What is in this article?:
City Table and City Bar general manager Brendan Griffin describes the chaotic days following the attack.
Supply lines cut off
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With that high volume of traffic, the food stocks started to run precipitously low. And with deliveries impossible because of the crime scene lockdown, Griffin’s passion for the business, its ever- changing dynamism, its constant buzz and its close relationships with people, was reinforced, by all of things, his competitors.
“Restaurants from everywhere were sending food: the Fairmont Copley, the Colonnade, the Kowloon, Stella’s, everywhere. Initially it was surprising, but then thinking about it, we would have done the same thing. We’re all competitors, but we’re a close-knit industry. In fact during most nights the staffs from the surrounding restaurants pack into Solas to unwind after their shifts. We’re like the neighborhood beacon, a safe haven of camaraderie for the other restaurant staffs,” he says.
To bring all these donations of food into the hotel, Griffin and his staff had to go up to a nearby corner, load the food onto carts, then wheel it all down and into the hotel. That process continued until the surviving suspect was captured on Friday night.
On Thursday evening Griffin went out to dinner with a couple who are regulars. It is something he does with a lot of his long-time loyal customers with whom he has developed close friendships. That particular couple is from Wayland, and they have followed him around on his various restaurant circuit stops, and now frequently dine at City Table, where Griffin has served as g.m. the past three plus years. “A lot of my customers have become close friends, in fact I dine with a 65-year-old couple whom I refer to as my Jewish parents,” he says, laughing.
After dinner Griffin returned to his hotel room, and immediately crashed, setting his alarm for a 5 a.m. wakeup to serve breakfast.
Overnight a shootout worthy of a war scene had taken place in a Watertown neighborhood in which one of the bombing suspects was killed. And now with a massive manhunt underway for the other suspect, the Governor had placed the entire state in lockdown. So the staff who were scheduled to come in and serve breakfast wouldn’t be able to make it in.
Griffin began to call and bang on the doors of the managerial staff who had stayed over for help in getting breakfast served.
“Once that Friday morning was over the turning point came when the police caught (the remaining suspect) in the boat on Friday night,” says Griffin.
“I’m a news junkie I have the news on all the time. But because of our hectic week none of us really watched it, we were so busy, and indirectly, were actually living a part of the story.”
But that all changed on Friday night, the night of the capture.
“Everyone in the hotel, the staff, the FBI, the Boston Police, the State Police sat silently as we watched the entire scene unfold on the big screen T.V. which we had set up to watch the marathon.”
“And while it’s happening, we’re listening on the police radios that are crackling right beside us. It was like a play-by-play of what was going on, and the police translated for us exactly what was occurring,” Griffin recalls.
As the drama of the capture was unfolding the Boston Police were called away to a murder scene in Roslindale, and once the suspect was in custody, the FBI agents started gearing up to head out to Watertown to lock down the scene.
With a sense of relief, Griffin and other managers moved to the darkened City Bar. They purposely kept the lights off, enjoying a beer as a release for their incredible week, as well as some closure with the capture of the remaining suspect in the largest manhunt in the history of the city.
“The state police bomb squad came back from the scene with their dogs and saw us sitting there, and before you knew it we had all these law enforcement guys in the bar. We were blasting Bruce Springsteen and they were releasing the tension after a tremendously stressful week, and our staff was right there with them. I went to bed about 3 in the morning and their celebration of a job well done went until dawn,” recalls Griffin with a laugh.