Linda Derschang sitting on the back patio of Lindas Tavern, a restaurant, bar, and crowded Sunday brunch spot.
Linda Derschang is a designer, business owner, Instagrammer, and taxidermy enthusiast. Christopher Frizzelle

It's Sunday, April 19, a morning that would normally be packed on the back patio at Linda's.

Obviously it's empty today.

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The designer and business owner Linda Derschang, who created Linda's Tavern (aka the "Grunge Cheers"), as well as many other restaurants, bars, and clubs around town, delivers this morning's message from the empty patio at Linda's.

It's one that will resonate most deeply for small business owners, whether their businesses are connected to creative industries.

She talks frankly about economic uncertainty, and how it feels when a business that has been doing well begins failing and there's no one to talk about it with. "I was so scared," she says about a clothing store she opened on Broadway in 1987 and had to close five years later. "Honestly, until this, that was the scariest part of my career."

"I couldn't let my employees know how bad it was. I couldn't let friends know. There was so much shame around it. I was unable to get bank loans. I was unable to get help from my family. I didn't have wealthy friends. I didn't know what to do," she explains.

Then she talks about how she turned things around with Linda's.

In a profile in The Stranger in 2018, Charles Mudede wrote that "the essence of Linda is, as she puts it, working with whatever the universe sends her way—meaning working with chance and accidents to achieve, by necessity, a particular kind of feeling or mood."

The patio at Lindas right now.
On a Sunday like today, this would usually be mobbed with people. Christopher Frizzelle

In her message today, she talks about what people always tell her is their favorite thing about Linda's—someone who works there, it's always about a connection with one of the employees—and she has some news.

"We miss you, and if you miss us, I just want you to know we're doing a pop-up burger window at Linda's, and also at King's Hardware." It started on Thursday, and on the first night they ran out of bags, buns, and Beyond Burgers.

Linda sitting on a table out back while customers were lined up out front.
Linda to small business owners: "I'm rooting for you." Christopher Frizzelle

Thank you for this candid glimpse at what it's like to be a small business owner, Linda.

Thank you for making people feel less alone.

Good luck, everyone, with whatever it is you're struggling with today.

Have a peaceful Sunday.


* *

Previously in this series:


Nick Garrisons message to the city on April 17.
Nick Garrison's message to the city on April 17.

Tomo Nakayamas message to the city on April 16.
Tomo Nakayama's message to the city on April 16.

Rebecca M. Daviss message to the city April 15.
Rebecca M. Davis's message to the city April 15.

Heather McHughs message to the city on April 14.
Heather McHugh's message to the city on April 14.

Brandon ONeills message to the city on April 13.
Brandon O'Neill's message to the city on April 13.

Kate Wallichs message to the city on April 12.
Kate Wallich's message to the city on April 12.

Rebecca Browns message to the city on April 11.
Rebecca Brown's message to the city on April 11.

Lucien Postlewaites message to the city on April 10.
Lucien Postlewaite's message to the city on April 10.

Betty Wetters message to the city on April 9.
Betty Wetter's message to the city on April 9.

Amanda Morgans message to the city on April 8.
Amanda Morgan's message to the city on April 8.

Nancy Guppys message to the city on April 7.
Nancy Guppy's message to the city on April 7.

Jonathan Bisss message to the city on April 6.
Jonathan Biss's message to the city on April 6.

Chris Jeffriess message to the city on April 5.
Chris Jeffries's message to the city on April 5.

Lesley Hazletons message to the city on April 4.
Lesley Hazleton's message to the city on April 4.

John Rodericks message to the city on April 3.
John Roderick's message to the city on April 3.

Bill Cartys message to the city on April 2.
Bill Carty's message to the city on April 2.

Price Suddarths message to the city on April 1.
Price Suddarth's message to the city on April 1.

Kary Waysons message to the city on March 31.
Kary Wayson's message to the city on March 31.

Ellen Forneys message to the city on March 30.
Ellen Forney's message to the city on March 30.

Major Scaless message to the city on March 29.
Major Scales's message to the city on March 29.

E. J. Kohs message to the city on March 28.
E. J. Koh's message to the city on March 28.

Ken Jenningss message to the city on March 27.
Ken Jennings's message to the city on March 27.

Demarre McGills message to the city on March 26.
Demarre McGill's message to the city on March 26.

Lynn Sheltons Message to the City on March 25th.
Lynn Shelton's Message to the City on March 25th.

Timothy White Eagles message to the city on March 24.
Timothy White Eagle's message to the city on March 24.

Cookie Coutures message to the city on March 23.
Cookie Couture's message to the city on March 23.

Sarah Rudinoffs message to the city on March 22.
Sarah Rudinoff's message to the city on March 22.

John Osebolds message to the city on March 21.
John Osebold's message to the city on March 21.


Ben Gibbards message to the city on March 21.
Ben Gibbard's message to the city on March 20.

Nathan Chans message to the city on March 19.
Nathan Chan's message to the city on March 19.