The announcement that Wednesday’s Table was going to close by the end of the year spread quickly on social media and co-owner Linh Trieu was not ready for the overwhelming response.
Last Wednesday, Ms. Trieu posted a “Dear John” letter on Instagram and Facebook, explaining “It’s not you, it’s me,” that has received hundreds of heartfelt comments.
“I felt like I almost dropped a bomb on the community, and I felt bad,” she said. “I had to take a moment before I even read the responses and then when I did, I was just a mess … you have an idea that people like your food, but to kind of have it all like come at you, it was overwhelming just like a big giant hug.”
The café’s last day will be on Dec. 31, Ms. Trieu said.
“At the end of December, we’ll have a couple of closing dates with the holidays and stuff so people can spend time with their family, but we’ll try to be open as much as we can until the end of December,” she said.
Ms. Treiu didn’t make this decision lightly, citing reasons including the rising costs of goods, staffing shortage issues and feeling physically and mentally drained.
“I’ve lost employees because of [the housing issue,] I’ve had people move because they couldn’t find somewhere to live and that just leaves a huge hole because I don’t have a ton of staff,” she said. “I figured it was better to kind of end on a high note.”
Ms. Trieu opened the café in Southold’s Feather Hill complex in December 2013 with her sister, Lena Tanzi.
The café was named to honor the sisters’ late father.
Wednesdays were “the only time we really saw him,” Ms. Trieu told Northforker magazine in 2017, explaining their father supported his wife and six daughters by working two jobs six days a week at a Chinese restaurant and public parking lot.
Wednesday’s, as it’s referred to by many, is open every day but Wednesday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The café offers breakfast and lunch sandwiches, including the widely enjoyed, bánh mi, a Vietnamese hero with a choice of roast pork or lemongrass chicken, served with pickled daikon radish and carrots, cucumbers, cilantro and mayonnaise. The staff consisted of around six people, besides Ms. Trieu, during the height of the summer and about four during the slower winter season. Ms. Trieu will be helping her staff find other jobs once the café closes.
“I’ve talked to all my staff and kind of made sure that they aren’t too scared of finding another job and I’ll try to help them as best as I can to find something,” she said.
Although Ms. Trieu said she’s still exploring her options for the future, she said she’ll “end up going wherever the work takes me.”
“I’ve looked over the months just to see what’s out there, but I’m not committed to anything, I’m open to talking to people seeing what’s out there, seeing what opportunities arise,” she said.
She has also thought about looking into ways people can still have a little bit of the Wednesday’s Table flavor at home.
“I’ve also thought about bottling some of my dressings and sauces and stuff that people can still use at home, so that’s a possibility,” she said. “I need to look into that a little bit more.”
Ms. Trieu is very thankful for all the support she has received from her staff and the community throughout the years.
“I wanted to just bring a little bit of different cuisine out here because there wasn’t as much variety back when we started,” Ms. Trieu said. “Now, there’s a tremendous amount of choices and variety, which is amazing to see, and I hope it continues that way. So, if I helped to start that little shift, that means the world to me, that’s all I could really ask for,” she said.