Things are up and down with business, as the
At any rate, next week I will have a siesta hour, a time in Spain traditionally held for resting, but since New Yorkers work so damn much, a respite between 5 to 7:30 pm for someone to come in, unwind, have a glass and a tapita, and maybe go back to work (or not). House red, white or sangria for five bucks and tapas every half hour. Get a seat early and throw your napkins on the floor.
Early August 2006
Negotiations with the owner become very tense. It is clear that he needs to get out bad. Judging from the look of his business, there is none. He just had a poorly conceived business plan. We ask for a copy of the lease. He was paying $2,200 a month! Come on. If I can’t pay that rent I shouldn’t be in business at all. Now the landlord is willing to accept the deal but raises the rent to $2,600. The seller claimed almost eight years left on the lease and in reality it was six and a half. So after our attorneys give the okay, we start negotiations. In the meanwhile we start corporation papers and settle on a compromise – LOMAS – Lo for Lolo and Ma for Mateo. Maybe not the most clever, but practical and available.
In the meanwhile, my partner Lolo goes away to
My foodie friends came down to visit and life was great. Closing at 1 am and hitting the spots at the Meat Packing. My favorite spot was at Spice Market where I could watch the chefs cook at the bar and chat them up about everything. I got up late, went to wine tastings as a professional, and met so many cool people. This was such a far cry from teaching I was kicking myself for not having switched careers much sooner. But it’s all part of the journey.
Lolo and I start to form a very solid friendship, and form a master – apprentice relationship. My modern ideas coupled with his experience seemed a natural fit. We spent a lot of time together eating and drinking and exchanging ideas about the restaurant and our upcoming project. It was such an exciting time, being surrounded by food and wine and people in the industry. We worked on the menu, always tasting and trying new things. I tried to update the space and terrible acoustics; he reined me in whenever I was going to far. He was tremendously generous towards me and in return it made me want to work harder for him. I wanted his business to de well.
We send and architect over to do drawings. Meanwhile, thinking ahead, I want to know whether or not we can get a liquor licence before we buy. So we hire an expeditor who knows the rules. With a lot of scrambling, we get on the docket for September’s community board meeting. We tell the seller to chill until we find out.
End of August 2006.