"CRAZY UNCLE WHO YOU LOVE BUT THANKFULLY ONLY VISITS ON HOLIDAYS: AN EPISODIC JOURNEY;" Part the First, by MMB


This is not the post I intended to write. But then, as is so often the case in this business of running a full-service restaurant and bar housed within a 108-year old building (with Cambrian-era plumbing to prove it) your intentions change when the water pipes burst. Or when the waffle iron shorts out the patio lights (the latter happens with such regularity that I have developed a phobia of electricity.  I fear it is the creation of shifty wizards).

The spot I was going to write was going to be far cleverer, somewhat snarky, mildly pessimistic, y'know:  generally the kind of smart-assed thing my co-workers know and love (?) me for.  Well, you're stuck with this instead.

I've been a part of the Besaw's family for just over six years.  In an industry with notoriously high turnover, this is by far the longest I have ever spent at one place.  We make great food, granted, and have a fabulously loyal clientele of true eccentrics and just plain good folks.  But what keeps me sane working fifty to sixty hours a week here is that I love my fellow employees.  Please don't tell them I said that.

I don't maintain a particularly large group of friends, so it's important for me to get along well with the people I spend the majority of my waking hours with.  Besaw's is of course not unique in this:  the service industry, by nature, cultivates a familial, brothers-and-sisters-in-arms environment.  We bicker and laugh and curse and socialize and talk inhumane levels of trash about one another's mothers.

But I feel we have done an exceedingly good job of maintaining a close-knit family here.

As a graduate of film school in Chicago, it of course makes complete, logical sense that the next step of my evolution is to manage a restaurant in Portland, Oregon.  It's a natural progression, really.  (Really.)  Fortunately I am surrounded by a gaggle of like-minded folk who continue to eke out their ideal realities while also plying their trades as servers, cooks, bussers, bartenders...

You know these Besaw's faces:

-The splendorous, wild-maned madame of risque theatre and performance, who knows your name, your drink of choice and possibly an... exotic... detail or two that you would've thought twice telling anyone else.  Somehow, she's just so damn disarminingly, genuinely real...

-The 6'4” busser with charm oozing from his pores and the rock-star-guitar-god moves of some gangly Jack White/Iggy Pop hybrid.  Our own Walkin', Talkin', Vice Machine Rockin' Johnny Reno...

-Can you pick out from the Besaw's line-up which one of us was lined up to be a high-profile architect?

Writers, rockers, painters, photographers, thespians, sketchers of funny-books, and a baker's dozen Karaoke All-Stars.  Thank god, or whoever, that Besaw's provides a place for them to commingle.  And for all of you to join us at the party that never ends (except after 3pm on Sundays and Mondays).

Next month I'll talk all kinds of trash about them all, spill some dirt, and laugh nihilistically as I toss a match on their gasoline-soaked fears.

Slainte,

MMB