Less than two weeks ago we were dimming the lights and gathering around the pass for pre shift shoulder to shoulder to taste the new short rib dish. I was ducking under to taste everyone’s mis and we were lighting candles for dinner service, combing the reservations for birthday notes and allergies, whipping out the air drums at 9pm sharp for the John Foggerty (and again at 1030pm when Robyn came on the playlist). The next morning we’d nascar the restaurant set up so swarms of families, regulars, and the hungover could gather around the table for chilaquiles and oat lattes (honestly a gross combo, pls not together). It feels like it’s been YEARS since then. And if you look at either of our cracked, wrinkled, dried out, chapped (spoiler alert: this is going to get very erotic) hands (you pervert), you’d guess that decades had passed. This has been one hell of a lifetime compressed into less than 10 days, and I think we all know it’s not going back to normal anytime soon.
And so, this won’t be a normal newsletter. There’s nothing to advertise or ask you buy (except for the very possible trench coat wine sale, in which Tyler will be fully nude save for one piece of outerwear draped with bottles of Sylvain Pataille and Chantereves and possibly whole raw chickens…). There’s no event to announce. This is where we will gather. It’s what we need so deeply that our bones ache, and not just us. It’s for Nick from Moti down the street, who had to lay off his entire staff; it’s for Michael with the hustle and positive energy of a thousand racehorses, it’s for Daisy and Greg at Bell’s in Los Alamos, reaching out through the ethers to say keep going; it’s for our buddy Dan wearing the Stetson and blowing us kisses through the glass window, and Paula texting us every morning asking how she can help; it’s for Ben who has cancer and Anita who’s lost her husband, for every restaurant that’s had to close and its staff, and for ours, who are still here standing next to us to feed people, despite being scared and unsure and completely exhausted themselves. Staff who live with their grandmothers and mothers, and still, they show up. It’s for Jordan who can’t tell the difference between a lamb chop and a pork chop, and for Sarah who is buying market boxes for friends just to keep us in business.
And also, it’s for Tyler and me. Because at the end of these nights while we eat family meal in to go boxes with our team (six feet apart) drinking Fleur de Pinot out of paper cups, we take our rubber gloves off and try to decompress and plan how to do it again, how to make it better for the tomorrow that isn’t promised. We laugh so hard we start crying. Sometimes we just skip straight to the crying. We cry because we’re scared for the single moms and sick people emailing us for food. We cry for the people emailing us on behalf of the single moms, scared neighbor, homeless person, and friends in dire need. We cry because we are scared for our staff, who is really our family. We cry because we are scared, too. But also, we cry because we are filled with gratitude and pure love for the fact that we are still here, still doing what we know and believe in, and because we have you, and each other (and now Frankie, living in our basement somehow?).
So what is the point of this newsletter you might wonder? I don’t think we know. Except that what we’re craving isn’t marketing, sales, hashtags or fake optimism. It’s contact and connection and a goddamn fucking hug from those we love and do this for, and that’s you. We can’t have the hug part right now and so this is our way. Sometimes it’ll be penned by me, and sometimes by Tyler, but always, by both of us. We’ll share recipes (videos of Tyler cooking shirtless and saying things like ‘salt the fuck out of it’), ideas, fears, plans of action, how to unify, incredibly inappropriate jokes, good reads, podcasts, updates, outrage, and the longer story in general because it just doesn’t fit or deserve to live in an instagram caption. You are our people. This is a two way newsletter, a dialogue. We’re here for you and anyone who needs us. To all of our small business owning hustling friends, both in hospitality and not, we see you. We are in this together. Thank you. So much.