Eight years of memories
Today is the eighth birthday of the Star Cafe & Grill!
It seems somewhat surreal to me as I sit down to write this. I can remember the excitement of buying the building and sitting in front of it visualizing what it would look like after our renovations were finished. I remember Barry Weiss and I putting the final finish on the floor at 1:30 in the morning, exhausted to the point of tears, a bare 36 hours before we opened. I remember sitting down with our first chef and building a menu that reflected the tastes of the area, but with the refinements we wanted to introduce. I remember the great tablecloth debates we had about twice a year.
I remember walking into lampposts as I worried about how we were going to survive after the global crash in 2008. And then in 2010 wondering if we and the town as a whole would survive the economic devastation the flood brought. I remember full houses and empty houses, hiring chefs, and working with staff to make sure they maintain the high level of customer service we are known for.
I remember family – Rachel singing at Ladies Nights and working the bar and her husband Giovanni cooking; Jonny working on the interior, building tables and doing other carpentry to beautify the place, his wife Jenny cooking, their son Abraham at the bar eating sweet potato fries (num num); Emma and Geoff pitching in wherever needed with happy hands; and of course Dave working tirelessly to keep the restaurant running.
Dave and I have ironed over 208,000 napkins and poured countless pints of beer. We have served almost 10,000 stuffed portobello mushrooms and innumerable cuts of prime rib. And do we really have to talk about potatoes?
Inevitably, my thoughts turn to people we have shared time with, customers and staff alike. Last night, for instance, almost all the people in the dining room came from Swift Current and very few had visited us before. We made a lot of new friends last night, and look forward to seeing all these great folks again. I think of Noy and Cheng, who have been so supportive over the last six years. They have moved on to the Commercial Hotel, but Cheng still works in our office, keeping me in line, encouraging me in stressful times and rejoicing with me when times are good.
While the members of our team have changed over the years, every one of them, past and present, have played a part in making sure we are still here. I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for your support and the lessons we have learned.
The biggest thank you goes to our customers past and present. You have supported us through thick and thin, and your comments good and bad have helped us do our best. Without you, we would not have been able to keep opening our doors all these years.
Every time I walk into the Star, no matter my frame of mind or energy level, I feel I am home. I love the place. Thank you all for giving me this gift.