La Kiva Opens Then Closes

It has been a long time since I posted an update and I have been waiting until I had something of importance to say.  It seemed for a long time that I was simply posting to tell you all what had gone wrong or was delayed  or what new disaster had befallen us.  I am delighted to say that I not only have no bad news but I have some good news.  La Kiva opened for the Viva Terlingua music festival running from August 20th through the 23rd.  We enjoyed four days of fabulous music that was an absolute delight.  During the festival we met an amazing number of wellwishers.  Thank you all.

On opening night the bar was staffed by three old friends of the community.  We had our prime contractor, Jack Sullivan, our amazing bulldozer driver, Fred Porter and Jimmy from Passing Wind (the pirate ship on FM 170).  These three got us off to a fantastic start and we could not have had a better crew to get us going.  They laughed and joked their way through the entire evening on the first night and somehow managed to keep everyone served.  Truly some great talent.  I just wish I could find a way of keeping all three behind the bar.  That would be a riot.  As some wag noted, the bar at La Kiva was staffed by a blind man, a deaf man and a drunk.  I leave it as an exercise for you to figure out which was which.

We got a few criticisms on the new La Kiva and I mostly agreed with the people criticising us.

First, the bar was too bright.  True.  It may have been the bright sparks we had behind the bar or it could be that we had temporary lighting up over the bar and buffet.  When we get the final lighting in place we will be far less bright and it will be on a dimmer and we won’t have our stars behind the bar so it should back it off quite a bit.

Not enough bar stools.  True.  We only had three.  We will fix that.

It was too hot in the kitchen.  True.  It was infernally hot but the reason is that there was a minor power outage.  In recovering from the outage one of the three large AC’s tripped over into heating mode and pumped a LOT of hot air into the kitchen before we figured out what was happening.  Ooooops.

The rumor mill was in high gear and a number of new rumors surfaced.  I am not going to run over the satellite dish with a bulldozer or anything else by Wednesday, I never was going to and I certainly never threatened to do so.  I promised it to Anna almost a year ago and it is being held in safekeeping for her.  Other rumors included large quantities of MJ and racists and I may be the first restaurant ever to get a health complaint BEFORE OPENING.  When you hear one of these rumors consider the source and the motivation.  We have a small group of mischief makers out there and nothing seems too outrageous for them.  Many years ago I had a bar in England.  One night a very upset lady came blasting into my bar demanding to know what I was going to do about her Fred.  It seems that Fred had absconded with the payroll from the nut factory taking my wife and the company Mercedes with him.  I was astonished and in frank disbelief.  I walked into our adjacent living quarters and invited my wife, Josie, to join us in the bar and to hear the story first hand.  Whilst the rumors about Fred proved to be true, the ones about my wife did not.  On yet another occasion I was reputed to have a string of hookers working for me in London.  If I did, they weren’t very good because I never got a penny from any of them.

The problems we had with the opening were minor, the food was great and despite the fact that it was a simple buffet we got rave reviews across the board.  I may be biased but I greatly enjoyed the food myself and if this is a sample of what our chefs can do we will be in for some treats.

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A corner of the new kitchen.

The new location for the indoor stage worked well and both musicians and audience were happy.  The sound quality and the ability to watch the band were vastly improved.

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The old restrooms were replaced by new facilities.

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What you can’t see is that there are two new waterless urinals.  That saves around 4,500 gallons each per year and in the desert that matters.

DSC_3983None of this is quite finished but we have made huge progress.  Now that the Viva Terlingua festival is over, we are closing again for a few weeks while we finish off the kitchen and a few other odds and ends that need attention.  If everything works out the way it should, we will be opening up for good towards the end of September.  In the meantime, laugh at the rumors but don’t get too irritated at the rumor mongers.  Generally their intention are thoughtless , not unkind.

Stay well, stay safe and be happy.

John