Bar Business August 2017

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August 2017



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August 2017



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Does Your Venue

Sparktacular offers a dazzling—and safe—solution

Lack spark?

Get Organized Three new technologies

Craft Craze

Small producers make a big impact


Extreme Hospitality Training

Hospitality Consulting Services Work Directly with

Jon Taffer and his team

We Consult To: • • • •

Chain Restaurants & Franchises Casino Properties Multi-Unit Operations Large Independent Operations

VISIT OUR WEBSITE TODAY to receive your complimentary copy

Contents How Tos


Get Organized!


Three technologies to make running your bar easier and more efficient.


Navigating Social Media


A Strategic Approach to Workplace Safety

Capitalize on your social media platforms.

Five common risks every bar owner needs to address.


Tuning Up: Projecting Profits Installing a projector brings many benefits.



From the Editor


On Tap

A letter from our Editor Ashley Bray Industry news and announcements.


Behind the Bar



In-depth analysis of beer, wine, and spirits. Important dates for the month.


Bar Tour





Featured product releases. Aaron Polsky – Hollywood’s Harvard & Stone.




A renovation reinvigorates Upper East Bar, a rooftop hotel bar in San Diego.

Small Producers, Big Impacts

Well-chosen craft spirits can surprise and delight your audience Cover photo: Shutterstock/ Vladimir Hodac

Cover STory Sparking Interest

How one company is changing indoor pyrotechnics.

Contents photo: Shutterstock/ Joshua Resnick

August 2017

Bar Business Magazine




August 2017

What is your favorite craft spirit or brew?

Vol. 10

No. 8

Bar Business Magazine (ISSN 1944-7531) is published by Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation 55 Broad St 26th Fl., New York, NY 10004

subscription department 800-895-4389

executive offices President Arthur J. McGinnis, Jr. Publisher Art Sutley 212-620-7247


Editor Ashley Bray 212-620-7220

“I love Bold Rock Hard Cider. It is as crisp as the Blue Ridge Mountains from where it hails.”

Contributing Writers Emily Eckart, Elyse Glickman, Andria Park, David Quezada, Rachael Robbins


“I’m a huge fan of Boston’s Downeast Cider. Plus it comes in a can—perfect for summer cookouts!”

Art Director Nicole Cassano Graphic Designer Aleza Leinwand


Corporate Production Director Mary Conyers Digital Ad Operations Associate Kevin Fuhrmann


Circulation Director Maureen Cooney

advertising sales Art Sutley 212-620-7247

“Kona Brewing Co. Big Wave Golden Ale. A refreshing Hawaiian ale that tastes like summer twelve months out of the year.”

Bar Business Magazine (Print ISSN 1944-7531, Digital ISSN 2161-5071) (USPS#000-342) is published February, April, June, August, October, and December. January, March, May, July, September, and November will only be offered in a digital format at no charge by Simmons-Boardman Publ. Corp, 55 Broad St. 26th Floor, New York, NY 10004. Printed in the U.S.A. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY and Additional mailing offices. Pricing, Qualified U.S. Bar Owners may request a free subscription. Non-qualified subscriptions printed or digital version: 1 year US $45.00; Canada $90.00; foreign $189.00; foreign, air mail $289.00. 2 years US $75.00; Canada $120.00; foreign $300.00; foreign, air mail $500.00. BOTH Print & Digital Versions: 1 year US $68.00; Canada $135.00; foreign $284.00; foreign, air mail $384.00. 2 years US $113.00; Canada $180.00; foreign $450.00; foreign, air mail $650.00. Single Copies are $10.00 ea. Subscriptions must be paid for in U.S. funds only. COPYRIGHT © Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation 2017. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced without permission. For reprint information contact: Art Sutley, Phone (212) 620-7247, or asutley@ For Subscriptions, & address changes, Please call (800) 895-4389, (402) 346-4740, Fax (402) 346-3670, e-mail or write to: Bar Business Magazine, SimmonsBoardman Publ. Corp, PO Box 3135, Northbrook, IL 60062-3135. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Bar Business Magazine, PO Box 3135, Northbrook, IL 60062-3135. Instructional information in this magazine should only be performed by skilled craftspeople with the proper equipment. The publisher and authors of information provided herein advise all readers to exercise care when engaging in any of the how-to activities published in the magazine. Further, the publisher and authors assume no liability for damages or injuries resulting from projects contained herein.


Bar Business Magazine

August 2017

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From The Editor

editor I

recently returned from my first Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans last month, which was a whirlwind of spirits, seminars, and socializing. Bar Business Magazine started off the trip with the second annual Shakes on a Plane (pictured), where mixologists and Bar Rescue experts Mia Mastroianni and Phil Wills shook and stirred cocktails at 30,000 feet on a JetBlue flight to New Orleans. Check out page 6 for more on the high-flying event. At Tales, one of the things that interested me most was a seminar on gin and genever sponsored by Rutte Distillery. The session gave not only a history of the origins of gin and genever (did you know some of the first recorded uses of gin were for medicinal purposes?), but also a lesson on the difference between gin and genever. You may be wondering just what this strange word “genever” really is, and you wouldn’t be alone in that considering the US accounts for well under one percent of the genever drank around the world. Genever is a dutch spirit, and the short version definition for this column is that it is a bridge between gin and whiskey— sort of the missing evolutionary link, if you will. (Note: Look for more on genever and Rutte Distillery in our October issue.) The main difference between it and gin


Bar Business Magazine

is the malt wine that’s added to genever, which gives it a grainier taste more akin to what we expect from whiskey. In the seminar, we had the opportunity to taste a variety of cocktails made with genever, and I couldn’t help thinking that US bartenders are missing out on an opportunity to differentiate themselves while introducing their patrons to something new. It’s true that genever is not widely available in the US, but that will only change if more bars start carrying and using it and more patrons start asking for it. You may be leery to introduce something new, especially such an unknown spirit, but the opportunity is there, according to the latest Nielsen CGA On Premise User Survey Data. “We know that one-fourth of on-premise visitors don’t know what category they’re going to drink before entering an outlet,” says Scott Elliott, SVP, Nielsen CGA. That means a good amount of your customers are undecided when they sidle up to your bar looking for suggestions. Why not introduce them to genever? In addition, the Nielsen survey found that 72% of drinkers reported taste as the most important factor when choosing a cocktail. Mix up a tasty cocktail using genever, and you’ve just created a convert.

As bar owners or bartenders, you hold the power to introduce new spirits and create a following, and you’re not alone in doing so. Are you a fan of a new spirit but unsure how to use or introduce it? Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. “The obvious challenge for retailers is in giving any one category enough attention to really achieve it’s potential,” says Elliott. “Given retailers have to focus on so many different elements of the business, it is essential that they work with the experts— the brand owners and the good distributors committed to adding value—to refine the finer elements of their drinks offer.” I’ll leave you with one more statistic from the Nielsen survey: The average cocktail drinker spends $25.61 on cocktails per occasion, and this figure increases to $31.74 for millennials. Your cocktail drinkers are out there— don’t be afraid to give them something new to try.

Ashley bray, Editor

August 2017

Photo: Margaret Pattillo Photography.

from the

From ON TAP The Editor

ON TAP Cheers to cocktails at 30,000 feet.

he second annual Shakes on a Plane took off on a JetBlue flight from JFK airport on July 18 en route to Tales of the Cocktail® in New Orleans. Mixologists and Bar Rescue Experts Mia Mastroianni and Phil Wills were back this year to mix up three brandnew cocktails at 30,000 feet. Mastroianni is the founding bartender of Soho House in West Hollywood and a familiar face in bartending competitions. Wills has worked in all types of establishments and is the cofounder of The Spirits in Motion, an LA beverage consulting company. Mia and Phil pre-batched nearly 450 cocktails (a mocktail version included) before boarding the plane. This year, passengers were treated to a Mardi Gras Sunrise Negroni, which included Campari, sweet vermouth, and Bombay Sapphire gin infused with strawberry by the mixologists. Next up was the Mile High Mixer, which was a combination of Dewar’s White Label Scotch, simple syrup, and 6

Bar Business Magazine

barrel-aged vanilla bitters also created by the mixologists. The crowd favorite was the N’awlins SoFly Punch, which mixed up Bacardi Superior Rum, passionfruit syrup,

My favorite JetBlue flight of the year.

- Art Sutley Ocean Spray orange juice, nutmeg, and Seagram’s club soda. A nonalcoholic version of this cocktail was also available. In addition to the free cocktails, passengers also received a gift bag full of Tales-worthy goodies before boarding

their JetBlue flight: a Dewar’s flask, a Seagram’s bottle opener, Bacardi sunglasses and headphones, a shaker and tin from Bombay Sapphire, the book The Coupe by Brian Hart Hoffman, and of course—the latest issue of Bar Business Magazine! Once the JetBlue flight touched down in New Orleans, Tales of the Cocktail was fully underway. Passengers had plenty more cocktails and spirits to taste, including the official cocktail of Tales, Zachary Faden’s (Mirabelle in Washington, D.C.) “Embrasse de la Terre.” Faden’s spin on the martini includes Rutte Old Simon Genever, Dolin Dry Vermouth de Chambéry, Yellow Chartreuse, and Bitter Truth Celery Bitters. During Tales, the cocktail was featured on the menus of Victory as well as the Cocktail Bar at Windsor Court. With 84 seminars, 86 tasting rooms, 29 spirited dinners, and 71 cocktail apprentices from around the world, this year’s 15-year anniversary event was hotter than ever.

August 2017

All Photos: Margaret Pattillo Photography.


Tales of the Cocktail 2017

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From ON TAP The Editor

The nearly week-long event also included The Spirited Awards®. Winners were voted on by two panels of over 100 industry experts. “The Spirited Awards get more and more competitive because our industry keeps raising its game every single year,” said Ann and


Bar Business Magazine

Paul Tuennerman, Co-Founders of Tales of the Cocktail®. Some of the winners included Dante in New York (Best American Restaurant Bar), Columbia Room in Washington D.C. (Best American Cocktail Bar), The Hawthorne at Hotel Commonwealth in

Boston (Best American Hotel Bar), and Blacktail in New York (Best New American Cocktail Bar). The coveted World’s Best Cocktail Bar went to Dandelyan in London. Charles Schumann took home the Lifetime Achievement Award.

August 2017

Featured Cocktail — Official Cocktail of Tales of the Cocktail 2017


DE LA TERRE Made in Dordrecht, Netherlands for more than 140 years, Rutte’s gins and genevers today are the result of seven generations of Rutte fathers meticulously teaching their sons the art of distillation, always with a passion for craft. They still hand-make their gins and genevers in the same tiny back-room where the founder, Simon Rutte, concocted his first spirits back in 1872. Pictured here with the a food pairing of summer crab, peaches, cracked corn nuts from two time winner of the James Beard Award David Rosengarten.

Recipe 2 ounces Rutte Old Simon Genever 1 ounce Dolin Dry Vermouth de Chambéry 1⁄4 ounce Yellow Chartreuse 3 dashes Bitter Truth Celery Bitters Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir to chill. Strain into a chilled coupe. Enjoy. No garnish. The drink blooms while stirred and is pleasantly aromatic.

Zachary Faden


Washington, D.C.

From ON TAP The Editor 2017 World Gin Day #Brocktail Competition Winners


Wine from the Heavens


setra in San Diego’s bustling Gaslamp Quarter is known for its steaks, seafood, and pasta menu. The focal point of the restaurant is centered around a three-story tower, housing an award-winning wine collection. At first glance, the structure appears to be an impenetrable wine fortress, but the wine inside is regularly ordered by guests and is accessed with ease—by flying angels! Ordering a glass of wine at Osetra makes for a heavenly spectacle, quite literally. Each time a bottle needs to be retrieved, an Osetra “wine angel” clad in wings will float up and around the tower to fetch it. A remotecontrolled lift system gives the angels the power to float around.

he Brockmans 2017 World Gin Day competition to find the world’s favorite #Brocktail, a cocktail created using Brockmans Gin, attracted 118 entries via Instagram from bartenders in 12 countries. After five days of voting by the public through social media, the winning Brocktail, for the second consecutive year, came from Glasgow, Scotland. Two runners-up from Berlin and Moscow were also selected. In addition to the global winners, four U.S.-based bartenders were awarded Honorable Mention as top vote getters in their respective markets. Global Winner: Ginto the Wild by The Spiritualist in Glasgow, U.K. created by Sebastian Stanczyk. Runners-Up: The Flamingo Mallet by Galander Charlottenburg in Berlin, Germany created by Bartender Guilherme Kilpp Gonzatti and Lasy by Pinch Restaurant in Moscow, Russia created by Bartender Anton Maltsev.

U.S. Honorable Mention: The Ocha by The Poynt in Newburyport, MA created by Bartender Brett Henderson; The Strawberry Letter 23 by Gin Parlour in New York City created by Bartender Orion Berge; The Gin Lulu by Pier 115 Bar and Grill in Edgewater, New Jersey created by Bartender Alberto Martinez; Sunshine on a Cloudy Day by Blind Pig in Hartford, CT created by Bartender Justin Morales. To view all of the winning recipes, visit

Dogfish Opens New Brewpub


n celebration of twenty-two years, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, a familyowned company led by founders/owners Sam and Mariah Calagione, has opened the new Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats. Located next door to the original, the new 6,300-square-foot brewpub has a vibrant interior style designed by DIGSAU Architects, an award-winning Philadelphia based firm practicing contemporary architecture. An elevated, 220-square-foot music stage equipped with a premium sound and lighting system and professional soundboard, will host national and

regional musical performances. The menu at Brewings & Eats highlights original pub fare with some newly inspired items. A large, horseshoe style, walnut-top bar features a tap tower constructed from repurposed metal from the Milton brewery. The draft tower features twenty-four taps pouring fanfavorite Dogfish Head beers. Guests will also enjoy Brewpub Exclusives, caskconditioned beers, and a highly focused cocktail program with scratch-made spirits from Dogfish Head Distilling Co.

What’s Trending On BARBIZMAG.COM Video: the first smart POs

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Bar Business Magazine

National rum day

National Rum Day is August 16, but why only celebrate one day? Toast to this favorite spirit all month long with a bevy of rum recipes on our website that you can whip up at your own location.

Online Exclusive Content

Did you miss last month’s Behind the Bar “Molecular Mixology” column, or want more information? Visit our site now to view online-only pictures as well as additional content about a special absinthe glass.

August 2017

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Let’s talk

Behind The Bar: Tequila


Exploring tequila, mezcal, and sotol. BY Rachael Robbins


Bar Business Magazine


spent a large part of my life in what I call the “Salmon Phase.” This era consisted of me fighting my way through life— swimming upstream against the current. I was trying to force everything to happen, but the only thing I accomplished was making things harder! One day, exhausted and defeated, I decided to start going with the flow. Once I started to float down the lazy river of life, all the pieces just fell together beautifully. Fear not, this article isn’t about salmon-based cocktails, but it is about how you can make an amazing cocktail by switching out the main ingredient for

tequila, mezcal, or sotol! I know what you’re thinking: “Rachael, you lost me at tequila.” But I’m going to open your eyes to amazing spirits that are essentially the “cousins” of tequila. Let’s start out in familiar territory: tequila. Originally, to be considered authentic, it had to be made from the blue agave plant in cities surrounding Tequila, Mexico. However, regulations now allow for a “mixto” tequila, which is 51% blue agave. The other 49% is dealer’s choice (and that’s usually cheap and not the best choice). Mixto can also have artificial colors and additives. I had the pleasure of experiencing Titanium Tequila Blanco, and CEO

August 2017

All Photos: Chris Capaci.

Splitting Lanes

Behind The Bar: Tequila Casey Hartle explained what makes this product so smooth. He told me they don’t over-distill because, “Allowing the agave to speak is as important as having that refined finish.” Hartle wants the drinker to “enjoy the rewarding flavors of a highlands agave while getting a refined finish that melts off the palette where others leave a heavy burn.” It’s a classically created spirit made in Mexico, which blends old and new techniques. They use “organic ingredients as much as possible during the process, as higher quality ingredients make for a better tequila.” Since Titanium was so smooth, I decided to try it in my version of an espresso martini, and the result was a delicious cocktail with extra body, fullness, and flavor layers. By switching out the vodka and adding a smooth, high-end tequila, someone who isn’t a vodka drinker can experience a cocktail they might never have ordered. Or, a customer who already imbibes tequila will be exposed to a memorable option that they will come back for. Next stop: mezcal! Mezcal can use any type of agave (there are over 30 different varieties). Tequila is made by steaming the agave inside industrial ovens, then distilling it up to three times in metal pots. Whereas mezcal calls for cooking the agave in underground pits lined with lava rocks and filled with wood and charcoal before distilling it in clay pots. The result is a delicious, smoky flavor with a surprising hint of saltiness. Using salt and saline is a popular trend on the cocktail scene, and mezcal has it built in! Smoking cocktails are another huge mixology trend, but you don’t have to buy a smoking gun, the smoking box, and wood chips to achieve this. Use a smoky mezcal, and you get all the taste

with much less effort. I’m very drawn to working with mezcals because, besides adding an amazing flavor profile to any drink, they are handmade and created in small batches. In other words, this is an exceptional booze. Because the majority of mezcals are artisanal, most are very exclusive. Yes, these are fine spirits that can hold their own against any great single-malt scotch. You will not find these brands at Señor Frog’s in Cancun. Many are created by hand in small villages occupying a particular region of Mexico. Picture a donkey pulling a large grinding stone that mashes the charred and caramelized agave hearts into a pulp before fermentation. Bruxo Mezcal Brand Ambassadors Anna Karp and David Ruis expanded on the interesting production process, “Bruxo is made in several villages, all of which are a good trip from Oaxaca City. Because we are a collective of mezcaleros, sometimes families and relations work in the palenques. Bruxo No. 2 is produced by Don Pablo and his family.” Bruxo No.2 is considered “ joven” or silver, but joven is often blended with a small amount of older mezcal to add some of the richer, more mature characteristics found in reposado and añejo. This is clearly the case with Bruxo No. 2, as it has a buttery hue and more viscosity then a typical silver. In this case, the smokiness takes a back seat to the floral, chocolatey, sweet and spicy notes, and is rich on the saltiness. Because the smokiness is subtle, I decided to do a riff on a Tequila Sunrise. With Bruxo No. 2 as the base, I’m already starting with a complex flavor. By adding high-end ingredients like fresh muddled pineapple, lime, and Cocktail & Sons Fassionola Syrup, I created a sophisticated version of a very simple, classic cocktail. A fine spirit like

Allowing the agave to speak is as important as having that refined finish.

TEQUILA Blanco Titanium Tequila Blanco highlights the citrus notes in food.

BRUXO Mezcal Bruxo Mezcal pairs well with high-acid foods.

ULTRA Aged Titanium Tequila’s Ultra Aged can be used in cocktails less associated with tequilas, such as a Rob Roy.

August 2017

Bar Business Magazine


Behind The Bar: Tequila

Dirty Chai Martini 1 oz Titanium Blanco Tequila 1.5 oz Kahlúa .5 oz Espresso .5 oz Grand Marnier 4 Dashes Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Aromatic Bitters Shake all ingredients until chilled. Serve up in a martini glass. Top with fresh, unsweetened whipped cream and grated nutmeg. (Espresso Martini variation)

Splitting Lanes 1.5 oz Ilegal Reposado Mezcal 1 oz Triple sec .5 oz Lemon juice .5 oz Lime juice 1/4 oz Allspice Dram Stir until chilled and serve up in a martini glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick. (Sidecar Variation)

Is that Sotol Is? 1 oz Hacienda De Chihuahua Sotol Plata 1 oz Sweet Vermouth 1 oz Galliano L’Aperitivo

Stir all ingredients until chilled. Serve with one large ice cube. Garnish with a lemon twist. (Negroni variation)

Just Another Mezcal Sunset 2 oz Bruxo No. 2 Mezcal Joven 2 oz Fresh Pineapple juice 1 oz Lime juice 1 oz Cocktail & Sons Fassionola Syrup Add the Fassionola Syrup to the bottom of a thin Collins glass. Chill the rest of the ingredients. Add crushed ice to glass. Top with chilled mixture. Garnish with pineapple leaves. (Tequila Sunrise variation) 14

Bar Business Magazine

Dirty Chai Martini

Bruxo Mezcal deserves to be accompanied by equally worthy ingredients, so skip the artificial grenadine! If you’ve read any of my previous articles, you know that I am a farm girl with an affinity for all things natural. So when I read the ingredients in Ilegal Mezcal are “100% Agave, Oaxacan Sun, Water, and Time,” I was already sold. When I tasted the reposado, I was immediately smitten by the complexity. Each bottle is hand corked, labeled, and numbered. They are advocates of biodiversity and environmental protection in the Oaxaca region. Ilegal is the “dude” of mezcals, and I wanted to use it in a recipe that reflected its old-world charm and badass-ness. I made a classic sidecar and used the mezcal in place of cognac. Now I never want a sidecar any other way! Next up, sotol! Don’t worry, I didn’t know what this was either. Hacienda De Chihuahua was kind enough to send me a bottle of their Plata and talk about this pure, richly flavored, highly valued, 800-year-old spirit. “It is an organic agavacea, wild-harvested in the Chihuahuan Desert of Northern Mexico, which takes 15 years to mature,” said Hacienda De Chihuahua. The master distiller “meticulously oversees our stateof-the-art production process, which starts by slow steam cooking the wildharvested plants, and naturally ferments them with champagne yeast.” Their Plata

(or un-aged) is twice distilled in doublecolumn copper and directly bottled. My first sip reaction was wow. It had so many appealing flavors—mint, fresh cut grass, subtle sweetness, herbaceous, and even a slight vanilla finish. I had a notion that this would be great in my favorite cocktail, a negroni, and I was right. Because sotol is similar to gin in that it is rich with a multitude of flavors, it held its own. I made my negroni with the new Galliano L’Aperitivo and Carpano Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth, but you can play around with your favorites. These four brands are high-end, delicious, and master crafted, so I would encourage you to have your customers try them straight up or on the rocks. Adding them to a classic cocktail could also make the difference between a good drink that fades from memory, and an unforgettable visit to your establishment. Add these three liquors to your bar, and float down life’s lazy river as your profits soar! Rachael Robbins owns Chickologist, a cocktail consulting company. Her objective is to infiltrate “the boy’s club of mixology” and show that chicks can mix a mean drink too. She’s tended bar in NYC, Miami, LA, & NJ for 20 years. She opened a speakeasy in Jersey City and created innovative cocktails. She’s the in-house Mixologist for VDKA 6100. Reach her at or @chickologist. Chris Capaci: @capacityimages or

August 2017

Behind The Bar: Tequila


here’s a new tequila in town thanks to Savage & Cooke distillery in Mare Island, California. Focused on providing small lots of exceptional brown spirits, including bourbon, American whiskey, and rye, the distillery takes the process seriously and grows its own grains. “It was important for us to be a legitimate distillery and not just try to ride a trend,” says Dave Phinney, Owner of Savage & Cooke. The distillery has now extended its meticulous approach to tequila, and together as equal partners

Top-Notch Tequila with the Ramirez family, has launched Ayate Tequila. The Ramirez family is well known for producing quality tequilas, and Ayate is distinguished from other brands by the experience of its creators and its distillation process. Each individual agave is selected by Rosendo Ramirez Senior, who has been farming in the region for his entire life. The hearts of the plant, piñas, are expertly extracted by jimadors that have worked the fields for decades. The piñas are transported to the distillery, the core is removed, and then they are precisely cut into four segments using a technique developed by Rosendo. Roasting takes place in an autoclave with a proprietary process, and the sweet juices are slowly coaxed out of the piñas and separated for fermentation, which is performed in

Featured Cocktail

traditional copper pots. The tequilas are aged in different barrels—the Reposado is aged for four months in new American oak barrels followed by four months of finishing in Chardonnay barrels. The Añejo is aged for two months in new American barrels, transferred to used French oak barrels for a resting period of four months, and finished in Chardonnay barrels for six months. The tequila is cut with spring water sourced from the property. The 80-proof tequila is handbottled in a custom-designed bottle hand-painted with precious metals. “We’re trying to get away from the more traditional labels and set ourselves apart,” says Phinney. Ayate Tequila is available in many states nationwide. In mid-November, the distillery will welcome visitors for tours and tastings.

Recipe 2 parts Ayate Reposado Tequila 1.5 parts dragon fruit puree 1/4 part orange juice



Ayate Tequila represents the collaboration of winemaker Dave Phinney of the Napa Valley and the legendary Ramirez family of Guanajuanto, Mexico. What began as a friendship and a love for Tequila developed into a project we are proud to call Ayate, inspired by the story of Juan Diego and Our Lady of Guadalupe. Our first two offerings, Ayate Reposado and Ayate Anejo, have just been released in select markets. Both offerings have been uniquely aged in Dave’s Napa Valley Chardonnay barrels.

1 part fresh sour mix (1/3 lime, 1/3 lemon, 1/3 simple syrup) Mix all ingredients over ice, shake and strain over fresh ice. Rim glass with a mixture of cayenne pepper, salt and cracked pink peppercorn. Zest an orange over the mixture and garnish with an orange slice. Recipe By: Niccole Trzaska

Savage&Cook_RecipeAd_Half.indd 1

August 2017

8/11/17 10:43 AM

Bar Business Magazine


Happenings September 2017


SEPTEMBER 16 German Oktoberfest Today marks the start of Oktoberfest. Raise a stein to Germany with a selection of the country’s brews.

Punches that serve large groups are growing in popularity. Don’t have any on your menu? Today is a great day to test drive the concept.

29 SEPTEMBER 12 Chocolate Milkshake Day Add an alcoholic twist to this favorite treat with brandy, chocolate liqueur, or Kahlúa.


SEPTEMBER 29 International Coffee Day Brew up a strong pot and use it to inspire cocktails like espresso martinis, irish coffees, and white russians.

SEPTEMBER 4 Labor Day Give summer a proper send-off with some refreshing and patriotic cocktails.

Bar Business Magazine August 2017

All Photos:

SEPTEMBER 20 National Rum Punch Day

Happenings SEPTEMBER 2 International Bacon Day


It’s hard to improve on bacon, but you can try by serving it up alongside some great brunch cocktails.


september California Rum Festival September 8, 2017 San Francisco, CA

SEPTEMBER 19 Talk Like a Pirate Day Shiver your timbers and get a list of drinks ready all made with a pirate’s spirit of choice—rum.

florida restaurant & lodging show September 10-12, 2017 Orlando, FL

Kentucky Bourbon Fest September 11-17, 2017 Bardstown, KY


SEPTEMBER 22 Autumn Equinox It’s officially pumpkin season. Break out the seasonal beers and ciders.

The Foodservice Technology Conference Trade Show September 17-19, 2017 Anaheim, CA

OCTOBER Great American Beer Festival October 5-7, 2017 Denver, CO


SEPTEMBER 7 NFL Regular Season Starts Football season is back! Need advice on getting your projector ready to show the games? Turn to page 30.

November On-premise adult beverage Conference November 5-7, 2017 Cape Coral, FL

August 2017

Bar Business Magazine


How To Three technologies to make running your bar easier and more efficient.

Get Organized! By Ashley Bray


How To: Organizational Tech

Photos: (left) Shutterstock/ Roman Samborskyi; (right) StaffedUp and Partender.

very business has pain points, and as a bar owner, I’m sure you can name quite a few. To help you combat some of these problem areas, we’ve compiled three timesaving technologies aimed at making the process of hiring, completing inventory, and collecting and paying sales tax, easier and more efficient.

StaffedUp Your bar is only as good as your employees, but finding the right talent can be a challenge. The founders of StaffedUp (, a simplified recruiting software, know this problem well as it was something they struggled with in their own bars and restaurants. “What we did was create a solution to our own problem by understanding the actual functionality of the hiring process in our industry and where improvements could be made,” explains Billy Giordano, Business Development for StaffedUp. “We took our experience, leveraged that, and built a solution.” StaffedUp is an online applicant tracking system and application process that simplifies both the applying and hiring process. For bar owners, onboarding only takes about 15 minutes and requires the user to create an account, set up application questions, and add the positions they’re hiring for. “We’ve got the most important pieces of an applicant tracking system. We want to be able to review effectively and efficiently, ask the right questions, and make that flexible to our clients,” says Giordano. “We’ve got customizable prequalification questions where you can actually eliminate talent that doesn’t meet your minimum criteria without having to manually review them.” The focus is on the quality of applicants versus quantity, and this gives bars the best selection of applicants while eliminating desperation hires based only on the most recent applications at the top of your stack. Applicants benefit as well with a faster and easier online application, a resume builder, and one-click

Services like StaffedUp and Partender aim to simplify the bar or restaurant owner’s life with technology. StaffedUp offers a simplified hiring process, while Partender cuts down the time and increases the accuracy of inventory checks.

qualification that allows bars and restaurants to update applicants on the status of their application. StaffedUp also emphasizes marketing the hiring process to get the word out to as many applicants as possible. Users can copy and paste links about job postings onto a variety of different platforms and social media pages. Just getting the applications online is a step in the right direction for many bars and restaurants. “You want to put your application process where your applicants are going to be looking,” says Giordano. “We integrate with our client’s website. We actually built out a Facebook Web app so that we integrate directly with Facebook, and there’s an ‘apply here’ tab that lives on your page permanently.” StaffedUp builds a custom URL for each client that they can then share on other Web platforms they may have a presence on such as Craigslist or a jobposting site. “You can drive all your traffic into one place,” says Giordano. “Now you have this really easily managed database and a focused and centralized place to qualify and review talent.” Partender How long does inventory take your bar? Are you looking to cut down the time or find a more accurate method of doing it? The Partender app ( may be the option you’re looking for. Partender cuts down the time bars

spend on doing inventory to fifteen minutes with up to 99.2% accuracy, and customers are averaging a savings of up to $10,000 in under three months of weekly use. So how does Partender work? The app eliminates the arbitrary 10-point scale “guesstimation” process. “When you pull up the app on your device, you can visualize all your inventory in the Virtual Venue, which is a blueprint of your bar,” says Erwin Felicilda, Head of Marketing at Partender. “The inventory process on Partender is accurate and consistent because every bottle has an image with markers. “To do inventory, go to the location of the bottle in the Virtual Venue (e.g., left shelves in the main bar), pull up the real image of the bottle, and tap to wherever the liquor level is on the bottle in front of you. If the liquor level is right below the “C” in Cointreau, you just tap to that exact spot in the app to get an accurate

Pro Tip Be smart about technology use. If an app or online service can simplify, automate, or speed up a process, then think about investing in it.

August 2017

Bar Business Magazine


How To: Organizational Tech measure. Tap and swipe to the next bottle on the shelf until you inventory the last bottle. After you hit ‘Run Report,’ you instantly get your inventory report in your inbox.” Partender’s proprietary algorithms can tell you down to the last drop and dollar value of how much each bottle is worth in retail and wholesale dollars. It also enable users to split up inventory work across an unlimited number of devices; send orders directly to your reps and automatically convert orders to invoices; instantly get your cost of goods sold to view your beverage costs for every brand, category, or subcategory to improve pricing strategy and identity theft; and more. Ours is an industry with small margins, and by not doing consistent and frequent full inventory checks, bars stand to lose about 23% of product. Plus, frequent inventory means more data points and robust analytics. “By doing consistent, accurate, and frequent inventory, you can see what’s

trending, what’s dead-stock, what pricing needs to be optimized, where you might have an issue,” says Felicilda, who points out that Partender also offers a suite of reporting tools and analytics. “Our dashboard gives our

Timesaving technologies can help combat your pain points.

customers the ability to view detailed graphs and trends of what their customers are drinking in real-time. They can compare different products and see what should be swapped out for

Kelvin Slush Co.’s organic frozen cocktail mixes make frozen wine cocktails the perfect summer drink. Kelvin makes it easy to create frozen wine cocktails like their ever-popular Frosé (aka frozen rosé), or a frozen version of the Aperol Spritz.

better margins and higher profits. On top of that, they’re able to easily reduce dead stock and order smarter to free up thousands of dollars in cash.” DAVO Sales Tax Paying taxes is one of the mundane realities of owning a bar. Collecting the tax, filing, and paying on time is paramount, as the consequences can be quite costly. “It’s against the law in every state to use the sales tax money for anything other than just earning interest while you’re holding it for the state,” explains Owen Brown, CEO of DAVO Sales Tax by DAVO Technologies (davosalestax. com). “If you forget to pay the state or you’re late, it’s considered theft.” The penalties for late or missed payments vary from state to state. Brown quotes the example of Florida, where a 10% penalty is tacked on to the sales tax that you owe. If the missed sales tax isn’t addressed after three months, it’s considered a felony and the business


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How To: Organizational Tech owner can even be jailed. DAVO was created to ensure that business owners avoid these penalties by collecting and paying sales tax on time. “We collect the sales tax from the merchant daily, set it aside safe and secure where the merchant can’t use it accidentally,” says Brown, “and then file and pay for them when their sales tax is due—whether it’s monthly or quarterly.” For $39.99 a month, bar owners can sign up with DAVO, which is a cloudbased system that integrates with their POS system or QuickBooks Online. Onboarding takes just minutes and requires users to input information about their business such as the Tax ID and bank account that DAVO should impound the sales tax from. Users are also required to input their e-file information for their state’s filing page. “We use their credentials so that the state recognizes that it is ‘Joe’s Bar and Grill’ as opposed to DAVO,” says Brown. Once this process is complete, DAVO

begins collecting the sales tax daily. “We poll their sales data on a daily basis— their taxable sales, non-taxable sales, tax exempt—and thus their sales tax. And then we orchestrate an automated impound of their sales tax money that they collect every day into a safe-holding account,” says Brown. The sales tax collected is based on the transactions keyed into the POS system, so owners must ensure that this information is correct. Brown also cautions bar owners that sell items with tax included in the price, such as beer, to be sure that they’re using a POS system that recognizes tax included. Otherwise, the amount of sales tax they owe will be off. When the sales tax is due, DAVO files and pays on behalf of the client. “They get an email with confirmation, time stamped by the state, saying how much money was paid to the state on their behalf, and they get a tax return attached,” says Brown. Owners also get daily “success emails”

telling them what their sales were for the day, what DAVO is taking out for sales tax, and a running total of their sales and sales tax for the month. Owners can access all of this information any time by logging into their dashboard. DAVO also helps businesses with their cash management. “The biggest problem for small merchants really is the cash management side and having the funds available when it’s time to pay,” explains Brown. “You’d be surprised how many small merchants use their sales tax money for operating expenses.” DAVO currently has customers in every state with sales tax requirements, and they’re working on integrating with even more POS systems. “Our customers really believe that we are doing a great service for them,” explains Brown. “They have clear minds, and they can go on and do the things that they want to do to help build their business.”

KELVIN Frosé Recipe 1 bottle (64 oz) Kelvin Organic Frosé Mix 4 bottles (4 x 750 mL) Rosé Wine 500 mL Vodka 1.5 gal Water Combine all ingredients in slush machine & freeze.

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How To

How To: social media

Navigating Social Media Capitalize on your social media platforms.


n an age where social media reigns supreme for staying in contact with friends and family, popular platform giants like Twitter and Facebook are proving that it’s just as effective for business. Not only do these avenues provide companies with a way to retrieve valuable customer data—such as demographics, buying trends, etc.—they also provide a (mostly) free way to reach customers directly to build relationships

Pro Tip Download a free guide for the latest Facebook stats, content ideas, tips, and tricks to drive results and get more customers in your door:


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and also market their offerings. If any of these concepts sound foreign to you, or if you’re having trouble engaging with your customers on social media, read on. “Bars know their community of fans and followers,” explains Caroline Baker, Content Marketing Manager of Main Street Hub, “and creating content that both represents their business and speaks to their interests is the best way to build their brand online and reach their loyal fans and potential customers.” Main Street Hub is a marketing company that helps local businesses build their brands from the bottom up. They assemble a team of writers, designers, and tech experts to take care of your social media, online reviews, and email marketing for you so that you can focus your time on other areas of your business. After all, you may be thinking about how taxing this all sounds for you after spending each

night interacting with patrons on-site— let alone online. Even if you insist on handling the grunt work or have already established a social media presence for your bar, it can be challenging to figure out what content you should actually be creating for your pages that would resonate with the masses. What should you be tweeting vs. posting on Facebook, and how often? What tone should you use? Baker shares a few tips on how to ensure your messaging effectively gets across to your customers—whether loyal or prospective. “Engaging with current and potential customers across your social media channels is the most important thing to consider when creating content and solidifying your brand,” says Baker. This means establishing a rapport with your customers and letting them know you’re listening—show that you appreciate their feedback and concerns. Respond to their questions, address and

August 2017

Photos: (left) Shutterstock/Beer5020; (right) ReviewTrackers.

By Andria Park

How To: social media

ReviewTrackers aggregates and centralizes reviews into an easy-to-use dashboard.

Services are available to help bars better manage their social media and online reviews.

immediately apologize for any situations that went awry, and thank them for their business if they make a comment about your wonderful service. This will keep customers coming back and also impress new ones who will in turn keep tabs on your bar. “Highlight your drink specials,” suggests Baker. “If your bar offers a wide selection or if it’s known for a particular type of beverage, that should be at the forefront of your content.” This would be a great time to promote customers’ favorite and popular drinks. Consumers want to know that their go-tos are on your menu, but also that they have a variety of other options to choose from if they decide to try something new. It’s only natural that a chalkboard easel showcasing your happy hour specials will catch the attention of passersby walking in front of your establishment. But how will you get your message across to the rest of your community, or even those who stray a bit outside of the geographical area? This is where the reach of social media comes in. “Focus on the experience inside your bar,” says Baker. “Your potential customers want to know what the atmosphere will be like when they visit your bar. Share photos of customers having fun, and show off your space! “Think about what people want to see and when they want to see it. After a long day, posting a photo of a frosty pint of beer might just be what your customers need to see to be convinced to join you for happy hour,” continues Baker. “Posting at [certain] times of day when people are looking for that is a powerful tool to get people to visit your place.”

According to Buffer, a software application designed to manage, schedule, and publish posting for multiple social media accounts at a time, “the early morning hours appear to be the

Create content that engages both current and potential customers.

time in which tweets receive the most clicks, on average. Evenings and late at night are the times when your tweets receive the most favorites and retweets, on average.” Though this data may differ depending on time zones, it’s important to keep posting times in mind for higher

customer visibility. Baker also recommends using humor in your posts, “When people go to a bar they want to have a good time, so don’t be shy about infusing friendliness and humor into your content. Whether that’s posing a fun question or writing witty captions, your customers will love seeing more of your personality online.” Not only is it essential to build your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages, monitoring your online reviews via Yelp, Google, and TripAdvisor can give you deeper insights into what your customers are looking for. These sites allow businesses a first-hand look at how customers react to what you offer—the feedback you should be paying attention to in order to improve your performance and sales. According to ReviewTrackers, a five-year-old company catering to multiple-location businesses, Cone Research reveals that four out of five customers will reverse a purchase decision after reading a negative online review. ReviewTrackers offers a review management software designed to aggregate and centralize reviews from 85 different online review sites into a single, easy-to-use dashboard. From there, the user is able to analyze granular customer sentiments within the reviews, stay on top of “Trending Topics,” and also discover ways to increase positive reviews. “Online reviews have completely changed the customer journey,” says Mandy Yoh, Head of Communications at ReviewTrackers.

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August 2017

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How To: social media

Keep posting times in mind for higher customer visibility.







Bar Business Magazine

In a recent survey conducted by ReviewTrackers, they asked consumers, “When choosing a new local restaurant, what is the most important thing?” The choices were: recommendation from family and friends; online reviews; social media advertisements; regular advertisements; e-mails; and TV. “What we found were that online reviews were three times more influential than TV advertisements and four times more influential than social media advertisements,” says Yoh. “[Online reviews] were only second to ‘a recommendation from a family member.’” Yoh has some thoughts on the key elements that drive positive ratings for a business. “I think it’s staying special to that specific brand that you are as a bar,” says Yoh. “Put [customers] first. They’re the lifeblood of your organization and without them none of this would be possible. It’s providing an excellent experience and then following up with that experience with them—Was it a great experience for them? Did they enjoy it? What were the parts that they enjoyed the most? What did they hate?—and then really using that in the strategy for which you run your business.” So what do you do if you notice a pattern of not-so-favorable reviews for your business? Yoh advises that the best way to handle negative feedback is to, most importantly, stay transparent. “We think it’s best for people to acknowledge the angry customer in the public forum,” says Yoh, saying that the customer and the general public then sees the company attempting to make the experience right. “Acknowledge the customer, be kind and apologetic, and then fix the situation while offering the opportunity to provide more feedback.” Baker agrees. “You want to be where your customers are and show that you are a brand that is listening and engaged,” she says. “These are the platforms where your bar can build relationships with customers and get them in the door.” And as Yoh believes, you can never have enough feedback, “There are always ways we can all improve…in everything in life.”

August 2017

How To


A Strategic Approach to Workplace Safety Five common risks every bar owner needs to address.

Photo: Shutterstock/ Alta Oosthuizen.


n 2015, a staggering 97% of all workplace injuries reported in the U.S. occurred in service industries such as bars and restaurants, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (“Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses—2015,” release/pdf/osh.pdf ). Workplace injuries can take a toll on small business owners, including unplanned staffing shortages, lower employee productivity and morale, potentially higher insurance premiums, and/or fines from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for unsafe working conditions. One of the best ways to reduce the risk of a workplace accident is to create a culture of safety and invest in an ongoing workplace safety program. According to OSHA (“Q & A’s for Small Business Employers,” OSHA3163/osha3163.html), business owners can expect to save four to six dollars for every one dollar invested in a

By David Quezada safety program. Here are five common risks bar and restaurant owners can address to keep their employees and businesses safe: 1. Strains and Sprains Bartenders, bar-backs, bussers, and servers are all at high risk for shoulder, back, and wrist strains as a result of mixing, serving, and clearing drinks in a fast-paced environment. Strains and sprains also can be caused by replacing heavy kegs and lifting bags of ice to fill the wells. To help employees avoid these injuries, managers should train workers on the proper ways to carry and lift heavy items. 2. Slips, Trips, and Falls Slips, trips, and falls are the leading cause of worker injuries across all industries (“National Census Of Fatal Occupational Injuries In 2015,” Bureau of Labor Statistics,

cfoi.pdf ). For bars and restaurants, wet or greasy floors increase the risk. From melting ice to overflows, make sure all spills are cleaned up immediately. Use separate mops for front-of-house and back-of-house spills so that kitchen grease is not brought into public areas. Also, place non-slip mats near sinks, wells, and taps, and replace them when they become worn or warped. Uneven floors or different floor

Pro Tip Requiring all workers to wear rubber, close-toed shoes and keeping the floors clean and dry will help reduce the risk of slips, trips, and falls.

August 2017

Bar Business Magazine



surfaces can also cause employees to trip. Requiring workers to wear rubber, close-toed shoes and keeping the floors clean and dry will help reduce the risk of slips, trips, and falls. 3. Cuts and Lacerations Knives, bottle openers, and glassware are essential bar tools. However, these same items elevate the risk of staff getting cut with a sharp blade or broken glass. To help avoid the risk of a cut or laceration, knives should be sharpened often and kept in good condition. A dull knife injury can be more severe than injuries from a sharp one due to the lack of traction that causes the knife to slip, which can lead to a gash or jagged puncture. Teaching bar staff knife-handling techniques, such as cutting away from the body and keeping fingers and thumbs out of the way of the cutting line, will assist in keeping employees safe from possible trips to the emergency room. Similarly, workers should be trained on how to handle glassware and bottles 28

Bar Business Magazine

carefully. For instance, plastic or metal ice scoops, rather than glasses, should be used to scoop ice for beverages. Ice can cause chips in glass, which results

Workplace safety protects your greatest assets: your employees.

in sharp edges that could injure workers or patrons. 4. Hazardous Materials Bar and restaurant staff may encounter a variety of hazardous materials, especially dishwashers and bussers whose cleaning supplies may contain

bleach, ammonia, or other harmful chemicals. These chemicals, although common, were added to OSHA’s hazard communications (HazCom) list in June 2016 ( index.html). To prevent inhalation injuries or illnesses, clearly label all materials and review specific handling procedures with all employees. OSHA recently increased its label standards ( HazComm_QuickCard_Pictogram.html) and now requires pictograms on all standard labels, which makes the labels easier to read, especially in a low-light environment. Additionally, keep all cleaning products away from drinks and other food prep areas. 5. Assaults There are a number of violent acts, ranging from robberies to bar fights, that could occur in a bar given the late operating hours as well as the presence of alcohol. Employees should receive regular training on how to prevent and respond

August 2017

Photo: Shutterstock/ UfaBizPhoto.

Injuries from a dull knife can be more severe because of the lack of traction that causes the knife to slip.

How To: INSURANCE to these kinds of situations to minimize the risks of someone getting hurt. OSHA provides best practices for protecting employees who work in latenight retail establishments that can provide a good foundation for a violence prevention training program. Other steps to take include limiting access to cash and staffing the bar appropriately with two or more workers. In addition, make sure parking lots and all exterior areas of the property, including the area around garbage dumpsters, are well lit. In the event of a work-related injury or illness, it is critical to get the employee appropriate medical attention fast. It is a good idea to post emergency contact information as well as the name, number, and location of the closest hospital or urgent care clinic in an area where employees can quickly find it. Additionally, some insurance carriers offer 24-hour hotlines to provide medical guidance for new work-related injuries or illnesses and claims

97% reporting assistance. By taking a strategic approach to workplace safety, identifying hazards, training employees, and enforcing safety protocols, bar and restaurant owners can help protect their greatest assets— their employees—all while mitigating the costs associated with any employee injuries.

David Quezada is Vice President of Loss Control for EMPLOYERS®, America’s small

of all workplace injuries reported in the U.S. in 2015 occurred in service industries such as bars and restaurants.

business insurance specialist®, which offers workers’ compensation insurance and services through the following: the Employers Insurance Company of Nevada, Employers Compensation Insurance Company, Employers Preferred Insurance Company, and Employers Assurance Company. Not all insurers do business in all jurisdictions. EMPLOYERS® and America’s small business insurance specialist® are registered trademarks of Employers Insurance Company of Nevada.

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Ricky Santana Tel. 787.647.0492 Bar Business Magazine


Tuning Up



Projecting Profits Installing a projector brings many benefits. n today’s world of constant engagement, bar patrons don’t just want the latest cocktails and tasty refreshments. They also want to be entertained. Big screens equal big impact, but with the largest flat screen TVs going for high prices, projectors can provide flexible, effective entertainment for bars at a lower cost. 30

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Projectors Make All the Difference According to Karl Kieslich, National System Design Specialist at Sound Stage Systems, “In today’s entertainment venues, video is a very important part of the experience.” Customers expect to have access to video at all times and in all places, but frequent exposure to small screens has

saturated their attention. Having an unusually large screen makes your venue stand out. Rodney Laney, Vice President of Display Technologies at AVI-SPL, explains, “With projectors, you are more likely to hear, ‘Wow, they have huge screens here!’” Rich McPherson, Senior Product

August 2017

Photo: Shutterstock/ Diego Ioppolo


By Emily Eckart


Photo: Shutterstock/ Randy Miramontez

Manager for Projectors at NEC Display Solutions, and Ryan Pitterle, Product Manager for Projectors at the same company, say, “If the goal of the restaurant or bar is to attract customers for entertainment and keep customers in the establishment longer in order to maximize profit—what we call ‘dwell time’—projectors create a unique entertainment experience and captivating atmosphere that most people cannot get by entertaining or dining at home. “Projectors are capable of displaying a much larger image than a video or TV screen at a more affordable price per inch. With the prevalence of large format displays in most homes, projection is still widely considered a unique experience that people will seek out.” The main advantage of projectors is that they’re less expensive than TV screens. But that doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing quality. According to McPherson and Pitterle, “As with any technology, projectors have advanced in both size, brightness, and longevity. Coupled with the correct screen, they have the ability to rival or exceed the image of large screen displays at a more affordable price.” The exact cost of a projector varies. McPherson and Pitterle say, “It varies greatly based on the size and purpose of the project. Projection consists of two distinct pieces: the projector and screen. The components chosen and the location where it will be used affect the overall price of the install.”

results in customers staying longer and buying more. Nor does the projector necessarily have to play video—you can also use it to display static content such as menu offerings. “The video system can be used to promote upcoming events, daily or weekly specials, and drink specials,” says Kieslich. But don’t be afraid to intersperse video with static advertisements. For

Video is a very important part of the in-venue experience.

example, videos along with ads for your latest unique cocktail can be an especially effective sales strategy. The large screen naturally attracts your customers’ eyes. They’ll be engaged with the combination of both entertainment and information, and effective ads for your own menu offerings will encourage them to

purchase more food and drink. Kieslich also suggests striking up deals with other local businesses or distributors. “To recover your investment, you can sell screen time to local business and distributors,” he says. “I have done video installs that have been 100% paid by the beer and liquor distributors.” Technological Advances Projectors have an additional advantage beyond their cost and screen size. Unlike TVs, Laney says, “Using a projector allows you to size the image to your liking.” There’s additional flexibility beyond sizing too. Some projectors include a picture-by-picture mode. If you have multiple sources, you can even use the projector to show more than one sports game at a time. Kieslich emphasizes the new capability of showing multiple images. “You can have a large screen and one projector and have multiple images displayed. You can have four images or one large image.” The flexibility gives you endless options for what to display. Moreover, the latest technological improvements in projectors are offering many exciting new developments. Some of the latest

Uses for Your Projector Fortunately, no matter what the final cost ends up being, projectors can create return on your investment in several different ways. Traditional uses include showing sports games, especially important, high-draw games that benefit from display on a large screen. Think football games, boxing matches, NBA finals, etc. Laney suggests getting creative. You can go beyond sporting events and use your projector for karaoke or in-house commercials. Great entertainment

August 2017

Bar Business Magazine



less expensive than


projectors, Laney notes, offer connectivity from mobile devices. Laney has also seen a trend toward laser units, “which offer thousands of hours of use with little-to-no maintenance or brightness reduction.” McPherson and Pitterle say, “Projection technology is advancing, and the use of laser-based light sources open new possibilities for unique and demanding projection applications. Portrait, floor, and ceiling projection are innovative ways some restaurants are using projectors to create an immersive and interactive experience for guests. “Combining multiple projectors and creating one large, seamless image through edge blending is another innovative trend in projection.” Proper Usage & Installation To use your projector effectively, there are some important prerequisites to

Pro Tip Get creative with your projector and go beyond sporting events. Use it to show in-house ads and entertainment like karaoke. 32

Bar Business Magazine

using a


CREATES A UNIQUE ENTERTAINMENT EXPERIENCE keep in mind. Beyond the projector itself, you need something to project on. The most reliable option is to purchase a high-quality projector screen. It is possible to keep things simple by projecting onto a blank wall or lightcolored fabric stretched tight, but these materials may result in an image of lower quality. Unlike with a TV, it’s also important to take note of the amount of light in the room. A projector requires a large space in a dark room. According to Laney, “Picking the largest space available and judging the ambient lighting are the main factors to consider for most locations.” McPherson and Pitterle say, “The best place to install a projector and the screen will depend on the size and shape of the restaurant or bar as well as the seating and layout. To avoid viewing obstructions, a projector and screen should be mounted high on a large open wall. “Multiple projectors and screens can be installed so that customers do not have to turn or strain to see the screen. The projection system should be placed in a location where ambient light will not wash out the image on the screen.” Once the projector is installed, it’s important to change the lamp as needed and keep the filters clean. Laney says, “Typically they should be


display your

DRINK SPECIALS vacuumed at least once a month depending on the dust in the environment. Mount the projector as far away as possible from any cooking areas to minimize grease exposure.” According to McPherson and Pitterle, “To protect the projector and ensure a low total cost of ownership, the space around any installed projector should allow for proper ventilation. If the projector uses a filter, they should be cleaned regularly. “Depending on conditions within the establishment, an environmental chamber may also be considered for the projector to keep it clean, free of dust, and at the optimal temperature for smooth operation.” It’s a good idea to consult with a professional when installing the projector. Professionals who know all the ins and outs of projectors will be able to help you choose the proper placement. Most importantly, they’ll help with proper and safe installation of your projector system. It’s All About the Customer Ultimately, it’s about getting the best possible image for your customers. “Today’s customers know what good video looks like,” says Kieslich. That’s why it’s worthwhile to get the technical details right. “The proper cabling, rigging, and content are very important for a quality end product,” says Kieslich.

August 2017



How one company is changing indoor pyrotechnics.


Bar Business Magazine

Photos: (right) Shutterstock/ Tomas Simkus; (left) Sparktacular.


o much about our industry is based around presentation and performance— the perfectly plated meal, an Instagramworthy venue, the performance bartenders put on as they shake and stir their way to presenting a cocktail. Patrons no longer simply expect good food and drink, they expect an experience, and Sparktacular Distribution Inc. ( is aimed at making that experience unforgettable with its Sparkular Cold Spark Machine ( Sparktacular is run by people with multiple years of experience in the fireworks entertainment industry, but the Sparkular Machine is not a traditional pyrotechnic. A gerb, or pyrotechnic device, has a source of ignition and burns at a very high temperature of up to 1100 degrees Fahrenheit. Once ignited, the pyrotechnic can’t be stopped, and it will burn until finished. Gerbs also produce a large amount of smoke and a strong, foul odor. Depending on the intricacy of the show, they can take hours to set up and break down and require a pyrotechnician to operate. Sparktacular has developed an alternative, safer product that produces the desired fountain of sparks, without the risk of burns, smoke, smell, and misuse. Sparkular is the first indoor machine in the world, and it contains no hazardous materials or ignition source. The machine is reusable, and it works by heating up proprietary metal granules, which are sold in boxes with 12 pouches each or in a case of 12 boxes. One pouch of granules provides up to 10 minutes of shooting effects. Once heated up, the granules are shot out of the machine into the atmosphere, which instantly cools the heated grains into true cold sparks

August 2017


How one company is changing the world of indoor pyrotechnics.

sparking Photo Credit

interest By Ashley Bray

August 2017

Bar Business Magazine




Bar Business Magazine

local Fire Marshal says about the products in their area,” says Freedman. Sparktacular then sends out a price quote and information about securing a permit in the venue’s area. Permit requirements vary on a state-by-state basis. Some states already have rules on the books for these machines. In Las Vegas—where Sparktacular has permanent installations at Hakkasan Nightclub and Drai’s Beachclub and Nightclub—users are required to have a hot works permit and an onsite inspection. Other states are currently working on permits for this special technology or reviewing it. In states with no permits, Sparktacular works with the state and the Fire Marshal to do demos and educate them on the cold spark technology in an effort to get a permit drawn up. “We’re responsible sellers who want to make sure people are trained and using the machines safely,” says Freedman. As part of receiving a permit, users must go through Sparktacular’s online training program, which certifies them to use the machine and purchase the products online. Because the Sparkular machine contains no hazardous materials, the machines can be shipped through the mail via the United States Postal Service, FedEx, or UPS, without having to pay extra “hazardous

Watch this video to learn more about the Sparkular machine:

August 2017

Photos: (top) Drai’s Beachclub and Nightclub; (bottom) Sparktacular.

that are nonflammable. “Our machine runs so cool it will not even burn a piece of paper,” says Steve Freedman, President of Sparktacular. “This has changed the market and is the beginning of a new technology in the world of stage effects.” The Sparkular machines produce no smell and virtually no smoke when compared to a traditional gerb. In fact, to back up these statements, Freedman cited the example of a demo Sparktacular performed for a popular band in a small venue. “We set off the Sparkular machine 800 times in the venue and there was no smoke, no smell whatsoever,” he says. The Sparkular machine can be started and stopped at any time, and the time, height, volume of the sparks sequence, and duration (up to 90-second intervals) of the effects can be controlled via a DMX controller, which is available in standard or pro models. The standard controller can shoot up to 18 machines at a time, while the pro option can control up to 54 machines. Setup is also easy—a single machine can be set up in minutes, and a line of machines can be set up in under an hour. If a bar or nightclub is interested in purchasing the products, they first have to go through a screening process for approval. “It’s at this point that people with serious inquiries ask what their

shipping” costs. With the purchase of a machine, users receive a $5 million product liability policy and an extended warranty. Technicians with over 40 years of combined experience work on the machines, and all repair work is completed in the US. Service parts are always conveniently stored in the United States as well. Sparktacular has been to 100 cities. The company also offers bottle and food service fountains as well. Freedman says that depending on the venue, bars and nightclubs use the products for everything from birthday cakes to bottle service. “It’s all about creating a presentation or putting on a production,” he says. “These effects turn everything into a show.” Despite the many drawbacks, fountains (sparklers) have become extremely popular in nightclubs and bars and have flooded the market. This has resulted in a dangerous situation where venues are storing thousands of Sparklers at a time, and people aren’t trained to handle the fountains (sparklers) safely in clubs and bars around an audience. Not to mention the biggest problem of all—the fountains (sparklers) aren’t rated for indoor use, so they are technically illegal. Plus they have to be shipped as a hazmat product. “Most places don’t know that what they’re using is illegal,” says Freedman. “Our goal is to bring safety to the use of these products with proper ratings and training programs for proper use.”





Craft Craze

Small Producers

big impact 38

Bar Business Magazine

August 2017

Well-chosen craft spirits can surprise and delight your audience. By Elyse Glickman

Photo: Shutterstock/ Jacob Lund.


Craft Craze

ith so many guaranteed moneymaking name brand spirits on your bar, why add independent distillery spirits to your lineup? Because everybody loves rooting for the little guy! This is not just a David-and-Goliath proposition. Small-batch products are right in line with the long-running farm-to-table trends. Sonat Birnecker Hart, President of KOVAL Distillery, recalls that when the brand launched in 2008, it was difficult for “craft” products to gain traction. However, that changed as people became more interested in how their food is made and who makes it. “There is much more widespread support for artisan brands that are local, as well as those who focus on organic foods and beverages,” she says. In addition, non-traditional or retro bottles and packaging, new flavor profiles, and colorful founder biographies widen the bartenders’ repertoire of stories they can tell customers to pique interest and move cocktails. These spirits also offer a seductive sales proposition for your out-of-town customers: extending the experience of “local flavor.” Furthermore, in a sea of imported spirits, the appeal of made-in-America products crosses over into the spirits world. “Almost anywhere you go, you are going to see the food and beverage industry supporting their local community,” says Victoria Berry, Director of Events and Marketing for Miro, a downtown Los Angeles bar/restaurant with a whiskey emphasis, which recently staged a small-distillery whiskey tasting on the occasion of its first anniversary. Featured distillers included Chicago’s Koval, Whistle Pig (Shoreham, Vermont), and American Born (Nashville). “By promoting their product and getting other like-minded folks through our doors, a promotion becomes mutually beneficial to us and the brand,” says Berry. Independent craft distilleries with their own bars and restaurants have also drawn in a high-proof mix of new fans and supporters thanks to alliances they formed with other bars and restaurants August 2017

Bar Business Magazine


Craft Craze

Kale & Rice Cocktail 2 oz Vinn Rice Whiskey ½ oz Purple kale syrup ¼ oz Dry vermouth ¼ oz Orange juice ½ oz Lemon juice 1. Add all ingredients in shaker with ice. 2. Shake well. 3. Double strain into a coupe. 4. Garnish with lemon twist and kale (optional). Miro, Los Angeles

Bee’s Knees 2 oz KOVAL Barreled Gin ¾ oz KOVAL Chrysanthemum Honey Liqueur Juice of 1 lemon wedge 1. Stir all ingredients over ice and strain into a chilled glass. 2. Garnish with mint leaves and a lemon wheel. The KOVAL Distillery


Bar Business Magazine

in their area. Examples of this include The Depot in Reno, Nevada and St. Augustine Distillery in St. Augustine, Florida (both covered in our pages in 2016); Philadelphia Distilling; and Watershed Distillery in Columbus, Ohio. “Customers who come to Philadelphia Distilling are looking to learn about craft distilling, which is different from what most of our accounts provide,” says Jenna Gill, Pennsylvania Sales Representative for Bluecoat Gin, one of the earliest breakout independent spirits brands. “However, I believe our in-house bar and restaurant offerings are a bonus to that experience, and not a direct conflict with other bars in our area. To support our accounts, we welcome them to guest bartend and serve their signature Bluecoat cocktails to our customers, which we in turn add on o our everyday cocktail menu. It is important for us to help get their name and their establishment’s name out there while getting out ours.” Adventurous bar owners, meanwhile, have embraced small producers. Alex Barbatsis, Bar Director at Good Housekeeping in Los Angeles’ Highland Park and creator of the cocktail program at Bar Angeles, regularly turns to two product lines coming from his back yard: St. Vincent’s, created by an LA bartender, and Loft and Bear. He’s also in the process of integrating local Amaro Angeleno into his programs. “Loft and Bear is one of our higher-end

Kale & Rice Cocktail

vodka selections precisely because it’s delicious and local, and customers do respond to that,” says Barbatsis. “There’s plenty of room on most venues’ back bar for a little of everything. “When we make cocktails with them, it gets customers interested in trying a new cocktail or a favorite cocktail with a different twist.” Although craft spirits typically have higher price points because of the scale of production, Barbatsis points out wellchosen products can also help save money in other ways, “Although I had made my own grenadine for years, St. Vincent’s is as good as I make, and having this ready allows me to work on other areas of my business without compromising the quality of the product I sell to customers.” An added bonus of including local and regional producers is that beverage directors and other decision makers can visit the distilleries without major fuss or investment. Barbatsis appreciates that one can have easy access to a distillery’s in-house sales team and can build relationships with the distillers. “I have regular contact with Loft and Bear in downtown Los Angeles, who, in turn, visit our bars frequently,” says Barbatsis. “They provide us with a nice upsell opportunity for customers who want their martinis to be a little more special and are willing to pay for that.” Berry, meanwhile, likes the fact the reps can easily visit local bars and provide

August 2017

Photos (left to right): KOVAL Distillery, Miro.

Bee’s Knees

Craft Craze creative inspiration for bartenders. “From the account side of things, I appreciate when a brand rep leaves us a bottle for our super creative bar staff to play with,” she says. “We may be able to come up with a killer cocktail that no one else in the world is selling, and if it sells well, then we will keep buying your product. It will end up all over our social media and everybody benefits!” Although Columbus-based Cameron Mitchell Restaurants has properties throughout the U.S., beverage director Ryan Valentine says he has tailored programs at the group’s hometown restaurants to tap into community pride. Barrels from local Watershed Distillery were shipped to San Diego’s Stone Brewing Company to create a limited-edition bourbon-aged beer. Middle West Spirits, meanwhile, was commissioned to create a handcrafted gin exclusively for Cameron Mitchell’s upscale The Guild House. That distillery’s spirits are also prominently featured in the cocktail program at

Curio in the Short North area. According to Berry, the secret to the success of a promotion begins with both parties doing their homework and truly

The food and beverage industry has become a haven for artists and creators.

knowing the customer base for the bar/ restaurant in question. In other words, the collaborators should avoid such errors as devising and promoting an event geared toward gin-drinking vegans in

a place frequented by whiskey-drinking steak and charcuterie enthusiasts. Education also plays a large role. “Reps and distributors need to educate bar managers on what they have available across their portfolio as managers do not always have the time to research everything that is available,” says Birnecker Hart at KOVAL. “This is where brand ambassadors can be helpful, as they often serve the role of educator in a market where distributor sales reps are sometimes too busy to spend more than a few minutes on any one brand.” Gill notes that once an account has the information, recommendations on a spirit’s best uses should be balanced out with the bartenders’ imagination. “We can and do make suggestions to our accounts about ways to mix and serve our spirits, yet we encourage creativity,” she says. “That said, it’s exciting to see bartenders develop something with Bluecoat Gin that speaks to their establishment’s identity or pairs perfectly with their cuisine.”


On the go, and even at the beach!



BAR BUS NESS MAGAZINE NewsletterAd_BarBiz_1-4Page.indd 1

August 2017 5/8/17 12:25 PM

Bar Business Magazine


Bar Tour

Bar Tour


Upper East Bar

San Diego, California

A renovation reinvigorates a hotel’s rooftop bar.


Bar Business Magazine

hey say location is everything, and it’s something that Kimpton Solamar Hotel has in spades. The boutique hotel is located right in the heart of downtown San Diego in the city’s bustling Gaslamp Quarter and growing East Village neighborhood. The 235-room hotel is steps away from Petco Park, the San Diego Convention Center, as well as a variety of San Diego’s best dining, shopping, nightlife, and entertainment venues. Hotel Solamar wanted to reflect the vibe of the neighborhood and remake its rooftop bar into a primary destination for not only hotel guests, but those in the San Diego area as well. “Previously, the space used to be the place you’d go before heading to your next destination, and our goal was to have this be the place that you go,” says Shannon Foster, General Manager of Kimpton Solamar Hotel. “It’s a destination in and of its own.”

The refresh of the rooftop area came on the heels of two other renovations— the hotel’s restaurants in 2014 and the guest rooms in 2015 and 2016. “We felt like we needed a change in that space that aligned more with the new look and feel of the hotel,” explains Foster. “We have anything from guests of the hotel that are in for a week away on vacation to business travelers that are staying with us that are having big events on property to people that are attending a wedding here.” The hotel also wanted the rooftop area to better reflect Hotel Solamar’s brand and commitment to guest service. “We want to pamper and cater to our guests,” says Jeremy LeBlanc, Food & Beverage Manager of Upper East Bar. “We want that vibe to come out with a cool, crisp look and feel.” The renovation included a total update of the rooftop area, but it started with a rethinking of the layout and the use of the space overall. Originally, the rooftop bar had four

August 2017

All Photos: JB Fitts.

By Ashley Bray

Bar Tour large planters that divided the space nicely for smaller events. However, any time a client wanted to host a large event in the space, they had trouble visualizing it because of the way the area was divided. To open up the space, Hotel Solamar took out the four planters and replaced them with hedges on wheels, which offer the versatility to custom divide and design the space for each individual event. “When we divide the space with those hedges, it creates this feeling of exclusivity in your location,” says Foster. “You can’t really see what’s going on across the rest of the deck if you don’t want to.” The movable hedges also allow for separation of the pool area from the bar. “We have some planters on wheels that we have fixed behind our lounge chairs to try to create a little bit of a divide between the actual bar and the pool area,” says Foster. “It creates a little bit of privacy in the pool area for the guests that are laying out enjoying the pool.” The newly opened layout and the ability to custom divide the space has allowed Hotel Solamar to host events they previously weren’t able to, such as wedding ceremonies and receptions. In addition to opening up the space, the rooftop bar also gained a name change to Upper East Bar, three new

fire pits, a resurfaced bar, and all-new cabana coverings to match the updated color scheme. Previously, hunter green was a prominent color in the bar. Now, the cabanas are chartreuse green, which ties in with the blues, yellows, and whites in the space. All-new lighting was also installed throughout the rooftop bar, including in the cabanas and at the bar. “Lighting

We want to pamper and cater to our guests.

can definitely set the tone for an event you have up there, so if you have this bright white light or bright blue light up there, it’s just not going to create the same appeal,” explains Foster. “We really wanted to warm it up and create a more inviting feel so we have softer tones with the lights.” In an effort to promote a more social atmosphere, Hotel Solamar also added new furniture and seating to the Upper

East Bar. They added a large sofa in the moon dome area to replace the tall tables that were there previously. “That was more like a gathering area,” says Foster, “but now there’s really purpose in that moon dome. It definitely gave new life to that space.” In fact, guests can now rent out this area, much like the cabanas. New tall tables and chairs were added by the bar area, as well as white mesh chairs around the firepits to promote conversation. Coffee tables and plenty of soft seating like coaches and ottomans were also added. “Just about every piece of furniture up there is custom for the space,” says Foster. “We worked with different furniture designers to help create the space that now exists.” In an area with artificial grass, Upper East Bar also offers a variety of outdoor games like cornhole, a shuffleboard table, and a giant Connect 4, and the hope is to add more soon. The games, coupled with the soft seating, encourage guests to settle in and stay for a while. “We want people to come and spend several hours here,” says Foster. The food menu was also overhauled, and it promotes the social atmosphere of the new Upper East Bar with shareable plates. Chef Anthony Sinsay is at the helm of the menu, and the sharable plates include citrus-soy beef skewers, freshly

The renovation opened up the bar’s layout.

August 2017

Bar Business Magazine


Bar Tour

Shannon Foster General Manager


hannon Foster is no stranger to the world of hotel management. She’s been with Kimpton Solamar Hotel since 2015, and before joining the Hotel Solamar team, she served for three years as General Manager of Kimpton’s Hotel La Jolla. Prior to relocating to San Diego in 2012, Foster spent five years managing operations at Hotel Monaco Chicago and Salt Lake City—both part of the Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants collection. She’s worked with the Kimpton brand for almost eleven years. Hotel Solamar executes superior service for its customers. “The most important thing to our brand is ensuring there is a really unique service level for our guests that is experienced seamlessly across the property,” says Foster. “What it comes down to is how we are anticipating our guests’ needs and providing that anticipatory service for our guests and making them want for nothing.” That anticipatory service extends to Upper East Bar, where Foster not only focused on renovating the look and feel of the space, but also the ways in which it served its patrons and hotel guests.


Bar Business Magazine

made ceviche, and the “Ridiculous Grilled Cheese.” “We kept a few of Chef’s menu items, but 99% of the menu has changed,” says Joshua Liberman, Food & Beverage General Manager at Hotel Solamar. “We took the approach of ‘feeling sexy while eating,’ and Chef is still sourcing from local purveyors.” Upper East Bar will also be serving brunch on the weekends, with Chef Sinsay’s Sunrise Social Hour brunch menu inspired by plays on classic brunch dishes. The cocktail menu was also completely revamped as Hotel Solamar wanted to offer guests a more approachable menu that will change with the season. “The goal of the new cocktail menu is to focus on clean, acid-based cocktails that reflect the space. Every spirit I chose from the rum to the vodka complements the drink. We are incorporating bitters in a few drinks to complement the spirits,” says Liberman. “I am sourcing local distilleries here from San Diego along with using produce we get every week from the farmer’s market. “All of the cocktails have a feminine component to them but are still masculine in nature. I also wanted to reintroduce a few classic cocktails while adding some modern variations.” The new signature cocktail for

Upper East Bar is called “The East Fizz,” which is made with Belvedere Vodka, Giffard grapefruit liqueur, lemon, and prosecco. Also new is a champagne promotion on Wednesday nights called Veuve O’Clock. Veuve Cliquot Champagne by the glass will be served every Wednesday starting at 5pm, and the price goes up as the hour does—$5 at 5pm, $6 at 6pm, $7 at 7pm, and $8 at 8pm. Everything at the Upper East Bar may be new, but LeBlanc cites his “seasoned staff ” as one of the great parts of the bar. In fact, three of the bartenders have been with the hotel for close to ten years. Overall, the renovation took a few months to complete. The biggest challenge was unexpected rain delays at the start of the project. “We brought the rain to San Diego,” jokes Foster. “It never rains in San Diego, and then as soon as we started that renovation, it started raining.” Foster unveiled the all-new Upper East Bar at the end of May, and the renovated space now welcomes a variety of guests and visitors. “My overall goal was to appeal to a larger majority of people,” says Foster. “To have something for everyone and to be a space that anyone would want to enjoy.”

Soft lighting warms up the space.

August 2017

Ad Index




20 2touchpos xenios

33 AMI entertainment

cliff house

41 Barritt’s ginger beer

29 Bars Trade Show

22 floh vodka

5 harbortouch corp

21 Kelvin slush co

23 Kelvin slush co

8 Liquid ice

11 paradise pos

C4 rumchata

7 sacramento tomato

15 savage & cooke

37 sparktacular

C2 taffer virtual Training

podia Q drinks Rabbit Holes Wunder-bar

9 Rutte

3 steadyserv tech

Clyde May’s

Thirsty for more? Visit


To Advertise in Bar Business Magazine, contact Art Sutley 212-620-7247

August 2017

Bar Business Magazine



Add A Revenue Stream to Your Bill Folders

Chef’s Secret Recipe Now Available for Purchase

Rabbit Holes introduces its digital bill folder. A 110 mm-by60 mm high-definition display, with a resolution of 1080 x 720 and adjustable volume controls, is inserted into the bill folder. Each time the digital bill folder is opened, a new advertisement begins, which allows advertisers to market to a small and captive audience. The digital bill folders are available in sets of eight, which are stored in a stylish charging dock station. Multiple docking stations can be linked to extend the number of available digital bill folders per venue. The digital bill folders are also fitted with a long-life battery, which together with the charging stations, ensures that the digital bill folders are always charged and ready for use. Advertisements are distributed and loaded onto identified digital bill folders via the remote support infrastructure, using WiFi connectivity. Local advertisers can pay to be featured in the bill folders, or restaurants can use them to run in-house ads. Digital bill folders are available in a variety of colors and can also be customized with client-specific branding.

San Francisco’s famous Cliff House announces its Cliff House Classic Bloody Mary Mix, the restaurant’s most popular brunch beverage, is available for purchase. The Cliff House is a popular weekend brunch spot for its delicious cuisine and bloody marys paired with spectacular views of nearby cliffs and the Pacific Ocean. The Classic Bloody Mary Mix was developed in 2014 by Chef Ralph Burgin. As a part-time farmer himself, Chef Burgin grows an abundant crop of tomatoes that serves the Cliff House’s tomato needs from July through fall’s first frost. “By making the mix available for purchase, I wanted to extend the experience of one of the Bay Area’s most beloved brunch destinations outside of the restaurant. Locals can find the taste of the landmark restaurant right at home,” said Burgin. The Cliff House Classic Bloody Mary Mix is available in a 1 liter bottle for $7.95.

Rabbit Holes Digital Bill Folders

Cliff House Classic Bloody Mary Mix

Operators Save Hidden Costs with Skyflo Liquor Dispensing Management System Wunder-Bar’s Skyflo System

Skyflo systems, a Wunder-Bar product, is a portion control liquor management system. Skyflo virtually eliminates liquor loss and unrecorded sales, which could amount to tens of thousands of dollars in savings per year. After installation of the Skyflo management system in a bar, owners see the difference immediately in the reduction of liquor costs. At an average savings of $5 per bottle, not only can Skyflo perfectly pour four preprogrammed quantities of liquor every time, the patent-pending management system tracks all the data that is used with each drop of liquor that is poured. Management has a chance to analyze all liquor sales and keep track of stock with the Cloudflo software system. The individual electronic pouring spouts stay charged for months and are able to function hundreds of feet away from the master unit. “At a time where food, labor, and energy costs are growing, Skyflo can help reduce a hidden expense that takes place in most restaurants and bars,” says Bill Muise, Director of Skyflo Sales.


Bar Business Magazine

August 2017


The Unbreakable Tabletop Menu Holder Podia® Tabletop Display

Make ordering specials simpler and quicker with the Podia® Tabletop Display from Consort Display Group, the two-sided capsule that perfectly fits standard 8.5-inch-by-11-inch paper, folded lengthwise. Virtually unbreakable, the polycarbonate capsule is quickly becoming popular with restaurants and bars because they’re durable, instantly changeable, and encourage customers to pick out their next beer, appetizer, or dessert before the server needs to make the pitch. Servers and wait staff are often barraged with questions like, “What’s on tap?” “Any specials?” and “What’s for dessert?” With Podia, the daily list of specials, beers, etc. can be printed in-house and displayed in the twosided capsule. The display comes with a one-year warranty. Templates for the menus are available online.

Clyde May’s Debuts its Newest Ultra-Premium Spirit

Clyde May’s 9-Year Cask Strength Whiskey Clyde May’s limited-edition 9-Year Cask Strength Whiskey is now available. “Our 9-year Cask Strength is complex and uncommonly smooth at 117 proof. Finishing it in the Alabama style rounds out and even softens the bold flavors into a surprisingly smooth finish,” said Ron Call, Whiskey Master at Clyde May’s. “We believe an extra year of aging reveals more complex flavors.” The 9-Year Cask Strength will be in national distribution by the fall and will retail for $99.99.



Q Drinks Adds Indian Tonic Water to Line of Cocktail Mixers Q Indian Tonic Water

Q Drinks, a line of carbonated mixers, introduces Q Indian Tonic Water. As a more bitter and slightly sweeter tonic water, Q Indian Tonic Water is different from the original Q Tonic Water in that it’s purpose-built to perfectly complement juniperforward London Dry gins. The name Q Indian Tonic Water celebrates the original invention of tonic water, in India, by British officers who mixed quinine, their antimalaria medicine, with gin, sugar, and carbonated water. Along with this introduction, Q Drinks has refreshed its packaging size and design for its full range of products. The new bottles are 6.7 ounces (down from 9 ounces), a more appropriate size for a carbonated mixer. They feature a silkscreened design, and each product has its own signifying color to better identify the products as mixers.

August 2017

Bar Business Magazine


with Aaron Polsky

We‘re a hybrid of cocktail bar, music venue, and neighborhood dive bar. We have immensely talented bartenders who are also extremely casual and relatable. In a way, we’re also a whiskey bar. Physically, the menu’s actually music focused as it’s printed on a seven-inch, gatefold LP cover. In terms of drinks, the idea of the menu was to try to put together something that was creatively compelling and as reflective of our staff as possible. I change it a couple times a year. The printing of the menu itself is a bit restrictive on that because the printing and the design takes a few weeks. But that said, our R&D bar in the back has a menu that changes daily. Whoever works it—six nights a week it’s staff, and one night a week it’s a guest bartender—writes a new menu for original cocktails. So since we’ve opened, we’ve had somewhere in the neighborhood of 9,000 original cocktail recipes in our R&D bar.


Bar Manager of Harvard & Stone (Hollywood, California)

What led you to start using ingredients that would otherwise be discarded?


When I first did it, I was at Mulberry Project in New York. I wanted to see how we could reduce waste and turn things that are unusable in their current, tired state into something usable. For example, back then, I would take something like old lime juice and cook it down with sugar and old lime wedges and basically make a marmalade syrup. The sugar would bring up the boiling point so you could get a higher temperature liquid while you’re cooking. I would do it with lemon as well. Two-day old lime juice doesn’t taste good and brownedged lime wedges don’t look good, but when you cook it all together and make this marmalade, you’re making something that’s as it should be.

n part two of our Q&A series on bartenders focused on sustainability, we talk with Aaron Polsky. “Sustainability is the biggest buzzword of 2017 in the bar world. Everybody’s trying to look for ways to do it,” he says. “There’s the reuse of products; an awareness of wasting ice, water, energy, etc; and an awareness of packaging.” Polsky’s experience working in restaurants, a stint at Cordon Bleu in Paris, and a general love for food and cooking, has led him to experiment with creating new concoctions out of typically discarded ingredients. “I think the biggest challenge is not knowing how it will come out on the other end,” he says. Polsky has also created sustainable cocktails as a guest bartender at the pop-up wastED London, which is a community working together to reconceive “waste” that occurs at every link in the food chain.


Tell me about Harvard & Stone.

Bar Business Magazine


What are some of the other things you’ve made using typically discarded ingredients?

waste product by consuming resources is kind of a dubious achievement. So I did an 80% lemon juice, 20% sugar base, and the sugar was basically to make the environment more hospitable for the bacteria. I went to GNC, opened up a few probiotics into it, and let it sit in a sealed container. A week later, it almost packed the pungency of a ginger beer. The lemon oils that just incidentally get into the juice when you squeeze the lemon popped to the forefront. It really got this pungent, almost back of the throat tang like ginger beer has—almost a spiciness. I’ve done it with lime as well but using lime and molasses. We make a mule with it. I’ve purchased a few fermentation buckets to enable large scale of this, and the idea is to use it in our keg cocktails.


Do you have any advice for other bar managers looking to be more mindful of waste? I think that in any context the most conscientious approach to not wasting fresh ingredients is to figure out an end destination for them when they are no longer good in their original state. So with lemon juice or cucumber slices, think about what you can do with these when they’re no longer good. With lemon juice, you can make a cordial or a syrup, you can turn them into a sorbet of sorts, you can use fermentation methods. With garnishes, one of the easiest things is to soak them in sugar, make syrups, and use that syrup in a cocktail that’s on your menu. You want a menu application for it so it’s ordered frequently. If it’s used as a menu syrup, then you’ll find that those garnishes will turn into a small percentage of the actual product that you’re using. For Polsky’s Tequila Grapefruit Mule recipe, visit

I would say one of the most interesting things that I’ve done is take lemon juice and lemon wedges and ferment them with probiotics. I wanted to save fossil fuels because to save a

August 2017

Photos: (sidebar) Max Shapovalov; (left) Aaron Polsky.



LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY’S FIRST SMART POS. BAR BUSINESS MAGAZINE sits down with Jon Taffer to discuss his partnership with Harbortouch. This short video dives into the powerful revenue-generating tools the new Smart POS system delivers to owners and managers. The Smart POS system is a true business partner that delivers analytics, customer promotions techniques, and most importantly, solutions, to help owners run their businesses more efficiently.


JON TAFFER Executive Producer & Host of Spike TV’s Bar Rescue & Hospitality Consultant

ART SUTLEY Publisher Bar Business Magazine


Video Sponsored By HARBORTOUCH:



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