Blows in on a cold wind, but is blowing out in a warmer way.

“Oh, no part locally, have to call the factory in N. Carolina. Be here overnight Wednesday. Oh, they need to manufacture the part, be here overnight, Thursday. No part Thursday.”

Closing a restaurant is easy, you turn off the lights, lock all the booze away and give all the leftover food to a shelter,
whatever you don’t have to throw away. It’s expensive, but fairly easy. What’s really hard is to see the people you work with, your work family, head into an uncertain future.

Opening on the other hand, while also costly, tends to be much more difficult, especially when the restaurant has been sitting empty for three months and your staff have been busy doing other things. Will they come back? Have they found other jobs?

The best news we received was that most of our wonderful people were returning and were dying to get back to work. Yay! The best day of the reopening was cleaning day. After months of coming into an empty restaurant, all of a sudden the place had energy, there were people chatting, having fun, reconnecting. Our family was back!

The challenges lay in the technologies of the restaurant. Apart from having no internet which runs the phones, the point of sales system and many other crucial parts of our business, some refrigerators down, we came in last Monday to a report from the Westin’s security guard, that she had heard a sharp noise from our equipment platform on our roof.

Hmmmm! That’s where our hood fan is located, a huge monstrosity pulls all the smoke from the kitchen. It has seized, but smart people that we are, we have a backup motor. Of course, it’s not the motor, it’s the squirrel cage (fan housing) that has flown apart and is now a pile of twisted metal.

No problem, says our maintenance vendor, we will have up and running shortly. I have heard this before, once or twice.

Oh, no part locally, have to call the factory in N. Carolina. Be here overnight Wednesday. Oh, they need to manufacture the part, be here overnight, Thursday. No part Thursday.

Realized we weren’t going to be able to open the restaurant Friday, so delayed opening by a day with the guarantee that we would be up and running Friday evening. Friday morning does the part arrive? Of course not. We were told it was too big to go UPS, overnight, it’ll be here Monday!

If you felt the earth move on Friday, it was the volcano that was me! I had promised our staff and guests that we would be open on Friday, disappointed them Friday and now would have to cancel a weekend with many, many people coming to support our reopening disappointed again. Uh, uh! No siree!

The technicians came out to put a temporary fix in place, but then a miracle happened! The sky split open, a bolt of
sunshine lit up Scott’s and a squirrel cage appeared! Turns out that the part had arrived in Sacramento but the
Sacramento carrier decided that it could wait until Monday.

Some smart guy at our vendor did a little research, met the truck with the part in West Sacramento and delivered it to us! Our great techs worked until late Friday night putting the monster back together and now she is running sweetly with no smoke in the dining room, A true miracle! And we reopened Saturday to a lot of very happy people!

So we are open, happy to be back, happy to be at work with our people, happy to see all of our wonderful guests,
hoping like crazy we are back to stay. I was getting really tired of jigsaw puzzles!

Thank you for everything and for your faith in us at Scott’s on the River.


Alan and Sigrid Irvine