When a small grease fire shut down the Geaghan’s Restaurant kitchen on a busy Saturday night in downtown Bangor, the staff sprang into action. The sprinklers went off, the dining room was evacuated and the entire line was shut down.
Fortunately, no one was injured and there was no permanent damage, though there was a lot of cleaning to be done, which meant the kitchen didn’t reopen until Monday morning.
As front-of-house manager Andrew Geaghan soon realized, however, the Geaghan’s crew had a big order to fill: 25 pounds of their signature boneless buffalo chicken wings for John Bapst Memorial High School’s Project Graduation on Sunday night. And Geaghan’s didn’t have a working kitchen yet.
“Every year we do at least one or two Project Graduations around town, where the kids will purchase one half of the order and we’ll donate the other half,” said Geaghan, who also helps run the in-house craft brewery, Geaghan’s Brothers Brewing. “We definitely did not want to let them down, so we said, ‘Where do we go? What do we do?’”
The answer to those questions came quickly: Call up friend Tom Workman, manager of Seasons Grill & Lounge just a few hundred yards down Main Street, and see if they could use their kitchen. Workman and the staff at Seasons told them to come on over and get cooking.
Geaghan’s was able to deliver the order to the graduating seniors at John Bapst on time and still hot from the stove.
“People would be surprised at how often things like that happen,” said Geaghan. “It’s never a negative thing to see more locally owned, independent businesses come into town. It bolsters everyone. It’s not a competitive thing. We all help each other build on each other’s success.”
Geaghan said that the spirit of cooperation and community extends beyond restaurants helping neighboring restaurants, or Geaghan’s Brothers Brewing helping out friends at Penobscot Bay Brewing in Winterport or Black Bear Brewing in Orono. It permeates the entire local business community.
“That’s really what we love about Bangor right now,” said Geaghan. “This increased emphasis on locally owned businesses has really made this town an amazing place in which to do business. The attitude is just incredibly positive.”