What is your “If I had a restaurant” idea?
Oh man, I am SO glad you asked. I was just telling someone about it the other day. I work in a business park. About 1,000 people in our building. I a surrounded by same. Probably about 20 buildings within a mile that probably average about 800 people each.
So, by that math, you have 16,000 cubicle monkeys like me. They all need to eat. AND… there are no restaurants close by. Worse, the closest ones are at the mall, which is a traffic nightmare. So, if there were to be a restaurant within walking distance… it would KILL, right? I mean, you have a target demographic of 16,000 potential customers. Plus, in today’s commerce world, Monday –Friday 9-5 doesn’t exist anymore. The economy is global, and around the clock… so are these centers… and so would be my customers.
Now, here is where it gets weird. There is a restaurant in there. Really close. Always has been. It is always empty. How? Why? Because it sucks ass. The service sucks, the food sucks, the ambiance sucks. In 16 years in the business park, I have been there twice. It sucked both times, so I never go back. Neither does anyone. Ever. I mean, you could serve spinach pie*** and nothing else and still have a line around the block. See, the mall is so congested with traffic you can’t get in there, eat, and be back in an hour. So, in absolutely every sense, this place has a monopoly on a HUGE business park in the 7th richest county in the United States.
Now, I don’t wanna name names, but the place is called Sun Café. Here is what I would do. I would get someone who knows how to cook and run a restaurant. I can not only do neither, I have no interest in doing either.
But we could make a trillion bucks. I would change the name. Then, most importantly, I would put up a huge ass banner that says ‘under new management’. Then… print up 16,000 menus. I would drop them off in every office lobby. I would stamp all over it “Lono’s****. In the old Sun Café location. Under new management, and new menu. Stop in for 20% for your first visit.”
As for the menu, I don’t even care. I also don’t care what the name is. I have a very good friend who is a restaurant genius. I would let him run everything. It would be simple and tasty. Every day would have the $5 deal. Maybe a small sammich, a trip to salad bar, and a medium fountain soda. Can we do that for $5? Shit if I know. That’s up to Carlos to manage.
Heck, I would keep my office job and stay completely out of it. What do they call that, silent owner? Silent partner? That’s me. Well, I mean… sure I might meddle a tiny bit over menu, name, décor, pricing, seating, music choices. You know, second guess everything he does… like a good silent partner from TV shows. Just kidding, Carlos is an executive chef and insanely likeable. We would get so stupid rich I could outsource this blog nonsense and get back to my true love and passion – blogging.
Billions, Jerry, billions! Know what else I would do? I would buy out Carlos. That guy is a tyrant. He is trying to control the menu, the pricing, even the name. Wtf?
Plus, at this new restaurant, we finally got our liquor license. Friday nights is live music. Specifically, Carlos and I. We have been playing guitar together on and off for about 20 years. Don’t worry, it’s good music. Us two on acoustics out on the patio.
And you? You sit there after work and have a couple beers and smoke a half a pack of smokes. Why? Because you lied and told your wife you were stuck working late, and she also doesn’t know you smoke. Oh, and no getting drunk at lunch, you losers. I am not even selling alcohol until like 4 pm or something. Why? Because ‘just one beer at lunch’ turns in to 4. I am trying to save your job here. It’s not me just being nice and responsible on your behalf. If, and when, they fire you… that is one less customer for us.
Come to think of it, how does that place make rent? I mean, this is an expensive business park and the exact same restaurant has been there for the 16 years I have been there. Oh, and don’t think I don’t see that smug look on your face. You are thinking “well, if they have been there for 16 years then they are obviously pretty successful. Especially in such a competetive and brutal world of restuaranting. Is that a word? Maybe they the got the building free? You don’t know. Point being, don’t ever correct me in front of the blog again. It’s emasculating for both of us. Well, mostly me.
What are your best bar name ideas?
I don’t much care about bar names. I like the punny ones, though. However, it doesn’t mean I would or would go there. A great or terrible name wouldn’t make my business. The “Stagger Inn” or the “Sail In”… stuff like that tickles me.
OOOHHH wait. I know what I would never ever name it. Stallions! Allow me to explain. There is this super cool building that changes hands a LOT. I was fond of it when it was called Bahama Breeze. I mean, the coolest building. A whole courtyard built around a beautiful fountain, great live acoustic music… basically the ideas I have for our restaurant. As I said, it changes hands a lot. Probably because it lies behind the evil mall I mentioned above. Anyway, one of the names it had as it changed hands was ‘Stallions’. It wasn’t a strip bar, or a gay bar. Also, can I say for the record I am not anti-gay. I am super pro gay. I hope to get into gay marriage officiating as soon as Colorado gets their shit together. So, its not that I won’t go to the place because their might be gays. Actually, last few gay bars I have been to have been awesome fun.
But the name – Stallions? At what point in time was that ever a good idea? Especially if you are trying to lure people from a business park. Imagine you went out after work and had a great time. an EPIC time. Like, I am so glad we took a taxi home because I don’t even remember anything after Andrew got kicked out. So, you wake up, all hung over. In your pockets is 3 single bills, a crushed half pack of Camels (seriously, why do they even sell soft packs?) and a book of matches. The book of matches says ‘Stallions’. At that moment, you must think “oh my god, what happened last night” and try and deconstruct it a la the Hangover.
Where/what is the best bar you have been too?
The one we were just at last weekend in Parker was great. Great service and food. Local beers. And even better, the small differences. Great local band who just killed it. Plus, they had a patio with chairs and a fireplace for smokers. SO smart. Everyone, even the surgeon general, smokes when they drink. Usually, we are all relegated to literally standing in the parking lot to smoke, or out back in an alley by the dumpster. In fact, now that I think of it, their smoking area has a roof! Pretty damn handy in Colorado. I hate how almost all bars disregard smokers. Also, they all put the music SO loud you can’t chat. Not this place. Oh, and they had this. In the bathroom, they had a big ass chalkboard over the urinals. So, you could write or read zany things. It sounds silly to describe a bar this way, but everything about the place is thoughtful. It’s like they went to every bar and said ‘what do you love about this place, and what do you hate about this place’ and then incorporated it into their bar.
On top of that, when you are out in the parking lot or the alley having a smoke, you can’t bring your drink. I get that, and agree with it. But, if you wanted me to stand outside in the cold for a smoke so I could actually have a conversation, and I also don’t have a drink in my hand… why am I coming to your establishment? ALL bars should have a patio, if they are savvy. The pot smokers could go out there, too. See, when you are in a sanctioned bar patio… you can drink! This means they can sell more alcohol. It’s a win win!
Even better than that, they have Skeet ball! Or, is it skee ball? You know, the rolly ball thing up the ramp into the little holes. Here is a picture. Anyhow, I played that for hours the other night. Instant fun and childhood memories. Lemme find the name, I want to give them mad props. It’s also not a chain. This is super important to me, to support local business. Ok, found it. They are called ’20 Mile Taphouse’, and even their website is cool. Give them your business when you are down here in south, south Denver.
What is your favorite alcoholic drink recipe?
It just may be on you, Majikwah. You turned me on to it several years ago. It sounds strange, but it is majik. It’s a Guinness, with about 25% Port Wine. Initially, it didn’t have a name, but one night we (and by ‘we’ I mean ‘I’) named it. It is now called the Roger Bottoms. I told that story somewhere here before. Lemme see if I can find it. Found it. Not much more than right here, though. Sorry.
What is one cool bar trick you know?
How to make a Corona bottle, that one right there in your hand (to prove it isn’t a special or rigged bottle) and get it to stick to that wall. Mine version is more compelling than this guys, and it doesn’t have to be a corner. The one thing it does have to be is someone else’s house. This trick, to work, kinda fucks up the paint. That is the only reason you have to use a clear bottle. Then, the damage is pretty negligible. Better yet, go to Stallions, and do it there.
*** Spinach Pie – It is a reference to one of my favorite new jokes. Grab me a guitar and a few beers and I’ll tell you sometime.
**** call it Lono’s – I don’t care what you call it. Honesly. Call it ‘Lono is a bitter little man with a mild Napoleonic complex. Whatevs. Carlos can name it, since he is running it. Just don’t call it Stallions.
***** if you have paid attention, you saw a lot of easter eggs about Funugys. It’s a soul-less bar in Parker that has come to represent everything I hate about most bars. The worst part being the music in there, just a satellite station, not a live band, is so fucking loud last time we were there we had to pass notes to chat. Bonus content, this little rant… this is from the front door of Funugys. To be fair, though, they have better bar food than any restaurant in town. In fact, to call it ‘bar food’ is to belittle it. It’s just really great food. It’s too bad it is such a shitty, loud, tacky, and corporate chain feeling that I always get the food to go. If I want to scream at someone, I can just go home to the wife. 🙂 She doesn’t read this, does she?