Sunday, August 08, 2010

Author/Artist/Creative Person Community for Years: Today Was the Last Breakfast at the River Run

The restaurant's cookbook was co-authored by its founders, Jimmy and Maya Kennedy, with famed food writer Marialisa Calta -- but it also included pieces by authors Howard Norman and David Mamet. We've met there with poets Ron Padgett and Bill Corbett; author Leda Schubert; artist and illustrator Mary Azarian; bookstore owners; and in general, creative, wonderful people within an hour's drive of Plainfield, Vermont, where the restaurant has stood since 1991 (two sequential buildings, though). Even more important, the River Run was home to friends and families, holding the community safe and snug (even when the winter wind blew around the loose windows). You could count on breakfasts fit for a working person: oatmeal, pancakes, French toast in thick slabs, grits, gumbo, granola, even pulled pork.

A long transition into the hands of new owners (Spanish cuisine) meant that today would be the last River Run breakfast. We were there -- we got up at 6 to avoid a long waiting line (that's painful when you go to sleep at 1 a.m. but it was worth it). In the photos: Howard Norman with friends (by a newly cleared table -- the place was packed even though you don't see the crowd here), Jimmy in the kitchen, Dave with former food server Nessa Rabin. Hard to believe it's over.

I had grilled catfish with eggs, bacon, and toast; Dave did the "homes" (home fried potatoes), eggs, toast, bacon, and a massive banana-blueberry pancake. Sorrow, loss, and oh my, we're still full ...

PS: We just found a signed copy of the River Run Cookbook -- it's online for sale, here.


Anonymous said...

I wept when I left. Life without River Run? Hardly bearable. I have appreciated every minute I have spent there. Oh, sadness and despair. But good to see you both. Lovely post.

leda schubert

Anonymous said...

Many years ago when The River Run was in their very tiny and funky former building we would share tables with others and almost always the conversations were interesting and the folks more than fascinating. It was a place where you would bring your papers,
have a great meal and the one person wait staff Nessa had complete control of all the tables. The Kennedy's and Nessa created a community of diverse folks who all appreciated the chance to be in a place of civility
and unlike Denny's of McDonalds Etc a place that served good food.
The River Run will be missed but the loss of Community will also suffer. A sad day.