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successful female nightlife owners Ladies Nights: Super and operators discuss their winning ways. The How-To Publication

BAR BUSINE$$ June 2015


It’s a Kegolution! The new BrewLock draught system changes the game

RUMCHATA FREEDOM BOTTLES Every bottle sold benefits the

The Lone Survivor Foundation restores, empowers, and renews hope for our wounded service members and their families through health, wellness, and therapeutic support.

RumChata. Caribbean Rum with Real Dairy Cream, Natural and Artificial Flavors. 13.75% alcohol by volume.

Bottled by Agave Loco Brands, Pewaukee, WI. Please Enjoy Responsibly. RUMCHATA and CHATA are Registered Trademarks of Agave Loco, LLC.


On Tap JUNE 2015



Working together






booze back ON DISPLAY


bats and bottles

On-premise designs can be updated by adding eye-catching bottle displays and lightboxes, putting booze in the eyeline of customers.

The unappreciated art of properly rimming a glass to be both functional and fun is vital to creating wellrounded cocktails.

Team-branded bottles of premium wine from Major League Baseball make for a powerful tool to boost a bar’s wine sales on-premise.

June 2015 Bar Business Magazine


On Tap





28 Kegolution! It’s been decades since the last great innovation in the world of beer kegs, but the new BrewLock system from HEINEKEN is leading us into the draught future.

Departments 4 Bar room drawl

36 Big six

6 Booze News

The booming Basque culture continues to influence nightlife operators stateside, as Aatxe opens its doors in San Francisco.

Hard Rock Burger and Booze Tour; Absolut reimagines the nightlife scene; Buzztime and Arooga’s expand their relationship; Virgil Kane launches two new southern spirits; Chivas Regal start-ups.

10 liquid Assets This summer is ideal for the rum category to rediscover its roots as the leading spirit for seasonal cocktails based around tropical Caribbean traditions, so we head to Nevis island for some insight.

40 Inventory 42 holiday happenings 44 OWNING UP If done correctly, the “gamification” of on-premise employee incentive programs can be a powerful way to improve performance and profits.

32 LADIES NIGHTs We talk to some of the most successful female nightlife owners and operators working in the industry today to find out how they got here and where they are going.

ON THE COVER Marshall Mintz, owner of Formerly Crow’s and South 4th Bar & Café in New York City, pours from Heineken’s new BrewLock draught system. Photo by Guy Merin.

32 “Bar Business Magazine” (ISSN 1944-7531 [print], ISSN 2161-5071 [digital]) (USPS# 000-342) is published February, April, June, August, October, & December for $45.00 per year and January, March, May, July, September, & November will only be offered in a digital format at no charge by Simmons-Boardman, 55 Broad St 26th Fl., New York, NY 10004. Periodicals postage paid at New York, NY and additional mailing offices. Copyright © 2015 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 1172, Skokie, IL 60076-8172. 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 of the how-to activities published in the magazine. Further, the publisher and authors assume no liability for damages or injuries resulting from projects contained herein. All rights reserved. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Bar Business Magazine, PO Box 1172, Skokie, IL 60076-8172.


Bar Business Magazine June 2015

Bar Room Drawl By Chris Ytuarte Editor

In Bars, Hide and Go Seek "I don't have a drinking problem, 'Cept when I can't get a drink." — Tom Waits Sometimes it pays to step back from the industry in which you work everyday and take a look at what you see as opposed to how others see it. From the perspective of an average customer, the bar business can appear one way (glamorous, fun, sexy, dare I say, easy?) while those of you who work behind the scenes know very well that, at best, only one of those adjectives might apply on a daily basis (it can be fun, right?). There are a lot of hidden components to this industry, which is mostly by design. We don’t often pull back the curtain to show consumers the guts of the bar, and as such, there are certain aspects that only you, as a bar owner and operator, and your staff can truly appreciate, and perhaps even be excited by. It’s those things — the things we hide and now go seek — that dominate our coverage this month. Starting with our cover story on Heineken’s new and fascinating BrewLock draught beer system, we discover that the inner workings of tap beer, while alien and often uninteresting to the customer who just wants a cold pint of lager, is finally making some amazing strides following decades of

stagnation and a ­— shall we say — stale existence. For those of us who thought we’d be long gone from this Earth before we saw draught beer on-premise rise up from anything but a steel keg under pressure from various gasses, think again. This one is a game-changer. And while it’s essentially hidden from your patrons line of sight, it’s something you’ll want to make them aware of should you install this system in your bar. Also emerging from the dark in this issue of Bar Business is the often unnoticed notion of bottle displays on-premise and the unconscious effect they can have on your customers' purchasing decisions. We look at ways to design, implement, and light-up your bottle offerings to impact sales, be it liquor or wine. (And in the case of the latter, what could make for a more appealing aesthetic than some hometown baseball bottles of wine targeting fans of your local team, now available from Major League Baseball.) More hidden aspects of the industry in this issue include the unheralded art of rimming cocktails for function and for fun; female bar ownership coming out from the shadows; and the overlooked appeal of the Basque culture on bars, which is, rightfully, less neglected now thanks to new venues like San Francisco’s Aatxe, which we profile this month. When hanging a dart board, according to both the American Darts Organization and the British Darts Organisation, how high above the floor should the center of the bull’s-eye be?


June 2015 Vol. 8, No. 6 Bar Business Magazine (ISSN 1944-7531) is published by Simmons-Boardman Publishing Corporation 55 Broad St 26th Fl., New York, NY 10004 executive offices

President Arthur J. McGinnis, Jr. Publisher Arthur J. Sutley 212-620-7247; fax: 212-633-1863 editorial

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

Creative Director Wendy Williams Art Director Sarah Vogwill production

Corporate Production Director Mary Conyers circulation

Circulation Director Maureen Cooney advertising sales

Art Sutley 212-620-7247; fax: 212-633-1863

circulation department

800-895-4389 Bar Business Magazine is published monthly. All rights reserved. Nothing herein may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher. To Purchase PDF files of covers, layouts or hard copy reprints, please call Art Sutley at 212-620-7247 or email

Answer: 5 feet 8 inches


Bar Business Magazine June 2015

Booze News

Hard Rock World Burger Tour Takes Off


or the first time ever, Hard Rock Cafe gives guests a backstage pass to sample Local Legendary ™ Burger offerings, showcasing the flavor and ingredients at Hard Rock locations across the globe as part of its new World Burger Tour menu. These unique burger “acts” from five continents will take center stage at Hard Rock Cafes in the United States through June 30. Hard Rock gives chefs at their cafes the freedom to create a unique Local Legendary Burger that captures the local flavors of their city and is only available at that cafe location…until now. More than 150 local burgers were evaluated by Hard Rock’s culinary team, with fan favorites selected to star on a limited-time World Burger Tour menu. From the Java Lava Legendary Burger in Seattle to the Schnitzel Legendary Burger in Germany, Hard Rock’s Local Legendary Burgers are packing their bags (or buns) and heading out to Hard Rock Cafes across the country. “As a global brand, Hard Rock understands the


Bar Business Magazine June 2015

importance of tailoring its menu and embracing the different taste profiles of guests at each of our locations,” said Michael Beacham, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Corporate Cafes for Hard Rock International. “The World Burger Tour provides us with a new way to share a taste of the Local Legendary experience with burger fans around the world.” As part of the World Burger Tour menu, Hard Rock Cafes will also showcase the brand’s worldfamous cocktails, including the Mai Tai One On (Mount Gay Eclipse Rum, Cointreau® Orange Liqueur, Monin Orgeat, splash of lime and orange juice); the Pomegranate Mule (a mix of ABSOLUT ® Vodka, Monin Pomegranate and ginger beer); the Mezcarita (Del Maguey Mezcal, Cointreau® Orange Liqueur, Malibu® Coconut and fresh strawberries); and the Pineapple Ginger Caipirinha, a Brazilian blend of Água Luca™ Cachaça and pineapple with the subtle hint of Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur. Visit for more recipes.

Absolut® Continues To Reimagine Nightlife


bsolut is celebrating the latest iteration of Absolut Nights – the next step of the brand’s Transform Today ™ campaign – dedicated to inspiring consumers to push nightlife conventions beyond their limits. A short film featuring a never-before-heard track from electronic music duo, Empire of the Sun, leads the campaign by showcasing real experiences of Absolut nightlife. Inspiring consumers to reinvent their own night out, Absolut has also launched Absolut Spark, a new limited edition illuminated bottle. Absolut Nights builds on the momentum started by a series of transformative global events in 2014, hosted by Absolut in New York, Sao Paolo, Berlin and Johannesburg, that infused nightlife with unprecedented creativity thanks to one-of-a-kind artistic collaborations. Each event featured a different artist who reimagined a traditional nightlife convention – from over-sized, inside-out disco ball to pyrotechnic-triggering dance floors – to create a collective rush of adrenaline for event attendees. “At Absolut, we believe in a world where there’s no such thing as a ‘standard’ night out,” said Joao Rozario, VP of Marketing, Absolut. “By infusing the unexpected into the ordinary, Absolut Nights aims to inspire nightlife lovers to use the night as their canvas

to explore what the future of nightlife looks like. ” Footage captured from real Absolut events around the globe sets a dynamic backdrop for the brand‘s latest short film and serves as the creative featured in Absolut’s new T V advertising, appearing on latenight T V, cinemas and beyond. Placing real consumers and nightlife enthusiasts in the spotlight, the short film, directed by Grammy-winning director Melina Matsoukas, features a never-before-heard track from the electronic music duo, Empire of the Sun. “My vision for the film was to capture the energy and excitement of these real experiences, creating a story which takes the audience on a journey into Absolut Nights,“ said Film Director Melina Matsoukas. For more information, consumers are invited to visit

Buzztime and Arooga’s Expand Longtime Partnership


estaurant and bar entertainment leader NTN Buzztime, Inc., and rising restaurant franchise star Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar will expand their relationship to implement self-service dining functionality via Buzztime BEOND ™ tablets in all ten of Arooga’s Central Pennsylvania locations. Buzztime’s new service, which enables consumers to view menus with photos, descriptions and prices, integrates with trivia and sports games that enable brands to entertain and engage patrons. “Our passion as a company has always been to create amazing experiences for patrons and new sources of business value for our customers. We have many great partners that we work with to develop those advantages," said Buzztime CEO Ram Krishnan. “We are proud Arooga’s has found great success in part by offering the latest and greatest technology with Buzztime and has

expanded our longtime partnership. We look forward to introducing these capabilities to existing and future Buzztime partners.” Restaurants gain extensive competitive benefits from the Buzztime tablets. The dynamic menu capabilities allow the menu to change over the course of the day for restaurants that have a different menu for lunch and dinner. It also accommodates customized design so the look and feel of the menu fit the brand image and experience of the venue. In the case of Arooga’s, the menu will use the company’s logo, colors, and fonts. “Our partnership with Buzztime allows our brand to stay on-trend, on a dime with our guests’ needs, and this awesome new feature is just one more way that we are optimizing the guest experience," said Arooga’s president Gary Huether, Jr. Visit for more information. June 2015 Bar Business Magazine


Booze News Virgil Kaine Introduces Two New Southern Spirits


irgil Kaine Lowcountry Whiskey Co., the distinctive line based in Charleston, S.C., expands its portfolio with the launch of two new Southern spirits – Robber Baron Rye Whiskey and High-Rye Bourbon – and announces added distribution to New York state in 2015. Following the success of its original Ginger Infused Bourbon, Virgil Kaine’s new releases offer unparalleled whiskey experiences, while remaining true to the cornerstone of the brand – to deliver meticulous spirits created by professional chefs and driven by flavor. Founders and chefs David Szlam and Ryan Meany are inspired by their years in the kitchen, and apply their unrestrained culinary expertise to each of Virgil

Kaine’s unique whiskeys. In response to growing demand for their debut spirit and the country’s continued fascination with all things Southern, Szlam and Meany brought the complete Virgil Kaine portfolio to New York this spring. The new Virgil Kaine Robber Baron Rye Whiskey is a Southern twist on an old favorite, inspired by a love for the bold flavor of a quality rye. A pioneering mix of two exotic whiskies, Robber Baron Rye Whiskey blends an uncommonly high 94% rye mash with a splash of Virgil Kaine High-Rye Bourbon. This unique combination yields a flavor of dry, subtle spice that opens up to a delicate heat. Robber Baron Rye Whiskey is best enjoyed neat or with a cube or two of ice.

Chivas Regal® Reveals Startups


startups from across the globe with a mission to create positive change have been announced as finalists of The Venture. The forward-thinking businesses, including Vendedy from the U.S., are competing to win a share of $1 million in funding from Chivas Regal luxury whisky. After receiving over 1,000 entries across five continents, Vendedy, a social enterprise startup that is digitizing the street vending industry via mobile technology, has been selected as part of a diverse shortlist of 16 aspiring startups tackling a range of social and environmental issues. The finalists have been chosen to represent their local countries in The Venture global final based not only on their potential to be profitable as a business, but also their ability to offer scalable and sustainable impact solutions.


Bar Business Magazine June 2015

Chivas Regal’s search will culminate in San Francisco on July 24th when finalists pitch for the remaining share of the $1 million fund. Sonal Shah, former Director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation in the White House under US President Barack Obama, is the latest judge to be announced alongside actor Adrian Grenier, Morgan Clendaniel, Editor of Fast Company’s Co.Exist, and Alex Ricard, Pernod Ricard Chairman and CEO. “Due to this being a global competition across five continents we’ve discovered an incredible collection of social entrepreneurs that are aiming to tackle a broad array of issues," said Richard Black, Global Brand Director, Chivas Regal. "As a brand we’re very proud to be putting a spotlight on these talented and driven business people and we can’t wait to see how the public respond.”

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Liquid Assets

Rum Nevis A Taste for in

Mark Theron talks rum at the 101 Rums Bar in Nevis, awash in the Caribbean environment so many of this spirit’s most beloved cocktails are inspired by. By Tim Cotroneo


Bar Business Magazine June 2015


f it’s Thursday night on the island of Nevis, you’ll find three shot glasses perfectly positioned on the mahogany bar counter at 101 Rums Bar (www. restaurants/mango/101_rums). Like a magician ready to perform a sleight of hand, Mark Theron stands ready and willing to work his rum magic for a new group of students. Nevis is a small island in the Caribbean Sea that forms part of the inner arc of the Leeward Islands chain of the West Indies. Nevis and the island of Saint Kitts to the northwest form the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Theron’s gallery is comprised of travel savvy vacationers who fly from around the world to luxuriate at Nevis’ posh Four Seasons Resort. These vacationers are in Nevis to enjoy a real Caribbean experience, and in this case, learn about the liquid that for centuries has been the drink of choice for pirates, navy officers, beach bar owners, and collectors like Theron.

Rum 101 Today, Theron’s personal collection of rum varieties is up to 200 and counting. While mesmerizing students with stories of rum history and rum making at 101 Rums Bar, Theron actually has 126 rums at his disposal. The bar, connected to the Four Seasons oceanfront Mango Restaurant, is building a reputation as a Caribbean rum destination site. The bar and restaurant is also home to Kendie Williams, an awardwinning mixologist, who concocts colorful rum cocktails for vacationers on a nightly basis. The three shots that Theron focuses on at the beginning of his presentation represent the categories accounting for the rum industry as we know it: We’re talking Ron for Spanish rum, Rum for English rum, and Rhum for French rum. The students’ mission, if they choose to accept it, is to inhale and then sip these diverse categories of rum in the hopes of not

Tiki Banana Cooler (recipe on pg 12) only determining which they like best, but also to earn a certificate for their night of rum tasting. For Theron, the best part of his night is sharing with students how studying the history of rum is like journeying across the Caribbean. “Personally, I’m always seeking out new rums,” says Theron. “I love the anticipation just before taking that first sip. Here, at 101 Rums Bar, we like to tickle our taste buds and discover a new favorite rum.”

A Priceless Love When asked which was the most expensive rum currently stocked at 101 Rums Bar, Theron points skyward to a top-shelf rum in a black container embossed in gold. “The Appleton Estate Jamaican rum is aged in oak barrels for 50 years

before serving,” says Theron. “Here at 101 Rums Bar, a shot can be purchased for $450.” For those concerned about price dictating quality, Theron remarks that ultimately, it all comes down to personal taste. “For a rum lover like me, all rums are good, some are just better than others,” he says with a smile. On the tiny island of Nevis, the 101 Rums Bar is a great place to talk ron, rum, rhum and everything in between. And while we may not be able to include cocktail recipes for all 101 rums available on Nevis, we can give the American bar owner a few spectacular suggestions for taking rum back to its Caribbean core this summer by offering guests some great warm-weather drinks: June 2015 Bar Business Magazine


Liquid Assets

Rum Recipes Malibu Red Hot Explosion

Daisy de Santiago


1 part Malibu Red 2 parts orange juice 1 orange zest 1 splash grenadine

2 oz Caña Brava Rum 1 oz fresh lime juice 1/4 oz simple syrup 3/4 oz Yellow Chartreuse 1 oz soda water 1 mint sprig, for garnish

2 oz Caña Brava Rum 2 oz pineapple juice 1/2 oz lime juice 1/2 oz grenadine

Pour Malibu Red and orange juice over ice in a highball. Add a splash of grenadine. Garnish with an orange zest.

Skinny Spiced Daiquiri 1 ½ parts Malibu Island Spiced ¾ part fresh lime juice ¾ part Splenda® syrup ½ part coconut water (optional) Add all ingredients to a mixing glass, and shake with ice. Fine-strain into a chilled cocktail glass or over ice in a highball and garnish with a lime wedge.

Malibu Black Hurricane 2 parts Malibu Black 2 parts orange juice 2 parts pineapple juice 2 parts cranberry juice ½ part fresh lime juice Dash of grenadine

Pour all ingredients except club soda into a mixing glass. Add ice and shake vigorously. Fill collins glass with ice and add club soda. Pour the cocktail over ice and soda. Garnish with mint sprig.

Old Cuban 1.5 oz Caña Brava Rum 3/4 oz lime juice 1 oz simple syrup 2 dashes Angostura Bitters 5-8 mint leaves, for shaking 1.5 oz sparkling wine 1 mint sprig, for garnish Combine all ingredients except Caña Brava into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Double strain into a cocktail glass and then top off with sparkling wine. Garnish with mint sprig.

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail coupe.

Tiki Banana Cooler Created by Mixologist Lynnette Marrero 1 ounce Zacapa Rum 23 1/2 ounce banana liqueur 2/3 ounce fresh lemon juice 1 barspoon Demerara Syrup Sparkling water for top 1 dash Aromatic Bitters Banana Tiki Dolphin for garnish (banana and cherry skewer) Combine Zacapa Rum 23, banana liqueur, fresh lemon juice, demerara syrup and aromatic bitters into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain contents into a tiki glass over crushed ice. Top with sparkling water. Garnish with banana tiki dolphin.

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass, and shake well with ice. Strain over fresh ice into a hurricane glass, and garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.



Skinny Spiced Daiquiri

Bar Business Magazine June 2015

Malibu Red Hot Explosion

Malibu Black Hurricane

Daisy de Santiago

Old Cuban

Summer Rum Love By Lisamarie Joyce, Master Trainer & Bartender, TGI Fridays


grew up in Missouri and I started in this industr y when I was 15 as a busser for little place called Tractors Classic American Grill. It was there I learned the value in hard work, and I fell in love with the bartenders behind the bar — I wanted to do that. I’ve been with TGI Fridays for almost 10 years. As their Master Trainer, I really thrive when I pass along knowledge to another generation of bartenders. I reside in San Diego and also work for UNION Kitchen & Tap, which offers locals a fresh, handcrafted food and drink experience. I’m also an expert bar trainer on Bar Rescue. I absolutely love how this industry is always revolving. It never fails to excite me to learn new things, meet new people, and create the best buzz you can get in a glass. So what is it about rum that makes this spirit so heavily associated with summer season cocktails? Well, rum was created in the Caribbean. It’s made from sugar cane. It’s so great for fruity, sweet, refreshing cocktails that people mostly want to drink it on a hot day, perhaps on the beach. It’s basically vacation in a glass. These days, what makes for a great rum really depends. If I’m craving a mojito, then I’ll definitely go for a crisp, smooth silver rum. Mai Tai’s and Pina Coladas move mountains when topped with a rich, dark rum. But if I’m sipping? I want a delicious, premium spiced rum. There are also more unique ways to blend rum drinks this season. I grew up in the country, home of “sun tea,” which is sweet tea made by sitting in the summer sun all day. Add fresh mint, lemon, and a high-proof golden rum to it and

you’ll have the perfect iced cocktail to watch the sun go down. Or on those rainy summer days, make a Dark n’ Stormy — grab yourself your favorite dark rum, fresh lime and some ginger beer. For spirit-forward rum cocktails, for those who really want to appreciate the rum in a drink, go back to basics. Try a traditional daiquiri made with premium silver rum, lime juice, and sugar. It’s a very balanced, fresh cocktail; however, you’re not muddling out the flavor of the rum with a bunch of mixers. Or, as I always say, if you really want to experience the full flavor of rum, then drink the rum neat, right outta the bottle!

“Rum is ideal for refreshing cocktails people want to drink on a hot day on the beach. It’s vacation in a glass!”

Some of my favorite rum cocktail recipes for the summer:

Mai Tai 2 oz Jamaican Rum Juice of 1 lime ½ oz curacao ¼ oz orgeat ¼ oz rock candy syrup (a richer simple syrup) Shake and strain in a rocks glass. Garnish with a piece of rock candy and a lime wheel.

Pina Colada 1 ¼ oz silver rum 2 oz pineapple juice 1 oz coconut cream Shake and strain over ice. Top with ½ oz dark rum.

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Rum Sidecar 1.5 oz quality aged rum ¾ oz orange liquor ¾ oz fresh lime juice Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass rimmed with raw sugar.

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How To:

ith W s e l a S e k i Sp Liquor Displays

Light 'Em Up Vision is still a strong selling point, and sometimes all it takes to move more liquor is highlighting the aesthetic of your bottles by building back bar displays and stations that shine a light on what your spirit selection can offer customers. By Chris Ytuarte


he human eye can be a powerful motivator. We still react to strong images and striking displays, and often our actions are driven by what appeals to us visually — or at least what grabs our attention first. Your customers are no different. The advent of the cocktail menu, for instance, is an example of how letting people know what’s available is key to selling it. 14

Bar Business Magazine June 2015

With that in mind, many high-end bars and nightclubs take this concept to a new level by promoting and displaying the very spirits that go into those cocktails by creating elaborate and engaging bottle displays behind the bar. Sometimes less functional than they are simply aesthetically appealing, a good back bar bottle display can nonetheless inform and entice customers all at once.

“The number-one reason to invest in bottle displays and back bars is to increase beverage sales,” explains Travis Crivaro, co-owner of Ultimate Bars. “Many customers come to the bar not knowing what they'd like to partake in. Displaying your liquor lets the customer see what you have available. Bottle displays and back bars enable you to feature premium high-ticket spirits or any promotional items with this valuable space. Showcasing the product also enables your bartender to make suggestions and inadvertently encourage the customer to spend a few extra dollars. Most people will always go for the sexy packaging over quality and taste. It's an investment worth spending on.”

ON DISPLAY Ultimate Bars (www. is the brainchild of Crivaro and Guy Scharff. With over 40 years of combined industry experience, they came to realize that there were no good portable bars available that could handle the volume business or durability of the bar business. In addition to a line of world-class portable bar products, Ultimate Bars’ line of durable and space-saving portable back bars fold down to three inches wide for easy storage and transport. Based on a skeleton frame made of aircraft aluminum, the bar’s panels can be quickly and easily interchanged, branded or lit up to match the theme or environment of any event. The bars are available with three or four interchangeable compartments to allow for cold, hot or glassware items. Two removable bottom rails provide support and space to store additional products or glassware. These back bar displays can help you show off your special promotion items or top shelf liquors to increase revenues. “We made a bar that has changed an industry,” says Scharff, “and we intend to keep adding quality products for many years to come.” Building a back bar bottle display into the existing framework of your bar can be tricky. Jamie Oristano, Owner and President of JustBars (, an event rental company specializing in bars, back bar display units, hightops and bar stools, says his company can offer temporary and permanent options for bar owners, whether you are looking

to host a one-off event for a specific liquor brand or create a new space for bartenders to work with and change-out as needed in the future. He emphasizes that, with either option, lighting has become a key to these creative bottle displays. “The lighting has always been important, and especially now with LEDs, they can go into more a long-term solution since they last longer and they’re less expensive and they can create the same effects they’ve had in the past but with the ability to change colors on the fly,” says Oristano. “If they’re doing a different kind of event with a new liquor, they can change the colors and go with any theme.” Oristano, whose company offers stock and custom design options for back bar displays, stresses the importance of awareness when creating the structures: How big are the bottles you’re working with? Will you require easy bartender access? Does the design flow visually? “With all the different sized bottles, you have to make sure that the products are going to display correctly,” says Oristano. “When you’re looking at a couple of things out there that may be 12 inches or 13 inches tall and then you get a bottle like Grey Goose that might be 16 inches, you really have to look at the bottles and look at what you’re displaying and make sure that it’s going to fit with what you’re using to display. And also you need to make sure that when you’re putting a bottle display together you’re making it look cohesive instead of just throwing bottles up all over the place. We’ve created a bar product that is probably one of the most design-oriented bars in the business that is also functional for the bartenders, where they have the ability to have a speed rail and ice buckets and all that. Because bartenders can be really picky — just like chefs.”

"Many customers come to the bar not knowing what they want. Displaying your liquor lets them see what you have."

LET THERE BE LIGHT In dark bars, of course, all of these features and components are reliant upon great lighting schemes to make them not only appealing, but simply viewable at all. In Denver, Colorado, Customized Designs ( has been creating unique and specialized LED lighted products since 2004 for hotels, restaurants and bars such as MGM Grand and many other establishments across the U.S. June 2015 Bar Business Magazine


How To:

Portable products from Ultimate Bars give owners the ability to set up a bottle display that is functional as well as eye-catching anywhere on-premise. Profits, One Drink at a Time!

According to company Founder & Designer Brian Turnipseed, Customized Designs is the largest manufacture of illuminated furniture, liquor displays and other LED lighted products in the U.S., and the largest manufacturer of LED lighted liquor displays in the world. “Our best selling models are the standard style tiered displays,” says Turnipseed. “This is mainly because we have a lot of these displays in stock and the prices are significantly lower than our semi-custom and custom products. “As for what's trending, I would say that it's an option that we offer, which is logos and branding. Adding logos and branding to our displays has become an increasingly large part of our business in recent years. A lot of our customers partner with their liquor reps and have them pay for the display and put the liquor brand's logo on the front. Other bar owners just want to add a personal touch to it by adding their bar's logo to the front because, lets face it, in a world where virtually everything is mass produced overseas, there is something to be said about getting a custom-made item and being able to say, ‘This was custom made for us and it is awesome,’ while not having to take out a second mortgage on your home to pay for it.” The liquor displays built by Customized Designs, all backed by a lifetime warranty, also include the best LED lighting system available on the market, as Turnipseed understands the importance of shining a light on any beautiful bar design. “It goes back to visibility, and the more visible your products are, the more likely they will sell,” he explains. “There are a lot of ways to use lighting to bring visibility to your back bar, and a lighted liquor display or lighted shelves is one of the easiest. If you have a nightclub or very dimly lit bar, then I would say a lighted display is absolutely essential. If you're bar is already very bright, the LED lighting may not help you quite as much, but it surely can't hurt. There have actually been case studies on how lighting can effect the way people make purchases and the consensus is pretty much unanimous — your customers need to be able to see what they're buying, and adding a lighted bottle display or lighted shelves is the easiest way to bring attention to your highest margin products.”


Low Minimums on Imprinted Product


Bar Business Magazine June 2015

Putting your bottles on display would seem to be a nobrainer. People can’t buy what they don’t know is available. With temporary and permanent options available, building a back bar bottle display can be as easy and as beneficial as you need it to be, when you want it to be. “I would say the biggest mistake people make when it comes to a liquor display, other than not having one, is not planning for one,” says Turnipseed. “If you plan ahead just a bit, you really open up a lot of possibilities in what can be done with your display to really make it yours, and not just what someone else has.”

Electric Pyrotechnics: A Safe Fit for Your Club


ast year’s LDI Award (Live Design International) for “Best Debuting Special Effect” recognized a new product that provided “a solution to a problem that nobody knew they could fix.” Electric pyrotechnics are reusable, fireproof, and safe enough to fire in a club, up close and personal, providing “intimate proximity.” Okay, it really is rocket science. Aerospace company DSSP invented a rocket propellant that won’t burn in a fire but can be turned off and on hundreds of times before requiring replacement. They have now introduced this game-changing propellant to the entertainment industry, creating a new niche in indoor pyrotechnic devices. THE TECHNOLOGY “eSquibs” are tiny, electrically-controlled pyrotechnics that can be attached to virtually any object, including costumes, instruments, booths, and bottles. They can be fired hundreds of times before replacement is needed, and eSquibs have delighted every fire official who has seen them. Nevada State Fire Marshall Chief Peter Mulvihill stated, “DSSP’s eSquib product provides an outstanding pyrotechnic effect that is safe to use indoors or out, in close proximity to all personnel and spectators . . . it provides a double benefit, saving time and promoting safety.” SAFETY Now using electric pyrotechnics in your venue is safely achievable without an outside pyrotechnician needed. Under Nevada State Fire law, the electric pyrotechnic “eSquibs” are classified as special effects, not pyrotechnics. User licensing requirements do not require extensive training and can be completed by your own employees at minimal cost. Still, lighting off these electric pyrotechnics, they look and sound like firecrackers — a one- or two-inch long bright flame burst, but without the smoke, risk, or stink of traditional pyros. They can’t even light a piece of paper on fire.


The implications of safer pyrotechnics reach far beyond safety of both club workers and customers; insurance companies should once again be able to cover nightclub displays. After the tragic incident at Station nightclub in Rhode Island in 2003 involving a pyrotechnic display malfunction, most insurance agencies no longer insure pyrotechnics of any type for use in a nightclub. This is not the case with DSSP’s products, which have no risk of fire and can be covered by insurance companies, minimizing risk and insurance costs while increasing coverage. HOW TO USE eSquibs When a customer orders an expensive drink, or is celebrating a special event, he or she expects a certain level of recognition attached to the price tag. The battery-powered VIPyro device attaches to the neck of any bottle and has three eSquibs that shoot out of the top, creating a small pyrotechnics show on the bottle. And, unlike conventional sparklers, you can walk through the crowd with the VIPyro without risk of fire or injury. eSquibs are a great way to upsell drink packages over lower-end LED displays, showing the whole venue who the real VIPs are. The applications for fixed installations using eSquibs are virtually endless. It is possible to install eSquibs directly into bar displays, or even attach multiple eSquibs to chandeliers that drop down on a VIP table when they order a bottle. If the venue has a DJ booth, a larger array of eSquibs (dozens, hundreds, or even thousands) could be mounted into the booth and the DJ could control them through a live design console. Customization is key in this day and age, and DSSP’s eSquibs allow you to literally transform your venue into a one-of-a-kind experience. These secure, odorless, smokeless pyrotechnics are the future of indoor displays. If you are looking for something new, exciting, safe, and fire marshal-approved, look no further. Visit for more information.

June 2015 Bar Business Magazine


How To:

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Above the Rim It’s not always what’s inside the glass that counts; sometimes, it’s what's on the glass that helps sell a spectacular cocktail. Righteous rim flavoring is not just for margaritas anymore.

By Giselle Marie Cruz


ou may or may not be comfortable being thought of as an artist, but the business of bartending is approximately 50% knowledge and 50% creativity. Granted, it’s not the same as an oil painter setting up a canvas and painstakingly recreating a meadow; it may be more akin to a painter working the tourist trade on the sidewalk, cranking out a landscape

every 15 minutes. But it is art, nevertheless. And like a great basketball player, part of that art involves playing above the rim. Most bartenders are familiar with “Garnish & Garbage.” For newbies, a garnish is something you add to a drink to enhance the flavor; garbage is something you add to a drink for a visual effect. In the former category you’ll find cherries, olives, citrus of

all types, and herbs. The latter category includes paper umbrellas, swizzle sticks, and ornamental fruit. But there is one element that crosses both categories: rimming. Adding something to the rim of the glass can make a drink look delicious with no real effect on the flavor, but by utilizing some smart selections it can actually enhance the flavor of the cocktail. June 2015 Bar Business Magazine


How To: Making It Stick You can use all sorts of things to get something to adhere to a rim. These could include: • Simple syrup • Gomme syrup • Maple syrup • Lime, orange or lemon juice • Caramel or chocolate sauce • Marshmallow Crème • and in rare cases, water Water is generally not used because it dries too quickly. On rare occasions water can work when you’re using very finely powdered substances, such as powdered sugar and finely ground spices. In most cases you’ll want something that is very sticky and that won’t dry too quickly. Citrus juices from oranges, lemons – and most often limes – are the best to use when rimming.

If you're ready to move beyond plain salt and sugar, you can use anything that compliments the flavor of the liquor.

Styles Some people prefer to do the whole rim, while others do half-rims or three-quarter rims. Partial rimming is great because then the customer has the choice of drinking the cocktail with or without the enhanced flavors. If you’re ready to move beyond plain salt and sugar, you can use anything that complements the flavor of the liquor in the drink. It is only limited by your imagination and your personal tastes. There are colorful sugars, which work just fine, but there are also flavored salts and sugars that can give your drink an extra kick. Some advanced materials you may want to consider: • Wasabi sugar or wasabi salt for hot and spicy drinks • Jell-O powder and Kool-Aid powder are interesting variations for novelty drinks • Salt and pepper, celery salt or celery pepper for the Bloody Mary and the Bloody Caesar • Ginger sugar • Vanilla sugar • Cinnamon sugar • Gingerbread spice and similar for 20

Bar Business Magazine June 2015

enhancing eggnog and seasonal drinks • Powdered chocolate, chocolate sprinkles, and ground coconut for sweet or tropical drinks • and when Santa is in town, crushed candy cane secured with marshmallow crème is a great seasonal choice. Feel free to synthesize your own creations to please yourself and impress your guests.

The Tools Glass Rimmer: The most basic rimmer has two tiers, however, rimmers come in up to five-tier models, for the more adventurous. The first tier usually has a sponge pad in which you place the lime juice, and the second tier usually contains Kosher salt. Rimming Tray: Some prefer just a simple, long, narrow tray. Using the tray is best when adopting the partial rim technique. In a pinch, you don’t even need to get that fancy – just use a plate! Some glasses can be large, so just use the appropriate size.

Fancy Toys: For the extravagant among us, there are actual rimming devices, such as The Barmaid Rimmer. With a click of a button, as you rotate the glass, you can easily rim your cocktail even after you have already placed the contents inside. If you’re forgetful, this could be for you.

Techniques Those who use glass rimmers with a lime juice sponge are generally in a hurry at a busy bar. Finesse is typically out of the question, so technique involves pressing straight down on the sponge with the inverted glass, then pressing the glass straight down in the rimmer substance. However, doing it this way can let the rimmer substance fall into the drink, therefore changing the flavor. Changing your technique slightly can avoid this issue of accidentally changing the flavor of a cocktail. It may take more time, but it will give the customer a better experience when they sip their drink. You can use a piece of fruit – lime, let’s say – and wet only the outside of

the glass, that way the salt or sugar sticks only to the outside and won't fall into that drink. The reverse can be done as well, wetting only the inside of the glass. This is done when a cocktail calls for a caramelized rim. To do this, you rim the inside of the glass with sugar then use a Bacardi 151 float and set it ablaze.

Ultimately It’s Up to You If the idea of crushing plain potato chips into your shaker with ice, tomato juice, vodka, a dash of Cayenne and a dash of Worcestershire sauce sounds like it would go great in a glass rimmed with vinegar and salt, then do it. No one is going to stop

you. Just always be sure you’re playing above the rim! Giselle Marie Cruz is a bartender and bartending instructor in Los Angeles, California. When she’s not mixing cocktails in LA, Giselle is teaching video bartending courses through her website

Making Your Own Rimmers If you want to make custom rimmers with herbs such as rosemary, you are out of luck for an automated solution. You’re going to have to bunch up those herbs and chop them into tiny, tiny pieces, all by hand. In a ratio of 1:5 with salt, this makes a very good rimmer, but they must be minuscule pieces to adhere. If you want to use something like mint, it’s best to lay out a large number of sprigs on a dinner plate and microwave them for about 30 seconds. Repeat if necessary, running no more than 30 seconds at a time, until the leaves crumble easily. Then mix 1:4 with sugar for a very tasty rimmer. (This is perfect for Mint Juleps.) For a really impressive surprise, obtain any freeze-dried fruit such as strawberries, peaches, blueberries, or apples, and put them through your spice grinder or coffee mill. Blend that 1:2 with sugar, or use it straight for really intense flavor. In much the same way you can use cinnamon sugar, ginger sugar, Cayenne sugar, Cayenne salt, or nutmeg sugar. Use your imagination.

Commonly Rimmed Cocktails • The Margarita, unless otherwise specified, takes salt • The Lemon Drop always has a sugared rim • The Bloody Mary takes a salted rim • Although primarily found in Canada (where 350 million are served every year), the Bloody Caesar can have a variety of rims, from salt, celery pepper and salt, or regular salt & pepper

June 2015 Bar Business Magazine


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Home Field Advantage A premium line of Major League Baseball wines offers bar owners the opportunity to sell team-specific pours on-premise to a healthy portion of hometown drinkers looking to support their hardball heroes — on the field and off. By Chris Ytuarte


he longstanding relationship between bars and baseball is legendary; from sponsoring softball teams to organizing bus trips to the ballgame, bar owners and the Boys of Summer have always had a connection. (Just think of Sam “Mayday” Malone behind the stick at Cheers.) And now Major League Baseball is offering those owners and operators a way to boost their bar sales this season. Batter up!

In 2013, Major League Baseball Properties (MLBP) began working with Wine by Design (, a lifestyle marketing agency that specializes in creating premium, quality, yet affordable wines that are individually crafted. That year, the two companies built a line of limited-edition, collectible baseball wines, including an exclusive 2013 MLB All-Star Game themed wine called Midsummer Classic. The series was a homerun. June 2015 Bar Business Magazine


How To: A NEW SEASON IN THE SWING Fast-forward two years later. April 6, 2015 marked the release of 18 MLB club wines. After that winning 2014 season, Wine by Design expanded the lineup to include new teams plus two limited edition World Series Championship wines in celebration of the San Francisco Giants, as well as a 2015 All-Star Game wine. These MLB wines are now available for purchase in 20 states through 19 different distributors. In partnership with Wine by Design, MLB is working with Wirtz, PLCB, and Fedway again this year and has also started new relationships with Young’s in Arizona, Classique in Missouri, and Classic Wine Imports in Massachusetts. Through these particpating distributors, bar owners now have access to some high-quality wines tailored for each team market — including bold Cabernets, Bordeaux styled reds, sensational whites, and an artisanal Pinot Noir — that present the chance to create innovative marketing and sales platforms on-premise to boost overall sales and invigorate their wine program with MLB.

“Everyone thinks baseball fans are beer drinkers, and that is the biggest misnomer,” says Diane Karle, CEO of Wine by Design. “There are 75 million baseball fans and 50 million of them consider themselves wine drinkers. And on-premise, fans are excited to drink wine that is associated with their team. People have an incredible loyalty to their teams. We see it in NASCAR, in football, and in baseball — that’s why they wear the shirts and wear the marks and cheer on the team. So what I think the on-premise can do is appeal to the fanbase, because by carrying the wine and supporting the team it gives them an association with the team and the League without actually being a sponsor.” Karle’s enthusiasm for the potential of MLB wines on-premise comes from firsthand experience with another pro sports league. In 2010, Wine by Design’s first client was the NFL’s New York Jets, who were opening a brand new stadium that year and wanted to create a commemorative wine as well as build a wine bar in the new venue. “What we found with the Jets was that a lot of the top steakhouses in the area wanted to feature the team wines because ownership and team executives went in there and a lot of the players went in there,” explains Karle. “And inside MetLife Stadium, the Jets wine was $18 a glass and it was the number-one selling wine in the stadium.”

TEAMWORK TO MAKE THE DREAM WORK The depth of loyalty that Americans feel for their sports teams should not be underestimated. City by city, on-premise consumers can be swayed to support their team in many ways, one of which can surely be buying a few glasses of their team’s new wine. “That’s why Pepsi is a sponsor at so many different stadiums — they want to be part of the experience with the fans to create that connection,” says Karle. “The same thing should be true on-premise; when people are watching the game, why wouldn’t they want to be drinking their team’s wine?” Of course, it might help sell more wine if your team is competitive. The Kansas City Royals Proprietary Red, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Zinfandel produced in California’s Paso Robles region, comes in a bottle emblazoned with the Royals’ official “KC” logo. After decades of dwelling in the basement of MLB team standings, the Royals returned to prominence last year with a surprise run to The World Series, and local sales of the team’s MLB wine spiked. Regional preferences can play a role as well. According to Karle, local Boston-area distributors warned about offering a similar kind of blend to Red Sox fans, assuring them that “Cab is king” in New England. And in 2014, the wine-centric city of Seattle worked with Karle and her team to create the Seattle Mariners Wine collection, which includes 2011 Columbia Valley red and white wines made 24

Bar Business Magazine June 2015

"We've seen the baseball experience evolve over the years. It's not just about hot dogs anymore."

locally. “Washington State has such a strong presence in winemaking, so we wanted to identify a wine partner that would truly resonate with the local fan base,” said Karle.

LOGOS AND VINO AND LOOKING GOOD No matter the status of your team, the stylish, logo-driven bottles are a solid marketing platform for selling more wine. A nice multi-bottle display, well-lit with LEDs in your team colors, can go a long way. “The bottles and the labels are very intricate and they really speak to each team, so I think that is a great way to promote them,” says Kyra Halperin, Manager, Consumer Products for MLB. “Maybe it’s a small display or signage or utilizing some magnumsized bottles, but there are a lot of options.” But more than likely, the best bet for bar owners to benefit from these MLB wines is to sell to the fan. On-premise promotions such as raffles and ballgame ticket giveaways can be centered around sales of your team’s wine; pay a former player to come by the bar and sign autographs for customers drinking MLB wine; or leverage the superstitious nature of baseball fans to boost sales: “If you’re not drinking the Phillies Chardonnay tonight the team will lose!” And of course, there are rivalries to play up.

A bar owner in New York could pit Yankees wine sales against Mets wine sales for the month of August and see which fan base wins. Or perhaps you’re a native of Missouri running a bar in Miami that highlights your hometown St. Louis sporting events; what better way to offer an authentic experience on-premise than with Cardinals wine. According to Karle, in fact, the state of Pennsylvania is currently carrying seven different MLB team wines because there are so many displaced fans there from other areas. “We’ve seen that the baseball experience has evolved a lot over the last several years; it’s not just about hot dogs anymore,” says Halperin. “There are elevated food experiences available at ballparks now, and I think we’re trying to reach a different kind of fan who is both a wine fan and a baseball fan.” The season is still young. Your chance to boost wine sales with these MLB products is here. The crossover between baseball and bars and now a broad varietal of wines can open up a whole new consumer base for your bar. “Chances are there are a lot of wine enthusiasts that are baseball fans," says Michael Napolitano, MLB's Vice President of Consumer Products, Hard Goods. So step up to the plate. June 2015 Bar Business Magazine


How To:

Baseball Bars: Perlick Swings Away


koniq, a leading manufacturer of design savvy modular carts and kiosks, and Perlick, a leader in total package bar equipment and beverage dispensing systems, recently announced a formal business partnership for the construction of modular concessions, seasonal bars, and portable cart areas. Because both companies incorporate best-in-class approaches to service delivery and concession management for semi-permanent, seasonal carts, and permanent construction builds, the unique partnership results in the ability to provide rapid prototypes as well as accelerated construction – projects can be completed in as little as two days – and installation with minimal disruption of the venue. The first project of the partnership – a modular fullservice bar for alcoholic cocktails, and beer – was recently unveiled at Nationals Park in D.C., home of MLB's Washintgon Nationals, a stadium where modular systems have become the backbone of a high quality food and beverage delivery experience. As new partners, Ikoniq and Perlick worked closely with Jonathan Stahl, senior director of guest experience and hospitality operations for the Nationals, to design and develop the new bar. Stahl’s goal for the space was to provide an upscale gathering place for customers while increasing revenue with a high volume beverage dispensing system. “The Nationals Park bar installation is a great example of how a modular solution can improve the fan experience while


Bar Business Magazine June 2015

enhancing the organization’s brand,” said Greg Swistak, CEO of Ikoniq. “From Corian countertops to a compact, high-volume, durable Perlick bar and beverage system that’s perfect for seasonal use, the innovative install includes only the best in all facets of design savvy, modular concession construction.” Located on the first base line, the final installation is a high-end modular concession solution that functions as a fully branded Washington National’s bar venue with the ability to serve up to 1,000 people per hour. It measures 30’ by 20’, features service access from all four sides and includes a 16-tap Perlick beer dispensing system. “Our partnership with Ikoniq is symbiotic. Their design expertise coupled with Perlick’s unmatched beverage dispensing systems has resulted in what is a unique and profitable modular solution for Nationals Park,” said Jim Koelbl, VP of sales for Perlick. In addition to new builds, Perlick’s Modular Bar Systems also marry perfectly with existing Ikoniq construction. “Our future together is bright and will open doors for a variety of concession project possibilities from high-end demo cooking and sampling sites, to exotic bar and food delivery concepts in pop-up stores, airport retail, and stadium design,” added Swistak. For more information about Ikoniq visit and for more information about Perlick visit

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Steel Away As the first true advancement in beer keg technology since the 1950s, HEINEKEN’s innovative BrewLock technology stands to alter the steely landscape of on-premise keg piles in ways that benefit both the bar owner’s bottom line and the business of beer in general. By Chris Ytuarte


Bar Business Magazine June 2015

serve it better. That’s a lot of time to think. And while calf bladders would (thankfully) give way to wooden casks over the generations, beer storage wouldn’t take its most important step forward until the late 1950s, when the standard steel keg we know today was introduced. The Sankey keg, as it is formerly known, was developed in the UK in the mid-20th century by GKN Sankey Ltd., and was meant to serve as a reusable container that could be cleaned, sterilized and refilled. The silver sheen of the Sankey keg became so familiar and widely used that, to this day, the vast majority of beer produced around the world — likely around 70% — is stored in stainless steel Sankey kegs. But even in the steely world of beer kegs, change is inevitable. Over the last year, bars across the country have been introduced to a new way to store, ship and serve beer in the form of BrewLock, a patented and revolutionary technology developed by HEINEKEN to enhance the quality, consistency and environmentally sound

“This system locks in beer at the perfect moment of brewing and allows it to be maintained that way until it is tapped.”


or as long as draught beer has been around, there have been surprisingly few major makeovers in the way it is stored, shipped, and served, especially in the last halfcentury. It is a business model built around fresh product delivery and simplified logistics: How can I most efficiently move beer from its ideal state (in the brewery) to the lips of consumers (in the bar) while losing as little quality as possible? There has been a long learning curve to that question. Beer, one of the world’s oldest prepared beverages, has been around since 9500 BC by some estimates, which means since then, those who strived to consume it have sought ways to preserve it, ship it, and

delivery of draught beer. BrewLock is a double-walled 20L keg made out of 100% recyclable PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic. The beer resides in a bladder protected by the PET shell, and a small, customized air compressor exerts pressure in the area between the shell and the bladder, pushing the beer through the draught lines untouched, ensuring a perfectly carbonated beer with each pour. “BrewLock consistently delivers a brewery fresh taste every time — the way our brewmasters intended it to be — allowing us to improve the draught beer experience for consumers around the world,” says Mark Lang, On-Premise Commercial Marketing Manager for HEINEKEN

USA. “We like to say that the system locks in the beer at the perfect moment of brewing and allows it to be maintained that way until it is tapped and served to consumers, no matter what part of the world. Hence the name, BrewLock.” At the heart of the BrewLock system is enhanced delivery of the freshest possible product, goal-one in the beer business since biblical times. The traditional Sankey keg, an airtight barrel, features a valve attached to a long metal tube that extends just short of the keg bottom. Extracting beer is accomplished by introducing CO2 (or sometimes nitrogen) pressure through the coupler attached to the keg’s valve. That pressure forces the liquid down and up through the metal tube and out the other side of the valve, ultimately dispensing from a tap at the bar. “Most traditional draught systems rely on gasses such as CO2 or nitrogen to force the beer out of the keg, which can unfortunately lead to inconsistent or compromised quality,” explains Lang. “Our BrewLock system relies on natural atmospheric pressure versus propellant gasses, resulting in a consistently better beer flow and beer taste. No outside elements – air, light, CO2, mixed gasses – come into contact with the liquid.” In New York City, Marshall Mintz is now a year into using the BrewLock system at two bars he owns, Formerly Crow’s in Manhattan, and South 4th Bar and Café in Brooklyn. The improvement in pouring consistency is something of which Mintz has taken note, and he informs his bartenders on how to handle it. “Because it’s powered by compressed air, every pour is the same, so you don’t have the problem you have with standard kegs attached to a beer gas system where you sometimes have to let some head run out or you get some air in the line,” says Mintz. “So I had to remind my staff that with BrewLock pours, you don’t have to open it up and let it run before June 2015 Bar Business Magazine


Beer Air

Outer Wall

Inner Wall

Using natural air to move beer from the bladder to the tap, BrewLock benefits the bar owner’s bottom line by saving on costly gas tanks while also improving eco-friendly initiatives on-premise at various levels. putting a glass under it. You get good, fresh beer immediately.” With limited space in his existing walk-in cold room at Formerly Crow’s, Mintz worked around the issue by putting a Kegerator in the basement that he uses solely for BrewLock kegs. An independent line runs from the Kegerator (which can hold three BrewLock kegs) up to the bar to a solo Heineken tower. The size and weight of the BrewLock kegs also make it a very efficient system for all sizes and weights of employees. The standard steel Sankey half-barrel is a 15.5-gallon keg, 23” high and 17” in diameter, and when full weighs approximately 160 lbs (around 30 lbs when empty). It takes a strong 30

Bar Business Magazine June 2015

individual to lift and maneuver one. The 20-liter BrewLock keg can be easily handled and changed by most anyone on staff. And for those employees (or customers) who have been pushing you to “go green,” BrewLock kegs are 100% recyclable. “Many of our distributors pick up empty BrewLock PET kegs and properly recycle them, and we work with other distributors to identify alternative options if their current recycling partner is not equipped to dismantle and recycle the PET keg,” says Lang. “BrewLock also reduces the account’s carbon footprint by eliminating the need for expensive CO2 or nitrogen gas blends to move the beer from keg to customer.” Ray Butler, owner of The

Banshee, an Irish pub in Dorchester, Massachusetts, had the BrewLock system installed in his bar just prior to the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament last year. As the premier soccer bar in the Boston area, it was a good time to push Heineken draught and his new tap system; but he also appreciates Lang’s notion of benefiting the environment as well as the beer business on whole. “For what it’s worth, I can imagine that this is the future,” says Butler about BrewLock. “They say — whoever ‘they’ are — that for every steel keg The Banshee has in its cold room, there are seven or eight kegs in the process, meaning there is maybe one in customs, one on a boat someplace,

one in Copenhagen, etc. And on any given day we could have four or five Heineken steel kegs sitting in our cold room. Add all that up, that’s a lot of steel. And we’re not the biggest bar in the world, so you can imagine — we’re talking millions and millions of steel kegs out there, which are all worth a lot money. If you took all those away and made them all BrewLock bladders, it makes sense to me. And in the end, you’re getting a far superior product.” The steel keg numbers are, indeed, somewhat staggering. Some statistics cite that 70% of the cost of a pound of stainless steel is the cost of energy to produce the material, versus a 25% energy cost for a pound of the polyethylene used in BrewLock’s PET kegs. Most stainless steel kegs are shipped from either China or Europe, consuming high energy costs for transportation (approximately $15 - $20 per keg from China, for instance). Add in the billions of gallons of water used in both the brewing and the keg cleaning processes, and an alternative solution like BrewLock seems to make a lot of sense globally. But what about a bar owner’s bottom line locally? “The BrewLock system provides outlets with a variety of ways to help reduce operating costs,” says Lang. “A nearly 100% keg yield ensures that full profit is made on every ounce sold to their guests. We

consumers, and Lang points out that during BrewLock’s initial roll out, topline sales of Heineken draught grew by roughly 20% for most accounts. “This is an amazing testament to the quality of the product, as we heard from operators that their guests are enjoying more Heineken or Newcastle because of the perfect balance of the beer,” he says. At The Banshee, Ray Butler has seen similar results since installing BrewLock, saying that sales of Heineken in his bar have nearly doubled, and he cites the drinker’s innate sense of quality as a key driver. “I’m Irish, and in Ireland, draught beer is really good,” says Butler. “The product there, as it is poured, will retain a head on it for a long time. This Heineken product is similar to something you would get in Ireland, in terms of a head that will last on the draught the entire way down. It seems to be a more carbonated product, and it definitely has a fresher feel to it.” The long-stagnant world of beer keg technology is finally seeing some change, and those who are getting on-board early with the BrewLock system are enjoying the benefits of this shift, with more to join as the year goes on. Have we seen the end of the beer beast known as the steel keg? “We have seen positive results from this program, so we are





“A nearly 100% keg yield [with BrewLock] ensures that full profit is made on every ounce sold, roughly 15% more than steel kegs.” estimate this is roughly 15% more than steel kegs based on research by MicroMatic, the leading draught beer equipment supplier. The patented technology also eliminates the need for the CO2 or nitrogen gas blends to dispense draught beer, which will save money spent on buying these expensive gases.” Improved quality of product will naturally enhance buy-in from

exploring expansion for the future,” says Lang. “We of course would be very pleased to see a day when all our draught beers are served through the BrewLock system, but there is no plan for this at the moment, as we’re still identifying learning opportunities from year one of our launch.” Big ideas often have modest beginnings.


June 2015 Bar Business Magazine


Demi Stevens

Amy Sacco

Lisa Dahl

A League of Their Own A cocktail of persistence, patience, common sense and original thinking enabled these female restaurant/bar owners to shake things up in a man’s world. By Elyse Glickman


Bar Business Magazine June 2015


ust as the once-macho world of bars and bartending has given way to a diverse base of customers, it’s hardly astonishing that many women are doing some amazing things behind the bar and pushing spirits categories to the edge. That said, there are many pros who have come out of the kitchen and from behind the bar to develop, plan and execute their own marquee venues. On the West Coast, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, a.k.a. “The Border Girls,” made their mark by shifting the collective paradigm of Mexican and Latin American food and cocktails via their Border Grill concept. While Milliken was the first female chef at Chicago’s Le Perroquet and Feniger also made the predominately male culinary establishment take notice, both knew their best chance for success was leaving the safety of that prestigious kitchen to create on their own. Demi Stevens, (who learned from The Border Girls), Lisa Dahl and Amy Sacco are part of an all-star league of businesswomen who both raised the bar and the attention of customers with venues that not only leveled their playing field, but helped them rise far above it.

Demi’s Domain “Ten to 15 years ago, I would have liquor reps speak down to me or ask me who was in charge when I was standing right there, dressed like a manager with keys on my arms, and they would insist on talking to a male bartender instead of me,” says Stevens. “Thankfully today, a woman’s place is wherever she wants it to be. This is a career, a real job and not a temporary job, and my servers and staff are professionals who take things as seriously as I do.” In expanding her reach from bartending to bar programs to full-on ownership, Stevens has been willing to do absolutely everything it takes to ensure her products reflect careful thought

“I treated every restaurant I worked at as if I owned it.”

and extensive research. She is best known in the L.A. dining scene for Ortega 120, a festive restaurant flanking the Pacific Ocean that relies on its good looks to bring in crowds. For starters, Stevens has sampled over 1,000 tequilas at all price points to ensure her cocktails are prime quality and her flights are, well, top flight. While Ortega 120 remained successful, Stevens felt it was time to go outside her comfort zone to see how her skills and savvy would work in another format. It manifested in the Fall 2014 opening of Hey 19 in Torrance, California, which is a total departure from her tequila-focused concept. “There are a lot of things happening in the U.S. with craft spirits right now, and Hey 19 allows me to go on a new adventure with them,” Stevens explains. “It doesn’t take me away from tequila altogether, there’s still Ortega 120. But the most satisfying element of having these two different restaurants is that I can be creative in a more expansive way.” One could argue the hands-on experience Stevens racked up in her teen and early adult years was her undergraduate education, while her years at Los Angeles’ El Cholo Mexican Restaurant could have been a mix of bar boot camp and graduate school. Although she had the respect of her employers and moved up the management chain, the bartending element of the business was male-

dominated. Powering through the chauvinism with passion, she learned the intricacies of the restaurant/bar business. “I treated every restaurant I worked at as if I owned it, and I think that’s why I was ready to take on the responsibilities of ownership,” says Stevens. “I already had managed venues, handled daily operations and organized the opening of six restaurants. I became so dedicated that when I had my own restaurant, I knew instinctively what to do, with the mindset that someday I would own my own bar/restaurant. I not only paid attention to what successful restaurant/bars did, but also a lot of what not to do.” Stevens’ advice for budding bar owners is mature and pragmatic. “Building a good reputation as a bar or operations manager before opening my own restaurant/bar gave me leverage with the liquor companies,” she says. Stevens adds the way women bar/restaurant owners approach interpersonal relationships with their staff is also key, as is juggling vendors, investors and other outside players. “I speak to my kitchen staff the same way I would a milliondollar investor,” she says. “That important bond of trust is there, and that trust is important for you as well because they’re just as invested in you as you are with them.” June 2015 Bar Business Magazine


La Pinta Spritzer

The Dahl House While Lisa Dahl followed her parents’ footsteps into the fashion industry, she spent most of her adult life sharpening her culinary skills with son Justin; it was their shared dream to someday open a restaurant. Her emergence as a restaurateur/bar owner and chef, however, evolved from her efforts to heal herself after Justin’s death in 1994. Though she moved from the bustling San Francisco Bay area to Sedona, Arizona for recovery with her partner, Chef Andrea DiLuca, she instead found inspiration in what wasn’t there. “When we first got to Sedona, there was nothing but mediocre restaurants,” Dahl recalls. “Unlike Telluride, Park City or Santa Fe, Sedona was never known for color or ambiance, but that’s changing.” In 1995, Dahl & DiLuca opened its doors, and with it, an opportunity for Dahl to immerse herself in the 34

Bar Business Magazine June 2015

front and back of the house. She got so good at what she did with food and beverage that her partner stepped back. This ended up being a mixed blessing that would propel her into restaurant/bar ownership. “Working with Andrea had its advantages,” Dahl continues. “I learned so much about the business and culinary arts from him. However, I will tell you that I endured stresses that constantly reminded me that the business was a man’s world. For example, I worked as the sous chef, and quickly realized that the sous chef forges the foundation for the restaurant and bar. He did his thing, and I did mine, but I realized I was the one working myself ragged.” Dahl knew that buying out DiLuca was necessary to keep her vision moving forward. While she keeps his name and honors their relationship at Dahl and DiLuca and in her

consumer cookbook, she admits tears were shed in freeing herself to open Cucina Rustica, her contemporary Italian dining concept (which has a reciprocal dining arrangement for guests staying at the Hilton) and Pisa Lisa, her casual concept. “(In terms of financing my venues), being ‘the woman’ has helped,” says Dahl. “The cost of gaining my freedom was difficult, but my proving my worth as a successful woman entrepreneur also known for her philanthropy and community affairs involvements made the difference. Women should know they have advantages when going for loans not just based on female status but their own personal inner resources as well.” This empowerment, in turn, is represented symbolically with her new South American restaurant, Mariposa. “Mariposa, (which means ‘butterfly’ in Spanish) is a symbol of the freedom that I now have to not have to ask permission to add a new cocktail, new dish or wine offering to the menu and tiptoe around a man,” says Dahl. Dahl describes the bar programs at Dahl & DeLuca and Cucina Rustica to be ‘traditional with a twist’ rather than ‘overtly innovative and food driven,’ in keeping consistent with the food menus. “One recipe that reflects our general approach in both restaurants in the La Pinta Spritzer, with Prosecco, pomegranate-infused tequila and a fresh prickly pear puree,” she explains. “We want our customers to say, ‘Look at that beautiful, delicate and colorful martini!’ Like our food, everything liquid is supposed to pop in flavor.” While Dahl goes on to mention that Mariposa’s bar program will delve a little deeper into more “mixology-based” cocktails requiring farm-to-table ingredients, blenders, and fancy tools, the drinks at Dahl & DiLuca and Cucina Rustica are simple but artistic to complement those dining experiences. Find out more about Dahl’s latest venue at

Amy’s Aim A decade ago, Bungalow 8 wasn’t just one of New York City’s hottest bars, but also something of a pop cultural phenomenon. Among other things, it made a cameo appearance on Sex and the City and launched a small fleet of brand ambassadors among its bartending brass. Amy Sacco recognized that changes both subtle and sweeping are essential to staying relevant. In her capable hands, the bar is now known as No. 8, and its current success is based on her steadfast commitment to maintaining a balance between her dreams and customer demand. “Since I can remember, I had always wanted to own my own New York City restaurant,” Sacco recalls. “I opened my first venture, Lot 61, just a few months after my 30th birthday. Yes, I was a bartender, but I always felt that I needed to understand all aspects of the business before I could command the respect of a team of my own. I have bussed, waitressed, hosted, attended the bathrooms, checked the coats and served as the receptionist. I also worked as office assistant to the comptroller, floor manager, assistant general manager, prep cook, errand girl and so on. Although I felt ready for years, and I finally got there, I had no idea how very little I knew when I went from employee to boss.” Although Sacco thought of herself as a master of trial by fire, and thrived on that adrenaline, she says that with some of her novice mistakes, she took every lesson to heart. Sixteen years later, she still does so with great enthusiasm, tempered with humility. She also learned that some business proposals that seemed a little too good to be true, were. “I realized that (some prospective partners) who outright offer you money to start your own business either want to hang out with you and your friends as they don’t have a clue where to go,” she says. “Or they want to be cool, are flirting with you or are merely

kissing up to you to ensure they keep getting that unattainable last minute reservation on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. How ironic, that, although I worked seven-day weeks with 18-hour days and was single, I was (perceived to) go on a lot of ‘dates’ that I thought would literally end in a check after my pitch. Eventually, thanks to a most amazing mentor, I was told to stick to offices only.”

Ultimately, Sacco raised money through an arrangement with trusted friend and fellow hostess, Yvonne Force Villareal. She, in turn, brought Sacco to a black tie charity event where she was introduced to several very wealthy people with track records who invested in her business. “Keep your standards high, your feet on the ground, and your values in place,” says Sacco.

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MIAMI new york

Boozing Like the

asques B With the recent opening of Aatxe in San Francisco, Chef Ryan Pollnow and his Ne Timeas Restaurant Group teamed up with the cocktail creatives at The Bon Vivants to bring a little Basque flavor to the city’s food and drink scene with a gin-centric beverage program unparalleled in the U.S. By Chris Ytuarte


Bar Business Magazine June 2015


ull disclosure: If you can’t tell just from looking at my last name, I am Basque, so yes, I’m immediately biased about Aatxe. And while anyone of Celtic decent can say the same about the thousands of Irish pubs in America, Basque establishments remain few and far between. So to me, Aatxe is immediately great. But for those of you not lucky enough to be born with Basque blood in your veins, fear not, you will still find Aatxe to be quite impressive. In both food and beverage, this new venue takes a unique approach, with a cocktail menu based around gin — and in particular the classic gin & tonic — being rather unusual, just like the Basques. “Aatxe was born out of my experiences living and cooking in Spain early in my career,” says Chef Ryan Pollnow, who joined Ne Timeas Restaurant Group in March 2012 as chef de cuisine of flour + water, and is now a partner. “Though I originally traveled to Spain to learn about the upscale fine-dining scene, I immediately fell in love with the casual tapas and pintxos culture. The idea of traveling from bar to bar enjoying snacks and drinks in a lively atmosphere is an essential part of the social culture there, one that I wanted to bring back to San Francisco.” In April, Pollnow realized that goal by opening Aatxe (, his first project in partnership with The Bon Vivants, the nationally recognized cocktail and hospitality firm specializing in creative marketing, bar concepts, and cocktail consulting. Located on the street level of The Swedish American Hall in San Francisco’s Upper Market neighborhood, Aatxe (pronounced aah-CHAY) is a restaurant and bar that celebrates regional Spanish cuisine with an influence from the Basque Country. “It’s good to have a couple of people out there who actually know how to pronounce it,” says Morgan Schick, a Partner in the Bon Vivants. “One of my liquor reps is Basque and she’s the first person I talked to who right off the bat came out with it — ‘Oh, it’s called Aatxe!’ — and I was like, ‘How did you know how to say that?’” The name Aatxe comes from a spirit in the folk mythology of the Basque people, literally translating to mean “Young Bull.” In legend, Aatxe is a cavedwelling spirit who adopts the form of a young red bull, and sometimes takes the shape of a man. At night, more so in stormy weather, he attacks criminals and protects good people by making them stay home when

danger is near — or perhaps guides them to the haven of a Basque restaurant in San Francisco. While pronouncing the name of the new venue was challenging enough, Schick and his team at The Bon Vivants were faced with the task of creating a beverage program for Aatxe that worked with the style of the food while not going overboard on ultra-authentic drink offerings that might border on being “themed.” “The restaurant is very much Ryan’s passion and his brainchild, and the bar program is very much built to support and compliment his vision without being overtly Basque or Spanish or anything like that,” says Schick. “We were trying to assimilate to the flavors and the styles that he was seeing for the food and for the service. Without putting words in Ryan’s mouth, the food is inspired and driven by Spanish tapas and classic dishes, but it’s not exactly the same because we have different ingredients available to us here than they have in Spain. And it was a similar mindset with the cocktails; we were not going to make Spanish cocktails, we were going to make cocktails that are inspired by the flavors and the philosophies of this kind of eating.” Driven by the ingredients of Northern California, Pollnow’s menu does indeed draw inspiration from the Basque tapas culture, utilizing traditional Spanish cooking techniques and presentation. Encouraging a communal style of dining, the menu encompasses everything from traditional pinxtos and small plates to large cazuelas. However, Pollnow has

June 2015 Bar Business Magazine





MIAMI new york

Gin is the star of The Bon Vivants’ spirits menu at Aatxe. stocked Aatxe’s kitchen with some of his favorite products from Spain and has implemented an inhouse conserva program using Pacific seafood, local vegetables and foraged products. Opening menu highlights included Octopus with kohlrabi, avocado and salsa verde; Mussels Escabeche; and Morcilla chickpeas with braised pork cheek, snap peas and pine nuts. Creating a beverage program to accompany such eclectic and cultured dining options required a delicate but innovative approach. “It’s not supposed to be a cocktail menu that looks like it’s from the Basque country, but more that it’s a contemporary cocktail offering that pays homage to flavors from the food, which makes more sense when you’re tying it in with your drink while you’re eating,” explains Schick. “You can incorporate those flavors together.” Designed by Stellah DeVille of Claro Designs, Aatxe brings together old European style and San Francisco sophistication with dark hues and rich textures, a white oak chevron-pattern floor, and walls accented with Spanish tiles. To further encourage the communal culture and atmosphere of Spain, Aatxe’s 49-seat


Bar Business Magazine June 2015

dining room and bar features a large communal table, white marble countertop bars, and an open kitchen with a view of the chefs at work. Standing ledges are positioned throughout, where guests are encouraged to enjoy a small bite or cocktail. Paying tribute to the national drink of Spain, Aatxe offers a wide selection of gins and interesting tonics. Along with variations on the classic gin & tonic, menu highlights include cocktails such as the Pedro Romero with gin, sherry, red bell pepper cordial, and almond bitters; and the Zuzi with brandy, cava, seville orange and rosemary scented sugar. While a planned gin & tonic on tap has been pushed back for now (“We were having trouble getting it carbonated in the way that we wanted,” says Schick), cocktails by the carafe are currently available. At the heart of the program, regardless, remains gin. “Gin is all over Spain,” says Schick. “It’s crazy popular there and has been for a while. In the last ten or 15 years, the gin & tonic thing has taken off all over the country. Spain is the biggest gin-consuming country, per capita, in the world, which is why it’s easy to work with on the menu here. It goes really well with

this style of eating. And in terms of pairing drinks with food, a long drink is always a good option because it’s lower proof and is easier to enjoy while you’re eating your big flavored foods.” Shick says that Aatxe currently stocks 60 to 65 gins at a time, as well as ten different tonics, creating a dizzying array of combinations from which customers can choose. “We’ve been sourcing some tonics from out of the country, which is harder than you’d think because unless they’re directly imported people won’t ship them, quinine being a somewhat controlled substance,” he explains. “You can call a place in England and order 7-Up shipped to you, but you can’t order tonic water.” The Bon Vivants team is developing a house gin for Aatxe to work into the already impressive gin list, and while Schick insists the venue is not very beer-focused, he and his team have made efforts to create a beer program that plays just as well with the Basque cuisine as the flavorful gin cocktails. “We put Estrella on tap, because it doesn’t get more Spanish than that, and I have a couple of rotating Spanish microbrews,” he says. “We’re still building out our cider list, which we like to encourage. The Spanish ciders are a harder sell than you would think they would be, but they go so perfectly with the food.” Despite not wanting to be overly ethnic, Schick does acknowledge the presence of some traditional spirits, such as Patxaran (see sidebar) and Licor 43, the Spanish liqueur made with Mediterranean citrus fruits infused with selected herbs and spices. Early on, in fact, the team considered offering a more modern Basque cocktail, the Kalimotxo, which consists of equal parts red wine and cola. “We were considering putting it on tap in the bar, and we got talked out of it,” says Schick. “Because unless you’re trying to be extremely authentic, everyone thought it sounded gross.” To that, they might say in Basque: “On egin dizuela janak eta kalterik ez edanak.” Translation: “May the food do you good and the drink do you no harm.”

This Basque Liqueur Endures


atxaran is a sloe-flavored liqueur commonly drunk in Navarre and the rest of the Basque Country, the Pyrenees and elsewhere in Spain. It is usually served as a digestif, either chilled or on ice. Patxaran is made by soaking sloe berries, collected from the blackthorn shrub, along with a few coffee beans and a cinnamon pod in anisette. The process produces a light, sweet, reddish-brown liquid around 25-30% in alcohol content by volume. In addition to dictating the amount of sloe to be used, the regulating body for Pacharán Navarro insists that no colorings or flavorings be added and that the maceration last between one and eight months. Known to have existed in Navarre as early as the Middle Ages, Patxaran was initially a homemade liqueur that became popular during the late 19th century. It was commercialized in the 1950s and then became very popular outside Navarre. One theory for this rise is that young Navarrese took bottles with them while on National Service, thereby popularizing Patxaran throughout Spain. Currently, there are moves to ensure that the drink’s name will be protected in order to ensure its quality, tradition and Navarrese identity. First sold in 1956, the oldest commercial brand of Patxaran is Zoco, which is now owned by Pernod Ricard. Other brands include Etxeko, Kantxa, Barañano Atxa, Basarana and Baines. To this day, seven million liters of Patxaran are commercially produced each year.

June 2015 Bar Business Magazine


Inventory Barrelhound™ Blended Scotch Unleashed

UV Unveils New Sangria Vodka

Barrelhound™ Blended Scotch Whisky arrives to pave a new path in the scotch category. This new breed bridges the bourbon and scotch worlds with an irreverent attitude and a sweeter, more accessible taste profile. Barrelhound is selectively matured in American Oak ex-bourbon barrels, giving it a smoother and sweeter finish of vanilla and honey, with complex notes of oak and spice. While most Scotch whiskies have a master blender or a “nose”, we affectionately call ours the Barrelhound. The Barrelhound was known for sniffing out the best barrels and crafting the best blend of whisky. “In a market dominated by American whisky, we feel that Barrelhound brings something different and exciting to the category,” said Kate Pomeroy, Vice President, Innovation & Consumer Insights, Pernod Ricard USA. “Its foundations stem from some of our finest Speyside malts which create a truly unique taste profile. While born in Scotland, this U.S. bound whisky is ready to offer whisky lovers an unexpected new breed of scotch that is great on the rocks or in cocktails.” Currently available in select U.S. markets.

Phillips Distilling Company has introduced its newest flavor innovation: UV Sangria. The first Sangriaflavored vodka to market, UV Sangria is made with all natural flavors and features notes of citrus and exotic fruit, perfect for cocktails during outdoor entertaining season and get-togethers with friends and family. A quintessential summer cocktail, making Sangria the UV way can be as simple as three easy steps – UV Sangria, lemon lime soda and fresh fruit of your choice! The Sangria category has seen double-digit growth for the last several years as consumers have become more familiar with the classic Spanish drink and its refreshing flavor profile. Distilled four times to ensure premium quality and taste, UV Sangria offers the perfect blend of citrus with a light zest in the background, finishing with an exotic character that lingers slightly on the palate. UV Vodka offers a diverse portfolio of over 20 fun, colorful flavored vodkas. The company recently introduced UV Ruby Red Grapefruit as well as UV Sriracha, which remains one of today’s hottest ingredient trends. The lineup also includes UV Blue Raspberry, Pink Lemonade, Sugar Crush, Cherry, Apple, Salty Watermelon, Coconut, Grape, Orange, Citrus, and UV’s straight vodkas UV Vodka and UV 103, as well as popular dessert-flavored vodkas. Visit

RumChata® Freedom Bottle Is Back

New Look for Green Goblin

The RumChata Freedom Bottle program has returned this summer to continue The RumChata Foundations’s support for the Lone Survivor Foundation. The Lone Survivor Foundation (LSF) is a not-for-profit organization that restores, empowers, and renews hope for wounded service members and their families through health, wellness, and therapeutic support. Last year’s Freedom Bottle program raised $138,555 for LSF. RumChata’s limited-time collection of red, white and blue logoed bottles are available now in time for Memorial Day and will be on shelves through the Fourth of July. Each bottle sold benefits and supports the Lone Survivor Foundation. Last year’s donation helped service members, veterans, and their families attend the LSF educational and therapeutic retreat program which focuses on coping with the struggles of the invisible wounds of war. The RumChata 750 ml commemorative Freedom Bottle is available in all 50 states at an average retail price of $19.99. More about RumChata and where it is available can be found at and on the RumChata Facebook page. Visit

English cider maker Thatchers is re-launching its Green Goblin Cider to the US market in a new 330ml bottle, in partnership with Innis & Gunn USA, Inc. (IGUSA) seven months after entrusting the craft brewer’s US business with its flagship brand, Thatchers Gold. Green Goblin Cider at 5.0% abv, is a quirky, distinctive hard cider that is crafted at Thatchers farm in England. Available to both the on and off premise in bottle, it is also available on draught. A full flavoured, bittersweet blend of apples, Thatchers’ cidermakers have used their expertise gained over four generations of cidermaking to craft a beautifully balanced, gluten-free hard cider with a fresh character and medium dry finish. Somerset Redstreak and Dabinett are among the bittersweet apple varieties Thatchers cider makers have chosen for Green Goblin, helping create its explosion of flavours. Thatchers Gold was introduced into the US market by IGUSA at the start of 2015, and is being rolled out across 18 states including New York City, Georgia, Florida, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Nevada (Las Vegas). Thatchers Green Goblin is available in single 500ml bottles at $3.99 and $8.99 for a four-pack 330ml bottles. For more information go to


Bar Business Magazine June 2015

First-ever Apple Cider Flavored Vodka

Stern Pinball Joins the KISS Army

Star Industries, a Long Island-based vodka and spirits manufacturer is to release new Apple Cider flavored Georgi Vodka this May. Georgi Apple Cider will be the first and only apple cider flavored vodka to hit shelves. Apple cider makes number eighteen in Georgi’s line up of flavors, which includes its first flavor, Georgi “O” Orange, as well as coconut, green apple, raspberry, peach and lemon. Apple cider flavored products are becoming a trend in other alcohol beverage categories, namely beer and whiskey. With new hard apple ciders pouring out of craft breweries all over the US and apple cider flavored whiskeys becoming increasingly popular, it seems safe to say apple is the new it-flavor, and Georgi Apple Cider is here to blaze the trail for vodka. With a crisp, sweet and smooth taste it makes for a refreshing treat during a backyard barbecue or a night out. Georgi Apple Cider is enjoyable neat, on the rocks, or mixed in a variety of cocktails such as an “Apple Cider Breeze,” a must-try this summer containing two ounces Georgi Apple Cider Vodka, one ounce Caribaya Spiced Rum and a splash of pineapple juice, served over ice. A “Flaming Apple” shot combines two ounces Georgi Apple Cider Vodka with two ounces of Star Industries’ newest whiskey, Wild Flame Cinnamon.

Stern Pinball, Inc., the world’s oldest and largest producer of arcade-quality pinball machines, and Epic Rights, KISS’ global licensing agent, jointly announced today the availability of a new line of Pro, Premium and Limited Edition KISS pinball machines, honoring one of the most influential and iconic rock bands of all time. Stern Pinball’s KISS pinball machines reflect the energy, excitement, and experience of a live KISS concert. Players will experience 10 famous KISS hits in the concert arena playfield and embark on an exhilarating experience ultimately becoming elite members of the KISS Army. Players score points and finish game objectives to fuel the audience’s energy and excitement. Higher scores amp the experience–the higher the energy level, the bigger and louder the show–resulting in a KISS concert experience like none other. Players are awarded for completing game goals with a variety of in-game front row seats, backstage VIP access and fun multi-ball modes that thrill players of all skill levels. The game is built on Stern’s new SPIKE pinball platform, which includes an upgraded high-fidelity 3-channel audio system over 3 times more powerful than previous generation pinball audio systems. To learn more visit

Crown Royal Welcomes a Rye

Heat Things Up On-premise

As a brand deep rooted in heritage and quality, Crown Royal is proud to introduce its first-ever blended rye whisky, Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye. This offering combines the richness of Northern harvest rye grains with the unmistakable smoothness of Crown Royal to create a perfectly balanced whisky. The distinct Canadian climate provides the ideal conditions for growing rye grains. This is due to the fact the grains are planted in the fall, then blanketed with snow during the harsh winter months and only finish their growth cycle once they have sprouted throughout spring and summer. The extra time the grains take to fully mature results in flavorful hints of fruit, cloves and spice. Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye provides consumers with a very smooth and spicy flavor profile that can be mixed into traditional rye cocktails, such as the Manhattan or Old Fashioned. Available at 90 proof / 45% Alcohol by Volume, Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye will be sold at a suggested retail price of $29.99 for a 750 ml bottle. Consumers who choose to enjoy either of these new Crown Royal whiskies are reminded to do so responsibly.

HearthCabinet Ventless Fireplaces are handsomely crafted bespoke ventless fireplaces that have become wildly popular with top architects, designers and homeowners who want safety without sacrificing the luxury of a bespoke fireplace. HearthCabinet’s innovative gel fuel cartridge system produces a real, crackling flame without emitting smoke, odor or ashes. Units include a patented top-hinged and keyed locking door with a rigid steel mesh screen, to prevent inadvertent contact with the flame. They are featured in some of the finest residential addresses, retail stores, restaurants and luxury hotels, including: JIMMY at the James Hotel, Tavern On The Green, The Brandy Library and Tony’s Di Napoli. Based in New York City, HearthCabinet Ventless Fireplaces are available in standard and custom sizes and designs.

June 2015 Bar Business Magazine


Holiday Happenings

July 2015


July 2: Made in the USA Day. Honor this holiday by offering half-price deals on all American made beer, booze and wine on-premise today.

July 4: International Cherry Pit Spitting Day. Might be a fun contest to have in the bar, but be warned, this can get messy.


July 7: Global Forgiveness Day. Today is the day your bartenders offer patrons amnesty. “Remember that time you forgot to leave a tip? We forgive you. Once.”

18 24

14 July 14: Shark Awareness Day. This is the only Shark you need to be aware of today.


July 18: Toss Away the “Could Haves” and “Should Haves” Day. Let your guests know that today is the day all of their regrets can be shed. Should have had a martini? Guess what? You still can.

Bar Business Magazine June 2015

July 24: National Tequila Day. Honor this holiday by serving some super-premium sipping tequila to those unsuspecting customers who think this fine spirit only equates to classic college hangover stories. Teach them.

10 July 10: Collector Car Appreciation Day. The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) and its Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) and Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) Councils designated the second Friday of July as “Collector Car Appreciation Day.” Host a car show at your bar so locals can show off their rides.

28 July 28: Buffalo Soldiers Day. Play some Bob Marley and pass around the... Red Stripes.

11 July 11: Day of the Five Billion. July 11, 1987 was designated by the United Nations Population Fund as the approximate day on which the world population reached five billion. That’s a lot of potential bar customers. Get to work.

29 July 29: Rain Day. The annual Rain Day Festival in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, has seen it rain on this day 114 out of the last 141 years. Does Vegas have a line on this? Keep an eye on the western PA forecast on this day and “pour” a round of shots if you see rain.

July11: Thomas La Mela /; July 28: Lucian Milasan /


Index of Advertisers Company

web site address

page #

Agave Loco LLC (RumChata)



Coast to Coast Insurance




G&G Closed Circuit


Harbortouch Corp


Harbortouch CA


Plug In & Pour


Tooters Promotions




Ultimate Bars


World Tavern Entertainment


Inventory Companies

Barrelhound Blended Scotch

Crown Royal

Georgi Apple Cider Vodka

Green Goblin Cider

HearthCabinet Fireplaces


Stern Pinball

UV Vodka

To advertise in Bar Business Magazine contact Art Sutley Phone: 212-620-7247, Email:

June 2015 Bar Business Magazine


Owning Up

Gamification and the Hospitality Industry: Why You Should Think Twice By Adam Hollander


ars and restaurants have become quite adept at using technology, such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems and loyalty programs, to improve customer service and boost sales. Now, the hospitality industry’s sights are set on gamification. The idea of applying game mechanics to incent behavior has really taken hold; in fact, several restaurant chains have partnered with digital agencies to create games that incent loyalty via game-play properties. Gamification also can be used to incent behavior among employees, and that can have positive impact to a bar or restaurant’s revenues. But gamification has to be done right. We’re seeing huge numbers of companies integrate gamification into their processes. One could argue that gamification will soon be moving beyond the early adopters and into the early majority. Technology research firm Gartner famously predicted that by the end of 2014 over 70% of the Global 2000 leading companies will have at least one ‘gamified’ application in place. However, the more well-known stat from Gartner is that 80% of those same gamification implementations will fail to meet their business objectives. I’ve heard many companies talk about using gamification solutions because they look “fun.” This is the wrong reason to use gamification. Gamification is not about fun or even engagement – it’s about driving business results through changes in employee behavior. Gartner says the reason most gamification implementations will fail is because of poor design. In my experience, poor gamification design is a direct result of not identifying (and being able to measure against) key problems a business is looking to solve. Let me share an example using something every company cares about: sales. A few years ago I was managing a team of sales people. It doesn’t matter by the way if these are Enterprise reps or restaurant employees – everyone is trying to sell something – whether it be software or that night’s special. Like most sales managers, I was always looking for ways to motivate my reps to close more business. I would constantly run sales contests and offer SPIFFs (an immediate bonus for a sale) to my reps. However, I started to notice a few problems: 44

Bar Business Magazine June 2015

The same reps won every time: I had a few top performers that would always take home the prizes. More importantly, these were not the reps I wanted to motivate. Ideally I wanted to incentivize everyone else; not the reps that would perform anyway. Reps stopped caring once they fell behind: The day I would roll out a new contest, everyone would get excited about it. But inevitably, reps would fall out of contention, at which point they would disengage and stop caring about the contest. One could argue that if you were going to implement gamification you should address these problems. How do you find a way to motivate everyone, not just your traditional top performers? How do you keep employees engaged even if they’ve fallen behind? There are a number of gamification solutions on the market today. The large majority are essentially leaderboards, which allow employees to earn points and individually compete against each other. But what most of them have done is simply create a more fun and dynamic way to showcase the same results that managers have put into reports, whiteboards and spreadsheets for decades. If you post an online leaderboard of results, won’t the same top performers keep winning? Won’t the other employees become disengaged (and demotivated) if they fall too far behind? This is an example of implementing poorly designed gamification for the wrong reasons and exactly why we created FantasySalesTeam. Let me be clear: Gamification can have tremendous impact in a hospitality environment. I’ve seen that first hand on many occasions. But you shouldn’t implement gamification for gamification’s sake. First, you should identify exactly what business problem you’re looking to solve. Then you need to ensure whatever gamification solution you’re evaluating will have a direct and measurable impact against that problem. Don’t fall into the trap of implementing solutions simply because they look fun or engaging. Remember that you’re making an investment of time, employee attention and budget. So think twice and make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.

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June 2015 Bar Business  
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