|Bob Gerken ready to welcome Travail fans|
Beck is thumping through the speakers as chefs move swiftly about the giant open space. Sodas are being bottled and carbonated by hand. A grown man in a teddy bear hat furiously digs in a low cabinet, practically climbing inside to retrieve more linens. A wild-goateed fellow sharpens knives, furiously gliding blade against steel with mesmerizing speed. Two Nerf guns sit at the ready.
It's moments before the final "soft" service inside Travail Kitchen and Amusements and the Rookery. The two concepts will welcome a brigade of Kickstarter supporters -- who helped raise over $250,000 for the restaurant redesign and expansion -- for one last exclusive service before the doors are thrown open to the public. The air is electric.
People are both dancing and deadly serious. Meagan Leafblad will be controlling the door. "Five minutes!" She yells. "We ready to go at five?" She looks around and checks her watch, while everyone jumps like flames behind the the three open prep areas. "Okay, here we go." With that, the line that's been building and wrapping around the building starts to stream in, and business begins inside the most hotly anticipated restaurant opening in recent memory.