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A Newborn Restaurant Is a Deep Pit of Misery and Despair

Nookie’s back with his latest installment of “On the House”

Bread at Revival Alewife
Bread at Revival Alewife
Steve Postal

Welcome back to On the House, a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to open a restaurant — or several. In 2013, Steve “Nookie” Postal shared weekly glimpses into his experience opening Commonwealth in Cambridge, and now he’s back as he works to open two cafes (Revival) and a beer hall (Mothership), all while keeping Commonwealth up and running. Keep an eye out for new installments of On the House on alternate Fridays.


What day is it? It is August yet? No, seriously — what day is it? Is it June? Did I miss summer? Has it started? Seriously, though, to those who have emailed me or are awaiting a response, I know, I’m sorry. I’ve been...a little preoccupied.

I’ve got three kids. It always seems to go back to my kids, but I love my children. Don’t get me wrong — love them. So happy I had them. Bla bla bla. But I don’t miss those newborn days — the interrupted sleep, the constant (and I mean constant) time and devotion. It’s just a lot.

Those with kids know how tough it is, but then it gets better, and you watch your kids grow, and you’re like, “Aren’t they so sweet? We should have another.” And boom, you do, and you are thrown back into that deep pit of misery and despair.

Well, that’s where I’m at right now. It will get better, but fuck, I’m tired. I am definitely in my 40s. My feet hurt way more than they used to. I think I need a new pair of shoes; what kinds are good now? I used to be into Dansko until they became made in China and turned to crap (thanks, Trump.) Now I rock Sanitas. They are okay. I’ve done Birks and Crocs; those are both no bueno.

It’s easy to park at Revival on weekends
It’s easy to park at Revival on weekends
Steve Postal

Anyway, Revival Alewife has been giving me, and pretty much everyone around, a good whooping. We are open seven days a week. It is hard to find, I know. Once you find it, I think you’ll like it. If you’re out in your car on the weekends in Cambridge, we’ve got parking for days. During the week, take the T.

But it’s been good. I mean, it’s never what you expect it to be. You sit and plan and dream and build and dream and plan and dream, and then when it finally opens, it becomes what it will become.

Commonwealth has become a few things, but a wedding venue? I never thought that would have happened. Revival will create its own personality and vibe. So far, so good. Early breakfast has started off a little slowly. Pops at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., and then bam, high noon, the lunch rush.

The lunch rush? I know the lunch rush. The first week that Commonwealth opened, we were...how can I say this? Not prepared. We got slaughtered all week, couldn’t keep up, so buried. So in the weeds I couldn’t see any more tickets. If you know what I’m talking about, then you know what I’m talking about. Anyway, I figured out the rush. And the faster you go, the more you can do. You’ve got one hour.

A Bertucci’s hat unearthed at the future site of Revival Davis
A Bertucci’s hat unearthed at the future site of Revival Davis
Steve Postal

Revival Alewife is no different, and I haven’t quite figured this out yet. It’s tough. Restaurants/cafes, they are tough. It’s all hard.

And then there is Revival Davis.

Ugh...this must be what it’s like to have twins! So much pressure. So many people counting on me. Breathe. Sometimes I think about retiring. Like, daydream. I think I would like a shack on a beach somewhere where I could have a smoker and I could just smoke meat when I want to and open whenever I want to. Beer, soda, barbecue. On a beach. But not somewhere too hot, and I don’t care too much for the humidity either.

I’m going to Myrtle Beach next week for my family’s biennial vacation. I’m freaking out about it because I have so much to do, but whatever, I don’t even know what to think about right now. It’s so day-to-day. Seriously, right now it’s all about survival.

Alright, that’s all I’ve got. Thinking about making this into a podcast because honestly typing kinda sucks, but unfortunately, I don’t really even know what a podcast is. I just know that people listen to them. Where? No clue. I need to figure this shit out. One day at a time. Just survive. Then go to Myrtle Beach. Repeat.

Steve Postal

Revival (Alewife)

125 Cambridgepark Dr., Cambridge, MA 02140 Visit Website

Revival (Davis Square)

197 Elm St., Somerville, MA 02144

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