(evicted without notice photo originally uploaded by me at flickr.)
Recently I posted an announcement for a May photography show from nine photographers (including three who know one another from The WELL, overlapping with six who know one another from fotolog, and all nine of whom know one another from flickr.) We had a crowded, fun opening party Friday night. Rita’s pictures of the hanging and then of the party itself are terrific. Thanks to everybody who stopped by! I was in a daze part of the time and failed to say hello to some folks I later realized where there Friday.
This is where I thought I’d be saying to come by any time this month. However, Saturday evening I got a phone call that left me speechless.
Oxygen Sushi and Sake Bar has closed forever! No notice!
The cafe hosting our show closed out from under us immediately after our Friday night opening! Lars, their senior sushi chef and (also known as dj ExtraLars) called me saturday night to tell me Oxygen has closed and been sold. Our Friday night party was the last night. He terrifically responsible in getting to me swiftly, especially when you consider that he’s a new dad with an infant at home, now out of work. The employees were not warned, and were given a week’s pay and had their keys reclaimed, in a ritual that’s depressingly common in the restaurant world. It’s gotten so that having a business-closing party and thanking your community and your staff is a rare event, but it can be done. This was totally unnecessary.
The owner, a stressed out fellow named Thomas, knew he had listed the place for sale, evidently for quite some time, and that the application for ownership change had been executed for the weekend of our big party. However, he decided he stood to gain if he kept it a secret from us and his employees, who were causing him grief by coming in late, quitting and otherwise failiing to make owning and managing a restaurant effortless. For many people who’ve worked in cafes or bars that is no surprise at all. He stood to bring in a lot of cash from our crowded opening, which he could have expected to be big based on our November event there, so holding out through that day gave him a pile of cash for closing out.
Monday Thomas the owner unlocked and let us in to reclaim our prints. This doesn’t always work out for artists in this situation, so it was a relief.
So, anybody know a place to take in a homeless photo show for good karma and good publicity? Taking suggestions here or in my flickrstream.