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Number 09

Big Easy Feel:

A New Orleans cocktail lounge with all that jazz.

The How-To Publication

BAR BUSINE$$ Nov/Dec 2012


Bar Business Magazine

‘TIS THE SEASON Exotic spirits can expand your cocktail options during the lucrative holiday bar season

N OV /DEC 2012



Left Side

Armless Chair


Right Side




20 MediA work






STAFF inFecTion

MAking The MediA work

TAke My MiSTAkeS

There’s a deadly virus waiting to infect your business in the form of underachieving staff and slackers. We’ll tell you how to avoid it.

As social media continues to grow into an essential promotional tool, one bar’s marketing manager explains how she uses it.

A nightlife industry veteran looks back on some of his biggest management missteps and tells you how to avoid them yourself. Nov/Dec 2012 Bar Business Magazine


On Tap



Features 26 They Manage

A pair of Hollywood nightclub managers puts a new spin on the business by accentuating and embracing their diverse clientele.

30 new nawLInS


Departments 4 Bar rooM drawL 6 Booze newS

Big Buck Hunter names its 2012 world champion; Even with change, Heineken’s iconic green bottle still a star; Canned beverages carry on; Beer distributors receive honors.

10 LIquId aSSeTS

We’ve devised a list of exotic spirits that every smart bar owner should be aware of going into 2013 to stay ahead of the trends.

14 TunIng up

The A/V experience on-premise is getting bigger and better, as one Hoboken bar owner found out.

A new venue in The Big Easy called SoBou plays off the city’s history and musical legacy to create a truly unique space.

34 BIg SIx

As the tides of Superstorm Sandy receed, we visit one of the few small island enclaves of New York City and tour the bars of City Island.

38 Four CornerS

In Washington, D.C., Maddy’s Tap Room is taking beer lovers for a tour of the southwest.

42 InvenTory 45 hoLIday happenIngS 48 SuppLy SpoTLIghT Sandy Mazza explains how her Sandy Bottom RTD cocktail can make bar owners more money.


34 “Bar Business Magazine” (ISSN 1944-7531 [print], ISSN 2161-5071 [digital]) (USPS# 000-342) is published monthly except combined in January/February, July/ August, and November/December for $45.00 per year by Simmons-Boardman, 345 Hudson Street, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10014. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY and additional mailing offices. Copyright © 2012 Simmons-Boardman. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A. No part of the magazine may be reproduced in any fashion without the expressed written consent of Simmons-Boardman. Qualified U.S. bar owners may request a free subscription. Non-qualified U.S. 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 and 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 each. Subscriptions must be paid for in U.S. funds only. For Subscriptions, address changes, and adjustments, write to: Bar Business Magazine, PO Box 10, Omaha, NE 68101-0010. Instructional information in this magazine should only be performed by skilled crafts people with the proper equipment. The publisher and authors of information provided herein advise all reader to exercise care when engaging in any o 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. All rights reserved. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Bar Business Magazine, PO Box 10, Omaha, NE 68101-0010.


Bar Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2012

Bar Room Drawl By Chris Ytuarte editor-in-Chief

A Year-end Reminder We wrap up 2012 here at Bar Business Magazine with a reminder of why we love this industry and the people who work and dwell within. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy—which amazingly is still affecting so many in our area nearly a month later—the offices of Bar Business sat dark for a week. Located in lower Manhattan, floodwaters sent our entire neighborhood into a powerless limbo that lasted nearly six full days. But while production of the magazine came to a halt, work was being done to prove once again that the bar business is a truly great one. All around New York City, on Long Island, down the Jersey Shore, and along the coasts of southern Connecticut, came stories of bars and taverns—most without electricity— becoming beacons of normalcy and comfort for people displaced by the storm. In Long Beach, New York, a little drinking town on the southern shore of Long Island that was decimated by Sandy, an Irish bar called Shine’s was in the midst of celebrating its 100th anniversary as a neighborhood institution when the storm hit. The current owners, a married couple who live in the apartment above the bar, told the local news how they watched floodwaters invade their bar, swell waist high throughout, and eventually carry away property and severely damage the physical structure. Just two weeks later, while most Long Beach residents were still waiting for power and heat to return before coming back to the area, Shine’s was "open" for business. With no electricity, they lit candles and served cans of beer from 4

Bar Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2012

buckets full of ice. While the crowds remained thin, the owners realized that regulars and locals needed to know that the bar was still there, that there was a place to congregate and talk and share their Sandy stories. The bar's backroom housed a stockpile of donated canned goods and non-perishable food for residents to take as needed. While it's still unclear if the bar will be permanently salvageable, for now it's doing what all good bars do—providing a home away from home, at a time when so many homes are gone. The outpouring of similar generosity from bars post-Sandy (and of course some good-natured humor, pictured here) reminded me of a note from Scott M.X. Turner, a pub quiz host formerly of Brooklyn and now based in Seattle, who sent me this e-mail after reading my July/ August editor’s column on the nature of bars: “You're right, Chris, the pub is a shared experience. That gets lost in the boozy, memory-bleaching pursuits we more often think bars are for. Bars really are community. There's rarely another place in town that can be said about— well, besides churches, synagogues and temples. So it's the only secular place we can really say that about. And each bar attracts the crowd that then shapes the bar's community—circular and logical and organic. I learned this in the north of Ireland, where pubs were the community pipeline, the meeting house, the telegraph wire, the shelter in the storm.” All around post-Hurricane Sandy New York City, that notion was never more true.


November/December 2012, Vol. 5, No. 9 Bar Business Magazine (ISSN 1944-7531) is published by Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation 345 Hudson Street, 12th floor New York, NY 10014 executive offices

President and Publisher Arthur J. McGinnis, Jr. Associate Publisher Arthur J. Sutley 212-620-7200; fax: 212-633-1863 editorial

Editor-in-Chief Chris Ytuarte 212-620-7223; fax: 212-633-1863 art

Corporate Art Director Wendy Williams production

Corporate Production Director Mary Conyers


Circulation Director Maureen Cooney

advertising sales

Art Sutley, West Coast 212-620-7247; fax: 212-633-1863 Vanessa Di Stefano, East Coast & E-media 212-620-7263; fax: 212-633-1863 circulation department




he fifth annual Big Buck World championship closed with a bang, with two Minnesotans going head-to-head. In the end, it was underdog Chris Fream, of Minneapolis (top right), who beat out reigning champion Nick Robbins in the final round. With the win, Fream takes home Pappy’s Jug trophy and a $15,000 top prize. Returning women’s champion Sara Erlandson of


Bar Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2012

Beldenville, Wisconsin (bottom right), took the top prize again in the second annual Ladies Tournament. Nearly 100 of the best Big Buck players from around the country and Australia gathered at the Altman Building in New York to compete for more than $50,000 in prize money. Fream, 29, spent the past year training for the World Championship and snuck up on the competition with his sharp shooting. Erlandson, also 29, took home $5,000 and the Jugs of Destiny trophy in the second annual Ladies Tournament. Erlandson and her husband Jerad, who also participated in the World Championship, own Clyde’s Corner Bar in Beldenville, Wisconsin, where they have a Big Buck HD game. A freelance graphic designer by day, Erlandson spends nights honing her Big Buck skills. Held for the first time in New York, the two-day event attracted hundreds of people and included a crowd decked out in a sea of camouflage, free play on arcade games, appearances by the Big Buck Girls and more. Other high-profile competitors included NASCAR and X Games star, Travis Pastrana, who finished 11th in 2011 and dropped to 58th place in the 2012 World

Championship. The top New York-area finishers were Carley Szweda, of New Jersey, who finished in 11th place, and Alex Derhohannesian, of Brooklyn, who finished in 14th place. In light of the recent events in the New York area following Hurricane Sandy, Raw Thrills, manufacturers of Big Buck Hunter, collected and matched donations up to $50,000 for American Red Cross relief efforts. To earn one of 64 spots in the World Championship, players competed on Big Buck HD, the first 1080p highdefinition arcade game, released earlier this summer. The 12 highestscoring players in each region (North, South, East, West) advanced, along with 16 wild card spots for the highest cumulative scores.

HEINEKEN LAUNCHES NEW “STAR BOTTLE” DESIGN Sleek New Look Hits Select New York On-Premise Accounts


EINEKEN USA, the nation’s leading upscale beer importer, officially announced that for the first time since 1946, Heineken has redesigned their world-class green bottle for U.S. consumers. The revamped “Star Bottle” is set to hit select New York State markets beginning midSeptember, with a national roll-out slated to begin in March 2013 in on and off-premise locations. “The newly designed Star Bottle allows Heineken to take a huge step forward in the globalization of the brand, which started with our ‘Open Your World’ marketing campaign and our more recent draught program,” said Colin Westcott-Pitt, VP of Marketing, HEINEKEN USA. “The Heineken bottle has gone through a number of progressions but has always maintained its core iconography that has become a symbol of upscale premium beer, and this philosophy will remain the same with the new Star Bottle design.” The Star Bottle will be available in 12 oz. and 22 oz. sizes and features a taller, thinner shape giving it a more modern and premium look. The bottle also features an embossed thumb groove that improves grip and encourages people to hold the bottle at a lower point, keeping the beer colder. While the bottle is changing, consumers can still expect the same smooth, fullbodied beer with a complexity that balances fruity notes with mild bitterness that has been synonymous with Heineken for more than 100 years.

Big Pl ans for Ca ns Not to be neglected even on-premise, canned beverages remain viable as revenue generators for bar owners, and two companies recently bolstered that case.


en years ago, Oskar Blues Brewery kickstarted the craft-beer-in-a-can craze with the voluminously hopped Dale’s Pale Ale. That same, hair-brained, boundary bustin’ brewery is now unleashing America’s first 19.2 ounce (Royal Pint /568-mL), singleserve can of the iconic Dale’s Pale Ale. You’re gonna need a bigger koozie. The new package is immediately available in Colorado and will be part of Oskar Blues Brewery’s Ohio and Kentucky launch October 22nd before going into their entire distribution network in January of 2013. “Continuing to push the boundaries is what gets us up in the morning, it’s what drives us,” says Oskar Blues Soul-Founder Dale Katechis. “This package is a product of that drive and passion. We continue to do what we love.” The Dale’s Pale Ale Royal Pint will initially feature special 10th Anniversary graphics and will celebrate the brewery’s recent announcement of the additional location in Brevard, North Carolina. Ball Corporation is the only can manufacturer in North America to make the Royal Pint, which is approximately the height of a 24-oz. can and the diameter of a 16-oz. can. Oskar Blues is the first brewer in North America—craft or otherwise—to package beer in the unique can. Meanwhile, Southwest Wines of Deming, New Mexico, has launched its new 187ml aluminum slim cans for its popular Soleil Mimosa™, offering a sustainable, convenient packaging alternative for consumers. Soleil Mimosa is a ready-to-drink (RTD) beverage that blends premium white wine with fresh-squeezed orange juice and a touch of effervescence, resulting in a refreshing Mimosa experience. Southwest Wines, also known as St. Clair Winery, has produced its one-of-a-kind Mimosa wine in 750ml bottles for more than 25 years, a product successfully sold across the United States. The bottles will now be joined by grab-and-go four packs of the new single-serving, 187ml slim cans. “We think that using the 187ml slim can is potentially a game-changing packaging solution with respect to our premix Mimosa, and more broadly speaking, to the premium wine industry in general,” said Robert Roeloffs, Marketing Manager for Southwest Wines.

Nov/Dec 2012 Bar Business Magazine


Booze News


began work at the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission in 1977 and joined WBDT in 1984. As WBDT’s CEO, McKinney represented the interests of the beer distribution industry in Washington, D.C., and in the state legislature in Austin. NBWA President & CEO Craig Purser noted, “Mike was a mentor and always took time to teach those who were willing to take the time to learn. He shared one piece of advice that really stuck with me over the years. He said, ‘Craig, there are really only two things distributors care about… their family and their businesses. You figure that out, and everything else comes pretty easy.’”


hE NATIoNAl BEEr WholESAlErS ASSocIATIoN (NBWA) honored several talented industry leaders during NBWA’S 75th Annual Convention held October 14-17, in San Diego, California. The NBWA Life Service Award is presented to beer distributors who have dedicated a lifetime of service to the industry, community and fellow distributors. The first Life Service Award was presented posthumously to Mike McKinney, former chief executive officer of the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas (WBDT) who passed away earlier this year. Receiving the award on his behalf was LaNan McKinney. McKinney


Bar Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2012

The next Life Service Award recipient was Steve Sourapas, who got into the beer business at age 17 when his father passed away and left him a one-truck beer distributorship in Los Angeles. He ran the business for four months before

being drafted to the Philippines. After his military service, he attended the University of Southern California and helped the track team win the National Championship title in 1949. Sourapas worked as a sales representative for Hamm’s before becoming a Hamm’s distributor in San Diego. At that time, Crest Beverage Company included just three people. In 2009, Steve formed a joint venture with Reyes Holdings. By then, Crest was selling 7.5 million cases of beer across San Diego. Today, Crest employs 300 people and sells 13 million cases of beer each year. “Steve continues to be a hardworking salesman and doesn’t miss a single NBWA meeting,” Purser said. The final Life Service Award recipient was Don Faust Sr., who entered the beer business in 1944 at age 16 when he worked part-time at the Southern Select Brewery in Galveston, Texas. After graduating high school, he joined Falstaff Distributing Co. and worked his way up to sales manager. At age 30, Faust capitalized on Falstaff’s need for a distributorship in Baytown, Texas, and formed Faust Distributing Company. With nine employees, the new company began delivering beer on four routes from a converted garage in Baytown.

In Texas, local microbreweries are working their way around a state law that prohibits the brewing and sale of beer from the same location by instead selling just glasses to customers who visit the premises. Of course, each glass they sell just happens to be filled with a "free" beer. Meanwhile, in Denver, the equally clever Wynkoop Brewing Company is currently selling a beer known as Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout, which head brewer Andy Brown called an “assertive, foreign-style stout with a deep brown color,” which, incidentally contains a secret ingredient: bulls’ testicles.

Liquid Assets

are theSe SpiritS

ON YOUR RADAR? We uncover a collection of exotic and hard-to-find spirits that should be in your sights for 2013. Some are becoming common in creative cocktail recipes, while others are nearly impossible to keep in stock, but all of them should be on your radar next year. By chriS Ytuarte 10

Bar Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2012



ith the onset of modern mixology over the last decade, handcrafted cocktail recipes that include obscure spirits, hard-to-find liqueurs, and often homemade ingredients have become a calling card of any respected mixologist. With that, some unusual spirits have made their way to the forefront of the field, and now find themselves common in many upscale concoctions (Lillet Blanc comes immediately to mind). We’ve compiled a list of several such spirits and explain what makes them so special and why you should consider stocking them in 2013.

Amarula is a cream liqueur from South Africa, made with sugar, cream and the fruit of the African marula tree (Sclerocarya birrea), which is also locally called the Elephant tree or the Marriage tree. It has an alcohol content of 17% by volume, and has had success at international spirit ratings competitions, winning a gold medal at the 2006 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.


ABSOLUT TUne Of course everyone knows ABSOLUT, there’s nothing too secretive about the brand. But the latest release from the vodka giant, ABSOLUT Tune, is an interesting new shift from their recent explosion of flavored vodkas. A sparkling fusion of crisp white wine and premium vodka, the unexpected blend brings together two best-in-class elements: a fruitforward Sauvignon Blanc from the world-renowned Marlborough region of New Zealand and ABSOLUT Vodka. “As a brand that prides itself on innovation and cutting-edge collaborations, ABSOLUT TUNE fits strategically into some important consumption occasions in our consumers’ lives and allows us to be even more competitive in both the nightclub, bar and retail space,” says Maxime Kouchnir, Vice President, Vodkas, Pernod Ricard USA. “Delivering sophistication, edge

Screwdriver MiMoSa 4 parts chilled ABSOLUT TUNE™ 1 part chilled orange juice Splash of orange liqueur (optional) Garnish with an orange twist

Aquavit is a traditional flavored spirit that is principally produced in Scandinavia, where it has been made since the 15th century. Aquavit gets its distinctive flavor from spices and herbs, and the main spice should (according to the European Union) be caraway or dill. It typically contains 40% alcohol by volume. Aquavit is an important part of Scandinavian drinking culture, where it is often consumed during a formal procedure called “drinking snaps.” In Sweden, Denmark and Germany, aquavit is cooled down and often drank quickly from a small shot glass.

and the premium-ness our fans look to ABSOLUT to deliver, ABSOLUT Tune is a perfect complement to our everexpanding portfolio.” Meant to be served chilled in a Champagne flute as a stand-alone spirit, or mixed with other ingredients to create a cocktail (with orange juice, for example, to create the Screwdriver Mimosa, above), this is a truly unique product that could play just as well on New Year’s Eve as it would for Sunday afternoon brunch on-premise.

viking Blood 2 parts Aquavit 2 parts Tia Maria® coffee liqueur Sprite Pour Aquavit and Tia Maria over ice cubes in a highball glass. Fill with Sprite, stir, and serve.

Nov/Dec 2012 Bar Business Magazine


Liquid Assets Brennivin


Brennivín is a brand of schnapps that is considered to be iceland’s signature liquor. it is made from fermented potato mash and flavored with caraway seeds. it is sometimes called “svarti dauði” in icelandic (“Black Death”). Brennivín is similar to Scandinavian aquavit, and the steeping of herbs in alcohol to create schnapps is a longheld folk tradition in all Scandinavian countries. the word brennivín translates literally into english as “burning wine.” ‘nuff said.

cynar, quickly becoming one of the more popular cocktail ingredients in america, is actually an italian bitter liqueur made from 13 herbs and plants. predominant amongst these is the artichoke (cynara scolymus), from which the spirit derives its name. cynar is dark brown in color, has a bittersweet flavor, and its strength is 33 proof (16.5% alcohol). cynar can be taken as either an aperitif (generally over ice), or as a cocktail (mixed with soda water and lemon or orange slice, or with cola, eggnog, tonic water, milk or bitter lemon soda). europeans often mix it with orange juice, especially in Switzerland where cynar and orange juice is a very popular combination. a variation of the negroni cocktail uses cynar in place of campari. Because of its artichoke component, cynar is also regarded as a digestive, as well as an apéritif. Since 1995 cynar has been manufactured and distributed by the campari Group.

ChiCken & WAffLe SyrUp What began as a flavorful april Fool’s joke has become a reality. torani chicken ‘n Waffles Syrup is now available for the thousands of fans that requested the unusual flavor, available only while supplies last. torani announced the syrup flavor in late March on its Facebook page and the cult comfort-food-flavor garnered thousands of comments and media attention. on april 1st, when fans were fooled, the demand for chicken ‘n Waffles syrup inspired torani to make it real. according to torani’s Senior Scientist, pat Wong, the flavor combination was ”by far the most unusual and most difficult challenge,” and this coming from a company that has a long history of crafting trendy and unexpected flavors from blood orange to bacon. torani fans will enjoy the perfectly captured essence of crispy fried chicken and buttermilk waffles, topped with a sweet maple finish. With flavorful experimentation, torani recommends recipes ranging from flavored butter to vinaigrettes to southern inspired cocktails. 12

Bar Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2012

LiLLeT BLAnC Most discerning mixologists are making something with Lillet Blanc these days. this French aperitif wine is a blend of 85% Bordeaux wines (Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle for the Blanc; Merlot and cabernet Sauvignon for the rouge) and 15% macerated liqueurs—mostly citrus liqueurs from the peels of sweet oranges from Spain and Morocco and the peels of bitter green oranges from haiti. in the u.S. and u.K., it is often used as a cocktail ingredient or long drink. the best known Lillet cocktails are the vesper, the corpse reviver #2, the 20th century, and the old etonian.

9 to 9 2 oz Buffalo trace Bourbon 1 oz Demerara syrup 1 oz calvados 0.5 oz St. elizabeth allspice Dram 1.5 oz orange juice Mix all ingredients in a shaker over ice. Shake. Serve over ice. (Makes two drinks.)

O2 SpArkLing vOdkA Similar in mouth-feel to aBSoLut tune, but with vastly different flavor, o2 Sparkling vodka claims to be the first of its kind. consisting of British premium pure grain 80 proof vodka infused with bubbles, the effervescent texture is surely unique to the vodka market.

pAppy vAn WinkLe BOUrBOn

perhaps the single toughest liquor to find a bottle of in the u.S. right now, consumers are putting themselves on waitlists and entering raffles in hopes of procuring just one bottle of this bourbon. “people treat it like it’s gold,” Southern Wine & Spirits Marketing Manager elizabeth Mitchell recently told The New York Post. “it’s created a huge frenzy.”

PiSco Sour 2 oz pisco 1 oz lime juice 3/4 oz simple syrup 1 egg white 1 dash bitters Shake hard or blend with ice and strain into glass. the bitters are an aromatic garnish topping the finished drink, put on top of pisco sour foam.

this small-batch bourbon is produced by the old rip van Winkle Distillery in Frankfort, Kentucky, with only a modest 7,000 cases shipped each year. rabid fans have it flying of shelves before it even arrives in most liquor stores, and any bar owner lucky enough to stock it for creating cocktails will not see it last too long either. Good luck.

piSCO pisco is a colorless or yellowish-toamber colored grape brandy produced in winemaking regions of chile and peru that has become the next cachaça amongst mixologists, with the pisco sour replacing the caipirinha. if you don’t have pisco on the menu, you’re out of the loop.

rAki raki is a turkish, unsweetened, aniseflavored alcoholic drink that is popular in turkey and in the Balkan countries as an apéritif. it is often served with seafood or meze. it is similar to several other alcoholic beverages available around the Mediterranean, the Middle east, and in colombia,such as pastis, ouzo, sambuca, arak, and aguardiente. it is considered as the national alcoholic beverage of turkey. raki is traditionally consumed either straight with chilled water on the side or partly mixed with chilled water. ice cubes are sometimes added. Dilution with water causes raki to turn a milky-white color, similar to the louche of absinthe. this phenomenon has resulted in the drink being popularly referred to aslan sütü (“lion’s milk”).

torani’S Southern Fried coMFort 1 oz torani chicken ‘n Waffle Syrup 2 oz Bourbon 2.5 oz root Beer Build over ice and stir. Garnish with waffle piece and/or fried chicken skin on a toothpick.

WhiTe LiOn vSOA a spectacular vSoa (very Special old arrack), White Lion is made from the nectar of coconut flowers, and this pure, single-ingredient spirit is exclusively produced in the island nation of Sri Lanka.

ST. eLizABeTh ALLSpiCe drAm

While many mixologists make their own allspice dram, the St. elizabeth product has a fantastic aroma and flavor for creating deep, complex cocktails. the allspice liqueur, known in classic cocktails as “pimento Dram,” brings together the fine pot-still rum and classic allspice berries of Jamaica. the St. elizabeth dram is small but vital component to my all-time favorite cocktail, the 9 to 9, devised by the good people at the vinegar hill house in Brooklyn, new York. (See box on pg 12.)

Nov/Dec 2012 Bar Business Magazine


Tuning Up

Holiday ScreeningS The A/V experience on-premise becomes a little more focused around this time, with Christmas music, New Year’s Eve celebrations, big bowl games, and classic holiday films all helping to create a festive environment. And then comes the Super Bowl. So what would help more than having a big screen upon which to show it all?


By Chris Ytuarte

n Hoboken, New Jersey, life is just getting back to normal following the major floods brought by Hurricane Sandy. Slowly but surely, the residents of this tiny little city across the Hudson River from Manhattan are getting back to doing what they seemingly do best—hit the bars. With a total area of just two square miles, this little hamlet has more watering holes (approximately 200) than waking streets (48)—easily the most bars per square mile in the USA. So you can imagine the competition here is tough for owners who want to differentiate their venue. And in the midst of the holiday season, as business swells and people look for the most festive possible scene, providing a quality audio/visual experience in Hoboken is vital. Take, for example, The Shannon, a small Irish pub that has long been one of Hoboken’s go-to destinations. That, however, has not stopped manager Tara Whelan from enhancing the A/V system on-premise by investing in a new 20,000-hour, highbrightness Casio LampFree™ Projector, which throws out bright, sharp images of NFL football games every Sunday, college football every Saturday (Rutgers, anyone?), and even video images for local DJs on the weekends.


Bar Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2012

“He shows music videos and ads through the projector, but we had stopped using it for the DJ for a while because the bulbs were too expensive and we had to be selective as to how we used the projector,” says Whelan. “Football games were the priority. But with the Casio unit, we’ll be brining back the projector for DJs.” Reason being, explains Whelan, is that Casio’s LampFree Projector provided a vast cost-savings and expanded usability options because of the absence of expensive bulb replacements. “Our old projector was a standard bulb projector—with $400 bulbs—and we were going through those bulbs every four months or so; do the math,” says Whelan. “We’ve had the Casio unit for about two months, and we use it on the same 106-inch screen. The image quality is tremendous. It’s so

TOP 5 HOliday MOvies TO PrOjecT On yOur Big screen 5 THe sTar Wars HOliday sPecial This hard-to-find gem is roundly regarded as the worst two hours of television ever created, and is so camp and corny it will make you and your customers and any true Star Wars fan cringe. Perfect! 4

a cHarlie BrOWn cHrisTMas Bring back some childhood memories and splash this holiday classic up on the wall for all to enjoy. And after a few rounds of drinks, everyone in the bar starts to sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher. 3 iT’s a WOnderful life Rumor has it if your sync this classic holiday film with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, you end up with a very, very strange evening. Worth a try. 2 scrOOged Bill Murray + beer = good times, as anyone who watched Caddyshack in college can tell you. But his funny and warm take on the classic Dickens tale strikes a great balance for holiday imbibing. 1 a cHrisTMas sTOry If you don’t already have a soft-

glowing leg lamp in your window for the holidays, you’re behind in the game. Try to make up for it by showing this all-time great holiday flick, starring Flick and his sticky tongue. (Shots? You’ll shoot your eye out…).

much better than the old one. It’s a lot brighter and much more vivid. And the customers notice that immediately. “It will last a whole lot longer not having a bulb. And because of that I think we’re going to try to start utilizing the projector even more, now that I don’t have the cost of the bulbs to worry about. We’ll probably have some Xbox gaming tournaments and things like that. We just have so much more capability in terms of using the projector more often, even for big baseball games or basketball games that we never showed on it before. The big screen March Madness could be huge experience at The on the big screen. Movie nights Shannon, above, has in the winter months could be improved with a Casio great too, on slow Mondays or something like that. LampFree Projector.

Nov/Dec 2012 Bar Business Magazine


Tuning Up “Our Old prOjectOr used $400 bulbs, and we were gOing thrOugh thOse bulbs abOut every fOur mOnths.

yOu dO the math.”

Holiday crowds will soon fill The Shannon for big games.

And with the holiday season upon us, college bowl games on the horizon, and NFL playoffs approaching, Whelan is well prepared to provide her customers with the best A/V experience in town. “I think it’s big draw, and it definitely separates us,” she says. “It’s such a vivid picture on a bigger screen, customers seem to love it. I used to notice with our old projector, when the picture wasn’t as clear, that a lot of people would actually turn and watch the game on one of the regular HD televisions to see better. But that’s not the case anymore.”

Not convinced? Casio Projector is offering a chance for bar owners to test out a LampFree unit on-premise. As a bonus, every owner who signs up will be entered into the Casio LampFree Projector Once-In-A-Lifetime Getaway sweepstakes. The winner and a guest will choose between two great options: a VIP getaway to the G-Shock 30th anniversary party in New York, or three days of sand, surf and fun at the US Open of Surfing in Hunting Beach, California. For a chance at a Casio LampFree Projector, enter the sweepstakes at Scan this QR Code with your Smartphone app to see video of the Casio LampFree Projector in action at The Shannon. 16

Bar Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2012

How to:


ur address yo LackLuster empLoye es

Killer Viruses Lurk iii

These Viruses are noT in your compuTer, They’re in your business. eVery bar owner has empLoyed someone who noT onLy sLowed down serVice, They dragged The resT of The sTaff down wiTh Them. here’s how To aVoid such a Virus, or aT LeasT address iT if iT does infecT your worKpLace. by wiLLiam J. LynoTT


e all know how devastating a computer virus can be, but not everyone is aware of the destructive viruses that can infect a business. Unlike computer viruses, these profit killers aren’t transmitted through cyberspace; they grow and fester within the infected business strictly through internal causes. Here are six of the most common business viruses, along with the antidotes you need to keep them from infecting your establishment:

Telephone Flu Your telephone can be a powerful business builder or a destructive business killer. Every time a customer or potential customer dials your number, it’s a request for help or information—the kind of information or help that may turn a prospect into a new customer. Any failure to

deliver skillfully on these needs indicates the unerring presence of the Telephone Flu virus. Inoculate your business against telephone sickness by training everyone in your organization to understand the importance of one of your most powerful business tools— the telephone—and the urgent need for treating every caller with courtesy and respect. In particular, make sure that your telephone is always answered promptly. Never allow it to ring more than three or four times, and make sure that everyone identifies himself or herself by name in a cheery voice and announces the name of the venue. Never leave a caller on hold for more than a few moments. Leaving a customer on hold for more than a minute or two is one of the surest signs of Telephone Flu. And ALWAYS call the customer back when you have promised to do so. Never force a customer or prospect to wait for a call that never comes.

Nov/Dec 2012 Bar Business Magazine


How to:



The low-perFormer Even one slacker in your operation constitutes an internal virus that will eat away at productivity, profits, and employee morale. Dealing with an under-performing employee is a challenging task for most bar business owners, but failing to face up to the problem will make a bad situation even worse. It can result in added stress on other employees who may have to take up the slack, and resentment among those who can’t understand why the offender is allowed to continue on. The cure? Show your top-performing employees how much you value their work and that you won’t tolerate a slacker.

The Tardy InvoIce Do you carry tabs for any of your customers? Some do, some don’t. Typically it’s best in the bar business to adhere strictly to a pay-as-you-go philosophy, with no exceptions. However, if you carry tabs for anyone, never forget that neglecting money owed to you can be devastating to your cash flow. It’s essential not to allow your receivables to go untended. You’ve earned that money; you have a right to it; you need it. You can slay the Tardy Invoice virus by setting up a foolproof system for promptly sending out invoices or reminders to every customer who owes you money, and by following through relentlessly on every late payment. This is as important to your financial success as the quality and professionalism of the services and products you offer. If your customers learn that you are cavalier about money owed to you, you can be certain they will stretch your patience (and your cash flow) to the limit.

The FaulTless manager The Faultless Manager virus would have you believe that it’s always someone else’s fault when things go wrong. This is a common virus among business owners and especially bar managers, and it eats away at business success in several different ways. Former President Harry S. Truman eliminated the Faultless Manager virus from his presidency when he coined the phrase, “The buck stops here.” By acknowledging his willingness to shoulder the blame when things go wrong, Truman put his subordinates and constituents on notice that he wasn’t a finger pointer. If your employees and associates feel that you’re never willing to shoulder even part of the blame for business miscues, they’ll withdraw from the kinds of decision-making and innovative thinking that could make your life easier and your bar more successful.


Bar Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2012



Inoculate yourself from the Faultless Manager virus through a willingness to shoulder at least part of the blame instead of pointing an accusing finger. Consider the possibility that your instructions weren’t clear, or that the involved employee made what appeared to be a good decision at the time. Once in a while, accept the blame even when you know you weren’t at fault. That’s a sure way to ban the destructive Faultless Manager from your bar’s culture.

The InvIsIble employee In the course of your demanding schedule, it’s all too easy to fall into a pattern of superficial contacts with employees. Consider this actual exchange overheard between a business owner and an employee passing in a hallway: Employee: “Good morning, Mr. Smith, looks like we’re going to have a nice day.” Boss: “Fine, thank you. And how are you?” That sort of disconnect between an employee and a busy manager is all too common today, and a sure sign of the presence of the Invisible Employee virus. This virus preys on the susceptibility of many workers at all levels of our workplace hierarchy who are starving for individual recognition and the essential dignity that goes along with it. Failing to supply it provides a perfect setting for the loss of initiative, lowered work ethic, and destructive depression on the part of the offended employees. Fortunately banning the Invisible Employee virus is easy even for the busiest bar owners. One of the simplest and most effective ways to develop and demonstrate sincere interest in your employees is to take the time to find out something about each one, including such simple things as the names of spouses and children, or hobbies or special interests, and then following through from time-to-time with questions that show you are genuinely interested.

The Foggy InsTrucTIon Do you think that the direction and instructions you give to subordinates are always crystal clear? If you think so, there’s a good chance that you’re wrong. The ability to communicate with precision doesn’t come naturally to most of us regardless of the extent of our education and business experience. Industrial psychologists studying the effectiveness of communications among humans uncovered an astonishing weakness in this vital area of our lives. Much of the problem, they say, is the result of a limited vocabulary and the way many of us choose our words.




If you’ve ever been frustrated by the failure of an employee to follow your instructions or carry out a project the way you intended, it’s quite possible that the fault was your own—that you failed to make your instructions unmistakably clear. Too often, we assume that everyone will, or should, understand everything we say or write; this situation provides a happy breeding ground for the Foggy Instruction Virus. Of particular concern these days is the communication of information or instructions by way of e-mail, a tricky and especially difficult medium for any but the simplest of messages. Arguably, there is no other communication medium as susceptible to misunderstanding as the hastily composed e-mail. Trying to pinpoint the blame for specific incidents of miscommunication probably isn’t worth the effort. Still, there is little room for doubt that the heaviest share of responsibility for effective and profitable business communication rests with the person assigning the task, not the person on the receiving end.



observation when he wrote, “Words are the materials out of which we build our thoughts.” These sentiments, echoed by countless experts, lead to an inescapable conclusion: Since words are necessary in the formation of our thoughts, an expanded vocabulary will improve the quality of our thinking. However, they say, you should not take the job of building a powerful vocabulary to mean the relentless addition of exotic words just for the sake of sheer numbers. The most appropriate word will seldom be the longest or most obscure. The possessor of an unnecessarily large vocabulary runs the constant risk of being misunderstood. The trick is to master enough words to allow clear expression of your thoughts without resorting to the use of words that are beyond the understanding of all but college professors. To be sure, effective communications can be an elusive target. But managers who make a sincere effort to improve their skill in expressing themselves and their ability to understand others will gain an important advantage on the road to business success by inoculating against the Foggy Instruction virus. Banning these six deadly viruses from your operation won’t be a magic bullet to cure all of your business ills, but it will be a big help in your efforts to build further on your existing business success. Stay healthy!

Your Personal Bartender in a Bottle!

banning these deadly viruses from your operation won't be a magic bullet to cure all your ills, but it will help the business stay healthy. Some years ago, a detailed study on business owners and managers revealed that a broad vocabulary was the most often seen characteristic in successful executives. That’s not surprising when you consider that words are the only tools we have for communicating our thoughts to others. Because a manager must get things done largely through the efforts of others, the ability to express thoughts with clarity and precision is an obvious necessity. Dr. Wilfred Funk in his classic book, Words of Power, said, “Success and vocabulary go hand-in-hand.” Another educator, Dr. John Dewey, said simply, “Thought is impossible without words.” Henry Thomas made a similar Nov/Dec 2012 Bar Business Magazine


How To:

Media l a i c o S e s U to Grow Business

Crafting a SoCial approach We look at how one craft beer bar has successfully By KEVIn TAM utilized social media to grow its business.


n Calgary, Alberta, Canada, a restaurant and bar called Craft Beer Market is using social media to grow its business. Craft is a relatively new concept that opened its doors in summer of 2011. It is best described as a celebration of beer and food culture. When you walk into the building, it feels more like a living room than a typical bar. The interior decor consists of wooden panel flooring and walls, giving a warm, house-like atmosphere to the room. The main restaurant area features a massive center bar with steel pipes running from the glass-encased keg room, along the


Bar Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2012

ceiling, into two towers that are each home to 60 draft taps— that’s 120 taps in total, with a beer menu of approximately 100 beers at any given time. The business has been successful since opening. In its first year, revenues are well into the seven figure mark. Operating partner Rob Swiderski spoke with excitement when mentioning the company’s plan to expand to Edmonton and Vancouver. With such ambitious plans and solid numbers, Swiderski insisted that the key to success is enhancing the guest experience whenever possible.

alison Robertson, marketing manager at Craft Beer Market, says social media means business. Using social media to add value for the guest is the main task of marketing manager Alison Robertson, who was more than happy to share some of her strategies for using these online tools to help her achieve this goal.

Q: Can you give me kind of a broad overview of how you use social media in the daily operation of Craft?

A: First and foremost, the purpose of social media is to add value to the guest experience. We use it to keep an ongoing communication with our guests so that we can keep them as repeat customers. Much of the communication I do with people on our Twitter and Facebook does not have an offer attached to it. The primary focus of social media cannot be to sell; it’s used to keep our guests looking in our direction. That’s the mindset I use when I approach social media.

Q: What are some of the ways you keep guests interested in your social media outlets? A: We provide interesting information to our followers. As you can imagine, with a topic as complex as craft beer, we are able to continually come up with great content for people. Craft beer has a huge subculture of people who are discussing new kinds of beers and interesting developments in the industry. For example, one of the trends right now in craft beer is the use of bourbon casks to store the beer while it’s fermenting. We post articles on our Facebook and tweet about websites covering this trend, further encouraging our guests to try this product when we feature it and also to become more educated on the topic. Craft beer enthusiasts are truly nerds when it comes to beer; they actively seek all kinds of information related to the topic. By keeping this topic at the forefront of our images, wall posts, status updates, and tweets, we automatically get people interested in craft beer looking in our direction. Q: How many people do you have following you on Twitter and Facebook? A: On Twitter, we have about 5,600 followers and on Facebook we have just over 4,000 likes. That’s a big list of people, and it grows by five to ten people every day.

Q: How do you grow your list? A: It really starts off by providing a great experience for the guest while they are in the restaurant. Without that foundation, no one would want to be on our list. If we’ve done a great job in providing a great guest experience, people will automatically gravitate to our Facebook and Twitter accounts without really much urging on our end. The guest experience comes first. On a more proactive level, I make a conscious effort to follow people that are relevant to our business. People like beer, wine and spirits vendors, beer bloggers, food reviewers, magazine editors, and people from other bars are all people that I follow and who, in turn, follow me on Twitter. That’s a great way to grow our network, as these people usually have a vested interested in our success. When I follow them, they follow me and the synergy of that relationship can do wonders. For example: As a beer house with over 100 different types of draft beer, every one of those brands of beer we carry has a rep and someone that is using Twitter to represent the brand. I follow each one of the beer companies and they follow us. Some of these companies have a significant social media presence as well. When we host events featuring their product, they also use their social media to promote their event at our venue. now their list of followers is talking about us and many of them become our followers as well. That’s a win-win for everyone involved.

Q: Can you give me an example of how you use social media for customer service.

A: I pay attention to every tweet I receive from people. And with a list as big as ours, I get a lot of tweets sent to me on a daily basis. If I ever get a tweet about a bad experience while at our restaurant, I look to contact the person directly and talk to them about their experience. This has proven to be a great way to get customer feedback, as well as mend a troubled relationship with the customer. Many times, after I have this conversation with the customer, they give us a positive tweet on our page, which acts as more social validation to other people following us, and it also repairs a potentially broken relationship with a guest.

Nov/Dec 2012 Bar Business Magazine


How To: Q: So you use social media as more of a tool to provide information than to actually sell.

A: Exactly. Although I wouldn’t say we never use social media to sell. We have promoted pre-sales of tickets for special holiday events like Halloween and new Years Eve on Twitter and Facebook and gotten people calling us to buy as a result of those tweets and Facebook status updates. So there are definitely ways to use social media to profit instantly with a click of the mouse. I just try to strike a balance between those forms of communication that have an offer, and those that are purely content. I hate the idea of spamming people with offers because, with a tool as instant as Twitter, if all you do is pitch people, you’ll lose more people over the long-term because everybody hates getting bombarded with sales messages. There is a time and place for everything. Q: How much time do you spend each week on social media? A: I average about five hours per week using social media for business purposes.

Q: That’s not a lot of time. A: You have to understand that social media is only one tool to grow the business. Many marketers make the mistake

of over investing their time in social media and not focusing enough on their offline marketing efforts. If I’m using social media to broadcast a promotion, it’s only a reinforcement of everything I am doing offline to market the business. Social media is only one part of marketing. And with a business as complex as Craft Beer Market, you have to be multi-faceted in order to be successful. I use social media, but I do not solely rely on it to market the business.

Q: That’s a refreshing point of view, because it seems that everyone in the hospitality industry these days is talking about Twitter this, and Facebook that, and how social media will replace many of the things we used to do offline in order to build the business. A: Yeah, there’s a lot of that going around. With a business as face-to-face oriented as the restaurant and bar industry, you really have to focus on your fundamentals before you get to using social media. I have seen numerous bars who have solely relied on their Facebook and Twitter lists in order to market, and ditched all of their offline marketing efforts. That’s a big mistake. Like I said earlier, social media is only one tool out of the entire marketing process. Q: Any last piece of advice for people looking to use social media to grow their business?

A: Just do it. Twitter and Facebook pages don’t cost anything to start, and using them is a fun way to interact with people. The big things are to remember that the guest experience comes first; don’t replace any of your offline marketing efforts with social media; and use social media primarily as a relationship building tool. If you follow those steps, you’ll have success.

flippin' good rum!

Q: Thanks so much for your time, Alison. A: You’re welcome. And feel free to drop by for a pint at

Made with 100% Caribbean rum, flipflop Rum is a serious rum that doesn’t take itself too seriously. To each, their own, as we say. Like our wines, flipflop rum is expressive, approachable and an outstanding value.

rom the oducts rnational providing

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About Soles4Souls

© 2012 Underdog Wine & Spirits, Livermore, CA

For more information, visit

s is en in the he cause eet. 22

Bar Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2012

Kevin Tam is an author and hospitality expert based out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He runs a consulting practice that specializes in helping owners of night clubs, bars and restaurants make more money – without investing a dollar in more advertising and marketing. In fall of 2011, he released his first book called night Club Marketing Systems – How to Get Customers for Your Bar. He has been featured in numerous trade publications as a contributing writer and voice for the industry. For more information on Kevin, visit:

How To:

mise e r p n O d i o Av Management Missteps

My Mistakes, Your Gain Part I By Bob Johnson, aka

With decades of bar management experience behind him, one industry expert candidly addresses some of the mistakes he's made in his career so that you can avoid them in yours.


’m going to give you several examples of my stupidity over a 50-year career of doing plenty of things wrong. I know that kind of “experience” doesn’t take the place of knowledge in the bar business; you have to know what you’re doing. You can’t guess or use the “E” word (experience) to justify certain decisions. Just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean you’re right about everything. There’s nothing worse than working for someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about or what they’re doing—in any business—but particularly the bar business. I don’t want you to make the same stupid mistakes I’ve made. The bar business is a great industry to be in and I’d recommend it to anyone—if you know what you’re doing. I learned you can only enjoy this business if, A) you have a great, well-trained staff that looks out for you, and, B) you do better than I in handling the problem areas I talk about in this article. Here are some of them:

1) If you’re hiring, are you conducting credit, character and background checks for all people who handle cash? Most owners and managers of nightclubs or bars don’t do credit or background checks for people who handle cash. I didn’t think they were important either. I never checked with anyone about any applicant. I used the ill-advised “gut feeling” technique. You know, the one where she smiles at you, answers all your questions with that warm, glowing personality, and the clincher quote, “I have a really big following.” (Which means she either over pours or gives drinks away.) Did I check somewhere to see if she was a fugitive from justice? Is she a convicted felon? If you hire someone who has a mental/criminal background and you didn’t check into their background, you could be sued for negligent hiring. Do you even know what questions you can legally ask during an interview and what questions to avoid? I didn’t.

Nov/Dec 2012 Bar Business Magazine


How To: 2) Never let a bartender “Z” out, or close out, their register at the end of the night. This is a management function only. All the bartender should do is count the total amount of cash in the drawer, subtract out the bank, and turn in the cash deposit over the beginning bank amount along with credit card receipts, paid outs, and other forms deemed necessary by house policy. Many bars don’t even let the bartender touch his drawer at the end of the night. They simply turn in everything to the manager and the manager counts everything down, or it’s left for the opening bookkeeper/office person for the next day. 3) Do not allow free drink coupons. Bartenders, servers or managers can accumulate them and exchange them for cash.

4) Never put an ad in the newspaper or local magazines advertising a dollar amount discount for drinks or dinners. (For example, “$5 off steak dinners on Thursdays.”) A waiter once went to a newsstand and picked up about 20 magazines containing this kind of ad for his restaurant, cut each one out, then turned the coupons in with the rest of the cash money and pocketed the $5. In other words, the bill came to $42 for two people. The customer put one twenty and two tens and two dollar bills on top of the guest check and left. The waiter picked up one of the $10 bills and put it in his pocket. At the same time he pulled out two “$5 coupons” to go along with $32 in cash and turned it all in to the cashier. All along I thought


Bar Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2012

I had a great promotion going because of the large amount of coupons I was getting back each night. Not so. 5) Keep the tip jar behind the bar at least six feet away from the register. It is best to suspend the tip jar from the ceiling. Do not allow your bartenders to go into the tip jar to make change or for any other reason during their entire shift. I caught a bartender making change for a drink directly from the tip jar, which was on a shelf directly under the cash register. Too easy. 6) Do not allow bartenders to hit 00 (No Sale) on the register. All change other than for drink sales should be from a change box of say, $100, that should contain quarters, ones and fives, which is kept next to the register. Change is not made from the register (other than for drink sales). It‘s made from the change box. The register is for ringing in drink sales ONLY. “Paid Outs” can be put in the change box, too. 7) Post the prices of your drinks on drink menus placed at the bar and at the tables. This prevents bartenders and servers from overcharging. 8) Be careful if you issue gift certificates. They are easily abused. Sequentially number each gift certificate and create a Log Book for gift certificates that indicates the date, amount, who it was issued to, the signature of the person receiving the gift certificate, who authorized it, etc. Use a separate deposit slip for gift certificate revenue.

9) Are your deposits verified everyday? I went three days once without verifying daily deposits and damn if we didn’t lose one. 10) Do you hire outside accountants or auditors to randomly verify ATM amounts, petty cash amounts, starting bank amounts, cash on hand amounts, etc.? 11) Do not allow pencils behind the bar. Everything must be written with a pen, as pencil marks can be easily erased. 12) Do not allow the back door to be open ever, except for deliveries.

13) Require all food items to be weighed—especially if they are purchased by the pound, i.e., shrimp, meat, mushrooms, celery, cheese, etc., and compare it to the invoice for correct billing. Drivers are notorious for taking food for themselves and “shorting” your delivery. Inspect what you expect. 14) Keep morale high. Get bartenders involved with weekly operational percentages. Make it a team effort to keep costs in line. Show your bartenders and servers you care about their tip money and their overall well being. 15) Do not over/under staff. If you over staff, no one makes any money. And then they’ll look for ways to make money. If you under staff you have created unnecessary stress and anxiety because conscientious servers feel bad if they can’t give good service because you didn’t schedule enough employees. Hourly readings done daily help maintain the right number of employees to have scheduled for each shift. You must make sure all staff is making money. Otherwise there will be constant turnover and low morale—and a greater potential for theft. I encountered all of these problems and more the first few years I was in the bar business, simply because I didn’t have the ability to hire correctly, maintain an air tight inventory control system, and be totally aware of how to defend myself from bartender/ server theft. If I was ever going to be successful in this business, I had to put aside my ego. It was the cause of most of my problems. I always worked hard and I meant well, but the fact is I was a walking idiot. But I started reading every book I could get my hands on about bar management and bartending. I went to a bartender/bar

management vocational school to learn more. I got work in every position available in a bar, i.e., bartender, bar back, server, cashier, short order cook, doorman, security, bar manager, general manager, etc. I even went to hospitality management school just in case I missed something. It was a long, involved

journey, but I learned right from wrong. And I became a good, knowledgeable manager and operator. I might add, it’s been 50 years since those early days in the business—and I’m still learning. To prove it, I’ve got 15 more mistakes for you next month.

Nov/Dec 2012 Bar Business Magazine


AV MAnAgeMent

By Elyse Glickman

AudIO-VIsIOnAry! In Hollywood, where brands are born and image is everything, AV Managers/Owners Tosh Berman and Matt Bendik confidently bring a new spin to creating nightclub experiences that are profitable, innovative and relevant for their diverse clientele.


ut the words “nightclub” and “Los Angeles” or “Las Vegas” into one sentence with a hospitality industry crowd, and chances are the names “SBE Entertainment” or its founder, Sam Nazarian, may immediately come up. While Tosh Berman, 32, and Matt Bendik, 29, admire and appreciate the glamorous, trend-driven impact SBE clubs, restaurants and hotels have had on established and aspiring club owners across the country, they are going about building their own statement-making nightclub business in a fresh and more deliberate way. As Berman and Bendik see it, companies like SBE are particularly adept with big, splashy venue openings that attract celebrities and generate press beyond their target clients. In contrast, AV Management opts to establish their nightclub brands in a way that encourages repeat business and lingering, longer-term client loyalty. Through this strategy, the young company has made an impact inside and out of Los Angeles, with such venues as their eponymous AV Nightclub in Hollywood, Pink


Bar Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2012

Kitty in Cabo San Lucas, Addiction Night Club and The Study Lounge inside the Modern Honolulu. “We’re a boutique-y alternative,” proclaims Bendik, taking a breather with Berman in the company’s home-y and tidy headquarters in Hollywood, just above their “flagship” AV Nightclub. This venue is small in size, but big on impact with its dramatic use of color, lighting and decorative materials. Berman describes it as a place where modern Las Vegas splash meets old Hollywood style. “We are all about taking an extra step to produce soulful, oneof-a-kind and targeted experiences,” Bendik continues. “We observed some successful hospitality companies have so many assets (venues) that they may have to divest some of them at any given time to keep up with their openings. On the other hand, we are slowly growing our company by pursuing what we feel are more meaningful projects. While keeping track of what club concepts our competitors are doing matters to us, we focus on perfecting our service and products, and how we are going to create highly specific markets so our properties achieve longevity.” Berman believes the path to consistent success is to continually keep a pulse on consumer demand, and then train all staff members to think the same way they do, paying attention to what brings customers back beyond trends. “Our style of branding reflects who we are as individuals,” says Berman. “We are playing a long game, and are hands-on involved with the way each individual venue is shaped so it represents our values. We do not want to fall into that pattern of putting so much attention into one venue that older venues

perceived as less trendy end up dying. Furthermore, we see Los Angeles with its diverse and global groups of clientele as a strategic location for our headquarters, enabling us to effectively brand ourselves when we expand (into) second tier markets.” Berman and Bendik start the process by putting themselves squarely into the shoes of their patrons. They conceptualize a club literally from the ground up, asking themselves what they would want to experience from that particular concept if they were the client. After the club opens, they carry this mindset over to the staff. For example, when they train the servers, the servers will be able to address any situation in a tasteful and appropriate way, from a guys-night-out to business meeting to a couple on a date. “It may sound nerdy, but we always want to go through every scenario in great detail about how to do something correctly,” says Bendik. “We talk to our girlfriends and their friends to get their input on what will work with female clients. Because we want to create a big community within our own staff, once or twice a week we take them out to show them what’s going on in the marketplace, and discuss how we all can apply it to AV Hospitality’s future. This is something larger companies do not get the opportunity to do because they have stuff going on every night.” “As we slowly delve into the restaurant end, we ultimately want to be perceived as being literally the top of the food chain, no pun intended,” Berman adds when asked about food. “We want to be known as a firm who can run restaurants and nightclubs equally well. However, as we’ve found our niche within

AV Nightclub, Hollywood, California.

Nov/Dec 2012 Bar Business Magazine


nightclubs, we are mostly staying with what we know best, and room from a hidden part of the ceiling). He adds that a club’s do not want to jump into every deal that is thrown at us. Only intrinsic offerings also should be customizable for private when we find the right opportunity (for restaurants) we will add events (such as graphics, lighting and beverage selection for a client’s birthday party or corporate milestone) as they are a them to what we are trying to accomplish overall with AV.” Bendik adds that artisanal cocktails, like restaurant formats, great source of income and positive buzz on the venue. The duo is also consciously trying to avoid oversaturation in will organically find their way into their mix as AV evolves. However at this moment, he reiterates their main focus is on Los Angeles, a problem they associate with larger companies. “There is just no way to have multiple ventures open seven customer service and the experiential elements of individual days a week or even three nights a week if you venues. Case in point: The Study Lounge in Hawaii “UltimAtely, tHe are trying to strategically place yourself,” insists came out of a situation where mixology fit in perfectly with the themes and audiences for the key to sUrViVAl is Berman. “However, that’s how things are with our contemporaries. Rather than grow too fast, we adjacent nightclub. Berman, meanwhile, finds the to sUrroUNd perfect counterpart metaphor in BMW’s business yoUrself witH As are all about branding and sustainability— having clubs people can identify by name that model for the automotive industry. “While people know BMW makes a great machine mUCH kNowledge will survive trends and stay relevant. overall, it is the accessories inside the car where ANd bACkgroUNd Furthermore, by using L.A. as our platform, we they make their money,” Berman says. “For us, the of tHe bUsiNess, are very bullish about taking our business model to places like Dallas and Chicago where the club is the machine and beverages are the engines As well As A potential is there but there currently is not a that will prompt customers to come in time and CApAble stAff.” hospitality company there making the most of again. Food and mixology-based cocktail menus, like the added features inside a BMW, are accessories adding those markets’ potential.” Bendik and Berman also take pride in the way they have something extra to our table service, staff and ambiance. We will add the accessories as appropriate based on what the clients worked with select liquor companies to create private and promotional events that further match up with customer want from our machines.” Berman goes on to explain AV venues are gaining permanent expectations and the unique environment of each club. “There are a lot of beverage companies trying to break into footing through their emphasis is on nightclub experiences that unite the familiar (beautiful, well-trained and savvy waitstaff) the market, throwing their money around,” says Bendik, adding and the unexpected (a dancer dropping into the middle of the that AV venues have hosted launches for top brands such as 28

Bar Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2012

many young Dom Perignon, Belvedere and Grey Goose. and ambitious “While many of products are often very partnerships good, they are not what our customers are aspire to open ordering. Even if (a company) wants to give a bar with the us $50,000, if it is not what our client wants, we’re not going to take it. That’s the short right mix of game. The long game is to diversify (the bar flash, class and with) products that we know will be the right product, but fit for the clients.” berman and One recent example of AV’s bendik have collaborations with liquor companies was seen them rise their conceptualizing an event called, “The and fall based Art of AV” with Los Angeles artist Louis on how well Carrion. Bendik and Berman knew intuitively they grasp that the audience receptive to Carrion’s the realities of work would probably favor Jack Daniels the business. products. At The Study, they developed a weekly event called “Ice Cream Sundays” focused on female clientele and the dates who want to make them happy, via sweeter, dessert-y cocktails. “Our ongoing challenge, even though our venues are only open a few nights a week, is to change the experience so every night offers something different—from music formatting to lighting to (servers wearing) different outfits to the go-go dancers and other performers dropping from the ceiling,” muses Berman. “Because we are keeping our operations compact, we have the advantage of knowing we do not have to capture a huge portion of the market to be successful. We just need to hone in on the right audience, and bring them in.” Though there are many young and ambitious individuals and partnerships who aspire to open a bar with the right mix of flash, class and product, Berman and Bendik have seen others rise and fall based on how well they grasp the realities of the nightclub industry—mainly a common misconception that creating a bar or nightclub with staying power is easier than opening a restaurant. In many cases, even in a “boutique” operation, it is not a one- or two-person job. “Ultimately, the key to survival is to surround yourself with as much knowledge and background of the business, as well as a capable staff who can help you see the most ambitious plans through,” counsels Berman. “You also need to be careful and not just invest in certain bar concepts just because you have a friend with an idea who believes he’s going to be the next great nightlife guy.” “A lot of it starts with basic common sense—arrive early, dress your staff well, and be polite,” continues Bendik. “You do not want to have that, ‘Don’t you know who I am?’ attitude because we’re all human and we have feelings. There is actually a real psychology involved with table service and how a club owner connects to his or her clients.” In other words, AV Hospitality is there to serve, and do it in ways that go big with style while keeping things personalized with the clientele. In their world, you have to have it both ways.

Nov/Dec 2012 Bar Business Magazine



New Rhythm foR the fReNch QuaRteR

Infused wIth the IntrIgue of the CresCent CIty, w new orleans – frenCh Quarter underwent CuttIng-edge renovatIons that rIval the energy and rhythm of the CIty, InCludIng the dynamIC new lounge, soBou.


New Orleans – French Quarter recently unveiled a full scale property renovation that melds the enigmatic charms and sultry soul of New Orleans into one vibrant destination. Located in the heart of the Big Easy’s most renowned neighborhood, the hotel has recently transformed the look of all 97 of its guest rooms as well as the Living Room (W’s take on the traditional hotel lobby), studio meeting spaces, all


Bar Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2012

corridors and the outdoor courtyard. W New Orleans - French Quarter has also expanded its offerings, adding SWEAT, a stateof-the-art fitness center, and a new signature restaurant lounge, SoBou, which is a contemporary Creole concept from the Commander’s Family of Restaurants that brings together the inventive cuisine and cocktail culture unique to the city. “When W New Orleans – French Quarter opened more than 12

years ago, it created a new scene in our vibrant city,” says James Wroblewski, general manager for W New Orleans -- French Quarter. “As the W brand continues to evolve, opening new hotels from Paris to Milan, Bangkok to Singapore, we are committed to creating a consistent, cutting-edge experience for our jetset guests. The renovation is critical to enhancing the overall guest experience while also drawing in locals with a very personalized touch.” Nemaworkshop, an interior design and architecture firm based in New York City, worked exclusively on the redesign of W New Orleans – French Quarter to reflect the artistic energy and the intrigue of jazz and tarot in the Crescent City. Each room boasts a palate of clean lines and modern blacks and whites mixed with vibrant gold tones and rich primary colors relevant to the room design motif. Inspired by the liveliness of Big Easy music, the jazz design features vibrant golden yellow walls, white lacquered furniture, and an oversized floorto-ceiling brass image modeled after the bell of a horn. The property’s tarot designed rooms channel the mystic spirit of the city with décor inspired by New Orleans’s voodoo queen Marie Laveau. The walls feature a deep blue color as well as an oversized mural representing a woman reading tarot cards. Guests can also spot depictions of Laveau throughout the property. The revamped look includes redesigned hallways, lift foyer, and the Living Room, which features new check-in desks for the hotel’s welcome agents, as well as direct access to SoBou. As part of the $9 million refresh, W New Orleans - French Quarter welcomed SoBou (also designed by nemaworkshop), a Louisiana street food-inspired restaurant and lounge from the Commander’s Family of Restaurants. SoBou—the name of which is the contraction, “South of Bourbon Street”— offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the regionally sourced menu, created by Executive Chef Juan Carlos Gonzalez, features inspired small plates to pair with drinks of any stripe—from classic cocktails to local craft brews. “The goal was to create a ‘spirited restaurant’ offering cutting-edge cocktails, wine, and beer along with local street-inspired food from Louisiana,” says Anurag Nema, principal at

Sobou captureS the idea of mixology aS it relateS to not only cocktailS, but alSo Jazz and the dark artS. it’S not only a reStaurant and bar with banquetteS, dining tableS, and barStoolS, but a dining Space that recallS an apothecary that alSo payS homage to new orleanS Jazz. nemaworkshop, about SoBou. “It’s a modern Creole saloon, which is contemporary as well as contextual to its French Quarter, New Orleans location. We designed a bar with a chef’s table, beer garden, and three dining areas. From the first meeting with the owners, it took about 14 months till the opening.” SoBou captures the idea of mixology as it relates to not only cocktails, but also jazz and the dark arts. It’s not only a restaurant and bar with banquettes, dining tables, and barstools, but a dining space that recalls an apothecary that also pays homage to what New Orleans is known for—its bustling jazz scene. Each of the spaces in SoBou has a distinctive interpretation of the concept of mixology: the entry and front dining space recall an apothecary where floor-to-ceiling walls are clad in bottles; illuminated display cases house a collection of vintage tools, shakers, and glasses from the Museum of the American Cocktail; and in the main dining space, a one-way glass installation

Nov/Dec 2012 Bar Business Magazine


showcases glowing bottles that multiply into infinity. A pair of large brass light fixtures recalling the end of a brass horn also illuminate the space. Adjacent to the curving brass bar is a modern beer garden where in there are self-service enomatic wine machines and beer taps built directly into the tables. Above each table hangs a rectangular brass light fixture inside of which are portraits of women’s eyes. Thus while the exterior of the shades are a direct reference to brass and its role in jazz, the interior of these pendants suggest a concurrent yet alternative underground movement in the city of New Orleans. “Once the design narrative was established, the material choices became quite obvious,” explains Nema. “The decision was made to keep the large brick walls exposed. The raw,


Bar Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2012

existing brick walls grounded the project, keeping the atmosphere relaxed. The geometric floor pattern came from the traditional patterns from European-inspired historic residences of the French Quarter. The large bottle displays talk of the apothecaries where the cocktails were first invented. Use of brass is derived from the omnipresent vibe of jazz and trumpets. Above the three, free-standing banquettes is a 30-foot long box with a one-way mirror face. Inside, illuminated bottles reflect and repeat into infinity, suggesting mystery and magical potions.” The transformation of W New Orleans – French Quarter is part of a comprehensive renovation strategy to update the W brand’s North American portfolio. W recently announced plans to reinvigorate more than 10 of its hotel properties within the next

18 months, tapping into the industry’s brightest rising visionaries to collaborate with the W brand’s award-winning design team on redesigns. As W expands its global footprint abroad—opening new hotels from Bangkok to Singapore, Milan to Verbier—the W brand is committed to providing a consistent, cutting-edge experience for guests. The ambitious renovation schedule is focused on many of the W brand’s early hotels in key markets such as New York City, Seattle, Chicago, New Orleans, and Los Angeles, among others. W New Orleans – French Quarter was named to the Travel + Leisure 2009 World’s Top 500 Hotels list. The experience is channeling rebellious energies in its new redesign, featuring jazz and tarotcard design motifs. The hotel sits just steps away from some of New Orleans’ most popular attractions, including historic Jackson Square, electrifying Bourbon Street and renowned Royal Street, and both guests and natives have truly taken to the new venue. “The guest reaction has been great and the locals have embraced SoBou as well,” says Nema. “The locals feel that the 1 10/22/12 space blendsd-LX-prt-BarBiz-NovDec2012-halfpgAd-v1.pdf in with the French Quarter location and at the same

time, offers them something fresh and exciting. The restaurant demonstrates succinctly the interplay between new and old, fancy and familiar, rough and polished. Ultimately, this will be a place where mixologists gather to appreciate a hand-crafted cocktail, yet also it will be a place for locals to simply unwind and swap stories.” And in a city like New Orleans, there are always plenty of 9:37 AM stories.









Nov/Dec 2012 Bar Business Magazine






The CiTy (island) That Never sleeps Tucked into the Long Island Sound north of Manhattan, the seafaring enclave of City Island is technically part of The Bronx. But this quiet nautical town, truly an island unto itself, feels more like a New England whaling community against the bustle of a New York City backdrop.


arlier in this month’s issue, in the Tuning Up column, we mentioned the impressive density of bars located within the tiny footprint of Hoboken, New Jersey (approximately 200 bars spread across just two square miles with a population of just over 50,000). Based on those numbers alone, you can imagine what a typical Friday or Saturday night looks like in Frank Sinatra’s hometown. By contrast, this month we visit City Island, which is technically part of the New York City borough of The Bronx, but harkens back to a more laid back, nautical time in the city’s history. And while this cozy little island is surely smaller than Hoboken in size (0.4 square miles) and


Bar Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2012


By Chris ytuarte

population (4,300), the lower number of bars is aptly proportional, to say the least, at a snug total of three. (More on The Snug later.) Of course, City Island is more well known for its seafood dining, and come summer weekends the island’s one main street is perpetually crowded with tourists and outerborough foodies slowly making their way to one of the near dozen eateries here (The Crab Shanty remains my favorite, for the name alone). But if we’re talking strictly about bars, City Island has only three. Plus a Clubhouse. (We’ll get to that, too.) To make our way onto City Island, we cross the City Island Bridge, the only way on or off this casual coastal enclave (unless you arrive by boat, that is). You then follow the lone

City Island Alehouse, the only bar we know with massage chairs.

main road (City Island Avenue) as it heads south for a mile before ending abruptly at the water’s edge. Branching off from this main street are short side roads with residential housing, and along City Island Avenue are the town’s commercial resources—two small supermarkets, one gas station, various antique shops, the famed seafood restaurants, and of course our three bars. Mind you, all of the various eateries on City Island have bars, including a small six-seater inside The Black Whale, a restaurant more known for its brunch and its desserts than for its cocktails or bar scene. But it’s also one of the few restaurants not entirely focused on seafood, and is somewhat of an island staple for locals. However, the closest thing to a fourth bar on the island is called The Clubhouse, and essentially, it is just that. A small bar space located on City Island Avenue, this venue is actually a “private club,” which requires an annual membership fee of $35 and “sponsorship” from an existing member to join. For those granted access to The Clubhouse, weekends feature live music and DJs, and a membership card carries with it five prepaid drinks a year. (As you may now, a similar “membership” approach to bars and nightclubs exists in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is now being phased out. There, you could become a “temporary member” for a night by paying a fee (basically a cover charge) and then enter the given bar. I’m not sure if this same type of liberal interpretation exists at The Clubhouse. After all, this is a tiny island full of locals, and maybe this venue likes it that way…) So instead, we start our night in one of the other true bars on City Island to which all comers have access, The Snug.

This one-room bar—half Irish pub, half island diner—is the definition of warm and welcoming. On a cold Monday evening, the bartender sets us up with a Heineken Light (while letting us know they are the only tavern in town with Guinness on tap) and we peruse a menu of high-end pub grub. Famous for its burgers, of which there are several versions to choose from, we opt, of course, to go with the Bronx Burger, with cheese, grilled onions, and bacon, served on an english Muffin (this is a great touch that is way underrated and underutilized in bars). Most impressively, however, is the manner in which the meal is served while we sit at the bar. A longtime pet peeve of mine—and a complaint from many other bar top foodies like me—is having to reach for ones food across the raised, curved lip of a standard old fashioned bar top. The owner of The Snug, obviously aware of such hardships in other venues, created his own This town is proud of its customized food docking nautical heritage, beyond station for patrons eating at the bar; the homemade polished just the seafood joints.

wood plank fits snugly (of course) over the bar top lip and snaps into place, providing the customer with a personal dining space free of any uncomfortable curved wood under the forearms. Amazingly, the bartender at The Snug informs me that this monumental invention has not been patented by the owner, which is foolish if you ask me. It’s genius. And, there are only four of them, so first come, first serve. Nov/Dec 2012 Bar Business Magazine




new york Boston CHICAGo


City island is like no other place in new york City, in that here, you don’t feel like you’re in new york City.

Fella’s Bar & Grill is a great neighborhood bar. The Snug is a great way to ease into a night on City Island. It is quiet, friendly, and features several nooks for conversation as well as more communal seating towards the back for groups that want to watch the game on the big screen. Open for eight years, this bar serves mostly City Island residents throughout the year. Friday and Saturday nights draw a good crowd, and Sundays during football season see regulars come in to watch the Jets and Giants. Just a few steps south on City Island Avenue we find City Island Alehouse, a relative newcomer to the neighborhood. Housed in a location that has changed hands and names several times over the years, the Alehouse is a classic tavern featuring dark mahogany throughout the massive back bar, bar top, and lower walls. Old world nautical light fixtures along one wall illuminate a long, slate menu that describes food and drink specials, and on this night, in early December, a Christmas tree illuminates the front windows. From there, of course, we get a sense of the Alehouse being slightly more eccentric than one might think at first. Though you can miss them upon first entering should your focus be more on making your way to the bar, you’ll eventually notice the two large, black leather lounge chairs 36

Bar Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2012

next to the front door. At first we thought they may be some kind of video game apparatus, but upon further inspection, they are, in fact, two coin-operated, vibrating massage chairs. This, I will admit, is a first for me. After examining the beautiful and well stocked bar—with six draft beers on two tap systems—we find out way toward the back of the long, narrow space. Here, several high-top tables are occupied by locals enjoying $10 buckets of beer while waiting for Monday Night Football to start on the massive projector screen that encompasses the entirety of the venue’s back wall. A roped-off platform in front of the screen provides space for live music, which City Island Alehouse hosts the first Friday of every month (at least). A digital jukebox plays rock music selected by both patrons and staff as game time ticks closer, at which point the bar’s sound system will be taken over by the New York Giants taking over the Washington Redskins. In this bar, we know which is the home team. After enjoying a pint of Rolling Rock for $2 (a Monday night beer special you just can’t beat), we depart City Island Alehouse and head north along the main artery to our final stop of the evening, Fella’s Bar & Grill. Located just a few hundred feet south of the City Island Bridge and our final exit from the island, Fella’s is either first bar you come to when visiting, or your last chance for a beer before leaving. A classic neighborhood sports bar, Fella’s is flying flags for both the Giants and Jets in its only two front windows. The crowd here can skew a little younger (or a little older, depending on Unfortunately for us, the night), but they’re mostly The Clubhouse is for still local. The bar carries a dedicated staff that the regulars members only.

here rely on, like Kerry Reeves, a Bronx native who has worked Friday nights at Fella’s for years, doing so even after moving nearly 90 minutes north of City Island. You get the sense that many of Fella’s patrons would make the same journey themselves just to be here. We leave City Island the same way we came in, via the one main road, across the only bridge that brings you here. But that’s a good thing; it’s easy to remember how to get back.

The Snug, living up to its name, is as cozy as they come. The owner’s invention—a portable, personal bartop table—is pure genius for creating comfort while eating.

Nov/Dec 2012 Bar Business Magazine



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A Southern Wind At Maddy’s Tap Room

in d.C.

southwestern “Texican” style cooking is the perfect beer-friendly option for Beltway locals looking for a little bit of foodie flavor with their brews.


oday we are experiencing a paradigm shift in the restaurant industry: beer has made it onto menus across the United States as more than just an afterthought. Where wine used to be the standard, sophisticated choice with dinner, beer pairings tap into a new niche market. american micro and craft brewers have succeeded in establishing quality, consistent and innovative beers that expand the minds of the consumer, while chefs have discovered beer’s amazing ability to bring out the flavors in all kinds of foods. menus that pair well with america’s favorite beverage are popping up everywhere. Beer is still a down-to-earth choice, but today even “foodies” ask for a beer with dinner. When you have 40 beers on tap, it makes sense to create a menu that’s seriously beer-friendly. executive chef carlos Gonzalez of maddy’s tap room in Washington, D.c., has done just that. His innovative menu for maddy’s is a “texican” homage to home and family. “i’m from texas and i’m


Bar Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2012

mexican, but i’m not doing tex-mex,” he insists. “there’s enough of that already available in D.c.” Growing up in el Paso, chef carlos’s mom was the cook in the neighborhood, making quality mexican food at home. as a child he says he didn’t necessarily spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking with her. “i was outside playing with the neighborhood kids,” he says. But when he went to culinary school in Scottsdale arizona, he realized he’d gleaned her recipes, as if by osmosis. “i realized i’d picked up all of these great recipes without writing them down,” he says. later, as the only latino in a group of corporate executive chefs at an international catering company, he had the opportunity to travel to mexico, South america, Spain and Portugal to develop menus with regional influences in mind. “People from my home state will tell you that texas is its own country,” he says. “my dishes for maddy’s harken back to a simpler time in texas, and reflect the state’s cowboy culture. ‘texican’ to me means combining the comforting

bitterness, and on your palate act like wine acids: both cut through fat, oil and salt on the palate. Just as a fish dish tastes great with an acidic dash of lemon juice, it is also well complemented by the bitterness of an india Pale ale (iPa). 2. finD Common grounD. create a pleasant echo by pairing “like” with “like.” a spicy dish with a spicy pale ale, a fruity dish with a fruit beer, a mexican chocolate mole sauce with chocolate beer all work well together. 3. oPPosiTes ATTrACT. certain beers are described as “fullbodied” or “heavy.” in keeping with their name, stouts (dark beers like Guinness) and porters are The ArT of Beer PAiring Maddy's Executive Chef generally too heavy for cheese many restaurants offer a small Carlos Gonzalez and fried fare. Wheat beers might selection of beers, with an emphasis be too light or fruity-tasting. on “theme beers” like mexican tecate, But ales, pilsners, and lagers provide a cleansing Japanese Kirin, thai Singha, or indian Kingfisher. these counterpoint: the bitterness of hops and the carbonation are all great european pilsner-style beers, but they’re adds a refreshing brightness to a rich meal. on the other not universal pairing solutions for all dishes from their hand, a dry, bitter stout is a classic accompaniment to the respective countries. Some of these brands are actually light sweetness of oysters. brewed in the U.S. or canada. So using mexican beer as a go-to for every Southwestern dish would be a mistake. “i 4. Beer PAirs BesT recommend stronger and fruitier flavors when dining on AT The righT spicy fare,” says chef carlos. “ales, Hefeweizens, and wheat TemPerATure. beers in particular taste great.” to really bring out the flavors in your favorite dish, the beer 5 rules of you choose should be ThumB To geT served between 40°f You sTArTeD and 50°f. if your beer for the purposes of has been chilled to pairing, beer may the Beers colder than 40°f, actually be more leave it out for a few food-friendly than minutes before serving. wine. the flavor possibilities are 5. sTArT lighT AnD Work ToWArDs heAvY. if you’re greater, since beer working through a menu and plan to have different beers e ey ib the cowboy r involves more with different courses, start with a light beer and work your ingredients than wine. the three main way toward darker beers. this way, your palate will have a ingredients in beer—barley (adds sweetness), hops chance to “warm up” to all the flavors and subtle aromas. (bitterness), and yeast (“breadiness”)—have endless potential You won’t miss a thing. for variety. on top of this, brewers often add actual spices, nuts, chocolate, fruits, and vegetables to their beer. for mADDY’s AnD Beer example, maddy’s currently has both a vanilla porter and a a tap room with 40 beers available is the natural place for blackberry wheat on tap. But not every beer is as customers to experiment with food and beer. maddy’s gives straightforward in announcing its flavors. to begin to truly pairing pointers on the menu, offering patrons dinnertime appreciate the flavors, aromas and textures of both your beer conversation and new combinations they may not have and your meals, start with the following simple guidelines: considered before. “When we first opened with 40 beers on tap, the beer enthusiasts definitely came in,” says chef 1. lAger is To WhiTe As Ale is To reD. as a simple rule of carlos. “these are people who know their beers, and have thumb, ales tend to be fruity and robust, like red wine. lagers opinions on what tastes good with their favorites.” maddy’s are crisp and more delicate, like white wine. Keep this in mind menu was created intentionally with a focus on beer, but it’s when looking at a menu, pairing ales as you would red wine an ongoing conversation. “We’ve learned so much from our (with red meat dishes, game and red sauce) and lagers like patrons, from our bartenders, from native texans and the white wine (with fish, chicken and poultry). Beer hops add flavors of home in unexpected ways.” menu highlights include a chorizo burger with oaxaca cheese, an openfaced brisket sandwich with chipotle cream sauce, and a skirt steak with chorizo spice and tomatillo relish with charro (Spanish for “cowboy”) beans. chef carlos says his mom’s chicken and corn tortilla casserole in a mushroom cream sauce is his favorite dish on the menu. “it’s the exact dish she made for us at home, only served in individual cast iron pots. it’s the quintessential texican dish: not americanized mexican, but a modernized version of what real people from texas eat at home.”

Nov/Dec 2012 Bar Business Magazine



Bar Scenes from Some of America’s smaller cities



people from Mexico who come in. The kitchen is the perfect laboratory to fuse all of these influences together.” Today’s menu at Maddy’s is a culmination of the ongoing dialogue between Maddy’s chef, n Salad Jo Jo's Chicke staff and patrons. Dining there is an experience unique to the restaurant, and a new niche beer market has developed for this restaurant organically. The next time you find yourself in Washington, D.C., stop by Maddy’s Tap Room. Its open kitchen lends itself well to getting a conversation started. Chef Carlos is open to discussion, and you can watch him work – he’d love to talk Texican with you. Maddy’s bartenders are friendly and would be happy to let you sample the beers. And if you love a certain type of beer, you’ll probably like it with anything you eat. There’s nothing wrong with that!

Pair with: Burgers, steaks, spicy food, nutty food, fried food. Cheddar, parmesan or romano cheeses. Try: Maddy’s Cowboy Rib Eye and Tomato Pie with one of their ales on tap.

Bock Beer Pair with: Beef, sausage, lamb and pork. Anything seared. Gruyère, emmental, and Swiss cheeses.

Try: Maddy’s Pork Pibil Tacos with one of their bock beers on tap.

Fruit Beers, Lambics and Ciders Pair with: Duck and pork dishes with sweet components, dishes driven by herbs and spices, salads with fruity dressings, and fruity desserts. Mascarpone cheese. Try: Maddy’s Jo Jo’s Chicken Salad with an Angry Orchard Cider (currently on tap) to echo the crisp Granny Smith apples and sweet cranberries

Lager Pair with: Shellfish, light seafood, grilled pork and chicken, light pasta dishes, spicy food.

Try: Maddy’s Shortrib Empanadas. They have a love affair with lager!

Pilsner Pair with: Salads, light seafood, salmon, tuna, trout, asparagus, spicy food. Muenster, Havarti, and Monterey Jack cheeses. Try: Maddy’s Grilled Swordfish with Mexican Rice and Poblanos – goes great with a pilsner!

Porter Pair with: Smoked foods, barbecue, sausage, rich stews, meats, bacon, chili, anything braised.

Try: Maddy’s Puebla Wings with Mole Sauce and one of our porters on tap.

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Stout Pair with: Roasted foods, smoked foods, barbecued/ grilled foods, salty foods, rich stews, chocolate, desserts. For best results, find a beer that’s sweeter than the dish. Try: Maddy’s Pork Ribs with Ancho-Bourbon-Pineapple BBQ and one of their stouts on tap.

Wheat Beer/ Hefeweizen: Pair with: Light soups and salads, vegetarian fare, citrus-flavored dishes, including dessert and salad dressings. Gruyère cheese and Feta/goat cheese. Try: Maddy’s Latin Caprese Salad with vine ripe tomatoes, Oaxaca Cheese, Cilantro Pesto Vinaigrette and Tamarind Figs. Delicious with a wheat beer.


Bar Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2012

THE U.S. BEVERAGE ALCOHOL FORUM A partnership between Brand Action Team, Next Level Marketing, MHW and Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America in conjunction with the

WSWA 70th Annual Convention & Exposition (April 28-30, 2013)*


REASONS TO REGISTER FOR THE USBAF • Learn how to enter the U.S. market and hear updates from the TTB. • Hear from wholesalers, who will offer advice on building your business. • Find out about the most recent U.S. wine and spirits industry data and trends in mixology. • Hear from experts on how to use technology to drive business on the street. • Hear about trends in E-commerce and SMM to increase your business.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM Grande Lakes Orlando, Orlando Florida *Attendance at the USBAF is included in the registration fee for the WSWA 70 th Annual Convention & Exposition. A separate registration is available for those who wish to ONLY attend the USBAF.

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Inventory It’s Winter with Newcastle

A Better Way to Drink with BeerHugZ

Newcastle announced the first nationwide release of its limited edition beer, Newcastle Winter IPA. On retail shelves and on draught in on-premise locations now through January 2013, Newcastle Winter IPA pours a copper color with a strong hop aroma, subtle caramel notes, a full body and a balanced finish, staying true to the traditional characteristics found in Britishstyle IPAs. Made with Super Styrian and Styrian Goldings hops, Newcastle Winter IPA has an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 5.2 percent with 28 International Bittering Units (IBUs). Newcastle Winter IPA is available nationally from November 2012 through January 2013 in 12 oz. bottles in 6-packs and 12-packs priced comparably to Newcastle Brown Ale. Winter IPA will also be available on draught at fine bars and pubs in all major U.S. markets. Visit

Kimaya Technologies LLC, located in Tipp City, Ohio, has taken the ordinary beer can and bottle and raised it to the l evel of luxury by introducing BeerHugZ . BeerHugZ is not just another cheaplooking koozie. The USA-made BeerHugZ is a stylish and ergonomic holder that perfectly fits a bottle or can. Kimaya Technologies set out to design the ideal holder and have had success. After researching and developing the design of BeerHugZ, they were able to develop a product that is unique, providing beer drinkers a way to express their style and luxury without putting any strain on the hand or wrist while holding a drink at a party. They also found that the inside of BeerHugZ needed to be lined with foam to keep the beer colder for a longer period of time and prevent hands from getting cold while holding the beer container. They also added a bucket style to the base that prevents water spillover from condensation to keep those unsightly rings off tables. For more information, visit

George Dickel Rye Newest Addition

Crabbie's Ginger Beer Debuts in U.S.

The newest addition to the George Dickel portfolio is George Dickel Rye. With the recent resurgence of rye whisky, George Dickel Master Distiller, John Lunn, has received hundreds of queries from consumers, mixologists and bartenders alike about the potential for a rye created the George Dickel way – chilled and then charcoal filtered. The result is a beautifully crafted whisky that George Dickel himself would be happy to put his name on and encourage adult consumers to try responsibly. George Dickel Rye is a straight rye whisky matured in new charred oak barrels for at least 5 years, that consists of a mash bill of 95% rye and 5% malted barley. The 90-proof whisky has an amber, golden appearance. George Dickel Rye delivers a fresh, grainy scent with a pleasant note of fruit on the finish. Visit 42

Bar Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2012

The United Kingdom’s number one selling bottled beer, Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer has recently made its debut in the United States. Now available in 18 states, famed Crabbie’s (4.8%) is fermented with the finest imported ginger and steeped for up to eight weeks to allow the complex natural flavors to fully develop, creating a smooth ginger beer with deep, deliciously spicy flavor and a sparkling finish. Crabbie’s is a refreshing ginger beer – only for grown-ups – that is ideal served chilled over ice with a slice of lemon or lime. Scottish merchantadventurer John Crabbie first imported ginger from the Far East into the ancient port of Leith, Edinburgh in 1801. Ideal for sipping, it can also be blended into a variety of ginger beer cocktails, such as the classic Dark and Stormy and the Moscow Mule. For more information visit them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter@CrabbiesUSA.

Devotion Spirits' Sugar-Free and Gluten-Free Flavored Vodka Re-think your drink! Devotion Spirits, Inc., maker of the original protein-infused Devotion Vodka, now introduces the world’s first-ever sugar-free and gluten-free flavored vodka family. Devotion Vodka, which is 100% made in America, offers a new premium brand spirit geared toward image-conscious men and women who live active lifestyles. With crisp, exotic and refreshing fruit flavors, Blood Orange, Black and Blue and “The Perfect Cosmo,” Devotion’s new smooth-tasting vodkas will indulge and delight the most distinct palates. In lieu of sugars, Devotion uses an essence process along with natural flavor compounds that allow its flavored vodkas to be created without the unnecessary sugars used in other mass-produced flavored vodkas, while keeping the alcohol level at 80 proof. The distinct flavoring process offers clean, fruitful and aromatic profiles with an ultra-smooth palate of robust flavors followed by a refreshing, balanced finish that is second to none in the spirits industry. Visit

Flavored Bourbons Are On Fire (We speak figuratively of course—at 35% alcohol it’s tough to actually get them to burn.) But, there’s no denying this spirits category is smokin’ hot. With the launch of Killer Bee (Bourbon and honey) and Hot Licks (Bourbon and cinnamon), Independent Distillers USA has officially tossed its asbestos hat into the figurative fire pit of flavored Bourbon. These new products will be launched on November 1, 2012. Killer Bee is a time-honored, backwoods blend of Woodstock Genuine Kentucky Bourbon and the flavors of luscious golden honey. It’s as warm and soothing as a midsummer night’s dream and as bold and smooth as an iron fist in a velvet glove. For more information visit www.

DEADBOLT Wine Makes Its Own Rules Introducing DEADBOLT, an intriguing red wine for people who make their own rules. The first Californian still wine in the portfolio of Pernod Ricard USA, with national distribution. DEADBOLT is a rich and distinctive blend of Californian red varietals which will be competing in one of today’s fastest growing domestic table wine categories. Blending is the art of combining individual wines that complement each other in order to create a complete wine that’s better, more attractive and more complex. There are no rules, no recipes, no boundaries. Only a winemaker’s philosophy, experience and vision. The DEADBOLT team had their own ideas about how to craft their own Californian wine that dares to be different. With a deep ruby, purple color, a distinctive red fruit nose and flavors of black cherry, mocha and brown spice, DEADBOLT’s blend is so unique that the winemaking team is keeping the full details under lock and key. Visit

Tony Abou-Ganim on Vodka VODKA DISTILLED: The Modern Mixologist on Vodka and Vodka Cocktails, by Tony Abou-Ganim is about vodka, the most consumed liquor in the United States that is typically looked down on in the craftcocktail world. Star mixologist Tony AbouGanim has been at the forefront of the craftcocktail resurgence, and he's the perfect person to reevaluate vodka and its proper role in the contemporary cocktail scene. The book features an introduction by cocktail legend Dale DeGroff, sections on vodka's history and production, and detailed profiles of sixty of the world's vodkas. The centerpiece of Vodka Distilled comprises twenty-five classic and contemporary drink recipes carefully selected and composed by Abou-Ganim to showcase vodka to the fullest extent. Now available at Nov/Dec 2012 Bar Business Magazine


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Holiday Happenings

January 2013





Jan 3: Festival of Sleep Day. The holiday season is over. Between Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, business has been booming. Honor this holiday by curling up in a corner of your bar and taking a nice long nap on top of a pile of cash. You’ve earned it.

Jan 4: National Trivia Day. Now WAKE UP and get started on a new year of business. Kick things off by celebrating this great national holiday with a trivia contest on-premise. Need a host? Check out Trivia A.D. (

Jan 6: Three Kings Day. A simple way to celebrate this day is offering up specials on the one shot everyone loves to hate, honoring the three kings of whiskey, aka the Three Wiseman: 1 part Johnnie Walker 1 part Jack Daniels 1 part Jim Beam

Jan 11: Learn Your Name in Morse Code Day. This holiday gives an entirely new meaning to the term “tap beer.”

Jan 13: Friday the 13th. On this night, have your staff ask all customers one question after they order a drink: Who would really win in a fight, Freddy Krueger or Jason? If they answer Freddy Krueger, refuse to serve them, because they are obviously drunk.






Jan 18: Thesaurus Day. What’s another word for bad tipper? Send your suggestions to We’ll print the best one next month.

Jan 19: National Popcorn Day. Bring a little flavor into your venue on this day, and rather than go the easy route with some simple bowls of popcorn on the bar, mix up some drink specials using 360 Vodka’s latest flavor innovation, Buttered Popcorn Vodka. http:// brandsflavors/360buttered-popcorn.html

Jan 30: Inane Answering Message Day. “Believe it or not George isn’t at home, please leave a message at the beep. I must be out or I’d pick up the phone. Where could I be? Believe it or not I’m not home.” BEEP.

Jan 31: Backward Day. To honor this day, have some opened bottles of beer sitting on the bar. When customers come in to order one, hand them some cash, put the cap back on the bottle and twist it shut, take the coaster out from under it, put the bottle back in the ooler, and ask the customer what he wants. Hilarity ensues.

Jan 20: Penguin Awareness Day. Some of us wanted to grow up to be a penguin feeder at The Bronx Zoo, but instead became the editor of Bar Business Magazine. We can still dream.

Nov/Dec 2012 Bar Business Magazine


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U S Beverage Alcohol Forum


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Nov/Dec 2012 Bar Business Magazine


Supply Side Spotlight

An RTD To Boost Your Bottom Line The nautical nature of life in Annapolis, Maryland inspired Sandy Mazza to launch SAndy BoTToM®, an RTd cocktail that its owner says speaks not only to the sea-faring retail consumer, but also the savvy bar owner who wants to bring something new on-premise while streamlining service and increasing profit. named after Sandy herself, as well as her affinity for life along the bottom of Chesapeake Bay, SAndy BoTToM is, according to Mazza, “The only reason to get off your bottom.” BB: What was the impetus behind bringing Sandy Bottom to market as an RTD? Mazza: The inspiration for Sandy Bottom really came from my love of boating and living here in Annapolis. I would serve cocktails to my friends when we took the boats out, and everyone always enjoyed their libations. And my friends all encouraged me to see what I could do. So I took it from the original cocktail concept and created the bottle product. And once I decided to get the gumption to go forward I opened my LLC in July of 2009, and from that point it took me 15 months to come to market, which in this business is actually pretty fast. We originally launched here in Annapolis, and we’ve currently sold about 1,900 cases. This past weekend one of the Baltimore Ravens cheerleaders bought Sandy Bottom, and we were thrilled. We hoped she would bring it to the game and show it to everybody! We’re still a small brand with big hopes. BB: And how did you market it to the consumer? Mazza: Here’s how I always describe Sandy Bottom: It’s a pre-mixed cocktail of carbonated coconut rum with natural lemonade and lime flavors. It’s gluten-free, it is 37 calories per ounce, and it is 2.83 carbs and 2.67 sugars. The bottle-can is 3.75ml, which equates to 12.7, so you can actual get three cocktails per bottle, which is really where the on-premise can benefit—particularly if they happen to be beachy or near the ocean or a lake. BB: Can an RTD like Sandy Bottom become a relevant revenue stream on-premise for those bar owners? Mazza: Presently, we’re seeing some on-premise interest from golf courses, so we are crossing over a bit out of the retail store. And there are two Aloft Hotels that have brought Sandy Bottom in because they like the branding—the Aloft Hotels are hip and fun, just like our brand. The Aloft in Lexington, Massachusetts (the chain prototype) and the Aloft


Bar Business Magazine Nov/Dec 2012

here in Maryland at BWI Airport are both stocking Sandy Bottom in their bars. So we’re seeing some progress there. BB: What is it about an RTD, and specifically about Sandy Bottom, that makes it a viable option for the on-premise? Mazza: For starters, my bottle is aluminum, which makes it recyclable. In today’s age, people love to be ‘geen.’ And the bottletop is re-sealable, with an ROPP closure (Roll-On-PilferProof), which is where the smart bar owner can really take advantage. Open it up, pour a cocktail into a wine glass or Champagne flute, reseal the bottle, and pour a second and maybe a third cocktail later. Now the pricepoint on the bottle is working for you, because you’re making two or three sales from the one bottle. And most people, when they look at my bottle, comment on how great looking the package is. Being a novice to the industry, I knew catching the consumer’s eye was my first challenge. So with on-premise, they would want to have a place on the bar to display the bottle and have it sitting out, because you would want people to ask your bartenders, ‘What is that?’ And the “Glo Girl” on the bottle, which I call her, definitely exudes fun and freedom and sensuality, without going over the top. BB: Can a bar owner selling RTDs expect to see his bottom line look better with Sandy Bottom? Mazza: Of course. You’re talking about a higher level of convenience for your bartenders working with Sandy Bottom. Being a pre-mixed RTD, your bartenders spend much less time concocting complicated cocktails and are freed up more quickly to mix other drinks. And we all know the more drinks they get out, the more money you make. In general, RTDs are great for helping your bottom line in that sense, and specifically Sandy Bottom, with its ability to be poured quickly as a cocktail and then resealed, saves time and makes you money.

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