Greg Mudge, owner of Mudgie's Deli and beloved member of the Corktown community, passed away earlier today. His death was unexpected and not COVID related.

Here is his August 26 message of gratitude, insight and empathy regarding the realities of running a restaurant during the pandemic.

I want to start out by thanking each of you for all of the amazing support shown over the years, and through this pandemic, you all are really amazing. This last year has been incredibly difficult for all of us. I have done my best to lead my team through this while also providing a safe place for our community to catch a break and enjoy dining out. Our team did an amazing job and I can’t thank them enough.

Now that we are “coming out” of the pandemic we are, thanks to you, enjoying a great deal of business while we are open. However, as you all are aware, there is a shortage happening in the workforce nationwide that is directly impacting us. We are doing all we can to build our team to a level that can provide you the service and quality you deserve. That being said, we are having a hard time filling open positions. The team here is devoted to us and working harder than ever to keep the restaurant rolling. Most have been here through the whole pandemic and have adapted to this new “normal” with grace.

There are also other factors that are contributing to the stress of running a business. Supply chains are breaking down. Our distributors are also short staffed, deliveries from them run late and when they do arrive, items that you thought you had coming are missing. Causing out of stock menu items on our end. Sometimes, deliveries don't show until days end.

This past July in the middle of our Lobster promotion, we very unfortunately had to cut ties with our baker that we had been using for years and years. The reason being is that he had to stop that part of his business due to staffing issues. This happened during a time when I was not able to do the appropriate research to find another bread company that could meet our needs. So if you have noticed some sub par bread these past few weeks that is why. I have had to run to use grocery store bread several times. We have now found a bakery that we are happy with but are still working out some kinks and adjusting to doing business with them.

Many of our team took well deserved vacations this month which has led to further staff shortages, myself and my management team have been pulling triple duty, Hosting, working making sandwiches, expediting and filling any position that needs filled on any particular day. They are troopers as well.

Although through the pandemic we have been amazingly fortunate and not had to deal with unruly customers. We have all read and heard horror stories from our fellow industry people.

That being said, this month, we have. We have been experiencing many of those customers as well. This is starting to weigh heavily on us here. I believe that the stress of this pandemic is truly starting to catch up with us. We all deal with this stress differently and for some it comes out in being mean to others. Sadly, that stress has been directed at some of our team members.

So, to wrap up what I am trying to say, we love you, we can’t thank you enough. Please know that if you are experiencing anything less than what you expect of us that we are all doing our best and trying our hardest to serve you. We were fortunate this week to have some new people start. Over the next few days, we might have to throttle things down around here to allow space and time to properly train our new hires. You may experience a day or hour where we can not do carry outs, order times may be long or there is not full service on our patio. We have to pull back and do our best to break this cycle. Everyday is different and we as a team never know what to expect and we adapt daily and sometimes hourly. Please be patient with us.

Thank you,

Greg Mudge