Originally created 03/31/97

An extra order of everything



They need more of everything.

More waiters. More seamstresses. Special orders of elk and wild boar.

People are getting ready for the week that is unlike any other in Augusta, and the annual onslaught of visitors for the first full week in April has meant a busy March for many Augusta businesses.

March is the busiest month of the year for Alltogether, a women's clothing store that has many local customers who want to look good out on the course and at the cocktail parties afterward.

Owner Gail Mercer adds seamstresses to her on-site alteration room so they can customize the purchases women need to be ready by the Masters.

The store gets its spring stock in earlier than most stores in other parts of the country would, and it caters to the Masters experience. For days on the golf course it sells bright spring outfits with several layers such as jackets and vests, so people can adjust with the weather. For the night parties it sells less ornate cocktail wear, like a simple white silk top and pants number that's elegant, but not fancy, said Ms. Mercer said.

At Cafe du Teau, a restaurant that is almost completely booked for Masters Week, owner Donn DuTeau has doubled the inventory of china, tablecloths and napkins. The restaurant does about five or six weeks worth of business during the tournament, so it has to have more of everything. The restaurant also has to train the staff he is adding for the event.

"We have to spend a lot of money getting ready for it," said Mr. DuTeau.

At Jill Wagner's Hair Etc., the week before Masters is busier than usual, in part because regular customers move their monthly appointments up to avoid having to deal with traffic during tournament week, said stylist Tara Logue.

Ms. Togue said she in not looking forward to the Masters because she'll have to work from Lincolnton, fighting the traffic to get to a shop that will be quieter than usual while the tournament is played.

Terry Wick Catering experiences a decisive boom during Masters Week. Mr. Wick said he does about three month's worth of business catering parties and special events, and providing meals to players and their families. Staff will bulge to about five times normal size, Mr. Wick said.

This week in the kitchen, people will prepare about 4,000 puff pastries, one of the few things it can prepare and freeze beforehand. Menus will be finalized, and people will take the linens, serving trays and special grills out to people's homes. He does as much as he can in advance, because he needs as much time during tournament week to deal with emergencies and last-minute requests.

This year's parties will be distinguished by increased requests for lamb and wild game, Mr. Wick said. He's placed special orders for buffalo, elk, wild boar, pheasant, quail and venison.

Mr. Wick compared the Masters parties to weddings. People spend money, and they really seem to enjoy themselves.

"Everybody's here to have a good time and everyone knows it," said Mr. Wick. "...It's just really a good time of the year."