It was around 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 16th. My mom and I were enjoying a quiet lunch at McCormick & Schmicks at the Biltmore in Providence. All of the sudden I looked down at my ringing cellphone only to see that my boss Dan was calling me, which I thought was weird to receive on the first day he had off in weeks.
Dan: Hello, Samantha, it’s Dan from work.
Sam: Hey Dan. Why are you at work I thought you were supposed to be off?
Dan: That is actually why I’m calling you. I received quite a surprise this morning…
(Me feeling very nervous, thinking someone is hurt, etc.)
Dan: Napa Valley Grille is shut down. They decided to not re-sign the lease.
To sum up the situation in the least amount of words, Tavistock, Napa Valley Grille’s host company, decided to not re-sign the lease for one main reason. Although Napa Valley has been extremely successful in the past six months as far as income is concerned, the kitchen really needed to be redone. Some of the pilots on our stovetops wouldn’t light, we had leaks, etc. But, as you may or may not know, that would have been A LOT of money in which Tavistock obviously had no time paying for. It was a terribly sad moment to experience. I went in to the restaurant right after our lunch to say goodbye and to pick up my last paycheck. Seeing how shocked everyone was at the instant loss of their jobs, especially those who have been there since the beginning, made me get extremely choked up. I mean, Dan was training a new chef the day before it happened. He made an enormous food order after our record breaking sales on Valentines Day (we served 700 people). Everyone was hit and they were hit hard. I was very fortunate for this to not interfere with my internship’s criteria and was simply given an extra week and a half of my spring break. I really still cannot get a full grasp on what has happened. None of the feelings I have are towards myself, as upset as I am, but rather for every single cook and every single waiter and waitress who actually relied on their paychecks to make it through. They were like a family to me there and I do not regret one single thing about the opportunity I was given. I am forever grateful for everyone who worked there, for being so patient, and so generous. I know that no matter where I am in my next job, I am going to miss the Napa Valley Grille in one way or another.