29/12/2017: A Festive Nightmare

Now that the dust has settled over the Christmas period, the time has come for reflection.

If you live in the Robin Hood’s Bay area then you’re probably aware that the lights have remained off in the Fisherman’s Lodge.

It’s been a tough year for us. Despite beginning the development process at the start of 2015, we’ve still not managed to open our doors. The Fisherman’s Lodge has been mine and Jeffrey’s dream for a long time but with all the issues we’ve come up against this year, it’s often felt like a nightmare.

When we first purchased the building back in 2015 we could tell that we were going to be up against it somewhat. The sale all went through too easily. I might have worked in Finance for decades, but somehow I managed to overlook the simple rule that if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. We should have known that something was up, but we were simply too excited by the whole buying process to notice the details.

Our first day on-site with the contractor was a tough one. There was a sickening moment of realisation when we knew that we’d bitten off a little bit more that we could chew – it came when our site manager put his foot through a floorboard in what was due to be the kitchen. There was a loud crash, followed by a flurry of curses. The ambulance was with us in a couple of hours, by which time we’d lost our manager and discovered that the entire floor needed replacing. Too good to be true indeed…

Our initial budget for the build did not account for such a drastic change to the building and soon we were considering calling the project off all together. However, despite this initial setback, we persevered, replacing the floors and then moving ahead with the fitting of the kitchen.

It took us a few months to realise that the neighbours weren’t our biggest fans. We’d been pumping out music for nights on end and plastered the windows of the restaurant in cardboard and, although our nearest neighbour was a good half mile away, we were still enough of a nuisance for the police to consider poking their noses in. We hid in our makeshift kitchen whilst they knocked on the covered glass doors, with the music and the lights turned off the place looked empty – they didn’t bother us again, but it was enough shake us.

For a while it felt like we were making good progress, that was until we both had our little near-death experience.

We’d been kidding ourselves for a long time, convinced that we were moving in the right direction when in fact we were simply treading water. We wasted days on end filling our noses with poison and our heads with dreams, whilst our restaurant slowly fell into disrepair and obscurity.

In the spirit of Christmas and in the wake of Jeffrey’s accident we decided to kick our habits together and finish the restaurant off once and for all.

Wish us luck!