Pour yourself a another cup of coffee, this is a sad tale. Remember when I told you about the Dallas Health Department shutting down the Farmers Market at Celebration by requiring vendors to have mechanical refrigeration? I just got off the phone with Randal Chapman of Chapman Chile House in East Dallas. He says the DHD has also shut down Green Spot and Bolsa (unconfirmed). “Losing those Farmers Markets was really huge for us,” said Randall. “We were supplementing our income at them every weekend.”
Oh, it gets worse. Check out the blog post from Chapman’s website yesterday (T/H to CB ):
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2009
The Will To Survive:
We may not be able to overcome the location, size and hours we are open. Our son, Graham, and me have had flu symptoms all week so I have not been in to help Fran. It seems clear that the owner of the building has no interest in renovation and therefore we will not be able to expand. I need to focus all my efforts on finding a job so we can at least keep our house even if we have to close the kitchen.
I apologize if this sounds doom and gloom but it looks like we need some kind of miracle.
Health Department issues aside, Randal and Fran are cursed with a “slumlord” who refuses to “get the construction of our expansion” going. (The tiny spot on Carroll and Worth has plans to add an additional dining room.) “He tells us the building isn’t for sale,” said Randall. “But he doesn’t care about this place. He bought it in the mid-80s and it’s just chump change to him.”
Jump for the rest.
“The other day Fran and I were reviewing our disasters,” said Randal. “In 8 months we have been broken in to, flooded, and the front door fell off and shattered. Also a storm caused our 220 [electricity] to go out and we lost all of our meat in the freezer. Someone cut the power at a vacant place next door and power went down again and we lost everything.”
But Randal still had his day job as the vice president of software development at GHN. “Oh no, they let me go after the article in the paper [DMN] came out,” said Randall. “The owner saw the article hanging in the coffee room, didn’t like it, and let me go.”
At this moment, Fran is down at the Dallas Farmers Market securing a spot in Shed Two where they will be selling this weekend. They plan to keep the restaurant open for limited days and hours and work the DFM on the weekends. “We don’t plan on giving up,” said Randal. “We’re still kicking in our own money. We have a slow but growing group of loyal customers. We’ll look for another location in the area. Nothing fancy or glitzy. Just enough.”
I forgot to mention the Chapman’s have four kids: Hannah (9), Graham (6), Rachel (4), and Penelope (who just turned 1).