They opened a restaurant in my attic. This happened a few years earlier. I discovered this only when going online to check out reviews for another late night venue and came across a restaurant called The Attic, with the address to my home. My overall Yelp rating is through the roof.
One reviewer wrote: “Aside from a few typical Mother’s Day mixups and empty champagne flutes, the brunch was out of this world.”
And another: “Stumbled across The Attic when visiting [town X] and had a delightful experience at the one tiny window seat, looking down onto the garden. Despite the presence of the bachelorette party next to us, the meal was fantastic. I had a generous arugula salad with beets and pancetta, and my husband the seared tuna. The sour cherry crisp for dessert was a perfect balance of sweet and tart.”
One reviewer, a certain Jonathan P., misspelled it “Attack.” I quote the first line of his Yelp review here: “The Attack was has great food and good survice.”
More so than the spelling mistakes, the semantic chaos of his sentence construction concerned me. I hoped this was only the case of a drunken Yelper, for I couldn’t have just any old crazies dining in my attic. I stored my precious heirlooms up there, after all.
But this Jonathan P. aside, most reviewers raved about the sour cherry crisp as a perfect way to end what they claimed was a romantic, intimate and ambient spot for dining when visiting town X. That pleased me. If I was going to have a restaurant in my attic, I would naturally hope that it would be the best one around. One person went so far as to say, and I quote, “The Attic is my favorite restaurant ever: seriously.”
This was all fine, but during the first heavy rains in late fall of the past year, the roof began to leak, dripping onto a poor patron’s forehead while midway through his cherry crisp. This was The Attic’s first 3-star rating. After this, the overall tenor of the reviews began even if only slightly to shift. I read about complaints of the surrounding grounds, and of the garden, most particularly, going to seed.
One Yelper complained of the faint smell of pot smoke coming up from the second floor throughout dinnertime, followed by loud, thumping music. But the atmosphere, in general, she wrote and agreed, was still sweet, and the food and the sour cherry crisp, as always, incredible. Even so, this certain Sara M. wrote that she was only reluctantly giving The Attic 4 stars.
Sara M. was the first reviewer, additionally, to suspect that these stirrings from below were from a ghost. Rumors got out. I learned how the patrons began to come to The Attic for the sour cherry crisp and for the possible encounter with this otherworldly being. They claimed especially on weekend nights to hear him pacing downstairs throughout dinner, until close. Sometimes they could catch the phantom whiff of pot smoke as Sara M. had, and in lulls between songs of The Attic’s house band, a jazz trio, some even claimed to hear the occasional haunting hackles of laughter.
These reviews eventually attracted a pretty famous, modern ghost-buster type who had published a couple of books on parapsychology, including a pretty well-received book on spectrology, or the study of ghosts. I couldn’t tell from his review of The Attic if he believed this spirit to be of the good or evil variety, but I know that he, too, loved the sour cherry crisp. He went on for two or three unnecessary lines about the texture of the crisp and its buttery sweet tartness. What he finally suggested—and what most interested me in his review—was that this ghost was once a man who had likely died, as the saying goes, of a broken heart.
This review above all others, as one might imagine, really helped sustain the business of The Attic. Constant lovers and perennial loners alike were attracted to the haunted premise of the place. There were some disagreements as to whether this man, or this shell of a former man—stuck in the intermediate realm, unable to find a way to move on—was really suffering from a broken heart. What they could all agree upon, on the other hand, as suggested in their reviews, was that wherever he was ultimately going, they only hoped that it would be as heavenly a venue as The Attic, and that they would be serving the sour cherry crisp on the menu there, too.