The day we signed our lease on Kasa and it was officially ours was a momentous moment for us all. I think we had drinks to celebrate!
Despite Kasa being a business entirely about Indian food, we now found ourselves in a world which had nothing to do with food. Creating the physical space for Kasa up to code and having the finances to be able to do it was the enormous task ahead of us.
For a minute, we were all stunned and unsure about where to start the magnanimous task of transforming ‘La Castro Taqueria’ to the blurry vision of Kasa that was in our heads. It really dawned on me that the restaurant was about to become a reality. So far, we had ignored all the people who had told us that we were crazy to enter into this business. I never worried about that as I kind of like crazy.
But when the owner of La Castro Taqueria, on the night of the signing, breathed a sigh of relief and fled to Vegas tocelebrate getting out of the business, I did momentarily panic as to what I had got myself into. But not for long as there was no turning back now. Besides, I think I truly understood the old phrase ‘Time is Money’ to my core, for everyday that went by, we paid rent with no money coming in. Time really was of the essence just to intensify the pressure.
There was no more theorizing, no more hypothesizing — only completely plunging into action was required.
At the time, Tim was struggling with his move to San Francisco from Chicago after leaving Kraft and was desperately trying to hunt down an affordable place to live for himself and his family and their very large dog
Morgan and trying to sort out schools for their kids.
Suresh was working hard at his demanding full time Google job and I didn’t have any experience with restaurants or construction projects or health codes or building codes. I hadn’t worked on anything business-like for the previous 6 years after being consumed by full-time child raising and being a co-op parent (which is still the hardest thing I’ve ever done). I didn’t really know where to start either. Those first few days were a little surreal and a lot scary.
Six months later, on June 18, 2008, Kasa finally DID open its doors for business. For those interested in the birth of Kasa or in opening their own restaurant one day, Tim, Suresh and I will detail some of what was involved during those grueling six months in future blog posts.