There’s so much to do to try to get Ruxbin ready & open, and at times its been a bit overwhelming. Each day is flying by quicker than the last. And I find myself truly grasping what it means to be so busy that it feels like “there’s not enough hours in the day.”
There was a point where I’d come home every-night with a to-do list that seemed never-ending, and I’d make it my objective to knock off 5-to-6 of those buggers off. More often than I like, I’ve come home at the end of the night, with only 1 of those tasks partially finished.
Case in point, our toilet in our bathroom has been precariously resting on shims for the past couple of weeks, as the tile surrounding it has been removed so that we could put in a new set. Well, yesterday someone got a little too frisky with the toilet and the wax seal that connects it to the waste line broke, creating a mini-disaster. No wax seal=No toilet= Big Problem, when you have a bunch of people scrambling in the space to get the place open. We knew this needed to be dealt with right away so everything else I planned for the day was put on hold, and my hand was forced to start tiling that night and get the floor ready so that it could be in working condition ASAP!! So instead of taking a nice break from manual labor and shopping for smallwares like I had planned, my day went like this:
3-4:45pm: Nate and I get our supplies ready and prepped, Nate cuts me some concrete backer-board for our sub-floor, and I finalize the measurements we need.
5pm: I start laying down the concrete backer board.
5pm-8pm: Going @ leisurely pace, seems like it’s going to be over soon
9:45-10:00pm: Stop and have a PB & J Sandwich, and stretch out my back.
12:35 am: Taking longer than expected, call Vicki & Jen for reinforcements, ask them to please bring food rations
1:15 am: Vicki and Jen arrive w/greasy burger and fries, and much needed extra hands for manual labor.
2:30-2:45am: Vicki becomes delirious, takes nap, wakes-up saying she’s refreshed, but still seems bonkers, we can tell she’s done for the night, and we send our fallen comrade home.
3:15-3:35am: Jenny & I layout the tile before grouting it, and Jenny points out that I’m making the task harder than it needs to be, and she creates an easier and better layout.
3:35-4:15am: Tile is layed and we wait for the quick-seal to dry.
4:15-4:45: Grout the tiles, and wait 30 mins to dry.
5:15-5:30: Clean off excess grout with wet sponge, and Jen and I take a sec to quickly admire our work.
5:45-6:05am: Jen & I can hear the birds chirping outside. We clean up our tools, slightly delirious and definitely slap-happy. We quickly pack up, and go home!
If I were alone in trying to get Ruxbin open, I’d liken it to a lone warrior trying to whittle down a mountain with a butter-knife.
Fortunately I’m not alone, and I’m grateful to have Vicki and Jen as my partners, 2 of the strongest-willed Amazonian warriors tackling the FOH (front-of-the-house), while I battle with getting the Kitchen up and running. We’ve also got a new addition and minor-miracle to Ruxbin: Nate Chung, who came to us as a talented artist who wanted to intern with us, and see first-hand what it takes to get a restaurant open. Over the past few weeks he’s become so much more than just a helpful-hand. He’s been an invaluable asset, and very much a part of Ruxbin. Something I said to Nate after a particularly stressful day, and that I can honestly say to all my other partners “I love you guys, and you make the impossible, seem possible.”
I’d also like to send a quick shout out to:
Tony & Jason (for being a much needed Mentor and advisor)
Davide & the Salvage One Crew (for helping create an amazing canvas for us to work with)
Rog (for his enthusiasm, talent, and helping friends in need)
Tonight, I had the chance to take a quick breather and sit down in the banquette that runs along Ruxbin’s walls, and looking at the space, knowing the food and service we’re capable of, I felt at ease. We’re not quite there yet, but our opening is in sight, the space is taking shape, and with all the love and effort we’ve put, and we’re going to put into this place, I felt rejuvenated and excited. For that moment, my heart and mind are at peace, because I know that Ruxbin is going to be special.