Think of all them times you’re enjoying yourself, going to the movies, going travelling, getting a massage or going out to eat; someone is always working to provide you that luxury. From a customer and tourist perspective, visiting new places is the sign that tells them they have done something right to get there. Imagine yourself walking through the culturally meddled lanes in Melbourne. You come across Degraves Street, Hosier Lane and then Hardware Lane. Everything is new, cool and well a bit like Europe.
From the workers side in Hardware Lane, it’s obviously a little bit different. Like anywhere that is popular or a small close-knit environment, things can get a little tense, a little heated and a little crazy. That’s no different on Hardware Lane.
If you’re new on the block or you’ve finally escaped the lane, you might have different emotions. There might be shock, there might be regret, but when you’re in the thick of it, Hardware Lane can test all the emotions.
Your First Day
Is like getting off a plane and into a new country. But a new country is somewhere like India or Brazil. Full on, non stop. Noises, smells, unfamiliarity – it all hits you. Your emotions are everywhere.
Hospitality is hospitality, you’re serving customers in the right way. But Hardware Lane doesn’t play by them rules all the time. Generally the service is fine, but when you hear workers talk amongst each other or to each other, you’ll realise this isn’t no fine dining approach. That is the beauty of the lane, it’s a casual and direct vibe. Your emotions are perplexed.
Everyone Knows Each Other
If something happens on the lane, everyone knows about it. There is always one lane gob-shite that talks; nothing gets away from the lane. There is no privacy here. It isn’t just your own workplace you see everyday, it’s everyone else’s too.
That Night When It’s Quiet
When the wind blows and the miserable look of empty tables, time drags big time. It actually takes effect on everyone, people got bored, sad and just feel a bit worthless. When winter hits, expect this sometimes. You’re feeling empty.
When You’ve Made A Mistake
There isn’t no hiding a mistake, there isn’t no private meeting to rectify it. The lane is 100mph, so it needs to happen, be realised, be argued about and then be fixed. If you drop a meal, the noise will echo throughout all the streets of Melbourne’s CBD.
Or When You Love The Buzz
Sometimes it’s infectious. The buzz is pumping, the music is flowing, the good vibes are here and everyone wants to have a good time. It isn’t everyday you can work in a place that can boast a vibrant yet personable party like Hardware Lane. Going to work is like going out.
When All The Customers Come At Once
It’s like an avalanche. You almost hear the ground rumbling. It’s a shit show! People are squeezing past each other, hosts are shouting, menu’s are getting bundled over, runners are like human flies zipping everywhere, the music in the background gets louder – it’s like the hospitality version of a Great Gatsby party.
When You Can’t Go Home
You might have worked all day or just even on the evening but Hardware Lane doesn’t care about that. You might think you’re going home straight to sleep, but once you finish there’s a moment of discontent. There is something that doesn’t feel finished, your heart is still racing and you want more. So, you take a drink or two and stay out.
All You Eat Is Restaurant Food
So many restaurants to choose from, it can be easy to get used to the different cuisines on offer down the lane. Sometimes if you are known to work down the lane, other restaurants may feel obliged to give you a discount. It’s either that or your freely provided staff meal. You’ll never go hungry here.
Them First Drinks
Everything is mostly professional at work, you’re talking about work, you’re working non stop. You don’t know each other until you have a first drink. Then it all comes out. The excitement of getting drunk with your new found work friends is like partying your first night in a hostel, or some randoms you met in a bar. You let loose and you go crazy!
The Daily Slog
When you realise that Hardware Lane isn’t just any normal hospo job. People work here, there isn’t no slacking. Everyone slogs there guts off for something. Travel, visas, family, a car, a house deposit – you name it. You’ll soon be so sucked in to working more than usual and no doubt you’ll be resentful to what a normal life is.
The Laughter At The Hosts
Hardware Lane is unique for Australia. It isn’t a place where you have tons of bookings and wait for customers. The hosts make the business for the restaurant. You’ll see them as a one man show, spinning lines off cheesier than cheddar, pouncing up and down the lane like a lion waiting on their prey, freebie drinks and garlic bread getting served like they are out of fashion. The hosts make the lane what it is today.
Anger At How Addictive It Is
Everyone seems to be passionate on the lane, or at least find that inner passion inside them. It’s one of them places which angers you because of the unabated intensity. You’ll want peace and to leave but you can’t; you’ll feel like you’re missing out on something, anything. Hardware Lane is addictive.