I am a restaurant owner. I’m kind of proud of that and I think that’s okay.
What started out as little more than passion, a vision and an ounce or two of guts has become a thriving business. Town’s consistently great reviews testify to our guests’ experience and the words that I always find most meaningful involve warmth and welcome. Pretty amazing when I think about it.
“Owning a restaurant is hard.” I probably hear this comment more than any other when I tell people that this is where I’ve been spending my time. In truth, I’ve never been involved in a business that didn’t have its challenges. The actual challenges may be somewhat different, but as long as you’re continuously paying attention, running a restaurant is no harder than running any other business. You just watch less TV.
My professional photographer friends, more than anything else, were the inspiration I needed to chase my own dream. I had the very good fortune to live and work among so many of these great people for enough time that their passion in their pursuit of their dreams rubbed off on me. Being a professional photographer is a crazy, hard, and when it’s right, highly rewarding vocation. So is running a restaurant.
I couldn’t have done it alone. Angela has supported me from almost the very beginning. (It took about a week for her to decide it wasn’t the craziest idea she’d ever heard, though I know it was close). She has stood by my side through thick and very, very thin. We’ve never worked together before so this was a learning curve for both of us. Now, here we are. Who’d-a-thought?
Richard and Kim Villa have been our strongest supporters. Right from the very beginning, they’ve been involved with everything we’ve done. Without their support we wouldn’t have made it this far. Not a chance. It is said that good friends are hard to find and I believe this is true. Friends who become family are harder to find and we find ourselves grateful to know and love these amazing two.
Kate Rhymer and Dave and Kathy Gallagher have also all been in it with us from the beginning. Their constant support and encouragement has buoyed us through some difficult moments along the way. We continue to celebrate Don Rhymer in the restaurant with the namesake martini he would have loved and while he never got a chance to be here, sometimes when it’s quiet I think he’s here and helping from afar.
Chef’s Corey Kelso, Tiffany DeLeon and now David Prewitt have all contributed mightily to who we’ve become. I always tell my staff that when someone walks through the door they expect the food will be great. That leaves very little leeway for error. Each of these great folks has accepted that challenge and, in their own ways, surmounted it. I remain awed at the skill, patience and fortitude it takes to be a great chef. Chef David does it with grace and humor and when you’re in the thick of it that really stands a test.
A great chef needs a great team and “Seabass,” Francisco, Jose, Isaias, Aniseto, and Alfonso offer cheerful, competent, and amazingly hard working support every day.
With all of this said, we all stand on the mighty shoulders of our terrific front of house team. Being a server, bartender, hostess or buss at Town isn’t easy. We have very high standards. Alen helped us off to a great start and Martha carries us along. But each of our people, Gary, Cody, John, Sabrina, Sam, Kristy, Matt, Michael, Kayla, Dean, Becca, Sara, Brianna, Camilo, Dylan and now, Temok, accept the burden to carry the restaurant (and sometimes us!) each night they appear for work. They are the reason our guests feel warm and welcome. They make wrong right and they make good great. What more could they do?
When it’s busy in the evenings (It’s busy pretty much every evening these days) and the bar is full and the printers are printing and the persistent call of “service” rings out of the kitchen and glasses clink and laughter, conversation and music fill Town, I give myself a moment to find a still place and watch. And I never cease to be amazed.
Thanks to all of you who’ve helped so much to make us who we are. I can’t wait to see what comes next…