Thursday, December 22, 2016

And now ... a final stop at The Garf

After re-reading my post from early this morning, the one about the recent closings of three dining establishments I cherished, I decided I had to stop in at The Garf one more time before it closes tomorrow.

This afternoon, I bought a Garfield club sandwich (left) on rye bread; I figured it would be appropriate to get the namesake menu item for my last order there. The sandwich came with chips (which were fantastic) and a pickle. I also grabbed a coffee (right) and took them all home to enjoy for lunch.

While there, I took the accompanying photos, to help document the bohemian niche the eatery and cafe created for itself, beginning with original owners Dan Sassano and David Sanchez, who opened the remodeled storefront in August 2014, and enhanced by current owners Beverly Manuel and Lori Leaumont, who took over a year later.

If I had one major complaint about the Garf in its short iteration as an eatery and coffeehouse it was the dizzying changing of the days and hours of operation, and that was true under both ownerships. I realize both owners were tweaking those things to find something logical to accommodate both customers and their personal lives.

But as a wannabe regular, it wasn't easy remembering what day(s) and hours it was open ... and remembering, under the second ownership, to get over there fast (before noon) if you were interested in ordering something off the breakfast menu. On at least two occasions, I spaced it -- and I stopped there when it was closed (a Monday, very shortly after Mondays became a "closed" day) or after the kitchen was shut down (after 2 p.m.).

To their credit, Beverly and Lori, greatly assisted by Lori's husband (and Beverly's son), Nicholas, experimented with night hours this summer to address neighborhood interest in having a walking-distance establishment to congregate ... and to cater to those who worked day hours and couldn't get to The Garf during the week.

But that experiment didn't work. In a Facebook post announcing the Dec. 23 closing, Lori said The Garf often had no traffic at all at night -- so the night hours were canceled about a month and a half ago.

At the very end, The Garf's hours of operation were 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, although it occasionally opened on a Friday or Saturday night for a special event, such as a concert by a local performer or the Brick Street Poetry group's open mic night.

A final post on the Garf wouldn't be right without a toast to barrista Phil, the lone employee who worked under both ownerships. He was a pleasure to see and chat with, and he nailed beverage orders each and every time. The photo of Phil (immediately above and left) is not mine; it's from The Garf's page on Facebook. He isn't smiling in the one image of him that I took, and because I will remember him for his cheerfulness and his smile, I elected to use The Garf's.

As always, click on any image to view a larger and sharper version, which is particularly important if you access the blog from a mobile device.

Wall art (above) adjacent to the distinctive beverage order board (below).

Three groups (above) of the four customers I saw in the eatery when I arrived to pick up my carryout order. A view of the bar area (below) as you walk in the front door. 

Above: Where customers could reward their baristas. 

Above: Lori was a skilled clay craftsperson and was affiliated with the Fountain Square Clay Center. Their works were sold at the eatery. A month ago or so, Lori invited and accepted orders for the holidays.  

Above: The table where, more often than not, Lee Ann and I enjoyed our meals at The Garf. 

Above: The last thing you see when exiting the front door. After tomorrow, it will be permanent.

No comments:

Post a Comment