Monday Musings 05/08/13
I ate at a restaurant in Rouses Point, New York, with my father-in-law and a friend while on vacation this summer. Years ago, my father-in-law and I would frequent the establishment for Saturday morning breakfasts. After a series of new owners, changed menus, higher coffee prices, and a rapid turnover of staff, (all causing loyal customers to go elsewhere), it closed down three years ago.
This spring, the mayor’s wife, of the small border town, re-opened the restaurant under a new name called “The Squirrel’s Nest”. Two things happened. Old clientele returned, and new customers are flocking to the restaurant, especially on weekends. A big part of the success seems to center around the historical theme of the restaurant. The walls are covered with pictures from the past and the tables place mats give historical information. A television plays a revolving PowerPoint presentation of the history of Rouses Point, New York.
Old timers are buzzing about the history. I sat with one elderly couple, over breakfast, who have lived in Rouses Point all their life. The pictures allowed them to tell great stories from the past, giving me an whole new appreciation for the community and its heritage. New comers sit at the breakfast bar, glued to the television, intrigued by the history portrayed in the pictures. Its a win, win, win. The old timers win because of the memories the restaurant has created. The new comers (many who come from the local marina) win because they gain a new appreciation for the community they are visiting every weekend. The Squirrels Nest wins because of the income generated by all of those who eat in the establishment.
The experience got me thinking about 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation churches. With so many churches turning their foyer’s into cafe’s, perhaps it would be a good place to establish an “Ole Tyme Cafe”. Display pictures from the past, invest in a television screen designated especially to heritage, and play some music that is so old, it is new for 1st generation church goers. It may just keep some of the “old timers” happy (at least a little bit). Too me, it is a win, win, win. It will bring joy to 3rd and 4th generation believers as they reminisce about the past. It will educate 1st and 2nd generation believers and seekers about the history of the church. It will help the church to bridge a gap that seems to widen with every passing year. Who knows that the “Ole Tyme Cafe” may become a place to get generations talking together.
Could it be that a little restaurant in Rouses Point, New York, could benefit the church in Canada? The Squirrel’s Nest has “reinvented” itself, perhaps the church should consider doing the same!
Until next Monday…