The RMS Titanic was touted as being unsinkable. Over 2200 people set sail on it's maiden voyage; only 700 survived.
Sometimes, life hands us Titanic times. We build something that is solid and superior in quality and reputation only to watch it sink before our very eyes. Such is the case with my favorite Nashville restaurant, The Wild Hare. My beloved handicapped accessible hangout with the best food in West Nashville closed it's doors permanently last month, only two years after being named Best New Restaurant in the Nashville Scene's Best of Nashville Readers Poll.
The food was never the problem. The menu was fresh and inventive with a tongue-in-cheek nod to Southern favorites and the best pizza anywhere; period. The Hare also knew how to use social media to it's best advantage, announcing specials and discounts via Twitter. They posted mouth-watering pictures of the day's featured entree - sometimes serving me the sumptuous plate that had just been photographed. Likewise, the cocktails were quirky, original, and memorable.
So what happened? Below is an except from a lengthy Facebook post by owner Elizabeth Bills explaining the Hare's untimely demise.
"We consistently struggled with labor, both from a cost perspective (it takes a lot of bodies to make all of that tasty stuff from scratch), and from a human perspective... You might have read a book or two by famous chefs who talk about the prevalence of drugs and alcohol (and even theft) in this industry, and man, they are not kidding. "
I was a regular at the restaurant. I noticed the high turnover in staff. I noticed waitstaff congregating - no, partying - in the back. There were exceptions of course, but the service slid so diners went elsewhere. I kept coming, hoping it would get better. It didn't, and now The Wild Hare is no more.
But I was able to take away a memento besides my fond memories of the food and great times. The Hare said goodbye to it's loyal patrons in an unconventional manner. On December 26th they opened their doors one final time to host a "combination party/silent auction/garage sale at the restaurant. We will be offering some of the art and memorabilia for purchase via silent auction... We will hold a special VIP preview from 12-2pm."
This VIP walked away with a beautiful piece of artwork that had been hiding above the second-to-the-last booth in the back. I had no idea it was there until that very last day.
As it happens this piece of artwork is very relevant to the title of blog post. If you'd like to know more I've made a little video that explains it all.
My little piece of memorabilia from the wreckage, complete with certificate of authenticity which is faintly visible from underneath the brown paper backing. I can't make out all of it but the date is clear: 1912. It will live on in a prominent place on the wall in my home.
Linking up with Thursday's Favorite Things Blog Hop.