Chefs Judging The Judges

Brian Dickens Barrabee
4 min readJun 27, 2020

# 30 Real Estate Man

A lot of the enjoyment for many in the real estate business is in the process of the acquisition of properties.

My friend and fellow Real Estate Man, Harry, called one morning and asked if Real Estate Man would like to see a property with him. It was fairly priced and was on one of the most desirable streets in Center City, Philadelphia — Walnut St. Properties like he was describing were rare — especially at the price Harry quoted. Real Estate Man eagerly took him up on his offer to see the place. Maybe they could hook up in a partnership.

Harry and Real Estate Man waited in front of the building at the designated time of his appointment with the listing broker. While standing there, Real Estate Man noticed the property across the street. It had a large bank of floor to ceiling windows on the 2nd floor stretching the length of the property, about 80 feet. Admiring it, he mentioned the property on the other side of Walnut St to Harry. Harry told him the whole 2nd floor of that building was rented to the Restaurant School Division of what is now known as the Restaurant School of Walnut Hill College. The school teaches courses in culinary arts, restaurant management, pastry, and hotel management.

Both Harry and Real Estate Man thought the school would be a great neighbor if they were to agree on a deal to purchase the building they were viewing that morning. Harry and Real Estate Man envisioned the smells of haute cuisine meals and freshly baked bread. A perpetual dinner party.

The property they were viewing, was a thing of beauty. It was a magnificent 4 story brownstone, in the classy Victorian style of buildings prevalent on that block of Walnut St.

The selling broker arrived. He told them they had until 12:00 noon to go through the building. That amounted to about 15 minutes! That was far too little time for a thorough analysis. The reason the broker gave us for the early heave-ho was that 12:00 was when the business that occupied the premises opened. The owners didn’t want a couple of real estate men in the property interfering with business, Real Estate Man guessed. What was going on here?

I don’t know; Harry and he weren’t that conspicuous. Were they?

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Brian Dickens Barrabee

Very much involved with the world and likes nothing better than writing about its absurdities. Award winning author who guarantees a laugh or two a story.