July 2, 2018

Are we having fun yet? (#20)


I first must apologize for the duration of the hiatus since my last post. Three months! (And if you're time constrained, feel free to jump to the last paragraph... important stuff there!) But I am committing to being more prolific and more engaging than ever (lucky you)! I apologize as I have been plenty busy, but a sufficient number of people have come in to Wit's End saying that they miss the blog posts. And boy oh boy, do I have things to write about! So, without further ado (I have no idea what an "ado" is... but I am continuing nonetheless... hmmm.... nor do I know where the word "nonetheless" comes from... but I digress!)

I will use the blog to retell some of the stories and situations I have and will continue to encounter - like, why I am on my 4th chef, how I dealt with crazy drunk lady, how we perfected the meatball and some tales zany enough to even confound industry veterans! But first, I will attempt to answer the question that I am asked most frequently (and annoyingly.... umm, did I say that outloud?) by those who have been following my foray into this world... Am I having fun?

I would love to (and frequently, if not dishonestly) simply reply, "Yes! Best time of my life!" But, am I really having fun? Does the "bar owner" moniker live up to its hype? Would I do this again? Turns out that I don't need others to ask me this question, as I ask it of myself quite regularly. After the initial glow of opening a new store has faded (it hasn't yet completely), and reality sets in, what is the real answer? Well, I hate to disappoint you, but the jury is still out (whomp-whomp).

There are most certainly some aspects of the business that are still too chaotic for me to chalk up as "fun." Building the right team to execute the vision has proven frustrating and jaw-droppingly shocking and depressing at times. Reading sub-par reviews can take the wind out of one's sails (thankfully, we are between 4 and 5 stars on most sites now: 4.4 on Google; 4 on Yelp; 4+ on OpenTable - yes, a shameless plug...but it is my blog). And the infamous "no-call; no-show" manner in which employees quit jobs in this industry (basically "ghosting" their employer) is downright infuriating.

But, there are a lot of times when I see 70-80 people all happy, drinking, eating, interacting with the space and super engaged with each other and I think, "Well, this is awesome." And I spend a good amount of time reconnecting with old friends who stop by out of the blue (hint-hint) and that is super fun! I get a thrill when strangers bestow unsolicited praise on the place, like last night when a guy said he "knows mac & cheese" and our "Gouda Will Hunting" small plate is now the best mac & cheese he has ever had (hmmm...another plug). And I am overcome with deep satisfaction at times when guests are surprised at how much fun they are having, like the couple who thought we were East Coast Grill, but stayed for a glass of wine and a beer.... And then another round. And then food. And then more food. And then they stayed for trivia. And then they bought their children a $250 gift card because they fell in love with the place (okay, and then another round). THAT is fun. And finally, I think about the alternative...sitting in front of a computer... in an office... every day (although, this is interesting... that is exactly what I am doing right now... yikes... must stop).

So, I will continue to strive to better answer the question in future posts. But for now, the above will have to suffice. Oh, and finally, if you haven't heard THIS is also fun... We were nominated for the BEST BRUNCH in Cambridge. Oh, AND the BEST BARTENDER in Cambridge by the Cambridge Scout Magazine. If that's not fun, I don't know what is!

So, now I have a favor to ask each of you. I am committing to continuing this blog. In return I would ask that you stop what you are doing and take 30 seconds and vote for Wit's End in both of the above categories at scoutcambridge.com/vote. Hah, imagine if we win! More fun! You can vote up to 5 times. So... umm... why not? Be a part of the ride! And make sure you say hi when you stop in!