Welcome to the latest installment of the Launch, where Sam Mason, former pastry chef at wd-50, relates the ups and downs of preparing to open Tailor, the swanky restaurant and lounge coming together at 525 Broome Street.
“We’re interviewing for staff now. Thank God Ian, my manager, takes care of most of it. We had 200 résumés the past week and a half, a result of our having put an ad on Craigslist. It was for staff in general, including servers and cocktail waitresses. Let’s just say there were some very, very attractive women. I had to leave. It would have been like, ‘You’re hired!’ Personally, I just want to deal with the kitchen staff, but everyone thinks it’s a good thing for me to be around. I can help if they have questions. As for me, I need to hire my fifth chef, but I’m holding off until I can figure out where we’re coming up short — whether it will be on the sweet or the savory side. We’ll have to see how the staff interacts first.
Speaking of the staff, right now Fran and the other guys are spending four hours a day taking classes to get their health certificates this week. They need to pass a test on sanitation, temperature, safety precautions, ways to deal with accidents and whatnot. ‘Don’t mix ammonia with bleach’ — stuff like that. I, of course, already passed my test and know how not to poison people.
Meanwhile, in the space, things are beginning to move very quickly. The steelwork went in today for the cobblestone entranceway, where the big entrance stairway is going to be. They’re running my hooded stove in today. All the walls are up, except the kitchen one, which we need to keep open so that we can get the equipment in. And I finally got my tiles! We ended up going with bright, shiny blue ones, without any gritty surface. There’s grout every ten inches so there’s plenty of tread. We’re picking up speed, but I knew it would be like that. When it seemed slow, there was just so much I wasn’t seeing. Now in two days the walls are going up, and the ceiling will get closed in. This is really going to happen in the next few weeks. And I’m ready.”