I want to own a humble little restaurant. A café, really, with only a few tables and a small menu. Unpretentious, with a daily special and a friendly waiter.
There was such a café in our town once, owned by a local foodie who grew up in the restaurant business. There were probably five tables inside, and a small terrace in back, overlooking the water. it changed hands a couple of times. One owner put two tables on the street and three more on the terrace.
One day my husband and I, waiting on a Friday afternoon for our friends at the bookstore, bought lemonades near closing time. We went out into the terrace, and much to our surprise, watched the owner as he locked the door. No matter, the tiny terrace was open on the water side and we simply made our way down to the path along the shore. We found this all very charming and a bit amusing.
(The photo above is not a café, but a table outside an antique store in St. Paul Village in the Marais. This seems to be common in the village, which I imagine to be its own little community.)
I want to own a place that makes customers feel they are treating themselves while spending very little money. It can be done.
In these bad times, we can't give up on the good ones. We need them. My community has seen many layoffs recently; some are temporary. Some may not be. The number now is likely to be in the hundreds. I don't know for sure.
What I do know is that we still need sustenance. And sometimes we don't feel like cooking. So we need an affordable treat. That is getting harder to find.
Our spirits need sustenance, too. That can mean many different things. It certainly can mean a good meal in a humble little café.
What do you think?