Home Brew: MC on OFC
Morgan Christopher in his own words.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
“It’s not a big story,” Morgan Christopher says. “It’s just a little tale of a small guy who went out of business.”
That might’ve been the case if Christopher hadn’t won over so many with his places and alienated so many with his methods – and done it with so much personality, sass and publicity.
His newsletters present a perfect peek at that approach. Here are some excerpts from an eventful year:
Lastly, as always, we appreciate you spreading the word about this out-of-the-way cafe. Even if it’s not always a good word…
“Damned Near Gone With the Wind” Edition, Feb. 21, 2009
PIRATE MOVIE NIGHT. Ah, leave it to those wacky Somalians to come up with a recession-proof gig. They don’t drink rum, they don’t have cannons, they don’t wear cool clothes, and Disney’s never going to name a ride after them, but they have some bleeping b***s, don’t they? So what are we going to do about it? Watch some great movies every Friday night starting at 6pm. Treasure Island, Pirates of the Caribbean, Hook, Captain Blood, The Sea Hawk, Pirates of Penzance (ok, maybe not), Morgan the Pirate (wink), etc. So wear an eyepatch and get 10% off food and grog. Full pirate outfit gets 15% off. A live parrot on your shoulder gets 20%. Plus Captain Morgan’s rum cake and complimentary floggings to anyone who wants one… (ask for Charlotte).
“Prodigal Son Returns” Edition, April 16, 2009
Wow, Tuesday was one hot day on the Monterey Peninsula; a good day for a haircut, I thought. The nice hairdresser lady had just finished up her work, and started spritzing the top of my head with a few shots of refreshingly cool liquid from her little orange bottle. Ahhh…
“Mousse?” I asked.
“Sunblock,” she said.
If you’re like me, you just love these little reminders. Yup, you may see a Rod Stewart when you look in the mirror, but the rest of the world sees a Franciscan monk…
“Lessons in Mortality” Edition, April 24, 2009
The Ol’ Factory/Monterey Live “association” has not worked out as we had expected and hoped.
“It took you a whole week to figure that out?” asked one of our regular customers who apparently thought we just make snap decisions around here.
“What do you mean?” I asked, silently wondering if my inquisitor realized that I didn’t know what took so long to decide either.
“I mean you had to go through three loud concerts over the course of an entire week before you realized that it wasn’t a good fit? Didn’t the first one tell you anything? What are you, stupid or something?”
He had me. I hate being had. I decided to play the God card. “Give me a break,” I fired back, “you think the world was created in a day? Even that took a week. And that was God, for God’s sake.”
He looked puzzled. Comparing oneself to the Almighty is a brilliant self-defense strategy.
“God and Me” Edition, June 27, 2009
Ah, if only we had the right team assembled. We suffer through a variety of staff who are unable and unwilling to control numbers and waste. Possibly the two most important aspects of a restaurant to control, in any economy.
We suffer through several individuals who offered to set up the back office and bookkeeping systems, but did not do so properly.
We suffer through a lot of things, but most glaringly, the Ol’ Factory suffers an owner who allowed all of it to continue, who attempted to handle things outside his professional expertise, and who hoped that the business could dig out of its growing financial hole.
And just in case you weren’t paying attention… a delayed opening date, some back taxes, a pinch of interest and penalties, a lousy economy increasing back end costs, a 43K sewer bill, some laissez-faire idiocy from the owner, and you have the recipe for a mess.
“David Letterman” Edition, Oct. 7, 2009
Like the other places we’ve left behind, The Ol’ Factory will surely continue, in some form. At least the location will.As my middle name has morphed from “That Moron Out In Sand City” to “Hey, That Guy Who Might’ve Been On To Something,” other restaurateurs now see how the concept wasn’t all that crazy after all.I hope they step up.This is a good idea.This is a good location. Others still are hovering overhead, like vultures in the Great Sand City Desert, waiting for the space to open up. Nice. The feel of cold, sharp steel on one’s neck.
“Rumors of My Death” Edition, Oct. 24, 2009