“It’s closing?! Oh, no! I haven’t been there in forever!”

I have several friends who are restauranteurs, and I enjoy dining out frequently, myself. A frequent traveler, I’m fairly attuned to the comings and goings of promising new establishments, as well as tried-and-true favorites, in places near and far.

I particularly enjoy patronizing my local haunts, the places that recognize me when I walk through the doors, don’t bother handing me a menu (I know it by heart), and turn in my drink order at the bar before I’ve even had a chance to settle in.

If there’s one thing I know, it’s the restaurant business is tough; openings and closings happen daily, and the turnover and churn is crazy.…

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Sunshine and Tears

I find myself in Pensacola this week, on Florida’s Gulf Coast, with my brother.

My brother, who’s over a decade older than I am, spent his formative college years in the 1970s playing the hottest, trendiest game around at the time: backgammon. He was pretty good at it; good enough he would “earn” tuition and beer money playing lesser-skilled fish in the bars of the era.

When both he and I were slightly older, in the 1980s, my parents would pack me off to stay with him for a few weeks during the summer months. He was teaching college courses and had a lighter schedule that would accommodate our having all sorts of adventures, mainly of the sailing sort.…

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