Almost there with Leuven

Leuven is almost there. After paying rent on a place we couldn’t use for over a year, we are tantalisingly close to opening.

This, our second restaurant, is about to quietly launch in the next couple of weeks.

Quietly because we want to make sure everything works as it should. Ovens, induction hob (we opted for no gas) and other contraptions. So our front door will be open and people can walk in. But we won’t be shouting about it – meaning there will be no sign outside – until we know the place works.

Health and safety have visited. And all the fire brigade were interested in was where the deep fat fryer was. We don’t use one. They left happy.

We ordered tables and chairs. Side cabinets and chests of drawers. They’ll arrive this week.

So what’s left? What else do we need to get started?

V reminded me last week.

What are we going to cook with? We need pots and pans. Food mixers and processors, ladles and spatulas, graters and zesters, pastry brushes and can openers. The list goes on. These essential start-up costs, the costs we paid least attention to, are turning out to be so large we had to wait for the next credit card month to start buying again. Because V refuses to have credit card debt. She pays everything off every month.

The point of this post is one that you will all be familiar with. It’s the final, nitty gritty things that take the most time, cost the most money and stress you out the most.

Staffing, outdoor seating, cutlery, plates and serving dishes, plants, music, tablecloths and napkins, dishcloths and sponges, and more.

And then the most important question; will it work? Just because La Hulpe has worked doesn’t mean we can replicate its success.

What if we fail? It happens all the time. All we know is people, food reviewers, and the press seem to like our food. But nothing is guaranteed. Nothing.

Yet V and I both live by the belief that it’s better to do something and regret it than to not do something and regret it.

More soon.