SO IT GOES

i wrote this a while ago, but decided to wait until sunday to post it.  
i guess i was waiting to see if things would turn out differently, even though i kind of knew they wouldn't.  


there is something i want everyone to know about my dad.
maybe you have heard the hotel that he works at is undergoing major renovation?  
the second restaurant (specializing in authentic japanese food) is not just closing during the renovation, it's closing forever.  

my dad is the chef of the [first] namesake restaurant and whole hotel.  while the closure of one major operation warrants the loss of a lot of staff, i just want everyone to know my dad fought really hard to save as many people as he could.  in his own restaurant, there are also many people who will be laid off since the renovation requires downsizing to a smaller area during construction.  he worked really hard (and is still negotiating) to get as many people hours and positions as he can.  inevitably, some will be bumped, but i hope they know it's not without sadness and regret.  
as for the second (japanese) restaurant, the head chef was asked to move from japan many years ago to open it and the hotel owners seem to have no problem just closing up shop... kind of a cold "thank you for your service, goodbye".  which really made me sad, because it was a REALLY GOOD restaurant and there are no others that can compare in quality and variety.  they weren't losing money, just not making enough.  sigh, business.  my pops suggested they reopen smaller.  or reopening without buffet (a la carte only). opening less days a week.  opening up at the golf course property instead of in the main hotel. he said they could open in his restaurant half a week.  or open in his restaurant once a week.  alas, all his proposals were rejected. he could only save the head chef to work as a sushi/japanese specialty chef to work for his restaurant.  but it looks like at this point, the chef will turn it down and part ways with the hotel instead. 
the worst part is, the hotel asked the japanese restaurant to stay open one more day but do their service in the ballroom for fathers day.  because there are so many reservations (note, the reservations were full + waiting list every night for the last three months).  because it's going to make the hotel a freaking ton of money.  and all i could think was WTF.  they won't even honor the restaurant and let the workers finish their service in their own restaurant. è___é 

change isn't all bad.  my pops has been working out brand new menus for his restaurant and the brainstorming has been fun.  he also gets some input on new dining layout, new china and silverware, new room service menu... 
but he's definitely the kind of guy who appreciates dedication to craft and hard work out of all the other qualities in a person.  he is not one of those "oh gee what a shame have to let you go, but too bad" people.  he's genuinely sad that all these people and especially the japanese chef is going away.  i just want people to know that it was not without a fight.  he did things that he never had to do before he was an executive chef, like go to meetings and try to game the schedule so less people would have to lose jobs or hours ("i have to make a presentation... can you help with this... power points?") and i'm really proud of that. 
i guess time will tell- when his restaurant reopens in full, this fall- how well he did.  in the interim, he's going to hold up a skeleton crew during the construction, and workers and patrons alike are going to mourn the loss of the best japanese restaurant on this island.


"Dining Out" 4/19/15 



last night, was the last night of service.
my dad went in to work before 8am. did all his regular work.  then made sure the dinner specials went ok, until the last person was finished.  then he helped throw a small after party for the japanese restaurant.  he said the food was amazing (of course) and they pushed all the tables in the restaurant together so they could eat together.  the crew presented some gifts (such as a hard cover copy of the first menu that was signed by the chef and sake sommelier) and he had a cake made for them (green tea strawberry shortcake with the restaurant's logo drawn on top).  and then they cleaned up the kitchen and took down the outside sign and lamps.  
he didn't come home until way after midnight and since i had already left for work, i didn't see my dad at all on father's day.  however, i don't think he would have had it any other way.  as i see it, he was having dinner with family anyway. 
R.I.P. HAKONE RESTAURANT 2016. 

1 comment:

  1. hakone was one of our go-to places for bigger family special occasions :(

    ReplyDelete

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