What's Brewing at CBC
A few days ago I left my post at CBC. In case you don’t know me I’m Chris. I’ve been GM at CBC since 2004. It was a bitter sweet breakup to be sure.
I actually began as a ponytailed Berklee kid working the door way back in 2000.
Being in the right place at the right time I ‘accidentally’ had an 8 year career as a restaurant manager. Even though my only management experience at that point was trying to get a few stoned jazz musicians to all show up at the same place at approx. the same time for a rehearsal.
Against his better judgment, CBC Founder Phil Bannatyne saw ‘something’ in me and gave me shot. The opportunity came up rather suddenly to say the least. And after I took the gig, the old bar manager Huey looked at me and said “Are you ready for the train that’s about to run you over?”
That next year I got my ass kicked around and handed to me seven ways from Sunday. But, boy did I learn. Trial by fire.
Quite a detour from my original plans in music to say the least.
Thankfully, my musical dreams never died. In fact I’ve been trying to get back to music for about 7 years.
I’ve attempted to escape CBC several times. And just when I think I’m out…they pull me back in.
In fact the first time I quit back in 2001 the GM at the time said to me “You’ll be back. They All Come Back.” And damn was she right!
I tried again in 2008. And then Boom…I’m back in the driver’s seat within 10 months.
Third time’s a charm.
But you know what? I wouldn’t trade my time at CBC for anything.
I feel like I grew up at CBC. (Questionable Statement, I know…)
I cut my ponytail off while at CBC. (Big deal for a Berklee Nerd)
And I got my first grey hairs shortly after taking the gig (and then proceeded to lose a lot them!)
I had many, many late nights that I’ll never ever remember and plenty of great ones that I always will…bar stool rodeo anyone?
I cut my teeth as a manager and quickly realized how complicated and sensitive people really are. Geeze, I thought jazz musicians were tough. Try working with Chefs and Brewmasters…
And I realized what a pain in the ass customers can be. I can say that now right? JK. JK.
The pains in the ass are the exception. The rest of you are awesome. If you’re a CBC regular you know what I’m talking about. You’re part of the family. You ‘get’ CBC. You’re part of the cause. You dig the one of kind vibe. There can only be one CBC.
Man, there are so many amazing things about CBC. I’m getting choked up just thinking about the memories.
But most importantly of all…I met my beautiful fiancé Betsy at CBC. (You can visit her at the Bar on Thursday nights to find out when my next gig is;-)
I also met one of my all time best friends at CBC. In fact, he’ll be officiating our wedding in December.
I had my (life changing) theatre debut because of CBC and because of said best friend.
I formed two bands from gigs at CBC.
I’ve met and worked with a truly outstanding and original staff. You may not know this, but CBC has probably the most talented staff around. I’m not necessarily talking just hospitality talent either.
Over the years we’ve had no less than 2 lawyers, 2 architects, a gazillion musicians of ALL styles and abilities. Painters, graphic designers, writers, actors, performers, hair stylists, dentists and doctors.
We’ve had theatre directors, psychologists, programmers, electricians, special needs teachers, grade school teachers, even a principal. There have been 2 acupuncturists, multiple entrepreneurs, plenty of home brewers, a handful of restaurant lifers, plenty of democrats, not too many republicans and at least one crazy libertarian (ahem).
And everything else you can imagine. I am proud and truly honored to have been part of CBC and hopefully to have left an indelible mark on the company…forever!
Phil Bannatyne: From the bottom of my heart – Thank You! Thank you for taking a chance on me (twice). Thank you for your incredible generosity. Thank You for your patience and support.
And thank you for letting me use the word sucks and other mild profanity in my promotional CBC emails and blog posts (against Cara’s better judgment). I love You, Man!
And thank you CBC! For all the memories and all the experience. For the family, the crew, the regulars, the fun times and the restaurant drama too. For the local, natural, creative and delicious grub. For the cause. For the world class and wonderfully buzz inducing brews (I just drink for the taste though of course). For the hard knocks lessons, for the opportunities, the friends, the hangovers, the crazy ‘in the weeds’ nights and all that you are CBC.
What a strange trip indeed…
P.S I couldn’t finish my final blog post without welcoming the lovely Ms. Laura Peters to the job. CBC is in good hands with you Laura. Thanks for always having my back as AGM and being infinitely more on top of shit than I am. Good Luck (But you don’t really need it.)
P.P.S. And of course, goodbye to my comrades on the management team – Chef Dave and Brewmaster Will. I’ll miss the meetings, the LOL Cats, the random conversations. I’ll miss the events, the brainstorming, the cause, and even the day to day B.S. I’ll miss the arguments, stepping on each other’s toes and the egos banging into each other. But mostly I’ll miss the free food and beer;-) Good Luck Guys!