Tim Tower, July 3, 2021
We will be open at Barnacle Billy’s, Etc. on Wednesday, July 7, 2021. This means we will be open six days a week with Tuesday being the only day that we are closed during a week. We hope to be open seven days as soon as possible. But this all depends on whether I can get the kitchen crew organized enough so that some of the workers, most importantly head chef, Eric Littlefield, get some time off. And we are still lacking in a couple more kitchen crew. So we will start with a day off a week, along with time off. Once the system is the way we want it, we will proceed to open seven days a week. I don’t think my father could have ever envisioned us being closed at any time during the season. But such is life in Covid times.
Barnacle Billy’s (Original) has had no problem staying open seven days a week. Our success there is the result of a simpler system with a smaller menu and the aid of patrons taking on the burden of ordering themselves and picking up their food.
We continue to move forward toward getting back to normal at Original. The partitions, one in the lobby and one in the dining room, are both gone. We added more tables in the dining room. We still have the order taker/cashier in a corner of the dining room for the moment. That will be removed next week at some point. This will allow us to add more tables and change the flow of traffic away from the dining room and more towards the lobby. I’m looking forward to having the old system back in place with our man, Aaron taking the lead on orders. We shall see.
Lobster meat prices continue to rise for the time being. Soft shell clam prices are going through the roof. I had the unfortunate task of raising the patron price for both yesterday in order to implement them today. Prices of everything have gone up but not nearly as much as the clam prices and the lobster meat prices. Hopefully, that will change when lobsters start crawling a bit better. You can’t trap lobsters if they don’t want to move. Two things are responsible for movement changes: the temperature of the water (which is warming much slower in coastal waters this year) and the moulting factor. Again, we shall see.
Last night at Original, I thought we had everything under control when the tiles in the ceiling of the dining room gave way and water poured down on the floor near the first fireplace. I knew exactly the room where the water was coming from. So I ran up there to find a water filter that had cracked and was spraying water everywhere. Isolating the system and bypassing the filters stopped the water completely but the damage had already been done. It turned out to be a smaller problem than I initially thought. But I came away thinking how typical this was for how the season has been going. There have been many surprises this year. I do love every season. But this one, in particular, has been the most challenging.
I am very much looking forward to normalcy. Will I recognize it when we get there?