In December, I blogged about Delicious on the Slope. I didn't know, Luis Garcia well, but he struck me as a gracious, ambitious and self-confident man who dreamed as so many of us do of turning his passion into a business.
Garcia chose a tough crowd - restaurateurs - to join. Although he had years of experience managing restaurants, among them The Cub Room in, he had never owned his own place. He had huge plans and a partner who was his chef.
A few weeks ago his partner walked out. Garcia has been struggling to keep his doors open for the last couple of months.
Truthfully, he wasn't fully prepared for an industry that is fickle and savage at the best of times. Restaurants open and shutter at an astronomical rate in the City.
I speak from experience. My fabulous little wine bar, Monkey Temple, sputtered along for just better than a year. With some distance, I see the mistakes I made - many of them the same ones Garcia faces - a lack of capital, no budget or time for adequate marketing, low foot traffic, and that indefinable quality - buzz.
Delicious on the Slope is a nice neighborhood place run by a lovely man who has invested more than simply money and time in the business. It isn't hip nor does it have a new-fangled menu with unusual food pairings. Garcia inherited a failed concept from the previous owners and he has struggled to recreate, to make something of his own.
We can all admire his determination and see ourselves in his place, seeking, yearning to create.
Yesterday, I spoke to Garcia by phone. He hadn't been returning my calls because he's deeply saddened.
I didn't have much to offer, a few words which I hoped would give him courage. The idea, much less the actuality, of failure is painful. Yet, too often, we give up just at the moment we should push forward deliberately in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. I hope Garcia pushes forward.
He is just one of the many dreamers who live and work in Brooklyn, who make this place we live beautiful and hopeful. He is one of us. I wish I had the resources to help him.
My wish is that someone who does will give this man some help. Foolishly, perhaps, I believe in angels.