Things had been getting progressively "odd" over at Chez L for about a year now. I couldn't put my finger on it and nobody was talking about it (and I'm very well known by the owners and counterhelp). Prices had skyrocketed, let alone they were gouging you for petty things like cutting a piece of pastry in half if you wanted to share it (for real).
Well, apparently, Larry and Annie were perhaps trying to scrape up as much money as they could for their retirement because voila! The place has been sold with nary a word in advance to their (mostly long employed) staff.
The other week, I was introduced to the new "partner" by one of the counter people. I noticed the 2 owners were nowhere to be found. I thought this was odd in itself and assummed maybe that they had decided that they'd like more time to themselves and that a partner would allow them that freedom.
Today I found out otherwise. Since the new partner and no owners were there I questioned the counter help and got the real scoop.
The business was completely sold without any warning. Oh, they knew they were thinking about it for a while but the deal was done 1-2-3 and they were out the door as quick without even saying goodbye to all the dedicated staff that had served them for so many years (so of them have been there like 20 years). Let alone to not say goodbye to all of their long standing customers who have been spending wads of cash there for years (yours truly included - I'm sure I dump a couple of $1000 there yearly).
They were quite frank in discussing their feelings about this w/me, much of which I won't divulge due out of respect for their privacy and the rapport I've built up w/them over the years but suffice it to say that L&A were not the best of bosses (quel surprize! Excuse my poor french).
This all explains a lot to me since I thought the quality had slipped somewhat as of late - such as them getting rid of their incredibly wonderful homemade french fries and using regular commerically mass produced french fries.
In the meantime, I am pleased to say that the new owner seems to be trying to revamp the menu to some degree which is a huge plus for those of us who are regulars and a bit tired of the same choices every day. In addition to the board specials (the daily panini, quiche, soup, etc.) they now offer 5 additional special sandwiches. I had the "Mediterranean" which was basically an Italian hero; salami, ham, mozzerella but served on a whole wheat hogie roll and with lettuce and marinated onions instead of dressing, which I think was a better choice (lots of flavor w/out a soaking wet roll). Very pleasing, a decent size, although pricey for what it was as everything tends to be there ($9.75).
So, just thought all you neighborhood regulars might be interested in the "dish".