The last week has been pretty rough, with the liquor licensing issue hanging over our heads, and final negotiations over the lease, and a bunch of other balls in the air. It’s surprising how abstract a process starting a restaurant can be – a lot of waiting on things, close reading of documents, worries about officials you can’t see. You’d almost mistake this for what most of us call work – a mess of convoluted processes with intangible results.
At the same time, we’re very aware of how fortunate we are – the chairman of the ABCC called to let us know how to sort out the licensing hiccup – though the problem still looms, even with his assurance that it’s minor and very fixable, and it’s not just emotionally draining in itself, it actually makes working on everything else harder, since it casts a shadow of uncertainty over the entire project.
At least lease negotiations are done, which is a huge relief, since negotiation is actually somewhat harder when you get on with the other party. We didn’t even have to promise our firstborn child.
We’re also waiting to hear back from some of the people we’ve spoken to about joining the team – we’d like to get everyone on board as early as possible, so they can be part of the process of designing the place – not just the physical surroundings, but the way the restaurant will work and feel. It’s like waiting for a call after a first date.
There are a lot of other big applications (the building permit, for one) and conversations (with lawyers) pending, and consequent signature chasing and form filing, and it’s anyone’s guess whether it’s inspiring or just more stressful to know that we’re laying some very necessary foundations by doing all this.