4.13.2008

What's this day of rest $h*t?

Those kind souls who tried to come eat at the cafe this morning were greeted with free coffee and pastries. It was the best we could offer on such short notice.

So what if our refrigerator/sandwich prep station broke down at some point last night?
So what if we had to close the cafe on a Sunday (a day in which we typically do about 25% of our weekly sales)?
So what if we lost hundreds of dollars in prepared food product?
So what if we are likely going to have to fork up a couple thousand more in repairs or a replacement unit?
So what is we have lost hours of labor spent preparing food that we will have to remake?
We don't f$cking care! It don't matter to the LRBC!

Oh, how we wish it were true that we didn't care, but in fact we do. We care a whole bunch. More than you will ever know. We are simply trying to maintain our sanity throughout this little misadventure by forcing ourselves to laugh through odd-ball references to our favorite movie.

Here's how it all went down:

I got to the cafe at 6:15 am this morning, a little bit later than I usually arrive on the weekends, but today there simply wasn't too much food to prep prior to opening. By not too much, I mean that all there was to be done was to make pancake batter, pasilla aioli, caramelize onions, and make a vegan Caesar salad dressing. No problem right?

My first 30 minutes at the cafe went off without a hitch and I was feeling very on top of everything that needed to be done. That was until about 6:45 am when I went to put some blueberries in our sandwich prep fridge. As soon as I opened the door to the fridge I felt a blast of very hot air hit the tips of my fingers and travel up my arm. I frantically proceeded to open the top lid of the unit only to discover that the vast majority of our prepared food had literally been cooking in our refrigerator for who knows how long. The refrigerator's thermometer which usually fluctuates between 34F and 36F now read 99F. After my initial reaction, my brain did a cartwheel inside my skull trying to answer the many questions that began to race through my head:

Why is there hot air coming out of our fridge?
What extra product do we have in our other fridge?
Can we prepare food without a functioning prep station?
Should I call off our employees who might be getting ready to bike to work?
Would our customers be happy with PB & J as their only food option?
Can pharmacies sell me Xanax even though I have never had a prescription?

Within a few minutes it became clear that there was no way we could operate the cafe on a Sunday without a functioning prep fridge. I called Ali who was at home waiting for our towels to finish drying, told her the news, and asked her to come meet me at the cafe so that we could figure out what to do next. I then called Alice, AnnMarie, and Dekin and told them not to bother coming in. After Ali showed up we decided that it was in our best interest to try and do everything we could to fix our fridge problem as soon as possible. A difficult task to accomplish on a Sunday, but perhaps a blessing that our one day off happens to fall on a Monday.

So we cleaned out the slow cooker, er...I mean fridge, trying not to vomit throughout the process. We then decided the best thing we could do was to put out free coffee and pastries for those loyal customers who we knew would be disappointed to find the cafe closed on a Sunday morning. We tried calling our insurance company, but we will have to wait until 8am E.S.T. Monday to see if they will be able to offer us peace of mind. We tried calling Joel, our refrigerator repairman, but was only able to reach his voicemail. After looking at the surplus of strawberries we had acquired for today's plate garnishes and yogurt bowls, Ali decided to make some strawberry ice cream batter.

As they say, when life gives you lemons--er, I mean strawberries, make strawberry ice cream

We offered up pastries and cups of coffee until they were gone, and decided to call it a day. I honestly wasn't too devastated about the whole thing at first, but found it difficult to repeat the entire story to each person who tried to come in to eat.

So now we are going to try to make the most of the day and try to resolve our issue tomorrow. As we wrote on the note pinned on the front door of the cafe, 'We are more upset by this unforeseen occurrence than anyone.' Still, we do apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused by closing the cafe. Regardless of what we are able to accomplish tomorrow, we will reopen Tuesday. Even if all we can serve is coffee, ice cream, and PB & J. Last but not least, to quote the end part of the note posted on the cafe door, "Please stick with us, as it's times like this that we need you more than ever!"

BTW: in addition to the fresh strawberry ice cream, we churned a fresh dulce de leche this morning.

7 comments:

Catherine said...

OMG, can we host a benefit or something? A drive-thru car wash? Dudes, I heard this happened through the grapevine, and I'm so sorry. When I worked at a cafe, this happened ALL too often; except the only thing we ever had to waste was milk and butter... nothing like the magic you had in there. Love.

gl. said...

oh, no! i can't believe you left free coffee & pastries out. you guys are the best! i hope (for your sake) it gets fixed soon!

small town dyke said...

hope all is resolved soon.

Anonymous said...

We stopped by the Cafe this morning and heard the news - sorry and hope you get your fridge fixed. Thanks for the coffee and pastry. -appreciate your generosity in a hard moment. We'll be back soon. You're our favorite spot in the neighborhood.
B&K

AnnMarie said...

alice and i thought about you two all day and thought to call at several points but assumed you were probably swamped. oh boy. you two really have a lot of grace under pressure and i hope you know that if you stick it out these snafus will A. happen less and B. not bother you so much.

lots of love to you.

oxoxoxo

Fidel Gastro said...

Damn machines. I do like the idea of a low-boy slow cooker though...

good luck getting it fixed!

Deanne said...

J and I were horrified to read the sign Sunday when we came by! Just wanted to let you know that we're thinking about you guys . . . best wishes for a speedy recovery?