It’s rare that the entire BookBar staff is together in one place outside of a staff meeting. In fact, our Christmas decorating night may be the closest we come to it outside of the yearly staff party. There’s a pretty simple reason for this.
BookBar is generally a chaotic place. For the three and a half years I’ve been working here, it’s held true that every day is a little busier than the last. Word of mouth has manifested in near exponential growth, and there are always more and more people hearing about us. Thankfully, this means there are that many more people returning as well, that many more people coming to our a bar because it’s a home away from home, and coming to our bookstore because they value the books we carry, and the knowledge of our staff. This is, to say the least, humbling. I think I speak for everyone working here when I say that BookBar has been a non-stop rollercoaster since day one, and seeing our community embrace this place as passionately as the people behind the counter has been incredible.
I want to be clear with this analogy–rollercoasters tend to be very bumpy, and not infrequently, vomit-inducing rides. BookBar is rarely smooth sailing. There’s too much going on now, and too many things on the horizon for us to sit back and relax. There are various factors to which we can attribute our steadfast march forward, but it mostly comes down, I believe, to the relationships we have here at BookBar. It’s a rare gift to truly like and care about all the people you work with–to actually want to hang out more after finishing an 8 hour shift with each other. Through our years, BookBar has always been staffed by some of the best people any business can reasonably hope for, and it’s easy to appreciate that at a decorating party where the whole staff is in one place not to work, but have a good time. Sure we moved at the speed of molasses and with a legendary inefficiency, but boy was it a lot of fun. Simply put, it’s easy to take a step back on a night like that, and appreciate part of what makes this place so special. Bunch of goofy goobers working here mostly.
Equally, if almost more important, the people who make BookBar their home are incomparable. We have the best, strangest, and most fun regulars any
business person could ever ask for. The people who keep coming back will never know how two-way this street is. They may value the environment we provide, but I’d wager it pales in comparison to how much we love seeing these people coming back and keeping us sane when life or work gets stressful. At some point, I realized this was because they’d ceased to be customers, and instead had become friends. I suppose I’d never realized while watching Cheers as a kid that Sam Malone was the richest person in that group, but I understand that now. For this reason, as we move through the holidays, we’re going to be taking stock of the people who make this business what it is from the other side of the counter. As we close the book on this year, look forward to some profiles where I hopefully get to embarrass some of our favorite people, and of course, thank you to everyone making BookBar the place that it is.