• Leo Hill

One year on - What. A. Faff

With us passing the one year mark (hooray!) I thought it might be interesting to start writing about my experiences with running the restaurant. Now I'm not massively eloquent or even coherent and I do tend to get distracted when I write, but I thought it might be a fun way for us to engage with our customer/regulars and maybe log the goings on of Arthur's, so please bare with me as I babble on about whatever shite happens to cross my mind in my sleep deprived state. Our soft opening was, to put it delicately, a shit fight. The sink had not yet been installed, the dishwasher filled but didn't empty leaving the floor about 3cm deep in water, the extractor was essentially a very big and very expensive white noise machine and nobody really knew what they were doing (me more so than anyone else) and to top it all off, we were running out of half the dishes on the menu before we had even seated the second half of our guests. Around Christmas time I found myself alone in the kitchen at 1AM prepping turkey leg terrines. Pans of reduced stock dotted the kitchen benches and plastic cups that had once contained (not for long mind) Arkwright's (the restaurants local) finest whatever-they-had-on-that-was-cheap-and-got-me-drunk-faster rolled off the sides and around the floor as I crumpled into the foetal position, murmering something about mince pies, venison tartare and how christmas was just a capitalist scam, man. The ice cream churner didn't make it a year, neither did the boiler. The freezer barely held on, screaming its way through services at a pleasant "Please for the love of god keep this door closed" degrees celsius. All in all its been hectic. This past 12 months managing not only the kitchen but also the staff, the advertising, the finances, suppliers, my personal living situation and everything up to and including the kitchen sink, has been the most stressful year of my life. Its been hard work with little financial pay off. Its quite likely ruined my credit rating and has probably taken a few years off my life while adding a few inches to my waist line (thank you bone marrow fudge and cheap pints from Arkwright's) but its also been the most rewarding. These past few months we've seen an increase in trade, an increase in regular customers and an increase in my personal levels of satisfaction, motivation and happiness. The boilers fixed, the freezer is sorted and I've currently got my eye on a new ice cream churner. The dishes are better than they've ever been and for the most part everything is going okay, touch wood... I both love and hate the restaurant. I love cooking for people. I hate stressing over the smallest details. It makes my life difficult. Heres to it never getting any easier.

The building - pre Arthur's