Longtime managers of Dusters Restaurant & Gottberg Brew Pub Eryn and Adam Roberts are leaving the business.
Eryn and Adam cited family as a reason for stepping back from the eatery, 2804 13th St. in downtown Columbus.
“We work every holiday, every weekend. I’m here three or four nights a week. Christmastime I worked 44 days straight, and I’m raising kids,” Eryn said.
The couple currently has two daughters living at home – a 17-year-old and a 12-year-old.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, there was a period of time where the couple had to work even more, Eryn said.
“I think the first Sunday of March was his last day off before the end of June. And that’s just not sustainable,” Eryn said.
Now, Eryn and Adam are turning things over to longtime Dusters cook – now kitchen manager – Matt Marksmeier, in part, at least.
According to an announcement made on the Dusters Facebook page, the restaurant will be looking for a new general/front-of-house manager. It may also be needing a full-time evening cook and possibly an assistant dining room manager.
“Adam took on the brewing, our banquet coordinator retired and I took that on, too, I do all the new taxes. We had like four managers and now there’s just me. I think it would be a good two person job but I don’t know what they’re going to do,” Eryn said.
Adam’s last day is Wednesday and Eryn is done Aug. 8. They’re both open to transitioning to new careers, Eryn said.
“I just want steady hours. I want an 8-to-5 job that, when I leave, I don’t have to come back or answer a bunch of phone calls or text messages,” Eryn said.
Adam started work at Dusters when it opened in October 1995. Eryn began in 1999.
“I get on the line several nights a week. I’m right in the trenches with everybody; I like to be right where the action is,” Adam told The Telegram for a September 2019 'Community Champions' story. “I need to be the hardest worker in the building for them to respect me, that way when I say jump, they jump. If I say, ‘Hey, I need you to put it out this way,’ they need to see that I can put it out this way.”
Mary and Gordon “Mac” Hull own the restaurant and brewery. When the kitchen manager left the place in 2004, Eryn said Mac asked her and Adam to take over. In the nine years leading up to that time, she said, Dusters lost upwards of $150,000 every year.
“So he (Mac) would have to put money back in. He asked us to take over and right the ship, so to speak,” Eryn said.
And they did.
In a September Telegram article, then-Sous Chef Matt Marksmeier said Adam has made Dusters an enriching place to work.
“We’ve assembled a really good team and come in contact with tons of great people. You forge friendships with them and you keep those friendships. That’s a good thing about it, but it’s a tough job,” Eryn said.
Eryn and Adam have been managing Dusters together since the beginning of 2005 and raising a family in the meantime. That’s been tough, Eryn said.
“My youngest daughter has been raised in this building. She has a room upstairs that she calls her office. We all work at night and she comes and just hangs out up there,” Eryn said.
Her kids are busy and involved in lots of activities, Eryn noted, and sometimes she and Adam aren’t able to be there for those events.
“One of us has to work and one of us gets to go,” Eryn said. “It’s time to do something else and focus on our family. We did what we were asked to do. Dusters is very successful and we put a lot of hard work into it but it’s time to pass the torch on to somebody else.”
Molly Hunter is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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