Time, as they say, gets away from us; it’s a sneaky bastard. Seasons come and go and there is refuge in their deeply familiar path. But our annual pilgrimage from January to December is full of days where we mark time within the arc of our lives. On my birthday, I always think of bowling parties and shiny hot dogs and model airplanes wrapped in Batman paper. It’s funny what sticks in your mind.
On Thursday, Acme will turn 18. I can’t believe it. That first, cold night in 1998 when I had forgotten to buy trays and to put dimmer switches on the house lights seems like yesterday. I remember standing behind the bar teaching all the servers how to say “sémillon” before the shift – making them chant the last syllable back to me, “yawn not lawn” – and the shoebox where I kept the precious collection of mixed tapes that served as Acme’s initial soundtrack. My ferocious naiveté about all that lay ahead still makes me wince.
And to believe that I had a 3 week-old daughter. Yikes. And that her life would always be intertwined with that of the restaurant. I never connected those dots beforehand. Since then, she’s eaten at Acme thousands of times, worked here, slept here. She’s dragged myriad friends through the kitchen to see the walk-in refrigerator to jaw-dropping effect. And above all she’s grown up as the restaurant’s buoyant, beautiful twin. You see, that 3 week-old child is now a woman. She can drive and vote and go to R-rated movies. She’s fierce and funny and ever-so-opinionated. And here she confidently stands on the cusp of so much, well, life. And I love her beyond words.
So the restaurant, too, has grown up and grown strong in that time. There have been stumbles and triumphs along the way. Oh yes. But here we are – better than ever. And like its college-bound twin, Acme is thrilled about all that lies ahead. For the many tomorrows to outnumber all the yesterdays. The challenges and the joys to come. Our friends, old and new. And to celebrate our 18th year, Acme is going to be pouring free glasses of delicious bubbly to toast all of you. Tomorrow, Thursday, the 18th – stop by. Have a glass. Because if it takes a village to raise a child, it certainly takes a Carrboro to raise an Acme.
Well, that’s all the news from Carrboro. The staff at Acme look forward to serving you soon.