Bruce Buschel Blogs About His Restaurant Fire, and It’s Very Sad


Bruce Buschel first introduced himself to the restaurant world with a list of 100 things restaurant staffers should never do. It was, to say the least, controversial. But now Buschel, whose Southfork Kitchen restaurant opened in the Hamptons eight months ago, has written a different kind of list, and we’re sad to read it.

Buschel’s list is the result of a fire at his restaurant on Friday night. While no one was hurt and the damage was limited, it was enough to close the place until the kitchen can be rebuilt and passes inspection.

But even a minor restaurant fire can have a major impact: “More than the cold-water trucks and the hot flames, more than dread or anger,” Buschel writes, “I was struck by the emotions. Managers and back servers, hostesses and bartenders. God only knows what personal baggage they brought to this scene, what losses they had experienced, but they sure felt connected to this place, this mass of wood and steel and fireproof drywall. … And here they were, watching their summers go up in smoke.”

And so Buschel has listed 10 things he’s grateful for, which include a volunteer fire department, insurance, and minimal damage. He’s also grateful for a “staff that is loyal and true,” suggesting that whatever missteps he may have made with his original list of servers dos and don’ts, he’s proven himself to be a pretty good boss after all. We wish him the best of luck in rebuilding.