Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Funny, how after two years of planning, paying rent on an empty space, crunching numbers, planning some more, paying a lot more, crunching more numbers, filling out dozens of logic-defying/mind-numbing governmental forms, drinking a hell of a lot [of wine], filing endless applications, "engaging" city hall (in that unresolved, Korean DMZ sort of way), hiring awesome people and then convincing them to wait months for a job, selling everything I own, borrowing against my soul/leveraging the rest and putting EVERYTHING on a spreadsheet (an unnatural act) it all comes down to 15 freaking days!?!!?!

This has been a crazy week among crazy weeks. My eye-twitch is in such high gear (if I could figure out the time signature I'd join a math-rock band and/or play the lottery with my sequence repetition) that I know we're closer than close to opening Secco. How close? I'm not gonna tell you because, until I clench that VA ABC license in my un-manicured, shaky hand, the fat lady is still just humming her chromatic scales.

That's right, we still have to get through a few more city and state hurdles before we can pour delicious wine into your glass but we are mere days away! In fact, the really funny part is how I plowed through the really big challenges (with LOTS of help) like a cattle guard-equipped train engine (I'd have used a sports analogy here but my bf is a restaurant manager himself and therefore never home/rarely available for continuity checks), but the threatening tidal wave of administrivia is what terrifies me now:

Will the spring-loaded hooks anchoring the wine bottles on the retail display hold a manorexic Austrian Gruner Veltliner bottle as well as a fat bottomed-low-rider Prosecco bottle and not cause either to jump out resulting in a costly concussion? If we don't adjust the glass washer hot water sanitation cycle down to 180 from 210 degrees will the $10K Micros machine above it suffer steam burns? Will some [expletive deleted] lock themselves out of the bathroom on the first night (oh, wait, that already happened)? Will the sticker printing company EVER get the pantone color (207u...TWO HUNDRED SEVEN U!!!) right on our logo? Will I break the other window shade? Should the bin numbers on the racks follow the precise order of the wine list? Can I adequately explain twitter and social media site access/content to my staff without making "invitation to sexual harassment lawsuit" jokes? Will the front door paint come off on customers' hands? Will the hot water kettles heat fast enough for an unpredictable coffee program? Will everyone appreciate what a beautiful job Stephanie did on the bathroom or worse overly appreciate it by um, overstaying? Will I remember to add the "eating raw or undercooked foods are delicious I mean dangerous" tagline to the menu? Will I find drapes that don't look like ass? Will I remember to wash the napkins every week since I'm too cheap to hire a linen company? Will the discount laser printer even work on our custom sized menu templates? Will the back-ordered teaspoons arrive before my 40th birthday? Will I spend my 40th birthday diving in my own dumpster (since I spent ALL my money on the wine bar I will not be turning 40 in Paris like I imagined)? Will I be able to curb the enthusiasm of the local characters at the home around the corner? Will I remember to take care of my Irish Stripe before opening? Do the panini actually fit on the plates I got on sale but forgot to run by Chef? Will the lighting be too dark or too light? Is there enough copper paint left over for touch-ups? Are people going to compulsively pick at our cork covered bar? Is anyone gonna figure out how to blast our way through the sidewalk/basement doors so we don't have to take wine deliveries on the dining room floor during service? Will anyone notice the barefootprints permanently embedded in the epoxy paint (thanks to yours truly)? Will the chalkboard painted wall be washable? Will the first bottle I open be corked? Will the best coffee company ever send the right grind in time for opening? Will anyone complain about an all-Edith Piaf set that lasts the entire week after VE Day? Will our tshirt slogans be too long to fit on a women's sm baby doll cap sleeve American Apparel T? Will anyone get it?" Translates to "Don't ask me how old I am or how much wine I've had." Or at least I think that's what it means. [Anni e bicchieri di vino non si contano mai."] True.

At least I know through it all my staff has my back...