Why aren't we reopening at Johannisstrasse 20?
Let's start from the beginning...
In 2018, Google purchased Johannisstrasse 20— where House of Small Wonder and our sister restaurant, ZENKICHI, have long called home. In early 2019, renovation of the building started. We quickly learned how impactful and unmanageable this was going to be...
The noise, dust, fumes, toxic material, and building malfunctions (e.g. water switched off, gas outages, elevator stops working, etc.) make it extremely challenging to continue daily operations. Most recently, our emergency exit and handicap accessible entrance were blocked rendering the space illegal for occupancy.
Without proper warning or control, we are continuously forced to deal with unexpected circumstances— which have frequently taken us by surprise in the middle of service with a restaurant full of guests.
We've said it before and we will say it again, "We care about what we do and we want to make you feel loved." And so, we remain closed because the probability of interruption is too high and we simply won't jeopardize your experience.
So just have a chat with them, no?
We've tried. Tirelessly. Initially, our requests to talk went unanswered, pleas to address concerns were met with empty promises. It was well over a year from when construction started to when we found out we would not be able to open. In the past few months, Google has responded with proposals that lack proper reparation. We've been told we can remain open yet are presented with inoperable conditions. The paradox is starkly contradictory.
Over the past two years, we feel we have been bullied, gaslit, and made victims of sabotage. In our opinion, Google has shown an unwillingness to reach a reasonable agreement and a general disregard for acting with a sense of morality or community.
What will happen next?
Given the prolonged financial loss we will be forced to sustain until construction is complete, the futures of our restaurants and thus the livelihoods of our team members are in question. We are in the midst of legal action to determine terms for moving forward (i.e. compensation for not being in business). We appreciate your continued support and will keep you posted as we learn more.
In good news...
We are open in a temporary location just around the corner at Auguststrasse 11-13! This space will eventually become Candyman, a Japanese Izakaya restaurant, but until then come enjoy the beloved House of Small Wonder brunch menu classics and try some new additions!