It’s Been a Wild Ride
Twenty-Five Years is a Long Time.
It’s a long time to be married, it’s a long time to have a friend, it’s a long time to be in business, and it’s definitely a long time to not wear any pants. It is 1,612 Friday nights and 22,630 staff pre-shifts before service. Hundreds of thousands of phone rings. Millions and millions of guests coming in to relax and restore. We just celebrated our 25th Anniversary at ZOLO Grill last month. So many milestones and boxes checked over that time period. Almost every restaurant open in Boulder today didn’t exist then – except for a handful. The Cork, The Sink, The Med, The Greenbriar, The Flagstaff (all the “The’s”) – and the venerable crowd favorites: Pasta Jay’s, Sushi Zanmai and Mustard’s Last Stand – the very best 40+ year old restaurant anywhere.
Staying in business for 25 years in the restaurant industry is no easy task. Pro athletes have a shorter window. The family pet never makes it that long. One might have five automobiles, hundreds of pairs of underwear and even a multitude of spouses – during 25 years of breathing in and out. So, it was a grand moment to hit that plateau – and Jax Fish House Boulder joins the 25 Silver-Love-Club later this year.
A lot of connections are made when you are welcoming employees and guests into your house over a 25-year period. All the celebrations and life living and amazing and memorable conversations. I’ve had the opportunity to watch a lot of success along the Front Range and in KC – with a lot of smart and outta the box living entrepreneurs celebrating the various wins, at our humble tables. I’ve seen couples I thought would be together forever – split up – and people I’d swear could never connect – come together. Privilege and responsibility are two words that come to mind when looking back over 25 years. It’s been an honor to have both.
I have owned a restaurant or two since 1988 and have learned a thing or three over those 31 years.
I have discovered that kindness is way more rare than generosity, that ambiguity destroys trust and that the mantra learned from my friend Doug Emerson – “never miss an opportunity to shut the F up” can leave a person with a lot less to worry about on most days; and especially on Tuesdays.
Over these last 25 years we’ve performed CPR, the heimlich maneuver, gotten robbed, survived a poo-nami, had women go into labor and given standing ovations to couples trying to reenact the Mile-High Club in our bathrooms during a busy Friday night of service. We have created an unbelievable number of marital unions amongst our staff – I can name 50 couples who met while at least one, if not both, were working at one of our joints. And with the outcome of those unions, there are scores of little F’ers running around from 2 months old to 25 years old. We’ve had babies in car seats sitting in our booths who are now managing our restaurants.
I’ve been threatened for taking a stand and boycotted for having opinions, met so many people in our community working tirelessly for others and I’ve made friendships with humans that don’t exist in their unique way, anywhere else on earth. I’ve gotten to work with some incredible people, many of whom were there in the beginning. Johnny Mo, She-She, Fader, Val, Ivy, Lydiard, Timothy Dale, Big Daddy, Schmitty, Pinche Octavio, Lady Di, JLee, the list is long of 20+ ers, and without you all and every single person who has ever walked in the back door for a shift, and there are many, we would be nothing. You made it happen and you paved the path. Thank you. And to my seriously baller business partners, the best is yet to come.
It has been a wild and wonderful ride being a part of these last twenty-five years in the BRF Family – I was very fortunate to be employee number one. As we step squarely into year twenty-five, I want to promise each one of our very loyal, very amazing and very kind employees and guests that we are fully committed at this time to becoming the best version of ourselves at BigRedF that we’ve ever been. We are remodeling, re-energizing, re-imagining and re-stauranting everything we are doing, in an attempt to be better at everything we do. And as we get older, it’s important for us to continue to learn new dance moves, to avoid being the ol’ dude at the club – cause nobody wants to be the ol’ dude at the club – including and especially me.
Thank you for the last quarter century of your support, and please come in soon and see and feel the new efforts being made at more delicious food, more refreshingly cold beverages and more of the same culture and memorable service we are focusing on now more than ever. We will celebrate our 50th birthday in 2044 – we are gonna be killin’ it in 2044!
Sincerely and for sure.
instagram and twitter: @davequery