From this week's Print Edition

Out With The Old at Shakers

Closing for Renovations; Vintage Register is History
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Shakers restaurant on Fair Oaks Avenue will be closing for renovations from Sept. 29 at 3 p.m. to Oct. 11 — with its old, mechanical cash register (below) being replaced by computerized equipment. Photos by Henk Friezer

A heavy, old-fashioned, button-pushing cash register is having a moment even as it prepares to ride off into the sunset during a remodeling of Shakers restaurant on Fair Oaks Avenue.

There is a photo of the cash register on a sign on the front door, saying that Shakers will be closed for remodeling from Sept. 29 at 3 p.m. to Oct. 11. This kind of non-electric, non-computerized cash register has been a fixture at the restaurant — and the emphasis is about to be on the words “has been.’’

When the restaurant reopens, Shakers will have a computerized cash register, and the old register, which several people guessed weighs about 50 pounds, will become a display piece.

“When people come up to pay their bills, some of them ask, ‘Does that thing still work?’ ’’ said Angie Carbajal, who has been a waitress at the restaurant for the past seven years.

“This cash register really keeps your brain going. You have to think about the change. If the bill is $17.30, you have to punch in 17 and then 30 cents. A computer gives you a total, and the change is already there.

“With the new computerized model, you just push a button for the total and the change amount is right there.’’

A computerized cash register will also help keep up with inventory and sales.

Carbajal has used a computerized cash register, but for some of Shakers’ waiters and waitresses, this is the only cash register they have ever used.

“One thing you can say about it is that it won’t go down if we have a power outage,’’ Carbajal said, noting that the current cash register doesn’t run on electricity like a computerized model.

“It’s been here forever,’’ added host Jonathan Chan. “It is going to be a big change for some of the people who have worked here for a long time.’’

Chan said he was told that the cash register will be shined up and put on display.

“The new computerized cash register is just going to  take time to get used to, but we’re moving in the right direction in terms of what the new cash register can do.’’

The new cash register is just one of the things that will get an upgrade — but one thing that won’t change is Shakers’ old-fashioned feel, the proprietors say.

General manager Sergio Martinez said the entire restaurant will get a “facelift,’’ with new tables and booths, and new carpeting and tiles.

But the basic look and feel of Shakers will remain the same, Martinez said.

Andy Lippman

A former Los Angeles bureau chief for the Associated Press, Lippman writes weekly about some South Pasadena person, business, issue or trend.

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