Easter is a time of renewal. Of new beginnings and reflection, of forgiveness and of shamelessly exploiting those closest to you by making them paint your restaurant.
Our builder was taking a well earned break, but while he was away, his little worker bees put their heads down and their paintbrushes up.
There was a near disaster with the paint purchase, which was rectified in the knick of time by a desperate midnight email from our designer (now back in NYC and so jet lagged she’s keeping to a different time zone every single day) and followed by a somewhat desperate Naomi hooning around the streets of Sydney (her daughter screaming all the while) looking for a paint store open on Easter Saturday to help make her lighter paint lightest.
You see, our colour scheme includes three shades of grey – medium, light and lighter.
Medium, light and lighter are not specific enough words in the world of painting as it turns out, and where the problem began.
We wanted Teahouse, Timeless Grey and 50% Timeless Grey. Not Western Myall at all, which is fair enough because that seems like a stupid name for grey paint anyway. (FYI though, due to the communication error we are now in possession of 8 litres of said Western Myall, so let us know if you’d like it).
But the disaster was averted and we got back to the business of roping in friends and family to help transform the maroon walls we inherited into the shades of grey in our dreams.
Early helpers got the crap jobs of scrubbing down the walls with sugar soap and I doubt the hot cross buns went very far into compensating them for the cricks they got in their neck’s while trying to prime the Rosetta light fittings on the roof.
(Removing them would require cutting them out and replacing part of the ceiling, which was quickly placed in the ‘too hard, too expensive’ basket, so we just included them in the plan.
We spackled, we sanded, we filled holes, we primed, we cut in, we painted, we painted again and then we painted some more. My father, humbly considering himself to be one of the family’s great cutter-in-er-ers.
The Irish contingent. My sister-in-law and her brother. She’s scrubbing walls and he’s either hammering nails into the walls until you can’t see them anymore, or pulling them out with a pair of scissors. Yes, we really like to set our people up for success.
Cassie, our fantabulous barista/bartender/manager. She’s becoming one with her space, sitting where her fridges will be.
6 foot 4 of brother number 2. Very good for high bits and hard to reach places. Dressed in army fatigues just in case we had to hide from the unions if they discovered we were labouring over the holiday weekend.
Meet Kev. He’s also Irish and swears he has picked up while wearing that shirt. He’s actually a very important engineer down at Barangaroo. I always say painting is never quite right unless it’s done whilst wearing a Rams Horns Viking Helmet, don’t you think?
‘A blind man would be glad to see it.’ My grandma used to say that if ever we were painting something, but we suspected our designer would want a little more precision than that. That’s lovely Cillian doing quality control checks all over the space.
And look at that precision would you people? Blind man or no, anyone would be glad to see that.
And so it was, that over the Easter long weekend, the Hartsyard Restaurant began to feel warm and inviting, a tad industrial but still a little homely.
Exactly the look we were going for.
Happy Easter folks, hope yours was as satisfying as ours.