Welcome back to Restaurant Confessionals, where we talk to the unheard voices of the restaurant industry from both the front-of-house (FOH) and back-of-house (BOH) about what really goes on behind the scenes at your favorite establishments.
Male chef, 46
There's this sense of the road not taken whenever we see each other now. I wasn't just fucking a girl in the dust of the construction site of a restaurant. It was someone whom I deeply respected and cared for.
Back in 2008 a mutual friend introduced me to her and after a few months of dating, we saw a potential spot for a restaurant I was looking to open. Not long after, she took a job in another city and moved away. I cared about her deeply, but I knew this wasn't going to be a lasting relationship if she moved away. That following summer she came back for a visit, and by then I signed a lease on that very space.
I will own up to the fact that the sex didn't last very long, and we were absolutely covered in dust afterwards. There was no tarp, I didn't even put cardboard down. I'm a disgusting boyfriend.
I was really excited to show her the space and give her a tour of the restaurant, since she was with me when we walked by the spot in the first place. We were a week or two away from opening and I gave her a full tour of the restaurant and kitchen. At the end, we headed to the back of the bar in the dining room. We started making out because, well, I simply found her really attractive, but also I was surrounded by this highly charged atmosphere. Maybe I'm a pervert, but with the construction site and the thought of the space being built into something grand, it was all very exciting. I don't remember who hit the floor first but it was a natural course of events. We ended up making love on the floor in front of the bar, behind what I thought was the privacy of papered-up windows.
I've had sex in public before and the thrill of being discovered is a pretty erotic thing. In one of the first relationships I've had we did it in a park in Ottawa. Another time it was on a hiking trail, but I've never done it in a restaurant setting.
I will own up to the fact that the sex didn't last very long, and we were absolutely covered in dust afterwards. There was no tarp, I didn't even put cardboard down. I'm a disgusting boyfriend. The place was absolutely filthy. There were nails and debris on the floor, so it was as uncomfortable as you'd imagine. She was wearing a dress and on the ground; I was on top and just had my knee operated on. It was a mess in every respect, but it was also one of those really wonderful, unplanned expressions of passion and our feelings for each other.
We kind of just laughed about it afterwards. We didn't feel awkward or ashamed, and it felt like it was the right thing to do at that moment. It was symbolic of our relationship in that we had nothing to lose and nothing to hide. There was no sexual remorse afterwards where we were thinking, What the fuck did I just do? I brushed the dust off her and we continued on our dinner plans that night.
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We didn't realize it at the time, but someone saw us, which made it either creepy or hot depending on your proclivity. The following day, I got an email from an anonymous passerby who wrote that he would occasionally peek through the papered windows on the way home from to check on the construction progress. He wrote that he saw, uh, me expressing my passion for my business and my lady, and described in specific detail of what he saw. The email was actually pretty funny; it wasn't accusatory, or shameful. I actually still have that email and I look back at it from time to time.
I never told her about the email because I didn't want to embarrass her. Till this day there's somebody out there who has seen everything, but they've never introduced themselves to me. It will remain part of the lore of the restaurant.
As for her, we're still friends on Facebook and we still see each other when she comes on her annual visit from the states. I don't think we've since talked about that incident. My instinct is that when we think about it, both of us feel a sense of loss because we were really great together. I really thought that she was one of the great ones that I let slip away.
I was never going to be capable of relocating for her, and she got her dream job so she couldn't stay here. Now, whenever I'm at the restaurant, and we did this right in the middle of what's now the dining room, I think of all the things that have happened in this space over the years. I continue to think the world of her and that will always stay with me.