After a mid-summer opening, it was out of the frying pan and into the fire for Block 300 Steakhouse, so-much-so the restaurant closed its doors for 12 days.
Owner Fred Trainor plans on rectifying what he calls an “embarrassing” opening night by serving up a free piece of mixed-berry “humble pie” to customers from Sept. 16 to 22.
“It was just absolute chaos,” said Trainor about the restaurant’s first night. “Probably the worst night of my life that I can think of. It was just awful. We got hit; there was a line up (of) 60 people.”
Trainor said he and his wife brought their best friends from Kelowna down for the evening, but looking back, he wishes he hadn’t.
“I’m still apologizing to (them) for the experience they didn’t get,” he said. “We were turning people away. It was just awful.”
Trainor said the restaurant continued on for about five weeks, but explained the food and service were “inconsistent.”
“We were just walking around in the dark, bumping our shins into the furniture,” he said. “It just couldn’t continue like that.”
So Trainor did the only thing he could think of: he closed the doors for 12 days in order to start fresh.
“On the advice from some people I admire and who are also in the business, we decided we had no choice but to close down and reset,” he said. “But a lot of people think we’re not here anymore.”
Trainor hopes to let the community know Block 300 isn’t going anywhere.
“We’re still here. And this is me, sucking up … and saying to the people of the South Okanagan, ‘We tried, we failed, we reset and we’re not going to fail again.’”
Trainor said new serving and kitchen staff have been brought on board and the food is top-notch.
“I want to apologize to the people who tried us before and haven’t tried us since, and ask for a second chance,” he said.