The idea of leasing The Barn in Castle Rock simultaneously thrilled and terrified me. At first I did not have a clear idea of how I was going to fill 10,000 square feet, but I knew that I was going to end up trying.
As I sat waiting for my future Landlord to meet me at Pegasus Restaurant (located then at 215 Wilcox Street where a Mexican restaurant now sits) to discuss my potential business endeavor, I was feeling that I was in ‘slightly over my head’…bottom line was that I was an accountant! Could I stretch enough to be even slightly creative? Did I have any business going into a retail pursuit without any bonafide retail experience (except selling stuff on Ebay and my own personal excessive shopping habit J)? The fact that I worried about this stuff only made me more motivated to dive in!
I ordered a glass of wine and impatiently waited for the dreaded Landlord.
Eventually a very tall, gray haired man walked up to me and introduced himself as Steve. I must admit that at first I didn’t find this man to be particularly friendly at all…in fact, he had a kind of stern unapproachable look on his face that put me on guard. He looked like he was deeply chiseled out of a giant slab of granite. I stood and we shook hands and we then spent the next hour discussing my business plan and the particulars of a possible lease on the barn. I was shocked when he eventually pulled out of his pocket a completed lease for my signature!..…oops, this was moving way too fast! He put the lease in front of me and asked me point blank if I was going to sign….he had an “I dare you” demeanor and his accompanying slight smile threatened to crack his chiseled granite face. Ok…now I was kind of mad. This guy was playing me!
I told Steve that I wasn’t sure that leasing his big, dumpy, unkempt, crummy barn was something that I wanted to take on without more thought especially from a Landlord who has such nerve as to place a completed lease in front of me without negotiation as a take-it-or-leave-it deal. (there.…I told him!)
Steve stood up, looking mildly amused and said, “I hope for you that my barn is still available after you have taken your precious time to finally make this decision”. Then he took the lease and started walking away….
I stood up immediately, grabbed his arm and brazenly begged him to let me sign the lease……good grief, I am such an incredible wimp.
Thus began my relationship with my tempestuous Landlord and my foray into the most wonderful project I have ever had the pleasure of working on in my life.