It’s 2019! Happy New Year to you and yours. I know it’s been a few months since I have had the time to sit and write one of these articles, so it was important to me to find the time to kick off the new year with a few words to you, our customers, our friends.

I’ve been getting flack from several of you personally in our dining rooms, teasing me about not having the latest “story”, and all of you know who you are without me naming names. Just today I was taking a to go order on the phone from a lady named Diane, someone I have probably met before throughout the years, but didn’t recognize just by her name. While I was taking her order, she said to me, “You’re the girl that writes the newsletter.” Thank heavens she left it at that, unlike the berating teasing I get from some of the regulars at Rachel’s in Mercer.  When Diane came in to pick up her lunch, I personally went over to greet her and to ensure her soup was included. We visited with one another for a few minutes and I shared with her the story about one of our regular customers who frequently reads this article.  I wrote some time ago about how on certain days and certain times we know who will be sitting at booth 22.  He had to correct me on his table number, it is booth 23.  I got it wrong. She remembered the article.  I reminisced about an old story that is one of my favorites about a group of children I used to take to the back kitchen into the freezer to get ice cream. We shared a laugh and a warm holiday embrace.  As Diane was leaving, she said, “I bet you have a lot of stories.”

Diane was right. I do have a lot of stories and they are all because of you, our wonderful loyal guests I’m proud to call my friends.

Twenty plus years ago, I met Jim and Anabel Collins. Well, they weren’t the Collins’ when I met them originally. Jim proposed to Anabel at the Springfield Grille in Boardman, in booth 8 and they were later married.  I know for sure I got the right booth number this time.  We became fast friends sharing our love of wines as well as the love of Chef Nick Mileto’s remarkable culinary cuisine. Throughout the years, we have grown to know this great couple along with their extended families.

I mention these friends because of a story I want to share about their amazing daughter Karina.  I was at home one night during the month of November when I got a text message from a friend of mine that said, “Karina at work” with a picture of the Springfield Grille Boardman’s chalkboard in the bar decorated for the holiday season.  I was astounded by what I saw.  It’s literally a piece of art written in cursive writing that’s so perfect it looks like a stencil.  It lists their Happy Hour from 4 to 6 Monday thru Friday with $2 Bud Light, $2 Labatt and ½ price small plates beautifully surrounded with holly greens and berries. As I took a closer look at this piece of art, I noticed in the lower left-hand corner of the chalkboard something was written in Japanese.  It was her signature.

I came to work at the Springfield Grille in Boardman the next day to see it with my own eyes.  I noticed that not only was the bar chalkboard gorgeous, but she had also decorated our chalkboard in the entryway.  It welcomes guests with a reminder to make New Year’s reservations as well as pick up your holiday gift cards surrounded by poinsettias and ornaments all around a decorated tree.  Again, signed in Japanese.  I am so impressed with this young lady’s talent and how she took the time to make one of our stores look so beautiful for the holidays.

Some of you may be thinking, what’s the big deal about a fancy chalkboard in a restaurant? That’s a common thing, right? Sure, of course it is, but I forgot to mention Karina is just 11 years old.

Here’s to looking forward to a bright new year with many of you, our dear friends.

Cheers!

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