Yesterday, at around two in the afternoon, a metal brace worked itself loose inside the housing of the big rooftop fan that powers our kitchen exhaust. Needless to say, when the spinning fan met the loose piece of metal, the results weren't pretty. Making a sound that could be heard throughout downtown, the fan ripped itself to shreds and came to a clattering halt. Without a functioning exhaust hood, our kitchen, and soon the entire restaurant (crowded with holiday patrons), filled with smoke. Ben, our manager, quickly shut down the grill, opened the doors and windows to air the place out and set about dealing with the situation. But bigger trouble was yet to come.
Built up heat in the kitchen caused one of the fire-suppression sprinklers to open, spraying rusty water all over everyone and everything in our kitchen. The fire alarm sounded and within minutes the FD had arrived and the building was evacuated. Needless to say, everyone's pleasant holiday lunch got cut short, a lot of checks got "comp'ed," all the exposed food in the kitchen had to be thrown away, and we were closed for the rest of the day and evening. What a mess!
Today, our wonderful staff is working hard to put everything back together. The Health Inspector has already signed off on our cleanup and sanitation, which is taking place even as I write. The sprinkler system has been repaired and reset, and Dowling, our mechanical service company, is working to repair the destroyed exhaust fan. If they can locate all the necessary parts, we should be up and running by early evening.
We're choosing to look at the bright side. What else can we do? At least it didn't happen on a Friday evening. Restaurant operators are intimately familiar with Murphy's Law. This time Murphy gave us a (small) break, forcing us to be closed on what is normally one of the quieter days of the season: the Tuesday after Labor Day.
We look forward to serving you this evening!