I've been meaning to write this for a couple of days now...what happened at Zorbas really hit me pretty hard last week.
For those that don't know, a fire started in the apartment above Zorbas last week, and destroyed the top floors of the building that houses the restaurant, along with Zas and Pitaya on the first floor. Zorbas itself didn't burn down, neither did the other two businesses. But it was such a massive blaze that the water damage and smoke damage was extensive.
Last night, Matt Mortenson, the owner, and my boss for four years while I worked there, posted some pictures of the damage. It was hard to look at. Again, no actual fire damage, but the memorabilia on the wall....the floors....the walls...all just really in pretty bad shape.
I actually went over the day of the fire. If you follow me on twitter or facebook, I posted two pictures. It's hard to explain. Those four years, I met some of my closest friends, people I still get to talk to and hear from. It was amazing how many of them I reconnected with on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
A lot of people have offered Matt their support, although none of us can really do anything. He said during an interview with our morning show that he was staying positive, and was still cracking jokes.
And that's my lasting memory of Matt. Continuous positivity. He suffered through some very difficult times while I worked there, as he took over the business from the previous, longtime owner. Yet he stayed positive, focused on what he could control, and remembered that his family was his #1 priority at all times, and the business a close second.
The other thing I will always appreciate about Matt was his willingness to engage in a marketplace of ideas. Matt is a religious man, and his faith tends to make him lean in a more conservative direction. Yet many of his employees tended to be much more on the liberal side. As a result, we would have these very serious discussions about things ranging from abortion, to presidential politics, to financial matters, all while slinging gyros. And he encouraged it, and participated. It meant a lot to a lot of people. I hope he understands how many people were affected by the way he treated us as employees over the years.
That's all for now.
It has been a while.....
11 months ago