Nearly a year has passed since my family closed the doors to our family business, The Colonial Bar & Grille. The bar has been our family business for 51 years. The decision was of course difficult, but ultimately the best decision for our family.
The bar was a labor of love for my Grandparents and we’ve always been so thankful that Grandpa took that leap of faith when he decided to purchase it over 50 years ago. He hated his job and said he’d come home from work, sit down on the front porch, and say “I hate my job, I hate my job.” So he pursued his dream! Was it hard? Of course. He bought a bar whose nickname back in the day was “blood and guts!” Clearly Grandpa had the gumption needed to own your own business. Owning your own business is never easy. But as my Dad once told me, “You won’t be rich, but you’ll have the pride of owning your own business.”
My grandparents and parents were very proud of the business they built. So proud that my grandparents could never leave it! Seriously. Every day they went to the bar for lunch and sat in the same booth facing the kitchen and bar, perfectly positioned to greet customers as they came in for lunch. I found an article written about the bar and it said that my grandparents went in daily for free lunch and to complain. That brought a huge smile to my face. It couldn’t be more true! Gosh my Grandpa loved to complain. I may have gotten that from him…
The bar was a second home to our family. When I was in kindergarten I went to the school office to call home sick. I asked for them to call my Mom. And if she wasn’t home to call the bar, she would be at the bar. And if she wasn’t at the bar my Dad would be at the bar. And if my Dad wasn’t at the bar my Grandparents would be at the bar. They would come get me. My teacher looked at another teacher and she looked at the school secretary who said, “I think they own the bar?”
My Grandma had two pieces of advice for bar owners that she learned when they first opened. I believe the advice came from their accountant. Although she’ll deny it. First, never drink in your own bar. Clearly the advice of an accountant. Second, you’ll meet nicer people in the bar than you will in Church. This one we have no idea where it came from, most likely a customer. But she loves telling it over and over.
I am forever grateful to the example set forth by my grandparents and parents which made purchasing my first business, A Piece O’ Cake, “not so scary” and seem like a completely normal thing to do. Though the Colonial has closed family business is still our business. Our passion for Le Bon Macaron has grown and now we’re able to focus solely on our bakery and cafe. This is a business that the entire family can enjoy together and it brings me much joy to work alongside my parents and siblings and include my young daughter in the business.
Thank you to everyone who supported The Colonial for over 50 years and those of you who continue to support us today. We’ve always been so thankful for you.
Thank you to Telltale Photography for these beautiful photos from the cocktail hour before my wedding reception.