We recently, rather quietly, celebrated three years as Jake’s. Our first year was a huge milestone as most restaurants don’t make it that far. The second year was also pretty special as we had begun to settle into some sort of a routine and that felt good. This year means we have survived longer than 80% of restaurants according to the “experts” and I guess that’s pretty special as well. But celebrations are becoming pretty routine for us – and that’s actually a very good thing.
I was watching a family celebrate a birthday tonight in the dining room; often when I get to enjoy the smiles and laughs that come with these events I think about a very cold day in January of 2014. I clearly remember standing in front of the fireplace, the only spot in the torn apart building that was slightly above zero degrees. Our contractor used the old firebox to burn scrap wood and keep his crew’s hands warm enough to swing a hammer. I often stood in that spot and imagined what it would be like when we were finished and finally had guests. I didn’t just imagine the look of the property that our talented architect had put on paper, but what the sounds of busy might be, what the smells of great food might be and what the stories and backgrounds of the people who joined us might be.
As the images are real now I often reflect on whether those visions were accurate – and always come to the same conclusion – I was pretty naive. Some of the realities of owning a very busy restaurant are not so good, but most of those sounds and smells and people we meet are far better than I could have imagined. The very best part of this business though, the part that I never imagined, is all the celebrations.
It feels so good to listen to the laughs and see the smiles of celebrations. So many birthdays and anniversaries, graduations and recitals. Tonight three college buddies reunited at the bar and there was no awkwardness to the sincere hugs and smiles that came with recognizing that some things hadn’t changed. We recently celebrated birthday number 81 for a special man – out of birthday candles we stuck a giant dining room table candle on the top of his birthday dessert and everyone’s smiles got a bit bigger.
There is a pretty big celebration this Sunday night, fireworks launch right over Jake’s. We hope you will consider bringing the family, spreading a blanket on the lawn and enjoying another celebration with us.
Laughter and smiles remind me often how lucky we are and that there is some real meaning to our simple slogan, Good Things happen at Jake’s.
In 1994, a little ball of yellow fur entered our world and stole our hearts. For eleven years, he was a constant companion showering our young family with unconditional love, energetic greetings and a pure, playful spirit. So, in his honor, we named our restaurant Jake's. May our restaurant offer you all Jake embodied: a friendly, welcoming place where you can come and be as you are.
Welcome to Jake's!