By Jef Rietsma
Greg Hart didn’t pause when asked what great discovery he has made during the quarantine from coronavirus.
“Sleep,” he said. “I’ve discovered I can sleep eight, some days even up to 10 hours at a time.”
Despite the pleasure derived from his newfound, long stretches of slumber, Hart said he would still rather be back where he is happiest and most comfortable. The owner of Yogi’s Restaurant, Hart said crazy as it sounds, being at work would bring him the most joy right now.
“We’ve gotta get our country back to work … if we go past May and things are then the way they are now, boy, as a country we would be in deep, deep trouble,” Hart said. “Things by that point could be beyond fixing.”
Hart, who said he stares daily at a stack of books he’d like to read but has yet to pick one up, said he has instead put a nice dent in a list of around-the-house tasks that had been long-neglected. During this interview, in fact, Hart was in the midst of changing the oil in his riding mower.
“My honey-do list is shrinking quickly,” he said. “I cleaned out and organized the garage – a task on my list for two years. It took two days to organize a tool chest, I have a garage in my basement that I organized and cleaned out, and I go to the restaurant every other day and do a project; I’ve cleaned out the walk-in freezer.”
Hart, a 40-year veteran of the restaurant industry, said the value of food that he ended up donating and throwing away was about $2,000. From the time restrictions are lifted, Hart said it will take a turnaround of between 36 and 48 hours to open the doors to Yogi’s again. He said that moment will feel like opening a new restaurant. “You’re starting with nothing … it’s like opening a brand-new restaurant,” Hart said.
More than two dozen people are on Yogi’s payroll, Hart said.