Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Even the best laid plans can fall prey to the economy.

Jack's first birthday is right around the corner. We had a low-key affair planned: some family and friends would gather at Claim Jumper for a nice dinner, and Jack could enjoy smashing one of their delicious cupcakes as we sang Happy Birthday to him. Claim Jumper was the perfect restaurant for the occasion: we don't eat there too often, but the food is always delicious, and best of all, they were open on Jack's Birthday, which falls on Christmas Eve. Our reservations were set for 6p.m.

Then yesterday I saw some disturbing news. I am a "fan" of Claim Jumper on Facebook, and they had updated with a message about store closings. I saw that two locations in California had been closed, and I worried that ours may be on the chopping block too, as Claim Jumper is currently in a Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. I scoured our local newspaper for some information, and found precious little about our local restaurant, so I asked my Facebook friends for more information.

Our Claim Jumper closed on December 13, 2010, the week before Jack's birthday (and, because every injury needs a little insult, on our anniversary, too!).

I have a few layers of upset going on here.

First, we had reservations. We were having out of town family and friends come in. And we never got a call about the restaurant closing. I found out only through research based on a Facebook post.  I'm lucky to have found out at all.  I imagine an awful lot of people who also have reservations for various days weren't so fortunate.

Second, that's a lot of people put out of work the week before Christmas. Shame on whatever powers-that-be that decided they couldn't make this work until the new year. I can't imagine that a restaurant who regularly had long waiting lines for dinner was hemorrhaging money.

Third, since before Thanksgiving, Claim Jumper has been advertising that they are open on Christmas and Christmas Eve, and it offered special menus of food for the holidays, encouraging families to spend their holiday at Claim Jumper. I bet a lot of people are going to be very disappointed when they show up on Christmas for a delicious meal to find a closed restaurant and no explanation.

Finally, it seems like every other restaurant on God's green earth closes at 4p.m. or earlier on Christmas Eve. It was beginning to look like we'd be eating Chinese food or visiting a deli for Jack's first birthday. The thought made me want to cry.

Fortunately, my husband found that one of our local favorites is open on Christmas Eve, and would be happy to accommodate our little party.  It wasn't what I had imagined - Claim Jumper has a lot of good memories and significance for our little family - but it will be just fine.

I wish I could say the same for the Claim Jumper employees who find themselves out of a job right before the holidays.



Anonymous said...

and no double teaming the ice cream either

Abi said...

Where did Dan make reservations for? Im glad you found somewhere. There are a good few places open until later up this way. Was surprised to read that most places in Brookfield close at 4pm...but it is Brookfield afterall.

Jenn said...

Dan called Michael's, the Italian place on Sunset, and they are open. I'm so glad.

Eschelle said...

that just sucks, super sucks. I hope you can make some new lovely memories!

1 Funky Woman said...

What a bummer, not just for you but like you said all the employees! So glad you found somewhere else that can host you! Happy Birthday to him!


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Happy Holidays,