I remember so clearly a perfect July day in 2013 when we had a scheduled meeting with the Robert’s, former owners of the property now called Jake’s. Chris and I were headed to their home to discuss our plans for the property and to see if we could “strike a deal”. I have always been a gunslinger entrepreneur, make the deal and then figure out how to pay for it; lucky for me I married a conservative type – the partnership was important and I was at least smart enough to recognize the value in her reason.
We shared our hopes and dreams – and passion that day and lucky for us the Robert’s bought in and a deal was struck at our dining room table a few days later. Prior to signing the deal I called Joe Randi, a legendary local builder who had built all that we owned and had all of our trust. I said “Joe, we are about to take on a crazy project but before we commit I need to know I can get you on our team.” Luck was on our side and Joe committed, we signed the next day and Jake’s was officially underway.
We shared a special evening with the Robert’s in October as Ron and Nancy finished preparing for their final event and invited us to share in the occasion; a wedding of two wide eyed young locals. The property was perfect and the stage was set for us – the Robert’s passed us the torch that night, unofficially, but we grabbed it with all our might and off we went.
I remember my own first swing of a sledgehammer splintering the wall next to the original entrance. I felt the energy of the hammer and the resistance of the wall, symbolic of the next few months as we fought the majestic property to accept the new as it fought hard to preserve the old.
We stripped and tore and broke and ripped the old building apart looking for original strong enough to survive and we found so much more that we hoped. We had a terrific team of builders who put up with our over the top expectations of acceptance that we had a plan – even though the plan evolved as they exposed what we had to work with.
With more of life behind me that ahead of me I can say with confidence that I will never forget the day that my partner in all I do arrived one January afternoon. I had called her to say “Chris you need to come to Hannawa today, you can really start to see it!” She reluctantly found a place to park amid the snowbanks, trudged through muck and demolition scrap and joined me in front of the fireplace. Excited that a few new 2”x4” had been installed I said “ can you start to see it!” After a pause her response - “what did we even buy?” I was quick to respond an an always-optimistic gunslinger “we bought four walls and a dream!”
Chris paused and looked to the east, recognizing that we had removed almost the entire wall facing the water and said – “no, we bought three walls and a dream.” She left that afternoon, not to return for several weeks as I worked with our talented team to put that wall back together and finish the dream.
As I look back on that day often, I encourage everyone to be brave enough to chase a dream, and to recognize that it takes a team to make dreams come true.
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!