"The problem isn't going to go away until people begin to communicate. No question about that. There are all kinds of mediums for it, but they've got to begin to talk to each other, maybe here in a social setting where they realize that the problems, the dreams, and the way people enjoy themselves are similar."
So Sanders says he and his partners sought out a midtown site for the restaurant and "you go along with the hope that you can begin to get people to do things together. You know full well that if you can get people to relax together, socialize together, you're beginning to overcome some of the discomforts, the curiosity factor that they have about each other.
"I certainly don't see Boston as being any different than any other city as far as race problems go, but some of the solutions are that you've got to give people opportunities to do more than just work together. There aren't enough of those situations around."
It is after ten when three young men in polyester suits, ties askew, come in for a drink that clearly isn't their first of the evening. Sanders is huddled in the corner of the lounge, talking with a friend, but notices that the waitress, unable to keep up with the crowd, has not noticed the men. He goes over himself to take their order and is immediately recognized.
"Satch, Satch, it's really you," says one of the men, who introduces himself as Dana. Sanders returns with their drinks, but the three are not about to let him get out of sight. Their questions are tedious, endless, consuming perhaps an hour of Sanders' time.
"Should Maxwell be traded, Satch?" "What do you think of Bird?" "How 'bout Archibald?"
"Sign this. Gimme your autograph. Make it read To Dana.' It's not for me. For my son. He'll love it." "Will the Celts win the championship?" On and on and on. Sanders responds politely, patiently. If Dana has shaken his hand once, he has shaken it a hundred times. But when the former ball player is called away for a minute, the three - the trio so pleased to have Tom Sanders' autograph - scoot out the front door without paying their bill.
Alerted, Sanders follows them out into the darkness of Stanhope Street. "Dana," he calls, looking threatenly down from his six-foot, six-inch height. "The young lady inside, the waitress, indicates that you may have overlooked your bill. Could you come back inside and discuss it?" Polite. Patient. Sanders escorts the three back inside. An American Express card is produced. The bill is paid. The Satch Sanders autographs are safe inside each man's jacket pocket. There are times, Sanders admits, that running a restaurant is not nearly as much fun as playing basketball.