23 Feb, 2011
by Julie Ferris
I know people say change is good, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.
One thing I love about the Pfister is early mornings in the café. There’s a perfect rhythm to the staff, the guests, the light, the breakfasts and the coffee.
So, hearing that the café would be closed for renovations I had my “change is bad” reaction. Where would I have breakfast? Where would I listen to business people rehearse their presentations and have those all-important morning meetings? Where would I see travelers relaxed in sweat pants?
The good news is breakfast is still on. The café’s system, its buzz, is now in the Rouge Room, which is a great benefit to me. It’s the formality of Sunday Brunch, but with the regularity and gentleness of weekday breakfast. Ok, I decided, two spoonfuls into the oatmeal, I’m willing to try out change.
Same oatmeal, same coffee… same servers! I realized, with the soft carpet, higher ceilings, the more vast space of the Rouge Room, that the quiet buzz that I’m so fond of in the café is more like the humble rumblings of your alarm clock set to a talk radio station, chatting you into awakeness in the Rouge.
As I looked at the art on the walls, I realized I could really play the part of Rich and Famous and pictured this as my fancy dining room where instead of having a big night out to be treated to this kind of elegance, I simply was able to eat in this space whenever I wanted, even for breakfast. (Next time I may come in pajamas just to push the point!)
One of the things I noticed my first time in the Pfister Café was the staffers who snuck in quietly and put fresh flowers at every table. I looked at my big, drapey tablecloth and there it was—the same small vase of fresh flowers. This was the bridge of familiarity I needed to secure my morning routine. Same oatmeal, same coffee, same servers and…same flowers.
The space is so open; I don’t feel like I’m sneaking around to see which section of the morning paper my fellow diners are reading. Instead, we’re all kicking off our day together. It’s a hint of what’s to come in the café. The tall booth backs will no longer shelter us from one another, but rather be remodeled to open up the possibility of the day.
Sure, the tablecloths are softer than the vinyl of the booths; the space is bigger and unusual to us regulars. But the opportunity to pretend that every day’s breakfast is a fancy brunch while you wait to get back to your favorite space, well, that’s a part of the change process I can embrace.