On What Happened

May 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

This blog is more than two years dead now. Sorry, folks. (Not that I have regular readers anymore, of course, but every so often, someone still links to this place.)

After the last time I posted, the restaurant lasted a few more months, but finally I simply had to admit the truth: I could not make it work. Making everything from scratch was too fucking expensive, the labor costs were too much, there was no possible way to break even, much less make a profit. I was deeply in debt (seriously I could have paid for medical school a couple of times over, I think), mostly to individuals rather than banks. There was nothing to do but close up. So we did.

Nothing has ever been more heartbreaking for me. Not losing a grandparent, not breaking up with someone I thought I was going to spend my life with, nothing. My therapist compared my loss to losing a child. I’ve never been a parent, so I couldn’t say, but I know that I was utterly crushed. Much too much so to talk here about what happened.

In the months leading up to the closure, I fell in love. My partner got me through that incredibly dark time. We registered a domestic partnership last year, and are planning a wedding for December.

I’m still trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life, now that that dream is dead. I can’t possibly work for someone else in restaurants anymore, for all the reasons I talked about here, and there’s no point in even trying to start my own again. I’m trying to get a job at a nonprofit now, really change careers. It’s hard, though. I’m 35, and my last ten years of experience are completely irrelevant to anything I think I might want to do now. Nobody wants to hire you without experience, so there’s no way to get any.

But I’m managing. We’re managing, my partner and I. Life goes on, even after your dream dies.

I tried to keep this blog strictly pseudonymous because I was airing the dirty laundry of the restaurant industry, and I knew it could affect my career and my restaurant if I did so under my own name. Now that I’m out of it, I don’t have any reason to keep it a secret anymore. I was never very good at it.

My name is Rebecca Scott. I live in Seattle. My restaurant was called The Night Kitchen, after the Maurice Sendak book. I blog and comment in various places under the handle MadGastronomer, which is a unique signifier — if you spot a MadGastronomer, that’s me. Feel free to say hi.

Otherwise, though, it’s time and past time to put up the chairs, turn off the lights, and lock the doors on this place, officially. Thanks to anybody who’s read it and liked it. (Haters can go fuck themselves with a hot saute pan.) I’m not turning off comments, because that would erase the ones already here, but I won’t be approving any more, or indeed looking at them.

Good night.

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