Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Common Ground!

Yesterday afternoon, Brattleboro's famed organic whole-foods plain good eatin' restaurant Common Ground silently reopened, serving lunch to over 30 people. This is the Common Ground's 35th year of existence, and it's at long last reopening.

After malingering a few years in the wake of its quarter-century cooperative worker-owned operation quietly folding up tents in the '90s, when such counter-culture-fueled imperatives were harder to sustain, a core group of the faithful hung on by their fingernails and protected the space amid occasional concerts and public events. The Common Ground restaurant, though, was a thing of the past.

Nevertheless, the core group hung in there, and late last summer pulled together a new board of directors -- including yours truly, reluctantly serving but serving nonetheless -- with the sole goal of getting the Common Ground out of debt, back on its feet, and reopened as a viable working (and worker-owned cooperative) business that served good food: Common Ground, the restaurant.

Yesterday was also my last meeting as an active board member. With the first lunches served and a goal to have the restaurant serving dinners by early November, and with my life pulling me north (in more ways than one, though the Center for Cartoon Studies is central to that pull north), the time was right to step down and away. I delivered a run of promotional 'silent opening' flyers and posters, and will complete my commitments relevant to the official reopening (t-shirts, press releases, etc.), but my job is done.

Now, to enjoy lunch at the Common Ground later this week...

...and a tip of the hat to Batya (who was a coworker at First Run Video and among the Common Ground workers/c0-owners who tried to keep the restaurant operational in its '90s throes), and to Josh, Ian, Michael, Tim, Crista, and all who kept the faith in the darkest days. If I've forgotten anyone, my apologies -- it's early morning, and I'm rushing off to work.


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