Empty Restaurants Make No Noise


Empty Restaurants Make No Noise


here’s nothing quite as heartbreaking as a restaurant without patrons. It’s as distressing as a shirtless beggar in the December cold. A third-grader being yelled at by the teacher on his birthday. A fart in the lift. Someone at my table being rude to the waiter, leaving me torn between righteousness and loyalty. Anyone driving with an “L” on their car. Me when I have to pay my monthly rent.

You feel the emptiness of a restaurant even before you see it is devoid of any patrons. The waiters whose shirts haven’t even creased all day, whose name tags are still glistening with sketch-pen ink, will greet you with desperate eyes and overeager smiles. They lean forward to the point where you can hear their racing heartbeat begging you to give it a shot. They heap you with all their thwarted hope. “How many people,” they ask. Upon an answer, they respond with a “Let me check”, with two large spoons of artificial nonchalance. There may be zero people inside, but the place is still filled with their unwavering pride.