we can survive this first of many, many hurdles.
And do it with aplomb.
Caption: Survivors of the storm.
Following yesterday’s news that we won’t be signing the official paperwork for the restaurant today as planned, today has lost some of its lustre.
It also means I have no excuse for not doing the stack of boring jobs outlined on the ‘to-do’ list.
I am convinced I get all the boring jobs, while Gregory swans around being creative, dramatic and…well, dramatic.
I had always assumed that being the performer in this union, I would be the dramatic one.
Turns out I was wrong.
Chefs are not just highly combustable pressure cookers. They’re highly combustable pressure cookers with an artistic bent that must be satisfied lest they wander about aimlessly, dreaming up sauces and plating designs, their ultimate crockery wish-list and whether or not fennel pollen is necessary on a certain dessert.
It’s like living with Picasso at the moment. Minus the mistresses and other wives.
Anyway, I’ve dawdled long enough on this blog, the second draft of the servers manual is begging for a rewrite.
Don’t mind me, I’ll just type my fingers to the bone, while Gregory meets with his Chefs – again – and revises the revision of the revised menu.
*This blog is scribed by Naomi, who spent her 20′s living the life of a performer in NYC, which is where she met her dramatic chef husband, Gregory. He might not like it, but this post is based in fact!
Tomorrow was the day folks.
We had a Q-sitter all organised, our bus tickets ready and a pen each in good working order.
Tomorrow was the day we were going to sign over (everybody else’s) savings and begin the dream of Hartsyard.
Tomorrow was the day we put sensible and secure aside…again and took a leap into the unknown, trusting only in our own sense of adventure.
Tomorrow was the day…until one of the lawyers decided to go on holidays.
So now tomorrow is not the day.
We are hoping Friday will be.
Stand by for updates people.
This sale will go through. The current owner has already shut up shop and packed his bags, ready to head to a blues festival where he plans to smoke pot and sell sausages.
This sale will go through.
Apparently every person in the world has a totem.
If you don’t know what yours is, you can find it out by doing this quiz. I tried, but I got bored, which probably means mine is a goldfish as they have short attention spans too.
Evidently Hartsyard garden is far more spiritual than yours truly. It has a totem that wanders about caring for the bergamot, watching over the bronze fennel and readying the hyssop.
Introducing the Hartsyard totem…
We call him Larry.
According to those in the ‘know’ Larry represents nobility, holiness, guidance and protection.
He does look rather regal doesn’t he?
King Larry, watcher and protector of Hartsyard Garden. He’s not much of a match for Mother Nature unfortunately, but he does keep away the grasshoppers.
Thanks Larry, it’s nice to have you around.