Shawn and I went to dinner tonight (Saturday, 3/13) at Emil's, the rib place on Pleasant Valley Road in Oakland (aka The Temple of Gustatory Delights, or "TGD") only to find a hastily written note on the door that they were closing tomorrow. "And we're out of ribs and sauce," another note said.
But they were still open tonight, trying to serve an almost packed house. We waited 10 minutes to be seated, in fact. We talked to several of the older waitresses, our favorites, about the situation. They learned of the closing 5 days ago, and were apparently still in shock. The owner, they said, was faced with back taxes, rising costs, and a huge fee to renovate a leaky roof (among other things). I asked one waitress if she had found another job. No, but a bunch of them would be looking, starting tomorrow.
How sad. No more grabbing a table in the back, knowing you wouldn't be disturbed for hours if you chose to stay that long. No more staring out at the reservoir, watching the mosquitoes swarm for a hit on a passing duck. Another cornerstone of my daily routine is gone.
I asked our waitress about a couple of things on the menu as we ordered. "Out of rib-eye steaks. No French Fries." And at the end of our meal, I asked for lemon meringue pie. She brought me a humongous piece o' pie, and another one, apparently for free. "What are they gonna do, fire me?" she laughed.