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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Carmen's Is Open

Carmen’s Is Open !!
Carmen’s opened with minimal notice. At least by me. I have been following the progress in the remodeling of the building on the NE corner of Clay and Jefferson for awhile now. I had yet to find someone to talk with so my knowledge was limited to what I could see looking through the glass. Well yesterday, 6/10/08 I noticed people inside so I stopped and went to see if I could talk with anyone. To my surprise they were open. I walked in and sat at the counter. A lovely young counter attendant greeted me, her name was Keia, I ordered coffee. I may have been the only customer in the place.

While sipping it I looked around. The building was fresh clean and new looking. There was ample space filled with tables, plus the counter where I was sitting had a lot of stools. I noticed a lot of the staff, I counted about 6 kind of wandering around, doing a little of this and a little of that. I noticed a fella with an apron eating a huge plate full of I don’t know what but it looked good. I asked Keia who was in charge and she pointed to a lady in blue who was talking to a couple of staff all huddled around the cash register. I walked over and introduced myself, she seemed to be trying to figure out how to make the register do what she wanted it to do. Lol I could empathize as my computer can be just as stubborn. She asked if I could wait a few minutes. She shortly came over having won that battle, her name was Carmen, so was the name of the restaurant. Being the sleuth I am I figured she was the owner.

I started asking questions. Carmen’s has been open for a day or two before now. They didn’t advertise the fact. She called it a soft opening. Just a time for the staff to get things working well. Get a routine and the inter relationships smoothed out I assumed. One discussion I over heard was about where and in what the straws should go behind the counter. How many little cups of syrup should be put in a basket. That sort of thing. This time was meant for the staff not so much the customer. It may seem odd but I felt like I was getting my hair cut at one of those Barber College places. I was there to help the staff get better organized. I mean absolutely no offense by this. In fact it seems like a perfect way to fine tune what was obviously a pretty tight ship to start with.

Then I noticed an old friend from way back in the day, I’m talking over twenty years ago. Sharon Haas. I first met her as a waitress/bartender in a bar. Since then she has had a lot of similar jobs, mainly in the food end of it all. She at one point opened her own store downtown called Sharon’s then later kind of ran Captain Hook’s restaurant. Untill she ended up working at the old Carmen’s. After hugs and stuff, she said everyone was in a bit of a hurry to make sure things were set up for the big rush they were planning on for Bike Time. She told me that last year the lines were streaming down the street to get in. They wanted to be ready, all the kinks worked out.

Anyway I digress about old friends. Back to the interview. Carmen was obviously busy and caught up in the excitement, but still kind enough to briefly sketch out the business and answer a few of my questions.

Carmen’s is open 7:00 -3:00 Mon. - Sat. Closed Sundays.
Breakfast & Lunch , with breakfast served all day. Homemade soups and baked goods along with salads and sandwiches, along with specials such as hot beef, I believe the specials will be weekly. All geared up for quick friendly and efficient service.

Looking forward to tasting their menu.
Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative

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