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Eye for design:

Sound Nightclub in Los Angeles shows off its ICRAVE design.

The How-To Publication

BAR BUSINE$$ March 2013


Bar Business Magazine

Don’t Ever Come Between

MAR CH 2 013

A Girl and Her Tequila facebook vs facetime how to: profit leaks


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t u O m .co y a pl n i t






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March 19-21



On Tap MARCH 2013









ProfIt lEaks


The latest edition of our bi-monthly section for digital issues only, where we provide a collection of cocktail recipes for mixologists and consumers alike.

In every business there are little cracks in the armor that can lead to bigger problems with the bottom line, and it’s no different in the bar industry. .

If so, you should consider some security investments for your venue. But what will work for you? Which technologies do you need? Find out here.


Bar Business Magazine March 2013

On Tap




12 6 Bar room drawl

50 Big six

8 Booze news

We take you to La La Land to visit one of Los Angeles’ wildest new club designs at Sound.

12 liquid assets Too many people are misinformed and mistaken on the true nature of tequila, so we go back to the basics.

16 tuning up We conclude our one-on-one conversation with global DJ sensation Armin van Buuren.

As the spirit itself evolves, more and more women are joining the ranks of tequila fans, and brands and bar owners are catering products and service accordingly.

42 grand tenders

Departments Horsing around with a bourbon decanter; Roaring Lion energy drink has a new look; Classic kegerators; Xzibit shows off his tequila; G’Vine seeks the world’s best gin bartender.

34 ladies’ choice

54 inventory 58 holiday happenings 60 owning up Once again, the innovators at The Gerber Group are reinventing the way we look at the service industry with The LCL.

At the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Terminal, two titans of bartending celebrate more than 60 years of service in this 100-year-old venue.

46 face to face Even as social media like Facebook continues to grow as a marketing tool, some industry advocates are stressing face time instead.


34 “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 © 2013 Simmons-Boardman. All rights reserved. Printed in the U.S.A. No part of the magazine may be reproduced in any fashion without the expressed written consent of Simmons-Boardman. Qualified U.S. bar owners may request a free subscription. Non-qualified U.S. Subscriptions printed or digital version: 1 year US $45.00; Canada $90.00; foreign $189.00; foreign, air mail $289.00. 2 years US 75.00; Canada $120.00; foreign $300.00; foreign, air mail $500.00. BOTH Print and Digital Versions: 1 year US 68.00; Canada $135.00; foreign $284.00; foreign, air mail $384.00. 2 years US $113.00; Canada $180.00; foreign $450.00; foreign, air mail $650.00. Single Copies are $10.00 each. Subscriptions must be paid for in U.S. funds only. For Subscriptions, address changes, and adjustments, write to: Bar Business Magazine, PO Box 10, Omaha, NE 68101-0010. Instructional information in this magazine should only be performed by skilled crafts people with the proper equipment. The publisher and authors of information provided herein advise all reader to exercise care when engaging in any o the how-to activities published in the magazine. Further, the publisher and authors assume no liability for damages or injuries resulting from projects contained herein. All rights reserved. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Bar Business Magazine, PO Box 10, Omaha, NE 68101-0010.


Bar Business Magazine March 2013

Order by End of March to get an

Bar Room Drawl By Chris Ytuarte editor-in-Chief

Moved to Remember In early February, the offices of Bar Business Magazine moved from our long-time location at the western edge of SoHo to the most southern tip of Manhattan, and we’re now located at 55 Broad Street in the heart of the Financial District. While it will take some getting used to lunching alongside all of these Wall Street broker types and the increased security required down here post 9/11, it is quite apropos that we, as a publication, now find ourselves just one short block north of the great Fraunces Tavern®, an American landmark in the form of a most venerable drinking establishment. Fraunces, located at the corner of Broad and Pearl Streets, lays claim to being Manhattan's oldest surviving building, which, before the American Revolution, was one of the meeting places of the Sons of Liberty. During the tea crisis of 1765, the patriots forced a British naval captain who tried to bring tea to New York to give a public apology at Fraunces. (Those same patriots, disguised as American Indians, then dumped the ship's tea cargo into New York Harbor—a precursor to the more famous Boston Tea Party.) During the American Revolution, as British troops evacuated New York, the tavern hosted a dinner on December 4, 1783 for U.S. General George Washington, where he said farewell to his officers of the Continental Army. (Today they serve Fraunces Tavern Pot Pie, which was Washington’s favorite.) 6

Bar Business Magazine March 2013

It is a building, and a bar, steeped in American history. Down in this part of Manhattan, with its narrow, winding streets, shadowy alleys and riverfront views all around, you can easily get a sense of those colonial days and the early shaping of a young, great city. And in the middle of of it all sits Fraunces Tavern, since 1762, as a testament to not only a burgeoning American empire, but also to the notion that bars have played a vital role in our society for as long as anyone can remember.

"There is no private house in which people can enjoy themselves so well as at a capital tavern.”


March 2013, Vol. 6, No. 3 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 and Publisher Arthur J. McGinnis, Jr. Associate Publisher Arthur J. Sutley 212-620-7200; fax: 212-633-1863 editorial

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

Creative Director Wendy Williams Art Director Sarah Vogwill

— Samuel Johnson Seeing Fraunces everyday reminds me of something that our friend Zane Lamprey, host of AXS TV's Drinking Made Easy, said to me when we spoke for our January 2013 issue, with regards to the long-lasting basic concept of the bar: “It’s a good formula, as far as the way things work, and I think that anyone who is looking to change it has got a long road ahead of them.” When you take one look around Fraunces Tavern, and consider what those walls have seen, what they’ve survived, and the changes they’ve resisted, you get the feeling that Zane is absolutely right. The fact is, the bar industry existed long before thousands of our other manmade capitalistic endeavors, including the airplane, the television, and the automobile. And believe me, long after flying cars have rendered your old four-wheeled Chevy a relic, we’ll still be bellying up to the bar for a drink—probably down the block at Fraunces Tavern.


Corporate Production Director Mary Conyers


Circulation Director Maureen Cooney

advertising sales

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

circulation department



Booze News

Giddyup! O

Commemorative Secretariat Bourbon Decanter to Be Released This Spring

n May 1st, 2013 a unique, bourbon decanter featuring the likeness of Secretariat with jockey Ron Turcotte aboard will be released exclusively at the Kentucky Derby Museum. The 750 ml decanter will be filled with premium Four Roses bourbon hand-selected by owner Penny Chenery during a scheduled tasting visit to the warehouse and bottling facility located in Cox’s Creek, Kentucky, next month. Only 500 limited edition, hand-numbered decanters will be produced for this commemorative 40th anniversary year. The ceramic decanters were created by the Secretariat team in the style of the 70’s era collectible decanters that became popular among fans and whiskey connoisseurs. “Fast horses and fine Bourbon are two of my favorite things,” said Chenery. “I am delighted to partner with Four Roses and the Kentucky Derby Museum in lending Secretariat's name to this very special decanter for racing fans and Bourbon connoisseurs alike.” Thoroughbred legend Secretariat is widely renowned as the most popular name in Thoroughbred racing. Beginning with his run in the 99th Kentucky Derby, Secretariat smashed long-standing track records in 1973 and captured the hearts of Americans through his Triple Crown sweep. The chestnut champion affectionately known as “Big Red,” and his owner, Penny Chenery, became an inspiration to many in a story of will, determination and pure speed. On the evening of Wednesday, May 1st fans from around the country will be the first to see the decanter and have the exclusive opportunity to purchase one hand-signed by both Chenery and jockey Ron Turcotte. Guests at this cocktail reception can enjoy a tasting of the select bourbon carefully chosen by


Bar Business Magazine March 2013

Chenery (a longtime bourbon aficionado) and hear from her directly about the choice. Joined on stage by Four Roses’ Master Distiller, Jim Rutledge, the pair will casually guide guests through the tasting experience. Turcotte will also be on hand to sign merchandise and meet guests at the event. "We at Four Roses are very proud to have our Kentucky Bourbon chosen by Penny to celebrate the greatest thoroughbred race horse of all time,” said Rutledge. “We are honored to participate in the 40th anniversary of Secretariat’s Triple Crown with this unique decanter and the anniversary events with Penny and Ron Turcotte." In addition to the exclusive decanter celebrating Secretariat’s 1973 Triple Crown, Four Roses will publicly release a special barrel selection, limited edition Secretariat bottle. The commemorative bottle will feature Secretariat and be adorned with the distinctive blue and white checks of the famed Meadow Stable silks. With limited distribution at select stores along the Triple Crown trail in Kentucky, Maryland and New York. It will also be available for purchase in advance at the Derby Museum. Proceeds from the sale of both bottles will be dedicated to preserving the history of the Kentucky Derby at the Kentucky Derby Museum and to the Secretariat Foundation.

RoaRing Lion:

new Bottles, new Business


oaring Lion energy drink is proud to announce the launch of their new line of resealable bottles and they are marking the occasion by unveiling two new products to the public, "Au Natural" & "Zero". While the new 16.9 oz bottles feature an updated look that is sleek and attractive, the functionality of the packaging and the healthier formula inside are sure to also grab consumers’ attention as a perfect solution for people who need ‘energy on the go’. “We believe that the Bottles provide added convenience and greater adaptability to the widely varied lifestyles of energy drink consumers,” said Roaring Lion’s Brand Manager, Brian Boate. “The ability to reseal a bottle means that you don’t need to drink a large energy drink in one sitting - you can take the two full servings with you in your car, to the gym, or just carry it in your bag as you

are going about your normal life without having to worry about spills or keeping it fresh.” The decision to introduce the bottles is based on the brand’s recognition that the energy drink market is currently in the midst of an emerging evolution in which a growing number of consumers have begun seeking out healthier, more natural alternatives in the food and beverages they purchase. Roaring Lion’s goal is to provide these consumers with a variety of packaging and formula options that allow them to pick a RL product that most genuinely fits their lifestyle. To this end, both "Au Natural" & "Zero" are 'natural' products that retain the traditional energy drink taste profile & functionality consumers expect, but with all-new formulas that provide a healthier alternative to most of the options currently in the market. The only non-natural part of the two formulas is the flavor component—all of the functional ingredients are naturally-derived. “The reception by our fans, accounts and distributors thus far has been exceptional,” said Sean Hackney, Operating Partner. “We feel we’ve hit the nail on the head and are delivering

something the market has been asking for: greater convenience and healthier options, with no sacrifice to taste or functionality.” Quickly developing a reputation as a late-night king in the City of Angels, Roaring Lion has taken a dominant position in Hollywood’s highly contested nightlife industry after being selected as the exclusive energy drink of the West Coast’s most powerful nightclub operator, SBE. With its recent purchase of Syndicate Hospitality, SBE has nearly doubled its holdings in the nightlife industry and has projected over $150 million in food and beverages revenues for 2011. Boasting a portfolio of 12 nightclub properties on the West Coast, SBE has now firmly established itself as the most powerful nightclub operator in the region. After a year of product testing, SBE’s Senior Director of operations, logistics and special projects, Boe Trumbull, was excited to announce the decision to partner with Roaring Lion in SBE’s many properties. “The process to select Roaring Lion was a very lengthy one,” said Trumbull. “I had to choose an energy drink brand that will work on all those levels."

Classic Kegerators


for Custom Beer Service

ar owners who want to give their customers something to look at while waiting for their beer now have some creative options when it comes to serving suds thanks to a company called Classic Kegerators. With a seemingly unending array of options for customized kegerators, these eye-catching contraptions can be stylized to your liking. Want to brand your bar as the best venue for watching sporting events for the local professional or college team? What better way than by pouring beer from a vintage kegerator adorned with the colors, logos and insignias of those programs. Maybe you just want to go for a throwback look on-premise? Classic Kegerators can create

something that fits your style and still looks like a piece of bar room art, while perfectly functional. They can custom paint to match your Hot-Rod, Rat-Rod, Custom-Ride, Classic-Car, or Chopper. Made to your specifications from any refrigerator, the units come complete with CO2 tank, double gauge regulators, quality taps and instructions on how to deploy and enjoy. You can choose from single tap units with a full size 1/2 barrel keg or double tap units with two 1/6 barrel kegs. All Classic Kegerators are made from the best and coolest antique refrigerators they can find; you can choose from what they have in stock or provide you own. Find out how to get one of these for your bar at

March 2013 Bar Business Magazine


Booze News Hip-Hop Star Xzibit's New Luxury Tequila, Bonita Platinum, Hits the GRAMMY Awards® Hip Hop Superstar and Actor, Xzibit’s Bonita Platinum Tequila was featured in The GRAMMY® Gift Lounge at The 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards®. “X” as he is commonly referred to amongst industry friends and his business partners, The Bonita Spirits Company, were joined by a long list of A-Listers and musical powerhouses, such as Host LL Cool J, Justin Timberlake, Chaka Khan, Anthony Hamilton, Tyrese Gibson, The Lumineers, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Maroon 5, and a host of other celebrities and musicians who were among the

first of recipients to try the new brand. Bonita Platinum launches at a private invite only party in Las Vegas on March 2, 2013 at the Hyde Bellagio. This marks the first time that The Bonita Platinum Tequila has taken part in The GRAMMY Awards® week. Both Presenters and Performers got a chance to get their own giveaway bottle of the ultra-premium tequila. Bonita Platinum is a unique product in which Xzibit is one of only a hand full of celebrities who not only endorse a product, but co-own a brand. “The tequila is amazing,” he said in an earlier interview. “I’m excited about the response I’m getting from my peers about the quality of the brand.” Bonita Platinum Tequila is also visually appealing; bottled in pure crystal and wrapped in satin. The music veteran turned business mogul had an opportunity to display the brand at the largest music awards show of the year. Many of the attendees of the GRAMMYs® Gift Lounge

commented on the luxurious aroma of the brand. “We are looking forward to participating in many more years to come,” said Bonita Spirits CEO, Chris Brown. The GRAMMY Awards® host music’s largest peer recognized awards show to celebrate musical excellence and the most distinguished brands in the art of music. As for what’s next for the brand, Xzibit hosted the official launch of The Bonita Platinum Tequila brand in a private red carpet and RSVP only event on March 2, 2013 at the Hyde Bellagio.

g’Vine gin de France Seeks World’s Best gin Bartender


Spirits & Wine (EuroWineGate), parent company of the distinctive G’Vine Gin de France, proudly announces the launch of the G’Vine Gin Connoisseur Program (GCP) 2013. Unveiled on January 28th, GCP 2013, L’Edition Ambassadeur, is the international quest for the world’s best gin bartender. Since its inauguration in 2010, GCP has redefined global bartender contests and is considered among the bar world’s most challenging competitions. “The GCP tested my technical skills, my knowledge, my creativity, and my stamina,” says Ms. Franky Marshall, Bartender and Vice-President USBG New York. “I learned a lot—it was a fantastic experience!” Invitational preliminary contests will be held in major cities around the


Bar Business Magazine March 2013

world, and a Final will be held over a week in Cognac, France. Each prelim features an industry-leading seminar, a cocktail challenge, and the G’Vine Bartenders’ Ball. During April, there will be three contest sites in the USA: New York, Miami and Los Angeles. EWG Spirits and Wine Portfolio Director, Audrey Fort, is enthusiastic about the opportunity for American’s gin bartenders. “Now that I’m based in the USA, I’ll ensure that the most talented representatives of the cocktail craft and most gin-loving bartenders from America will be selected and flown to France. With three preliminaries this year, we have increased our prospects for bringing back the crown again this year.” This is GCP’s fourth iteration, and it

has adopted two changes this year: Entry is now by invitation of the most qualified registrants, and GCP has made its theme L’Edition Ambassadeur - The Ambassador Edition. The competition will test bartenders’ skills at bartending, their knowledge of gin, and their etiquette and public persona. GCP consultant Philip Duff explains this decision, “Ever since the first GCP in 2010, we noticed that the best competitors and finalists were being snapped up by drinks firms to be brand ambassadors—some just weeks after the Finals! At the same time, there is tremendous interest in the job of brand ambassador, and it’s a logical career progression for any ambitious bartender.” The challenges of the Ambassador Edition are reflected by the grand prize: $3,000, a personal and tailor-made training program from Philip Duff, and other valulable opportunities.

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Liquid Assets

The evoluTion of Tequila From mezcal to mixto to top ShelF territory

BY ADAM LEVY, ALcohoL profEssor 12

Bar Business Magazine March 2013


here was a time the words “tequila” and “blender” were hardly ever separate entities. Most consumers viewed tequila as some rough party spirit that required heavy concealment with syrupy fruit mixers, meant to be slushed or shot quickly on a dare. But as agave advocates and celebrities like George Clooney can attest, it has come a long way from its party animal past, as more bars and restaurants celebrate the popularity of fine quality tequilas, more of which are being imported to the U.S. than ever before. The category has grown a staggering 67% since 2002, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. People are finally understanding these are elixirs intended to be sipped and savored like a good whiskey, worthy of serious topshelf real estate. They are made with care and respect for the Earth and the elements, and steeped in tradition. Tequila is, for all intents and purposes a version of mescal—a spirit produced from the heart of ripened agave fruit (the piña) that is cooked, mashed and fermented. However, there are several distinctions between tequila and mezcal production. Prior to fermentation, mezcal is made from agave that is fire roasted, while tequila’s agave is boiled or steamed. Mezcal can be produced from any species of agave; tequila is only derived from Weber Blue agave. Mezcal has its own production zone in and around the state of Oaxaca. To label a product as tequila, it must be produced within the tequila zone encompassing the lowland areas in the state of Jalisco, and the highlands (“Los Altos”) where it overlaps northeast into the states of Nayarit, Guanajuato, Michoacan and Tamaulipas. The higher elevations, prolonged sun exposure, low nighttime temperatures and tierra roja (“red earth”) grow a lighter, fruitier agave than the lowlands, which are more robust, earthy and mineral. People associate the word “terroir” with wine, but it is just as applicable to tequila.

even big celebrities are getting in on the tequila game today.

The Spanish introduced alembic stills to Mexico in the late 16th century, when the first “mezcal wine” was produced from oven-roasted maguey (agave.) According to various sources, the word “tequila” could be anything from a native Nahuatl word for “work,” “plant,” “place where cut,’ or “rock that cuts” (referring to the prevalent obsidian stones in the region.) By the 17th century, mezcal was a common beverage served throughout Mexico. By the time Mexico gained independence from Spain in the early 19th century, the process and style of the mezcal produced specifically around the state of Jalisco became closer to what is now associated with tequila. By the 20th century, circa the Mexican Revolution, tequila became the most popular drink in Mexico, with government regulations on its production.

From the point of breaking down the agave to process its sugars, tequila distillation is similar to that of mezcal. The cooked agave is milled March 2013 Bar Business Magazine


Liquid Assets the final distillate is aged in oak barrels—usually American oak, ex-Bourbon and even, on occasion, former French Cognac casks—before release. Unlike whisky or brandy, tequila is not considered a “white dog” or any sort of “shine” if it is released un-aged or without color imparted from oak.

Tequila is available in different age expressions:

prior to fermentation, which takes place in stainless steel tanks with added water to extract the sugars from the fibers. Distillation undergoes at least two rounds: the first brings its alcohol concentration up to 20% to 25%. The second rectifies the distillate, bringing it up to about 55% (in whisky terms this would be cask strength). It is then up to individual producers to decide how much water is added for the final proof, or perhaps to give it another round of distillation for added smoothness. In some cases,


Bar Business Magazine March 2013

Blanco (also known as Silver) is unaged or minimally aged, no coloring. Reposado (“rested”) is aged in oak for two months to a year. añejo has aged in oak for a minimum of one year. exTRa añejo refers to tequila aged for a few years before release.

MaRcha MaRgaRiTa By Mixologist Nelson Lemus

1.75 oz tequila 1 oz lime juice 3/4 oz agave nectar 1/4 oz D’Aristi Xtabentun Bitters 1 oz egg white 3 drops of Aztec Chocolate Bitters

When choosing your tequila, if unfamiliar with a brand, be sure to read the label for an easy quality check. Beware of the word “mixto.” In many instances, when tequila gained popularity in the 20th century, it expanded from the traditional family distillery to the corporate entity, which sadly, in some cases, affected its production and reputation. Hence, the mixtos have added sugars, syrups, base alcohols (aguardiente— “firewater”) and artificial coloring (“gold”) and aren’t required to list these additives on the label. These are the products that helped give tequila its “wake-up-in-a-Vegas-massage-parlor” reputation of past. The good stuff—the only stuff that belongs in a bar worth its salt-rimmed glasses—is made with 100% agave and no additives.

lists around the country, some going for $30 and up for a glass, similar to high profile and rare whiskies.

The luxury spirits category has embraced tequila for some time now. Brands such as Don Julio 1942 (Silver Medal, New York International Spirits Competition 2011), Milagro Reposado (Silver Medal, New York International Spirits Competition), Mi Casa (Tequila Distillery of the Year, New York International Spirits Competition 2012) and Casamigos (yes, the George Clooney offering) have successfully positioned themselves on top beverage

One emerging trend in the tequila market is that of agave ambassador. In 2009, Phil Ward, former head bartender of New York City’s Death and Co., opened Mayahuel, a cocktail bar dedicated to all things agave, named for the Mexican goddess who is said to be the protector of that fruit. Chef Richard Sandoval has based an entire chain of restaurants around tequila and agave spirits. Mexican academic David Suro Piñera, who

Glass: coupe glass Method: Dry shake first, add ice cube, shake again, strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish: Dash with baby drops of Aztec Chocolate Bitters.

pRickly peaR MaRgaRiTa (Courtesy of The Orange Squirrel, Bloomfield, NJ)

2 oz Prickly Pear Puree 1.5 oz premium silver tequila 0.5 oz Triple Sec or Cointreau 0.5 oz of lime juice, handsqueezed (strain pulp) Mix all ingredients together, pour over ice, shake, strain and pour over ice if requested. Salt or unsalted rim. Garnish with lime wedge. produces Siembra Azul tequila and owns Tequilas restaurant in Philadelphia, travels the world educating bar and restaurant professionals as well as consumers about agave spirits production. Suro is the president of TIP (Tequila Interchange Project), a non-profit organization dedicated to training beverage professionals through onsite visits to production facilities in Mexico. Phil Ward is also very active in the organization. Last year, largely through a petition that went viral via social media, the group successfully fought the Mexican

tequilas, such as avión, typically come in three age expressions. government against a proposition known as NOM 186, which would have changed the way tequila and other agave spirits would be labeled and produced. Thousands of workers make up the industry, most of which are family businesses. Had NOM 186 been passed, it would have effectively wiped out most production of 100% agave products, thus destroying the lives of hundreds of those workers and their families.

Brands such as Milagro, Riazul, Corzo, Avion, and Don Julio 1942 are also positioning themselves as “sippers,” especially with their añejo expressions. These tequilas are specifically produced to compete with whiskey as a spirit category to be consumed neat or on the rocks, served in snifters at the end of a meal, and in more upscale cocktails. There is a new revolution for tequila, with an increasingly eager and knowledgeable fan base in the U.S.

Suro believes the reason the NOM was attempted in the first place was as a conspiracy against the rising popularity of quality production and successful small businesses. The aforementioned corporate mixtos are starting to lose traction in the marketplace. Said Suro, it was “a set of rules designed to eliminate the competition.” Luckily, it never came to fruition.

No lime wedge necessary.

Of course, the classic margarita is still popular, and thankfully, more bars and restaurants are straying away from pre-mixed, sugary sours that reached their height in the 1980s, instead using fresh fruits and ingredients that enhance and celebrate the inherent flavors of tequila rather than mask it. March 2013 Bar Business Magazine


Tuning Up

Suited Up for a SUcceSSfUl Year By Eric Fisher

With the conclusion of our extensive one-on-one interview with Armin van Buuren, the top tier DJ talks about putting together lineups for big shows, and, on the cusp of his Madison Square Garden gigs, explains why New York City is the capital of electronic music. Ed Note: Part One of our discussion with Armin van Buuren can be seen in the January digital issue of Bar Business Magazine, here: jan_2013_bar_business_magazine/19 BB: Drawing in a crowd with your music is almost like throwing out a fishing hook, and once you get them hooked, you turn it into your own style? AVB: Yeah, well, you can never please everybody. That’s the biggest frustration, you know. A very big frustration. BB: Being a world-class traveler and having the luxury of staying in plenty of different hotels and playing a lot of different venues, we’re curious to know what intrigues you about any specific city. AVB: While traveling the world, I’ve gotten to know a lot of culture and cultural differences. But I think what’s 16

Bar Business Magazine March 2013

most important is the crowd that’s there and the crowd that’s going to be there on the night I play. It’s not necessarily a city. I mean, recently I’ve been jogging a lot in several cities, you know, taking my jogging shoes and going running, so I can actually see something of the city. But I don’t think that really answers your question, or does it? BB: Sort of. But I’m more curious to know how you pick specific DJ’s for a city. For example, this year with Den Bosch, you had “Who’s Afraid of 138” with Aly & Fila and John O’Callaghan, and I want to know, since you’ve obviously played there before, if you feel the people there appreciate the more fast-pace tunes, or is it just kind of random? AVB: Well, it’s kind of a gamble. I have four rooms and then Bosch gives me a little bit of space to experiment and I think that’s also that the assignment that I got

“I hope people see that we’re trying to move the scene forward rather than just playing it safe in the same cities.” from the fans, you know, to sort of try to push boundaries. Last year I had a State of Pink, which is a female area. And Who’s Afraid of 138 sort of came up in my mind when I was playing this track and I wanted to make a joke to one of the listeners. And it made people laughed at it on Twitter. I got so much response for that and within the trance community, there’s this big demand for 138, the old uplifting harder sound—and I like that as well, as one of the routes of trance. I really like to play that sound. So I would love to try that. I would love to try to please those people. So it’s an experiment. I don’t know if it’s going to work. We’ll have to see. What I’m really curious about—is it just these few guys on Twitter going ‘blah, blah, blah,’ about the uplifting sound or is everybody and then Den Bosch going to be trying to go into that room? If that happens then I’ve got a new concept. Then I can do a new party called Who’s Afraid of 138. It’s my brand and I can promote it. It’s an experiment.

BB: I guess with the whole scene getting bigger, you could do little more trial and error to figure out what works for you. AVB: Yeah, well, I think people also expect that of me. If I mention the trance 550, 600, 650, 700, it would be the same every year with the same DJ’s. But try to find a DJ that’s been there twice. I think only Cosmic Gate has, maybe one or two others. I think the rest of the lineup is completely different, because I want really make a big deal out of trying to promote new talent. BB: So having ASAT600 in New York City, having done it two years ago here, what brings you back to this city? What does this mean for you to be back here? AVB: Well, New York is one of the most important EDM cities simply because it has the most fans. If you look at the demographic scene, where the most listeners are March 2013 Bar Business Magazine


Tuning Up and visting the same cities over and over again. And I for my radio show, where the most people are that buy hope people appreciate that, and that it’s not just a my records, it’s in New York. I want to reach as many matter of throwing big events. And one last thing that fans as I can, so New York is an essential stop. Having I’d like to add is that I don’t decide on the lineups. I said that, I don’t want to make a stop in New York every work on all the events, organizing the events. I know a year, because I want to try to move A State of Trance as lot of people ask who decides to many cities as I can, because on the lineups and I don’t do I want to get the younger crowd look at the lIneups and that. I look at the lineups and I to be interested in trance. That’s why with this year’s has gIve my advIce on them and then give my advice on the lineups, and I try to make big things a set of trance 600. We’re going out of my new talent, but I don’t to go to eight new cities, and try to make bIg thIngs do the contracts. I don’t do the we’ve never been to Mexico City. out of my new talent money negotiations, flight We’ve never been to Sao Paulo. negotiations, etc. I don’t do We’ve never been to Bulgaria. We’ve never been to Beirut. It’s a big list of new cities. So that. I leave that up to all the events, because otherwise they would grow too big for me, and I couldn’t be sitting I think it’s good, and it’s a big risk because it would in a studio anymore. have been safer to just say we’re going to Amsterdam, we’re going to Germany, to Toronto, places we’ve been. For more information, visit www.ArminvanBuuren. I’m not saying I’m not going to come back to Toronto; com and maybe next year.




I hope the people see that we’re actually trying to move the scene forward, rather than just playing it safe


Eric Fisher is a writer for electronic music blog

DJ’s Rider Quite a Contract As reported recently in the New York Post, Philadelphia-based DJ, producer, rapper and record label head Diplo

sent over a fantastic list of demands as part of his contract for a December 30th show alongside Afrojack and

Pacha at Pier 94 in Manhattan. The tongue-in-cheek rider included the following: a gorilla (“Silverback is preferred, an orangutan is also acceptable”), one Malawi orphan, one “parrot that is trained to say Diplo’s name,” one arranged marriage, one dart board (“with Nicolas Cage’s face on it”), one violin player (“to play while we eat our cheese plate”), two inflatable animals (“bonus points for endangered or extinct species”), the third season of “Lost” (“on VHS tapes”), and finally a “1983 Yak Face ‘Star Wars: Return of the Jedi’ action figure (“new in package”). No word on how many of these requirements were met before Diplo took the stage.


Bar Business Magazine January 2013

Your Personal Bartender in a Bottle!

How To:

Master Mixology


Cocktail Ideas for On-premise Mixologists Every other month, via the digital edition of Bar Business Magazine, our new MIXED UP column offers bartenders and consumers a collection of recipes for the modern mixologist to implement on-premise or off, across the spirits spectrum. So break out the bar tools and get to it!


Bar Business Magazine March 2013

The Luck of The IrIsh Let’s start out with the obvious: St. Patrick’s Day is a big bar day (to say the least), and you are lucky, because we have two killer concoctions for you. Rather than overpour pints of green beer or run out of Guinness by noon, mix things up and offer your classier customers some high-end Paddy’s Day potions featuring Basil Hayden’s bourbon (including one recipe from Julie Reiner herself!):

Shamrock Sour Recipe by Julie Reiner – New York, NY

Basil Hayden’s® Irish Julep 2 parts Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon ½ part DeKuyper® Green Crème de Menthe 1 part half and half 1. Shake all ingredients well with ice. 2. Strain over crushed ice into a highball glass. 3. Garnish with a mint sprig.

2 parts Basil Hayden’s Bourbon ½ part Green Chartreuse ½ part lemon juice ½ part grapefruit juice ½ part agave syrup (To make, combine equal parts of water with agave nectar) ¼ part egg white 1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin and shake without ice to blend. 2. Add ice and shake. 3. Strain over fresh ice in a double rocks glass and garnish with a mint sprig and a lemon wheel.

shoWTIMe! I know we just missed it, but the Academy Awards at the end of February once again celebrated stellar year in film. So to honor that in our own way, here is a collection of movie-inspired cocktails that you can serve all year round (or maybe just on movie night in the bar!). Bring the red carpet home with these fancy cocktails that will make you feel one with Hollywood’s elite.

Red Carpet Created by Jacques Bezuidenhout 1.5 oz Campari 1 oz gin 1 oz Lillet Blanc 6 raspberries Egg white from one small to medium egg Shake all ingredients thoroughly with ice. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with three raspberries on a toothpick.

Ready For My Close Up 2 oz SKYY Infusions Ginger 1 oz honey syrup* 0.75 oz fresh lemon juice Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass. Lay lemon peel twirl across the rim of the glass with cocktail pick. *To create honey syrup, combine 0.5 oz. water with 0.5 oz. honey.

March 2013 Bar Business Magazine


How To:

Leading Lady Created by Victoria Canty 2 oz Wild Turkey American Honey 0.25 oz lemon juice 0.25 oz Stirrings Ginger Liqueur Dash of Angostura bitters Cava

A Formal Affair 2 oz SKYY Infusions Cherry 0.5 oz Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon 0.75 oz cola Combine SKYY Infusions Cherry Vodka, Wild Turkey Bourbon and cola in a cocktail shaker with ice and stir. Pour into a double rocks glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Combine all ingredients except cava into a shaker with ice. Double strain into a coupe glass and float with Cava (or other sparkling white wine). Garnish with a lemon peel and candied ginger piece.

Django's Girl 1.5 oz Svedka Clementine 0.75 oz honey syrup 1 fresh lime Small pinch of mint Combine Svedka, honey syrup, lime and mint. Shake and strain over ice into a cocktail glass and top with ginger beer.

The Argo: 1.5 oz Grey Goose Vodka 0.5 oz balsamic white vinegar 1 oz pistachio liqueur Muddled strawberries Combine ingredients, add ice, shake and strain into a martini glass. Serve up and top with a drizzle of sesame oil.


Bar Business Magazine March 2013

A Silver Lining 1 oz Purity Vodka 0.5 oz Combier Fruit Rouges 0.5 oz Crème de Cacao-white

Homage To A Collins Created by Snake Oil Cocktail Co. 1.5 oz Ketel OneÂŽ Vodka 1 oz blood orange juice 0.5 oz cinnamon simple syrup Dry Blood Orange Soda for top Blood orange wheel for garnish Cinnamon stick for garnish

Mix ingredients and strain into a cocktail glas. Serve up with aerated heavy cream and top with nutmeg.

1. Fill old-fashioned glass with ice 2. Add Ketel One vodka, blood orange juice and cinnamon simple syrup into old-fashioned glass. 3. Top with dry blood orange soda and stir gently. 4. Garnish with blood orange wheel on the rim of the glass speared by a cinnamon stick. Serve in an Old-Fashioned glass. Yields: 1 drink (No drink contains more than 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol.)

Stage Kiss Created by Snake Oil Cocktail Co. 1.5 oz Tequila Don Julio Blanco 1 oz blood orange juice 1 tbsp gig-agave jam with cayenne Dry Soda for top Fig slice for garnish 1. Combine Tequila Don Julio Blanco, blood orange juice and fig-agave jam with cayenne into a mixing glass with ice. Shake well. 2. Pour contents into an OldFashioned glass. 3. Top with Dry Soda and stir. 4. Garnish with sliced fig. Yields: 1 drink (No drink contains more than 0.6 fluid ounces of alcohol.)

March 2013 Bar Business Magazine


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10 Profit Leaks That Can Drain You

By William J. Lynott

Increasing sales is not the same thing as increasing profits, and the smart bar owner knows that this is a business just like any other, so we’re highlighting 10 mistakes you should avoid to keep your profits from draining away.


n the bar business, increasing sales is not always the road to increasing profits. In fact, rampant profit leaks in your business could convert more sales into less profit. While you’re well aware of the obvious profit leaks common to every bar business, here are ten other less obvious costly profit robbers, along with advice on how to keep them from harming your business this year and in all the years to come. 1

Forgetting That Electricity is Money Don’t look on that big electric bill every month as a necessary evil. Failing to adopt procedures to save energy can mean a costly profit leak. While operating a bar does

require a lot of electricity use, there are steps that can provide significant savings in your monthly bill. For example, swapping incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescents can make a significant cut in electricity usage. Wherever possible, switching regular incandescents for low energy CFLs or LEDs, despite the higher initial cost for the bulbs, can provide big savings over the projected tenyear life of the bulbs. If you’re in one of the states where the industry is deregulated, you can shop around for your energy supplier. In some cases, making a switch could save as much as 5 percent to ten percent of your electric bill. Another potential for lowering electricity cost is an annual inspection to make sure that your HVAC system is operating at top efficiency. Leaking ducts could reduce energy efficiency by as much as 20 percent, according to Ronnie Kweller of the Alliance to Save Energy. March 2013 Bar Business Magazine


How To:


Out of Control Communications Expenses As for keeping yourself reachable, you’ve never had it so good. With your cell phone, pager, Internet access, and regular telephone service, you’re never far from anyone you want to reach (or anyone who wants to reach you). Unfortunately, you’re probably paying a lot more than you need to for all that techno-communication. Contact your primary provider to see what bundled plans are available in your area. You may be surprised at how much you can save by giving all of your communications business to one company. In addition to saving you money, dealing with one supplier will greatly simplify your bill-paying procedures. If you are already dealing with only one communications company, give them a call and ask for an analysis of your account. Companies are constantly coming up with new bundling plans and one of them might save you a bundle. But don’t expect them to come looking for you; you’ll have to ask.

Nearly all banks are online these days and most offer free online bill paying. Once you sign up and choose a password, you log on to the bank’s Web site where you enter the payee’s name, address, phone number, and the amount to be paid. The bank takes over from there, either by mailing a check to the payee or by making an electronic transfer of the money. You need enter the name and address of a payee only once. The next time you need to make a payment, you need only click on the payee’s name and enter the amount. The system will enter the rest of the needed information. You save precious time, the cost of postage at nearly a half a buck for every check you mail, buying checks, and trips to the post office. What are you waiting for?


Drowning Under All That Paper With all the paper you’re required to slog through for business purposes, you don’t need to add to the burden by hanging on to reams of paper because of the worry that you might need it some day. Most of it will never see the light of day. If that sounds like you, organizing guru Maria Gracia (www. suggests these guidelines to help end the nightmare of out-of-control paper:


Paying for Insurance You Don’t Need The cost of insurance is a major burden for bar owners these days. That’s why it’s important to cut through the smog generated by the insurance industry. In addition to business liability and fire insurance, there are only five types that you must have: life, health, disability (as long as you’re working), homeowner, and auto. For most people, the rest are a waste of money. Life insurance on your kids is a classic example of insurance you don’t need (unless you’re raising a future Shirley Temple). Never agree to credit life insurance or to car rental insurance. Your own auto policy or credit card will probably cover that base. Once you’ve pared things down to those five necessary types, look into consolidating some of the remaining policies with one company. That’s often a money saver.


3 Wasting Money Paying Bills No one enjoys paying bills. That’s why we sometimes postpone that unwelcome job to the point of risking late payment fees and blemishes on our credit reports. Paying bills may never be fun, but new technology has made the task quicker, easier, and less costly.


Bar Business Magazine March 2013

• Use the 4 D's: Do it, Delay it (File it in an action file or archive file), Delegate it, Dump it. • Open mail over the wastebasket and immediately get rid of mail you don't need, such as catalogs or advertising offers of no interest. Then, use the 4-D system on what’s left.

Failing to Guard Your Most Precious Business Asset “Pay your best employees good salaries and treat them well,” says Sally Mounts, Ph.D., President of Auctus Consulting Group in Washington, Pennsylvania. “Successful owners know that their most valuable resource is the people they employ. They reward them liberally

they've promised. A boss who breaks this vital precept will never be viewed in the same way; the damage to the work relationship is virtually irreversible. Don't fall into that trap. Keep your word—literally, figuratively, and psychologically. It will pay huge dividends in employee loyalty.”

and encourage their growth. They look for ways to affirm their value to the company through personal attention and acknowledgement. The result is employees who stay with the company for years, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars the owner would otherwise be spending in training a succession of new hires.” 8


I gnoring What People Are Saying About You Online In this technological age, the first place that many customers who are unhappy about you will go is the Internet. It’s human nature to vent after undergoing a negative experience, and the Internet provides an easy setting for people to tell the world about their unhappiness. If you’re not staying on top of what’s being said about your business online, you’re missing a potentially harmful profit leak. Potential customers who come across a negative comment about you or your business aren’t likely to call you to let you know, but they are likely to look for another place to spend their leisure hours. Most people place a high value on what other people say about a business. If someone says they were unhappy with your or your business, potential customers are likely to assume that they will be unhappy too. All of this is a good illustration of how what you don’t know can hurt you. Doing your best to encourage positive feedback can help to protect against a nasty profit leak. Equally important is responding to a negative comment in a helpful way in an effort to return a straying customer to your fold.

 ailure to Keep a Close Eye F on Your Competitors Prospects and customers alike are well acquainted with your competitors. They know the level of service they offer and the friendliness and professionalism of their employees, and you should too. In today’s competitive environment, your customers are ready and willing to switch their favorite watering hole for the least of reasons. Your job is to make certain that you don’t give them that reason.


 estructive Broken D Promises Surveys show that broken promises are always among the most prominent reasons why customers abandon a business. You probably know from your own experience just how frustrating it can be when a business breaks a promise to you. Should you find yourself in a position of having to break a promise to a customer, no matter how seemingly harmless, always contact the customer as soon as you learn about the problem. An early explanation and a sincere apology will go a long way toward easing the customer’s frustration. And it works the same way with employees. “The workplace is full of unwritten psychological contracts,” says Dr. Mounts. “One is that bosses must act with integrity, keep their word, and follow through on things


 ailure to Grab Your F Share of the Best Publicity of All — Free Publicity Advertising professionals know (but usually won’t admit) that free publicity is usually more effective than the best paid ads. Most of your prospective customers will be far more receptive to a simple news item about your establishment than to a typical advertisement. So, how do you go about getting a piece of the free publicity pie? First, you need to learn what makes a good story. Then you need to learn how to sell it your local news media. Your news item doesn’t have to be of eye-popping importance to gain a free spot in the media, it just has to be “newsworthy.” That simply means there is something about you or your business that the public might find interesting. Even simple things like interesting news about you or an employee, changes in your business, or your own hobbies, activities, or accomplishments can be the seeds for free publicity. But to get free publicity, you have to seek it actively. The media isn’t going to come looking for you. While it isn’t necessary to have a “contact” in the local press to get your share, it doesn’t hurt. While banishing these harmful profit leaks won’t solve all of your operating problems, it will help to boost your bottom line now and in all the years to come. March 2013 Bar Business Magazine



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How To:

ter Build a Bet Security Plan

The Safety Cocktail: Bars and Security Should Mix Like a Well Poured Drink Bars are a unique entertainment venue because they serve alcohol and operate late into the evening and early morning. These are recognized ingredients for security risks to a bar’s patrons and employees, and can often lead to lawsuits. Every state and country has different laws, but those in effect in California can serve as an instructive guide, no matter where your bar is located, and we’ll use them to illustrate the general premises our discussion here. By Rene M. Faucher, Esq.

March 2013 Bar Business Magazine


How To:


ere are five important notions to consider when building your security program on-premise, and how I recommend addressing each component.

Do You NeeD SeCuriTY GuarDS? First, you need to determine if your bar needs professional security guards. California courts have recognized certain circumstances that make assaults reasonably foreseeable and for this reason create a “duty” to have security guards. Duty is a term of art that means a legal obligation, the breach of which can create liability. A brain injury that occurs on or near a bar’s property can result in a jury verdict in the millions. Do I have your attention yet? As a matter of common sense and California law, circumstances that can create a duty to have security guards include a prior incident of an assault or battery on or near the premises, a bar’s location in a high crime area, several previously threatened assaults, even thefts in the vicinity of the bar and the known presence of gang members in or around the bar. It is important to consider if and what elements make your bar more prone to crime.

Do You Hire SeCuriTY GuarDS DireCTlY or Hire a SeCuriTY CompaNY? If you decide you need to hire security guards for your bar, one of the frequent questions that arise is whether you should hire security directly or hire a security company to provide them. If you directly hire a security guard, you should have a basic understanding of what this job will entail. For example, in California you may only hire security guards as an employee, not as an independent contractor. They are required to wear a security uniform, be licensed by the State of California and receive the required training and continuing education courses. Your employee security guard cannot be armed. Calling your security personnel a bouncer doesn’t change the fact they are security guards and must still comply with California law. The rules can become complicated in other states, making it more important to seek legal advice before hiring. The alternative is to hire a professional security company, an entity with a license to provide security services. In California, this is a private patrol operator who must be licensed with the State of California. You can check licenses on the state’s Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Security and Investigative Services Web site The security company is then responsible for monitoring the security guard’s background, licenses, training compliance and performance, which require specialized knowledge about each of these qualifications. Each security guard employed by the private patrol operator must also be licensed to exercise the power to arrest, and other security officer skills that require formal training. The private patrol operator must then provide each security guard with a review course in security officer skills on an annual basis and keep a record of its completion for two years.


Bar Business Magazine March 2013

California courts have recognized certain circumstances that make assaults reasonably foreseeable and for this reason created a “duty” to have security guards. duty is a term that means legal obligation, the breach of which can create liability. a brain injury that occurs on or near a bar’s property can result in a verdict in the millions. do i have your attention yet? The private patrol operator’s security guard may be armed but first must complete a training course in the carrying and use of firearms to obtain a license from the California State Department of Consumer Affairs. A security guard can also carry a baton and/or chemical agents but only after completing a course in their use and obtaining the required certificates. It is also recommended that security guards do not carry large flashlights due to the propensity to use them as weapons. If the security guard discharges a firearm, he/she must prepare a detailed report for the California Director of the State Department of Consumer Affairs within seven days. If the security guard conducts a citizen’s arrest, the police should be called and they can decide whether to release the person or book them.

How iNvolveD SHoulD You Be wiTH Your HireD SeCuriTY? Even if you hired a private patrol operator to hire and manage your security guards, bar management should stay involved and knowledgeable about who they are and what they are doing. Bar management should request a copy of the sign-in sheet for the security guards every night to stay abreast of who is working. More importantly, management should ask that the security guards prepare written incident reports and provide a copy of all of them at the end of the night. A security guard should also be equipped with a cell phone and, if possible, a digital camera to document incidents and their outcome. Take the opportunity to meet with each security guard to assure a direct line of communication. Remember, the security guard is

It's important to consider if there are elements that might make your bar more prone to crime. a representative of the bar as well as another set of eyes and ears for the management team.

Do You waNT Your SeCuriTY GuarDS To merelY oBServe aND reporT or To Do SomeTHiNG more? You might not have a choice. In California, though a private citizen is not liable for failing to protect another person, a security guard and the bar can be liable to a customer for failing to act affirmatively as a reasonable security guard to protect the customer while on the business premises. Also, don’t overlook the fact that your parking facilities are part of your business because, as in California, you may be liable for assaults there as well. Another important aspect to consider is your security guard’s job description. Many times, guards check for identification at the front door because, at least in the United States, there are age limits. This is usually the first contact a patron will have with your employees in your establishment. Consider the value of making this process a pleasant experience and having a guard that is friendly and inviting. It is critical to make a positive first impression on the guest, which can often set the tone for the evening. Take gender into consideration; a female patting down female patrons may be less intrusive than a male. Metal detecting wands might also be quite helpful. With these security measures in place, you can hopefully avoid a serious situation that could put you out of business.

How SHoulD You view iNSuraNCe aS a SeCuriTY meaSure? Once you hire security, there are a number of ways you can limit your exposure to liability. Make sure you have liability insurance with sufficient limits. Also confirm the private patrol operator has its own liability insurance with sufficient limits. In California, a security company that employs security guards who carry firearms is required to maintain an insurance policy with a minimum limit of $500,000. You may also consider an indemnity agreement in the contract whereby the private patrol operator agrees to indemnify (defend and reimburse) you for claims arising out of their security work. An additional technique is to have the private patrol operator’s insurance carrier issue an Endorsement (not just a Certificate) naming your bar as an additional insured. In the case of a claim or lawsuit, consider tendering your defense directly to this insurance carrier rather than your own, since this might avoid your payment of a deductible or self insured retention. Expect your landlord to be looking for these kinds of assurances. Obviously, security is an important consideration for the bar industry. How you address your security concerns can make a difference in your bar’s reputation and bottom line. Rene Faucher is an attorney with Gray•Duffy, LLP, who routinely represents bars, restaurants, security guards and their employers and has obtained multiple defense verdicts on behalf of these clients. He can be reached at or 818.907.4000 or This article is provided for informational purposes only, and the contents are not intended and should not be construed as legal advice.

March 2013 Bar Business Magazine


C o n g r at u l at i o n s t o t h e New York International Spirit Competition

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Gin Caledonia Spirits Barr Hill Gin $44.99 Liqueurs Amarula $19.00 Rum Bacardi Oakheart $13.99

Brandy Oude Meester 12 Reserve $50.00 Liqueurs Bepi Tosolini Amaro Tosolini $34.99 Pisco Pisco Viejo Tonel $37.50 Rhum Agricole J.M. Clement White Rum $32.95 J.M. Clement VSOP $59.95



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Vodka Unflavored New Amsterdam Vodka $12.00 Wannborga Vodka Organic $37.00 Vodka Flavored New Amsterdam Peach Vodka $13.99 Whiskey Kavalan Solist Ex Bourbon Single Cask Strength $100.00

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cachaca Soul Premium Cachaca $26.99

rhum aGricoLe J.M. Gold $34.95

coGnac Landy Cognac VS $15.99 Cognac Park VS $28.99 Cognac Park XO Extra $200.00

rum Stolen Rum Dark rum $16.00 Ron Fortuna 8 Year Old Anejo Rum $21.99 Sailor Jerry Rum $21.99 Bacardi 1873 Solera $22.99 Privateer True American Amber Rum $30.00 Rum Dictador 20yr $59.99

Gin Gibson Gin $20.00 Roundhouse Spirits Gin $28.00 Sipsmith London Dry Gin $33.00 Dark Corner White Tiger Gin $38.00 Wannborga Organic Gin $39.00 New England Distilling INgenium Gim $39.99 Corsair Barrel Aged Gin $45.00

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MAY 2013


Tequila With A Twist savvy distilleries and beverage companies are throwing the tequila category a few new curves. By Elyse Glickman

Tequila’s image has come a long way, baby.

Aviòn Takes Flight

hanks to the influence of various tequila producers and their successful marketing campaigns, tequila is losing its stigma as a painful college-time rite of passage. While some brands position the spirit in advertising in print, online and television spots depicting men in lead roles, others know there is more to tequila’s appeal beyond the macho pitchman. Several ladies in the tequila business (and a few gentlemen, too), from master distillers to beverage company executives to mixologists and bar/restaurant owners are leading the charge, winning recruits and revealing just how powerful a woman’s prerogative to change her mind about tequila can be. This women’s movement has long been simmering in Mexico, and these pioneers have worked hard to make sure “Margarita” will not be the only name on tequila aficionados’ lips. Maribel Garcia has won industry acclaim as the master distiller of Don Diego Santa tequila, while Calle 23 has gotten industry attention for its distiller, Sophie Decobecq, also being a master biochemist. Ana Maria Romero Mena, one of the first Official Catadores of Tequila, also served as a master distiller for several brands.

After building her career in Louis Vuitton MoetHennessy’s spirits division, Jenna Fagan partnered up with long-time friend and distiller Ken Austin in 2010 to develop Aviòn into a top-tier tequila. At that time, other brands were hitting the market, and the tequila spirits category was growing exponentially. But Fagan intuitively knew Aviòn‘s success hinged on finding channels in the distribution chain that would prompt customers­— especially women—to rediscover tequila in a different context. “You need to understand production and distribution channels, as well as who the real end customer is,” observes Fagan, Aviòn Tequila’s president. “Ultimately, that’s not the general consumer, but bartenders. They are the best sales people and brand ambassadors you can find. The key is getting bartenders to understand the true story behind the product, getting them to taste the line and experience what it’s all about. From there, they become fans and pass that enthusiasm on to their guests, which drives the bottom line on-premise.” Fagan and others we spoke with agree that many consumers, especially women, associate tequila with their first experiences, which could be unpleasant and involve lower quality “mixto” tequilas. The challenge



Bar Business Magazine March 2013

“The ultimate goal is engaging women to open their minds, and when they sip Avion for the first time and to say, ‘Wow! This is not what I think of when I think of tequila!’”

is to make them forget about any burning palates or morning-after headaches and to give a far-superior product like Aviòn a chance. “Somebody who is a foodie will love tequila, but they need to be exposed to the right one that is hand crafted and made with agave grown in the highlands,” continues Fagan. “While Aviòn speaks for itself, we encourage consumers to play with it, chefs to cook with it, and mixologists to innovate cocktails with it. The ultimate goal is engaging women to open their minds, and when they sip Avion for the first time, think, ‘Wow! This is not what I think of when I think of tequila!’” Aviòn’s current ad campaign, meanwhile, not only challenges the conventions of traditional spirits marketing, but taps into an element of popular culture that appeals to adventurous, independent women. “Instead of the guy-gets-girl plot, our commercial has a Fifty Shades of Grey scenario, but the woman is the lead and is fully in charge of the situation in our version of the story,” Fagan says. “The message is that tequila should not be painful, and it should be enjoyed in a playful way. We have gotten lots of emails from women telling us how much they loved the commercial and how it engaged them in the product.” Like the advertising sphere, Fagan observes the wine and spirits industry, and while it is still predominately male, it is increasingly welcoming to women. “It does not feel like an old boys’ club like some people expect it to,” she continues. “Though the number of women brand ambassadors is still relatively small, a encouraging development is that there is a large and growing number of women restaurant managers, women opening their own tequila companies, women chefs cooking with tequila, and it’s becoming a natural progression where the more you get women into a business, the more others will join in.”

Checking In to Hotel California Hotel California Tequila President Brian Whitney affirms that while the line wasn’t created expressly for women, the floral bouquet of the tequilas (especially the blanco) and the sensuously designed bottles with pewter stoppers have attracted women on- and offpremise. Ultimately, however, he insists that the high quality and smoothness is what keeps women asking for it by name. Whitney comments that when it comes to on-premise sales of Hotel California Tequilas (named for the iconic boutique hotel in Todos Santos, Baja, Mexico), the way to a woman’s heart is through her palate and her waistline—or lack thereof. “While margaritas are the number-one cocktail in the world, and are consumed a lot by women, the problem with classic margarita recipes is that they are very high in calories,” says Whitney. “We’ve devised a whole line of cocktail recipes that appeal to women precisely because they are low in calories. Our signature, The Heavenly Hotel Martini, has a deceptively simple recipe and is well under 100 calories yet makes a real impact when people try it. Another signature cocktail, Pink Champagne, is peach nectar, our Reposado and a topper of prosecco, served in a champagne flute.” Whitney has also observed that as women are social consumers and often do “girls’ days” and “girls’ weekends,” batched cocktails are effective in showing women that a tequila can be at once rich, quenching and satisfying without an excess of calories. He cites the California Iced Tea, originally developed for The Ocean House in Rhode Island. It is served in a pitcher and consists of peach-ginger iced tea, reposado tequila, agave nectar, fresh orange and lime juices. Whitney’s wife, Paula, serves as the Hotel California Brand Manager, which no doubt has helped the team advance their appeal to women. For example, the March 2013 Bar Business Magazine


Natalie Bovis, a.k.a. The Liquid Muse, helps women better undsertand tequila. company has staged competitions where the prize is a “women’s retreat” week at the actual Hotel California in Baja built around the tequila’s brand lifestyle. The winner and five of her friends enjoy such activities as yoga, horseback riding, swimming with dolphins, surfing camp, and cooking lessons with the hotel chef. “We seek out a consumer who has achieved a lot in her life, and as she likes to do adventurous things in her free time,” Whitney says. “Our tequila reflects that element of her ambitious personality.”

Back to Cool: Educating the Woman Consumer The way producers market tequila is now quite refined, starting with bottles that are as much at home on a vanity table as a top-shelf bar. So much thought went into the product design of Aviòn, Hotel California, Clase Azul, Casa Noble, Deleon and other brands that it is no surprise restaurants such as Rick Bayliss’ Red O in Los Angeles and TQLA in Mesa, Arizona and Houston, Texas lovingly display them to customers. TQLA also offers both traditional tequila flights and margarita flights to get female customers with differing levels of experience to expand their tequila horizons. The rub, however, is how to get women to try these spirits. Demi Stevens, co-owner of Redondo Beach restaurant and tequila bar Ortega 120, stocks 250 tequilas and is an authority on the subject. Although she brings new customers to the table with a rich and eclectic cocktail menu that compliments partner Chef Thomas Ortega’s food, for the past five years she has taught a curriculum of activities, Tequila 101, at the restaurant and a nearby community college. While her students are mostly consumers, Stevens points out some of her pointers can also help boost the bottom line on-premise. Though tequila flights and tasting dinners are increasingly commonplace, there is an art to these activities as there is to good mixology. “With tastings, I start newcomers off with an infusion or cocktail and then introduce them to the 36

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tequila it was made with, serving it on the side,” Stevens explains. “The taster usually helps things along when educating the person doing the tasting. I also never start them off with a blanco. While reposados are the most popular tequila (used on-premise), if there is a customer who is anti-tequila, I will re-introduce her to tequila with an anejo, which will be smoother, have a lot more flavor and be sweeter. In general women do go for sweeter tequilas.” Stevens also stresses that presentation is everything. While shot glasses may stir up unfortunate college memories, snifters and champagne flutes not only properly showcase an artisanal tequila’s aromas and flavors but add the sense of class today’s women consumers go for. The Tequila 101 program, meanwhile, provides consumers with a variety of incentives for embracing tequilas the way they would fine wines. “At first, people attended Tequila University because it seemed to be a cute idea, and a fun excuse to try something new,” recalls Stevens. “Today, my events sell out, and a lot of women come multiple times. Agewise we run the gamut from young adults to senior citizens, though I do go through phases where a good number of attendees will be women bartenders who come to observe and ask me many questions about what I am doing. Mostly, though, my ‘students’ are regular women who want to learn about tequila. Once they learn more about different marks, aging techniques, region and distillation processes, it puts them into a position where they feel more empowered in knowing what they are ordering and develop a better instinct about what new thing to try next.” Author and Mixology Consultant Natalie Bovis (a.k.a. The Liquid Muse) has also taken on the educator role as a way to teach other women how to experience tequila in new ways. Her books, including the recentlypublished Edible Cocktails: From Garden to Glass, are intended in part to take the intimidation out of spirits women couldn’t have imagined themselves trying,

FlAming mAi TAi TQLA, Mesa AZ ¾ oz Casa Noble Tequila Blanco ¾ oz Casa Noble Tequila Reposado ½ oz Myers Dark Rum 1 oz guava puree 1 oz pineapple juice ½ oz Orgeat 1 half lime ¾ oz Bacardi 151 Rum Add all ingredients into shaker except rum and lime. Shake 20 times and strain over fresh ice. Juice half lime and turn inside out to make boat for rum. Pour rum into lime and light.

el Avion Tia Rosa’s, Gilbert, AZ 2 oz Avión Reposado 1 oz Patrón Citronge 1 oz sweet and sour or margarita mix (home-made is preferable) Shake and pour into margarita glass. Lime wheel on side rim.

house mArgAriTA Tortilla Republic, West Hollywood, CA 2 oz El Jimador Blanco 2 oz Lime simple syrup 1/2 oz Triple Sec Shake and pour into glass. Lime wheel on side rim.

CuCumBer lAvender Tortilla Republic, West Hollywood, CA 2 oz El Jimador Blanco 2-3 slices of cucumber 1½ oz lime juice ½ oz lavender simple syrup Shake and pour into a glass. Garnish with cucumber spear, fresh lavender and bamboo skewer.

BeeTAriTA Tortilla Republic, West Hollywood, CA 2 oz. Milagro Reposado 1½ oz lime juice or lime simple syrup ½ oz beet puree ¾ oz ginger puree Splash soda Shake and pour into glass. Garnish with Mexican bay leaf and bamboo skewer, salted rim.

Blood orAnge TQLA, Mesa AZ 1½ oz Casa Noble Tradicional Reposado 1 oz Blood Orange Puree 2½ oz lime juice 1 oz simple syrup Shake and serve on the rocks

sAngriA sWirl TQLA, Mesa AZ To your classic 10 oz Casa Noble house margarita, add the following Sangria component: 2½ oz Merlot ½ oz Chambord ½ oz PAMA liqueur ¼ oz orange juice ¼ oz lime juice ¼ oz lemon juice ¾ oz simple syrup ½ oz Brandy

mArigold mArgAriTA Demi Stevens, Ortega 120, Redondo Beach, CA 2 oz Reposado tequila of choice ¾ oz St. Germain Elder Flower Liqueur 6 oz 1966 Impala Mix* (2 to 1 ratio of fresh squeezed lime juice and agave nectar simple syrup) 2 button-sized edible marigold flowers 1 ball jar Fill ball jar halfway with ice. Pour all contents into a ball jar (see photo) over ice. Pinch petals off the flower and add to jar. Shake vigorously

Flor de mAriA Natalie Bovis, Santa Fe, NM 1½ Gran Centenario Rosangel tequila ¾ oz homemade hibiscus-cabernet syrup ¾ oz fresh lemon juice ½ oz Luxardo Maraschino liqueur dash orange bitters Garnish: edible hibiscus flower and spritz of orange flower water Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish by spritzing drink with orange flower water and placing an edible hibiscus flower on a pick.

PAssion FruiT mArgAriTA Tortilla Republic, West Hollywood, CA 2 oz Fidencio sin Humo Joven Mezcal 1½ oz lime syrup ½ oz pineapple juice ½ oz triple sec shake ½ oz passion puree Shake and pour into a glass. Garnish with orange wheel.


Bar Business Magazine March 2013

thereby, getting them out of the vodka rut with cocktail recipes that appeal to a woman’s palate. The other part of the equation is providing women with a compelling backstory they can relay to friends when out on the town or entertaining at home. “I’m getting more women in my mixology classes asking questions about tequila, and sharing their feedback on ways they enjoy drinking it,” says Bovis. “In the bar, I give background on the spirit while guiding a female consumer through a tasting. Empowering her with knowledge is a great tool to ignite further interest. Women are also interested in hearing about the history and tradition behind tequila. The Goddess Mayahuel is the female deity of the Agave plant, which has had many uses in Mexico for centuries. Therefore, the connection between agave spirits and women is a spiritual one.” Bovis notes that because many Santa Fe visitors she encounters have some working knowledge of tequila, the venue makes an eclectic array of tequila, Sotol and Mescal available at their bar. Like Stevens, she agrees that beverage companies hiring more women brand ambassadors would bolster sales even further on-premise, as people are always more comfortable learning from others they can relate to, especially when dispelling myths is involved. San Diego Spirits Festival founder Liz Edwards also finds herself in the position of myth-busting when she is educating women on how tequilas are made, and in turn, how to distinguish a good tequila from an inferior one.

“A customer needs to understand that there is more to tequila than just margaritas and shots, otherwise they will never learn that the spirit is so versatile in the way it can be prepared, served, cooked with and enjoyed,” states Edwards. “At our festival, we bring chefs into the various events to showcase how you can cook with tequila. Women are particularly interested in seeing all the different things they can do with tequila.”

March 2013 Bar Business Magazine


Tequila comes in many forms... Edwards adds women bartenders have been key in educating the consumer on the different aspects of tequila, and that there is “more than one good tequila” on the market. Thankfully, she’s observed women consumers have caught on quickly, and are now starting to actively seek out venues where they can try to learn something new, then pass it on to their friends. “What I am seeing in our festival’s fast five-year growth is that the demographics have shifted to where more women now attend than men,” says Edwards. “Women really want to know the details, especially through the education seminars and tastings we offer, which tells you a lot. Women are evolving into the market leaders.”

“I have found that introducing them to certain varieties of tequila and using fresh-made mixers and natural fruit juices helps me up my sales in favor of better tequilas,” she says. “Customers realize higher quality spirits taste better and mix more harmoniously with natural mixers. Furthermore, if you’re in a position of being an expert, and you recommend your customers try something new, they will.” Johanna Breelin, head bar manager for Tortilla Republic, West Hollywood, California, also thinks tequila tastings and flights help women consumers understand what makes certain tequilas “premium” or “artisanal.” Another key strategy involves training bar and restaurant staff to relay the message, history and culinary appeal of the spirits category. “We are working to educate our bar staff on the different brands and their spirits so they in turn can educate our customers on the aspects that makes one brand different from the next, and how aging brings out different flavor nuances of the tequilas,” Breelin concludes. “Introducing women to real tequilas through flights and tastings is one of the most satisfying aspects of the job. With the pure blue Weber agave tequilas made under rigorous standards, customers can taste the terroir or earth in them, the caramels, citrus and other natural flavors.”

A WomAn’s PlACe is Behind The BAr As Stevens, Bovis, Edwards and Fagan all point out, mixologists are at the frontline of the tequila conversation. And when the conversation is woman-towoman, the dialogue is bound to get interesting. “I lean towards trusting my judgment as a woman when working with woman customers,” says Lea Baffin, currently steering the beverage program of Sufi Mediterranean in Claremont, California. “One thing I know women worry about is calories and sugar. While some women think vodkas are lower in calories, the truth is most tequilas are lower in calories. Women are also more sophisticated and adventurous when they go out. This trend is in line with women going on more adventure-based vacations, expanding their palate into a greater range of ethnic cuisines and the like.” Baffin adds that as she gets requests for “something light” and “not spicy,” she steers less experienced customers toward reposado tequilas. She observes some customers who lean toward Patrón Silver don’t yet know the difference between anejo, reposado and silver/blanco and how aging imparts differences in flavor because they are so used to having tequila mixed in with other things. 40

Bar Business Magazine March 2013

A Tale of Two Titans


ver the course of 100 years, millions of weary New York City commuters have made their way through Grand Central Terminal heading to and from work. On many a night, the solace of a single cocktail served at Oyster Bar & Restaurant has been the saving grace for a salty worker on the way home, and just as many in need of a lunchtime pick-me-up. For more than three decades, those drinks have been served up by two gentlemen who take pride in their craft, but more so in their establishment. Few can say they have served behind the bar for 30-plus years, so we honor two who can.

Alex Dimitropoulos: Saloon’s Lieutenant for 35 years Commands Bar with Military Precision Going from the equivalent of a second lieutenant in Greece’s army to bartender is one of the most unlikely career paths anyone can take. Unless, of course, you’re Alex Dimitropoulos. The Oyster Bar’s 65-year-old bartender, a fixture in the Saloon for the past 35 of the Grand Central Station landmark restaurant’s 100 years of existence, wouldn’t have it any other way. 42

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Though he commands his station with military precision, filling drink orders and commanding his assistants to accommodate the lunchtime throngs that ring his bar, Dimitropoulos displays a rather nonmilitaristic character as he doles out advice and friendship to an ever-growing client list. “I tell people to try to be happy,” Dimitropoulos says. “Do everything in moderation. Basically, money doesn’t buy happiness.” His current status is quite a change from his earlier life. Before joining his parents here, Dimitropoulos served in the army of military dictator Georgios Papadopoulos from 1968 to his emigration in 1970. While rising to the rank of Silver Star (the rough equivalent of second lieutenant in the U.S.), he helped institute martial law and quelled the occasional citizen uprising. By 1970, however, he knew he’d had enough of Papadopoulos’ heavy-handed reign, and he came to America for a better life. “At that time, everything was big, and everyone had a curiosity about something different,” he says. “So I came to America.” That’s when his relationship with the Oyster Bar

Photos by Bryan Smith

As a landmark inside a landmark, the Oyster Bar & Restuarant is a renowned New York City watering hole found in the depths of bustling Grand Central Terminal. As this venerable venue celebrates 100 years in business, it honors two of its longtime bartenders, twin backbones of a great drinking institution. By Ernie Palladino

Photo by Tom Berg (left); Photo courtesy of Oyster Bar (right)

ALex dimitropouLos (Left) And mArceLLo hernAndez hAve A combined 65 yeArs of bArtending between them At the venerAbLe oyster bAr & restAurAnt in new york city.

started. He spent his first 15 years here as a waiter and substitute bartender. Eventually, he was offered a fulltime bartending spot in the bustling Saloon. And there he has stayed. No one on staff—be it bartender, waiter, cook, or manager—has been at the Oyster Bar longer than the diminutive, always-smiling Dimitropoulos. His stature there becomes obvious as out-of-town customers greet him by name and settle in for a drink and a sampling of the menu’s 30 types of oysters. When the Oyster Bar had to close down for 2 ½ months after a fire 12 years ago, he received sympathetic messages from a couple of regulars from Austria and Germany. “It was amazing to see the reaction from all around the world,” Dimitropoulos says. “This place has special memories for a lot of people. I get a lot of people who tell me they were here 30 years ago as a little kid with their father. That’s the best. They have so many memories.” Dimitropoulos has his own memories. Many a celebrity has passed his way for a plate of Blue Points (Long Island), Lady Chatterleys (Nova Scotia) or any other of the Oyster Bar’s raw selections, with a side of Grey Goose or Glenlivet. For a guy who hails from a small town like Amalias, Greece—a stone’s throw from legendary Olympia and just across the Ionian Sea from Sicily—it can all be overwhelming. He once met Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels, who hooked him up for a set visit to see how the show is put together and shot. There, he came to know the

late comedian Chris Farley, “A good guy, but a crazy guy,” Dimitropoulos says. The father-daughter team of Henry Fonda and Jane Fonda once gave him their autographs. Lucille Ball enjoyed his company in the days when oysters went for 28 cents each. Paul Newman dropped by more than once. Robert DiNiro and Martin Scorcese have graced his bar. But Dimitropoulos’ most vivid memory was that of the conversation he had with former New York Knicks star Bill Bradley. Dimitropoulos is a big Knicks fan, and he remembers well their championship team of 1969-70. “That was my favorite team,” he says. “Every one of them was very successful. Dick Barnett, the flamboyant (Walt) Clyde Frazier. Earl Monroe. Bill Bradley ran for president. I spoke to Bill Bradley a little bit, got some of his views. I told him I always loved the Knicks.” He is also big Mets fan, though he’s not particularly pleased with recent years. But even as he waits for the Mets to turn the corner, Dimitropoulos continues to serve his clientele. He shows no signs of slowing down with the 100th anniversary celebration of the Oyster Bar, where he’ll keep pushing the drinks, as well as the menu. A fan of oysters himself (he favors sweet over savory) he makes sure his customers know the enjoyment one gets from sucking down a luscious bi-valve with cocktail sauce and a dash of lemon. “I love oysters,” he says. Dimitropoulos may have been a second lieutenant in the Greek Army, but he’s the major general of the Oyster Bar Saloon. And that isn’t about to change anytime soon. March 2013 Bar Business Magazine


mArCello hernAnDez: the oyster BAr’s DoCtor of mixology Patrons of the Oyster Bar’s lounge know that when Marcello Hernandez takes his place behind the bar, the doctor is definitely in: Doctor of mixology as well as doctor of advice to psychologists, cardiologists, celebrities, and common folk alike. And if you ask him nice enough, he’ll even do your taxes. Only at the Oyster Bar, celebrating its 100th year, can one find a bartender with as diverse and sunny a personality as Hernandez. “I think I’m the only bartender in the United States that can do taxes,” Hernandez says, a huge grin creasing his face. “I studied tax law. I do several people’s taxes. It’s not my forte, but you can have a drink and have your taxes done right here. Somebody asked me if I did Bernie Madoff’s taxes. I had to say, ‘No, no. I didn’t do his taxes!’” Mostly, though, Hernandez doles out advice to anyone who might need a word of caution or comfort. “I’m Marcello, the doctor’s doctor,” he says. “I take care of doctors. You know, these are very important people. They can operate on your heart. And they come to me. They have a weak side. “About two weeks ago, I had this one guy who had one too many. He’s drunk. So I said, ‘Go home. Call it a day.’ And he said, ‘What, I can’t have another one?’ And I told him, ‘Remember, your doctor’s doctor is here now. I’m the doctor 44

Bar Business Magazine March 2013

here. Look, have you ever seen a bartender at a psychiatrist’s office. But how many psychiatrists wind up here?” A certain symmetry surrounds Hernandez’ life, all centering around his November 1st birthday. He landed in his adopted hometown of New York that same day in 1964, at age 20, and he started working at the Oyster Bar, in exactly the same spot he is now, 30 years ago on November 1, 1982. On top of that, his birthday falls on All Saints Day, wedged right between Halloween and All Souls Day. “If you didn’t know what a saint looks like, he’s supposed to look like this,” Hernandez said. “The 31st of October, I’d be a witch. November 1 is a very important day for me. The only difference is that I’ve stopped counting my birthdays now.” Well, not exactly. He counted them for us; 67 of them, making him the oldest employee at Grand Central Station’s landmark restaurant and gathering spot. Though he’s served the Oyster Bar the past 30 years, Hernandez came there as well-seasoned in bartending as the Bar’s fried Bluepoint oysters entrée. He’s actually poured drinks for 47 years, first for the New York Restaurant Association, which led him to legendary spots like the original Porta Del Sol, the Tower Suites, Top of the Sixes, and Mamma Leone’s. He even worked at the Playboy Club for a year. “I had a better body then,” Hernandez quips. “But I’ve been very happy here. My life is beautiful.” And interesting. He tended bar for the movers and shakers of New York City at Grand Central’s restoration

the oyster bar first opened its doors in 1913 on the lower level of grand central terminal. woodrow wilson was president, the united states was on the threshold of world war i, and prohibition was just six years away. its high, vaulted ceiling and architectural grandness from an age gone by makes it different from any venue in the world.

kickoff banquet hosted by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis at the Oyster Bar in 1978, the most concentrated gaggle of celebrities Hernandez has ever seen. But other luminaries from sports and Hollywood have also come to drink in his fiefdom. “The old-timers, I recognize them,” he says. “But I have trouble recognizing the new generation of stars. The last one I served was Harrison Ford.” He was simply last in a long line, however. The great Italian film star Marcello Mastroianni sat at his bar, as did the wonderful Mexican comedian Cantinflas. “I served him twice,” Hernandez says. “I had trouble getting his autograph because he was very introverted. He talked very, very soft. Same with Marlon Brando.” Though he’s lived in Jersey City for more than 40 years since moving from his original home in Brooklyn, Hernandez is as much a New Yorker as Mayor Mike Bloomberg. He’s grown up hard, following the Jets and Mets. “It hasn’t been easy,” he says. But he’s so proud of his adopted hometown that when somebody orders a batch of raw oysters from the bar’s 30-variety selection, he always makes sure to throw in a couple of Bluepoints or Hog Neck Bays from Long Island. “It’s just New York pride,” he says. “In a way, I feel like I’m part of New York City working here in this landmark.” One thing is for sure—when Hernandez stands behind his Oyster Bar Lounge bar, the “Doctor’s doctor” is definitely in.

A CentenniAl ChArDonnAy to CeleBrAte 100 yeArs The Grand Central Oyster Bar’s 100th Anniversary celebration will include a Centennial Chardonnay wine produced by Long Island’s Paumanok Vineyards which will be served throughout the year, exclusively at the Oyster Bar. The Grand Central Oyster Bar 100th Anniversary wine is based on the Paumanok 2012 Festival Chardonnay. Average fermentation temperature was kept cool, around 60º F. The wine was fermented entirely in stainless steel tanks to preserve varietal character. Malolactic fermentation was prevented. It was sealed with a screw cap to preserve freshness and cleanliness. It is light, dry, crisp and clean with refreshing aromas and flavors of apple, lemon, pineapple and stones. It offers crisp acidity and a medium length finish. Only 56 cases were bottled, and it is only available at Grand Central Oyster Bar. “Paumanok has been doing business with the Grand Central Oyster Bar for over 10 years,” says winemaker Kareem Massoud. “We are always pleased to see our wines poured there as they marry well with shellfish, especially oysters. So when the Grand Central Oyster Bar approached us about bottling their 100th Anniversary we felt honored to produce it for them.” March 2013 Bar Business Magazine


Facebook… or Face Time? Why Bar Business Relationships Take More Than “Friending” and Online Connections.


t’s official: Email, texting, and social media are no longer just helpful supplemental business tools. They’ve taken over the whole game. Yes, technology has made many aspects of modern living more convenient and “connected,” but the pendulum has swung too far. Now, people are reluctant to do something as simple as picking up the phone, preferring to shoot off an email instead. And face-to-face meetings—well, they’re almost unheard of.


Bar Business Magazine March 2013

This “technology takeover” is not without consequence. Misunderstandings abound. Relationships stagnate. Trust is at an all-time low. And all of these issues are at least partially due to the fact that genuine human connections have been replaced by mouse-clicks and keystrokes. Social media and technology do have their place, but they are not, and never will be, a substitute for in-person interaction. Your physical presence—or at least the

Top: Ryan DeBerardinis /

Technology has yielded some great communication tools, but they are not relationship builders, and an industry like ours will always have a heavy social and personal component. From the founders of Barefoot Wine, here are seven reasons why the personal touch will always be just as effective as pixels on a screen when it comes to building bar business relationships, be it with customers, vendors, or even your competitors. By Michael Houlihan

sound of your voice—builds trust you can’t even approach with a keyboard, screen, or profile image. Having bootstrapped a business from the ground up, I know what I’m talking about. Bonnie Harvey and I are the founders of Barefoot Cellars, the company that transformed the image of American wine from staid and unimaginative to fun, lighthearted, and hip. When we started our company in the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse, we knew almost nothing about winemaking or the wine business. I can’t tell you how many retailers, suppliers, and potential customers I visited in person during those early years. What I can tell you is that I would have never gotten satisfactory results if I had tried to build those relationships via email and social media. The Barefoot brand would never have become a national bestseller without meetings, phone calls, and recurring personal visits that kept relationships all over the country healthy and up-to-date. Remember: People don’t just buy your product; they buy you. I worry that young people’s dependence on virtual communication has stunted the social skills they’ll need to attract customers. Through no fault of their own, they have inherited a world that provides a comfortable firewall insulating them from personal rejection—one in which they simply don’t have to communicate in real time. (Could you learn to walk if you were handed a crutch at birth?) Of course, in a global economy, face-to-face meetings are expensive. When clients, vendors, and even employees are on the other side of the world, it’s not economically feasible to hop on a plane every time a meeting is needed. In these cases, Skype is the next best thing to being there. Live video streams allow you to do just about everything short of shaking hands. I have begun to use Skype frequently in my own business dealings. I love that I can make eye contact with someone who is sitting on the opposite side of the country. We accomplish so much more when we become more than “just” an email address or a disembodied voice to one another. If you make the time necessary for personal meetings—if not in person, then via Skype or, at the very least, on the phone—others will not only remember you, but they will appreciate the effort you put forth. Read on for seven specific advantages of real-time, in-person, face-to-face relationship building: 1) The time investment shows you really care. It’s a fairly universal truth that human beings want to be valued and appreciated. Spending time with someone else, whether that’s in person, face-to-face on a computer screen, or, if all else fails, via a phone call, is one of the best ways to convey these things. In essence, an investment of time says, “While there are many other

“I worry that people’s dependence on virtual communications has stunted the social skills they’ll need to attract customers into their bar or club.” things I could be doing, I’m choosing to spend my time with you. That’s how important I think you are.” Minutes and hours spent with another person have the power to create a bond that money can’t buy. When you spend time with others, you find out what you truly have in common and you have an opportunity to share your opinions. Plus, visiting someone repeatedly over a period of time can also provide valuable nonverbal clues to his or her values and concerns. In my own experience, I have been amazed by how helpful it can be to travel with someone, whether it’s a colleague or client. On any trip there will probably be instances that cause stress and anxiety, which presents an opportunity for both of you to see how the other handles a variety of situations and to learn to work together more effectively. 2) You’re better able to give personalized attention. This is perhaps the biggest key to successfully establishing any long-term business relationship. Think about it: It’s hard to multi-task on something unrelated when someone is physically planted in front of you, demanding your attention. Unless you have no problem with blatant rudeness, you’re focusing on the other person, responding not only to what they say, but also to March 2013 Bar Business Magazine


their mood, movements, and many other non-verbal signals. You will read these signs and adjust your behavior accordingly. Letters on a screen can’t compete with the personal touch. In my experience, when you use someone’s name along with eye contact and an attentive demeanor, they’re more likely to be agreeable and to give you the benefit of the doubt. They know that your time is valuable and that you chose to give it to them. The next time they see you, they will be more relaxed and familiar in your company. And the more visits you have, the more your relationship with that individual strengthens. Trust me, people want to do business with people they know. You can get to know them much better off-screen. 3) You’re more effective in general. When you’re talking to someone else in real time, you can make progress in real time and solve problems in real time. (Believe it or not, lobbing emails back and forth isn’t always the most efficient method.) Thanks to facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice (see below for more information on each), you’ll usually find out more than just the basics when you have a verbal conversation. In fact, if you’re really observant, you may notice things about the other company or clients that they themselves aren’t even aware of. Always meet in person if you can. When an important client or critical team member is on the other side of the globe, a face-to-face meeting once or twice a year can often be a smart investment. The rest of the time, if your communication is anything beyond a simple FYI, be sure to Skype or call. 4) Facial expressions help get your message across. Did you know that the human face has at least 20 muscles that work in concert to create a myriad of telling facial expressions? When you put it that way, the process sounds complex, but amazingly (as you know) we don’t have to consciously think about forming those expressions at all. This is a powerful argument for face48

Bar Business Magazine March 2013

to-face meetings, whether they’re in person or via Skype. Observing those expressions during verbal communication can give you instant feedback about how your message is being received. You can quickly adjust your message on the spot to make it more meaningful or agreeable, and avoid possible misunderstandings. Facial expressions are also an invaluable way through which to express sincerity, interest, curiosity, happiness, and more. 5) . . . So does your body language. Unlike looking at a posed profile shot or any still image sent over email, being face-to-face with another person gives you the opportunity to see the other person’s dynamic reaction and make adjustments to your own message. Real-time body language provides tons of non-verbal cues that are impossible to convey in a text or email. As humans and social animals, we are naturally wired to get this feedback instantly. We’re also

equipped to share our own feelings and attitudes through the way we stand, sit, gesture, and more. It’s a good idea to spend a little time learning the basics of body language. For instance, if you know that hands in one’s pockets indicate boredom or disinterest, whereas leaning slightly forward indicates interest, you’ll be able to respond more accurately to others and avoid sending messages you don’t mean to. 6) . . . And so does your tonality. It’s happened to everyone: You send an email that’s laced with sarcasm or humor…which the recipient totally fails to pick up on. Oops! Now you’re left frantically doing damage control. That’s one major reason why texting, emailing, and “friending” can be great ways to communicate while failing to succeed at relationship building. When spoken, the same words used in a text or email can have a very different meaning based on the tone, inflection, and the emphasis that the speaker gives. It’s much easier to “get” intentions behind the

spoken word. And if the other person sounds reluctant, uncomfortable, or guarded, for instance, you can take advantage of the opportunity to ask why and discuss ideas that might never have been brought forward over email. So the next time you find your mouse hovering over the “compose” button, think about reaching for your phone instead. 7. Your vulnerability shows (and that’s a good thing!). In the virtual world, you can almost totally control the image you show to other people. You choose the pictures you post on your profile. You censor the information you do and don’t want to share in your messages, posts, and updates. And usually, you can think about and edit what you want to say before pressing “send.” But in a realtime, face-to-face relationship, the other person can see you in 3-D and observe your dynamic, spontaneous behavior, including tone of voice, expression, dress, and body language. The other party sees your human imperfections and is aware that you are vulnerable to potential personal rejection. Imperfections and vulnerability make you appear more believable and sincere. Most people will overlook minor foibles in appearance and speech because you are literally there for them. It’s special. This can be a big advantage in the long run. And in the short run, you take precedence over all their virtual relationships. Despite my belief that people want in-person attention, Barefoot didn’t avoid technology as it developed—far from it. What’s important is to use these tools appropriately and not let them become crutches. A relationship can start through text, email, or social media; in fact, I encourage entrepreneurs and other businesspeople to utilize those resources. But in order to be lasting and dependable, a relationship has to grow in person. Yes, developing your face-to-face social skills will make you feel vulnerable at times. As is the case with learning to walk, though, feeling vulnerable is why we get so good at it. Like any skill, becoming

personable takes practice. A good way to start is to eliminate virtual communication when in-person communication is possible or more effective. So shake hands and come out a winner. Remember, genuine, lasting, and dependable relationships take time and physical presence. High touch beats high tech every time. Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey, authors of The Barefoot

Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built a Bestselling Wine, started the Barefoot Wine brand in their laundry room in 1986, made it a nationwide bestseller, and successfully sold the brand to E&J Gallo in 2005. Starting with virtually no money and no wine experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles and create new markets. To learn more, visit

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March 2013 Bar Business Magazine




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Do You Crave What ICrave? At the newly opened Sound Nightclub in L.A., New York-based ICRAVE design and branding firm took a “black box” theater concept and created a completely interactive, projection mapped environment. By Chris Ytuarte Soak it all in.


os Angelinos are a tough crowd to wow, and it takes something pretty amazing to dazzle such a jaded set. so when opening a new nightclub in a space that is otherwise unremarkable, your design team must be willing to take chances. such is the case with the emergence of sound nightclub on north Las Palmas Avenue in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, which opened recently following what could aptly be described as an all-out assault on a pre-existing venue concept in order to transform it into something unique and amazing. this wild undertaking was spearheaded by a


Bar Business Magazine March 2013

design firm that, naturally, defines itself as “fearless.” Internationally renowned, ICrAVe ( is a new york City-based experiential design firm with extensive experience in creating comprehensive, interactive environments. Helmed by Lionel ohayon, ICrAVe has worked with both Fortune 500 companies and innovative upstarts on projects around the globe, and was a driving factor in the repositioning of the Meatpacking District as a destination for commerce and nightlife in new york. It would take a similar type of aggressive approach to create the scene now found at sound nightclub.

“The materiality of everything was pretty crucial here.” “we have a pretty good relationship with the folks at sound, as we have done a few different projects with the owner, most recently Playhouse in LA, and he is a childhood friend of Lionel,” explains Gregory Merkel, senior Project Manager and ICrAVe Designer. “the design goal for sound was creating a fun, flexible, and exciting club for DJs and live music with a rock n’ roll gritty edge. we knew we wanted the space to feel like you were at a great rock concert of old, but with modern technology.” renowned for creating immersive, branded experiences, ICrAVe saw an opportunity to turn its client’s vision of a

“black box” theater into a completely interactive, projection mapped environment, that even includes re-salvaged crates from the Howard Hughes estate and redwood from Frank sinatra’s home. “the materiality of everything was pretty crucial here,” says Merkel. “obviously the shell of the space has the oldworld aesthetic that we were going for, but introducing a big white glowing object or surface into the space would have really of felt out of place and would have killed the vibe. so we created a feature in the space that doubles as a projection surface and a three dimensional dance platform/scaffold, March 2013 Bar Business Magazine




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“The Real creativity is in laying out spaces.”

and skinned it in an industrial metal mesh screen. this allows the projection light (as well as the sightlines) to bleed through the mesh and create slivers and remnants of the projected image on the walls and floor throughout the space, creating this layering of technology and history that we were looking for.” ICrAVe’s concept resulted in one of the most exciting nightclubs to hit L.A., the ultimate mash-up of old school rock n’roll and cutting edge technology. By accentuating the building’s existing structure, and incorporating materials like charred redwood and custom Caravaggio and Bosch paintings printed on canvas, burlap and suede, the space gives the impression of a burnt out baroque warehouse- with the most innovative sound system on Hollywood Boulevard. “sound has an amazing sound and lighting system, and it looks amazing; but we at ICrAVe always say that our real creativity is done in laying spaces out for people to interact with one another and have an amazing time,” Merkel emphasizes. “we definitely want our places to look great, but in the end, how the space is wrapped doesn’t matter as much as the party that is going on immediately around you. so we spend a lot of time making sure that sightlines are great, you have good adjacencies with other groups, and you are always looking at someone or something through a screen or space. our innovation here is creating a space that feels like

a club with different rooms, looks, and feels while still feeling like a large warehouse party.” In creating that space and that feel, however, the ICrAVe team did face challenges in working with a somewhat limited space. “the layout was the trickiest part of the project for a couple of reasons,” says, Merkel. “First of which is the fact that the space is long and narrow (by club standards). Playhouse is a very similar footprint and we knew we wanted a totally different experience, which is why we ended up with the DJ booth in the center of the room as opposed to being at the end of a long room (like Playhouse). there is also an area at the far end of the dance floor that has removable seating and it can be converted to a stage for live music. secondly,

“A huge challenge in creating an impressive AV experience is NOT letting it dominate the space.” 52

Bar Business Magazine March 2013

SOUND features a state-of-the-art AV system and classic analog light shows. we also knew we wanted a sunken dance floor and raised seating and bars around the edges. we were originally raising the areas we wanted raised, which proved problematic, so we ended up digging out and sinking the entire dance floor which gave us the sightlines we wanted with a little more work involved.” the interactive nature of the new venue is a key part of its appeal to LA party-goers who are notoriously tough to please. “the DJ and LJ (light jockey) can read the crowd and completely change the tone and feeling of the space through light to lead the crowd on a journey,” explains Merkel. “while there is a ton of technology in the space, we didn’t want it to feel like tron; it is more of a Blade runner-type space where there is technology as a layer on history. the costume-cladMad-Max-esque dancers make it pretty interactive as well.” the space features a state of the art AV system, classic analog light shows, and a custom projection system that displays content in cages that run along the dance floor. the ever-changing content of the projection offers guests a different visual experience every night. “obviously a huge challenge in creating an impressive AV experience is not letting it dominate the space, which detracts from the overall vibe of a space,” says Merkel. “you want it to seem effortless and natural, and you want any system to allow for it to go from an early-night mood-setter to completely going off at the right moment, and back again. we always call tV’s in spaces ‘fun vortexes’—if you have a tV playing a movie or something in a club everyone will end up watching the movie and not interacting with one another. An AV system that dominates a space can end up being a fun vortex if left unchecked, or if left in the wrong hands.” sound nightclub marks a return to the industrial rock n’ roll warehouse party, mashed Sound is a return up with cutting edge technology and audio features that set the to the industrial bar for music driven nightclubs rock n’ roll of the future. the challenges of creating a projection-based warehouse party.

environment to accentuate that cutting edge demanded the ICrAVe team work with some of the best A/V experts in the business. “steve at sJ Lighting and Vello at V squared labs were really responsible for the projection features in the space,” acknowledges Merkel. “we designed the space to be an immersive projection environment, and for a while it was looking like it would be cost prohibitive to be able to achieve this. But we didn’t give up and were able to find a projector that was only on the market for a couple months that was affordable and really high quality. It was important for us to achieve the general look that we were going for with the lights and projection, but to do it a smart and efficient way. so now on the dance floor you are wrapped in an almost completely 360° projection surface that creates an amazing backdrop to the night.” In the end, the dynamic design firm from new york City created for its Los Angeles nightlife brethren a remarkable and unique venue perfectly suited for the west Coast party people. thousands of miles away from the completed project, what does Merkel think of sound nightclub now? “From what we hear, it’s an amazing place to party.”

March 2013 Bar Business Magazine


Inventory Napa Technology Introduces WineStation® 3.0

Soon-to-be Coveted Bulleit® 10 Arrives

Napa Technology, creator of the WineStation intelligent wine dispensing and preservation system, announced its latest model, the WineStation 3.0. Designed and manufactured in California, the redesign includes hardware and software innovations derived from consumer research and operator feedback. Key improvements in WineStation 3.0 include Larger Display Window. Solicited feedback from restaurateurs prompted Napa Technology to increase the size of the WineStation display window that showcases the wines. The new display window is 30 percent larger, which allows servers and customers to more easily see what wines are offered and creates an effective visual sales cue. Customizable LCD screens are another improvement based on marketplace observation. Napa Technology’s mission is to develop technology that makes wine more accessible to consumers and provide tools to operators that make their businesses more profitable and efficient. For more information on the Napa Technology WineStation visit

As the renaissance of American whiskey endures, the category continues to expand and diversify. Perhaps no other bourbon has captured the palates of whiskey enthusiasts and the imagination of mixologists quite like Bulleit® Bourbon. With an undeterred passion for excellent whiskey, Tom Bulleit, founder of one of America’s fastest growing small batch whiskies, officially announced today the availability of his selected reserve – Bulleit 10 Years Old. Aged in charred American white oak, a select number of Bulleit Bourbon barrels were set aside to age for ten years to see how the already awardwinning bourbon would develop. Bulleit distillers were thrilled to find that the additional years resulted in a special expression of Bulleit Bourbon that provides a rich, deep, incredibly smooth sipping experience that maintains the inherent character and high rye content for which the Bulleit brand is best known. Please visit or to learn more.

Phillips Distilling Debuts UV Candy Bar Vodka Phillips Distilling Company recently unveiled the world’s first candy bar flavored vodka, UV Candy Bar. Infused with all-natural milk chocolate, velvety caramel and peanut butter flavors, UV Candy Bar is a sippable sweet indulgence. New to shelves in 2013, UV Candy Bar is the 17th flavor in the growing UV Vodka flavor portfolio. Sales of UV Vodka’s wildly successful dessert flavored category, including UV Cake, UV Chocolate Cake and UV Whipped, have increased 81 percent over the last year. UV Candy Bar provides consumers with a one-of-a-kind flavor profile, bold, unique and sweet. The brand won a double gold medal at the 2012 WSWA Wine & Spirits Tasting Competition and scored 93 points at The 2012 Ultimate Spirits Challenge. UV Vodka is distilled four times for premium quality and activated carbon filtered to ensure the highest level of purity and the perfect pH balance. For more information, visit 54

Bar Business Magazine March 2013

Cork Pops Keep Wine Optimally Chilled Any wine lover who has taken a sip of their favorite white wine only to be greeted by the lukewarm flavor of once-crisp Chardonnay knows how disappointing that experience can be. Cork Pops, a pioneer in the wine accessories market, has just unveiled the VinOice, which is designed to keep such disappointment at bay. The innovative stainless chill rod which also contains a drip-free pouring spout makes serving perfectly chilled wine faster, easier and more enjoyable. Attractively priced at $28 and perfect for chilling both red and white wine, the vinOice is sure to be on everyone’s must-have holiday gift list this season. The vinOice, the latest innovation from Cork Pops, was designed to overcome this obstacle. The concept behind vinOice is simple – a rod containing a food safe gel that freezes in 30 minutes is encased in stainless steel and comes with a sleek drip-free pour spout. The vinOice is simply chilled in the freezer until required and then inserted into the neck of the wine bottle. It then maintains the wine’s ideally chilled temperature for up to an hour. Learn more at

Mount Gay Rum Celebrates 310 Years Mount Gay Rum, known as the “Rum that invented Rum,” has announced the launch of Mount Gay Black Barrel in the U.S. market, a new marque proudly released in celebration of the brand’s 310th anniversary. With select availability nationwide beginning in April, Black Barrel reinforces the brand’s craft, refinement, and unparalleled excellence since 1703. Mount Gay Black Barrel boasts double pot distillation and maturing in bourbon oak barrels which are combined with the harmonious blending orchestrated by the Master Blender to create an outstanding rum. All Mount Gay rums are made from a blend of single column and double copper pot distillates and matured in toasted oak barrels. Black Barrel has a higher proportion of double distillates and, after hand selection by Master Blender Allen Smith, Black Barrel is the only marque finished in charred bourbon oak barrels. For more information visit and

Newcastle Re-releases Limited Edition Founders' Ale Newcastle Brown Ale has re-released its Limited Edition brew, Founders’ Ale. Available nationwide from February through April 2013, Newcastle Founders’ Ale is a classic British pale ale that pays tribute to the brand’s founder, Colonel Jim Porter. “Colonel Porter took three years to perfect the original Newcastle Brown Ale recipe we still use today,” said Charles van Es, brand director Newcastle Brown Ale. “That commitment to perfection deserves recognition, and that is why a mere 85 years later we developed a brew in his honor. Newcastle Founders’ Ale is pale, dry and English – much like Porter – and we couldn’t think of a better way to honor his legacy than with this Limited Edition beer.” Offering a balance of dry hoppy flavors and roasted caramel aromas, Founders’ Ale has an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 4.8 percent with 26 International Bittering Units (IBUs). Newcastle Founders’ Ale is available in 6-pack and 12-pack bottles priced comparably to Newcastle Brown Ale. Founders’ Ale will also be available on draught at fine pubs in select markets. For more information, please visit or www.facebook. com/newcastle.

Vektor Vodka Announces Official U.S. Launch

New Blendtec® Stealth® Blender Hits the Market

Native Spirits Limited will introduce its new award-winning, ultra-premium Russian vodka, Vektor Vodka, at their official public launch party on Saturday, February 23rd at W Scottsdale located at 7277 East Camelback Road in Scottsdale, Arizona. Guests are invited to mix and mingle as they are introduced to the 7-time distilled premium vodka. The faceted white flint glass bottle with a patented gold Vektor “V” will be featured at all tables for the ultimate bottle service experience. Additionally, Vektor’s promotional modeling group, the Vektor Vixens, will be in attendance to represent the brand. National recording artist and W Scottsdale monthly resident artist, Kelley James will entertain the crowd with his captivating collection of acoustic guitar, hip-hop beats, thoughtful lyrics and freestyle flows. This will be James’ first performance back in Scottsdale following his sold out show at the 2013 Phoenix Open’s Birds Nest, when he opened for American rock band, O.A.R. Keep up-to-date with Vektor Vodka by visiting or by following the latest news on www. or

In 2012 Blendtec released its new Stealth blender to a limited number of test operations, declaring the Stealth as the quietest, most advanced commercial blender anywhere. After months of real-world operation and testing, Blendtec is pleased to announce that the Stealth has met or exceeded every expectation and is now available for full-scale distribution. The new blender, which will be on display at industry trade shows such as the NAFEM Show in Orlando, FL, gives foodservice professionals the best of both worlds: the strongest, most versatile blender on the market that can also be used in environments where sound is an important consideration. The Stealth blender offers new opportunities for eateries, cafés, coffee shops, and commercial kitchens everywhere, allowing them to expand their menus without disrupting their customers’ experience. The Stealth blender includes the latest proprietary sound-management and airflow innovations and offers a host of other advances never before seen in the commercial-blending marketplace.For more information go to, or call Blendtec directly at 800-748-5400.

March 2013 Bar Business Magazine


Inventory The New Touchless Hand-washing Solution

SMIRNOFF® Sorbet Lightens Things Up

Bradley Corporation announced nationwide availability for the company’s latest commercial hand-washing innovation— the Advocate® AV-Series Lavatory System. This sleek, “all-in-one” sink, faucet and dualsided hand dryer solution delivers the first U.S. made, completely touchless hand-washing experience for a more sustainable, clean and efficient lavatory environment. The Advocate AV-Series Lavatory System not only eliminates the need to touch a faucet, soap dispenser or hand dryer, but also the need for a person to move from sink to hand dryer with wet hands. The integrated, all-in-one solution not only delivers convenience and functionality, but ensures that water goes down the drain—not onto the floor. For more information, visit www.

SMIRNOFF® Sorbet Light begins with SMIRNOFF Vodka, the best-selling vodka in the world. The liquid is triple distilled for exceptional smoothness and ten times filtered in a unique process for supreme clarity. Bringing a new experience to the vodka category, SMIRNOFF Sorbet Light is infused with the natural flavoring of freshtasting berries, luscious mangos, juicy passion fruits and zesty lemons. The refreshing lightness of the sorbet-inspired variants and SMIRNOFF Vodka combine to make deliciously light cocktails, with each vodka specialty containing only 78 calories per 1.5 oz. serving. Visit for more information.

Keep Customers Cool with the Islander™

Take a Dip in the Creek

The new Port-A-Cool Islander™ is a commercialgrade portable evaporative cooling unit that lowers outdoor temperatures by as much as 30 degrees F. The Islander is uniquely designed to provide powerful centrifugal airflow that projects 360° of cooled air up to 14 feet. This revolutionary cooling unit utilizes highefficiency rigid cooling media called KÜÜL® pads to naturally cool spaces up to 600 square feet without refrigerants. Hospitality professionals can extend outdoor enjoyment with this effective, energy-efficient spot cooling unit. To learn more, check out islander.html.

Pernod Ricard USA announces the addition of Pike Creek Whisky to its leading portfolio of global whisky brands. Pike Creek is a uniquely crafted, small batch whisky, aged in American oak Bourbon barrels and finished in vintage Port barrels. Matured in warehouses in Pike Creek, Ontario, Canada, this distinctive whisky is influenced by nature and crafted by the elements of its birthplace. Making its debut in April 2013, Pike Creek will initially be launched at retail in WA, OR, ID, CO, TX, LA, GA, NC, NY and NH. Pike Creek is amber in color with hues of ruby red and has a nose with a complexity of sweet dried fruits, an underlying peppery spice and subtle toffee notes. Full and robust in body, Pike Creek gives a well-balanced blend of sweet port, dried fruits, vanilla and toffee palate with a pleasant port finish with lingering rye. Find out more at


Bar Business Magazine March 2013

Holiday Happenings

April 2013





April 9: Winston Churchill Day. This holiday celebrates the day Churchill was made an honorary U.S. citizen, posthumously, in 1963. The man loved his drink, and he also famously said this: “I may be drunk, miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly.” Raise a glass to this bar room poet tonight.

April 10: Golfer’s Day. Not gopher, golfer! (Required Caddyshack joke.) Honor this holiday by hosting a bar-sponsored golf tournament at a nearby public course, complete with custom t-shirts and a well-stocked bar at the 19th hole (and at the turnaround, if you really want to make an impression).

April 12: Russian Cosmonaut Day. Even though it’s the Iranians leading the charge in the space race these days with their impressive monkey launch, we can still honor our old Cold War foes on this day by serving up Cosmonaut cocktails: 2 parts Tang® 1 part vodka 3 crushed ice cubes Mix well and serve.

April 13: Scrabble Day. This holiday calls for a monumental bar room Scrabble tournament; of course only barrelevant words are acceptable in this tourney, with your manager as the final judge. Is ice scoop one word or two?



April 17: Pet Owners Independence Day. They might tighten their leash laws, or fine us for failing to pick up after our dogs, or they might ban our animals from their parks and trails . . . but they’ll never take OUR FREEDOM!!! (I have no idea what this means.)

April 23: World Laboratory Day. The laboratory—where mad scientists dwell. Tonight, your bar is the lab, your staff the mad scientists, and no one leaves until you create a brand new, amazing cocktail that has never been seen before by man. Have at it.


Bar Business Magazine March 2013

26 29 April 26: Richter Scale Day. This day honors the birth of the inventor of the Richter Scale, American seismologist Charles F. Richter, in 1900. For those of us outside of the California area, let’s celebrate by offering up some potent Earthquake cocktails: 3 parts absinthe 3 parts Cognac Mix in a wine goblet. Good luck.

April 29: Hairstyle Appreciation Day. On this day, which celebrates the uniqueness of hairstyles in general, award a free bar tab to the person with the most unusual hairstyle. If you advertise prior, you’ll see some funny attempts. If you make it spontaneous, you’ll see some great unintentional comedy. Win-win.

15 April 15: Patriot’s Day. In New York City bars, this is our favorite holiday of the year, because even in the middle of April, with no NFL football being played, we know that somehow the Giants will still win on Patriot’s Day.

30 April 30: National Honesty Day. “The drink you just ordered? It’s stupid. Try again.” Your bartenders’ favorite holiday.

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March 2013 Bar Business Magazine


Owning Up

All Hours of tHe DAy Always innovative, the Gerber Group recently launched the lCl, redefining the traditional hotel lobby bar with a new bar and kitchen concept that provides patrons fresh, local products morning, noon, and night, while creating a healthier revenue stream for the host Westin hotel. We spoke with Ceo scott Gerber about the inspiration behind the lCl and how healthy-minded party people influenced the idea. By Chris ytuarte

BB: What is the concept behind The LCL? GerBer: The LCL is basically the food and beverage outlet for an 800-room Westin hotel, and our concept was that we wanted to ramp-up the offering for the hotel guests as well as for locals. In a lot of hotel restaurants these days and for a long time, they just kind of sat dead and lost a lot of money. And we feel that people are drinking and dining very differently these days, probably much more casually. So what we developed is basically in the morning we have a grab-and-go program in addition to the traditional breakfast. We brought in Stumptown Coffee because we wanted to offer a better product. Starbucks is usually the vendor for Westins but we went to Stumptown Coffee because The LCL stands for ‘local,’ so we try to source local ingredients and Stumptown is roasted in Brooklyn. We also brought in Organic Avenue, which is a cold-pressed juice company, and they do everything from green juices like collards and kale, to carrot juice and all of our grapefruit and orange juice, lemon and lime juice, etc. A lot of people are into these fresh juices, and a lot of people are doing cleanses. So we have all of that as a grab-andgo offering in the morning, plus pastries from Balthazar. BB: And when the sun goes down? GerBer: For lunch and dinner is kind of amped up what we considered great bar food. We try to go organic wherever its feasible and we try to locally source our products as well. We’ve got everything from burgers to salads to fish. And we’ve taken our bar program a little bit further than what we would normally do and we’ve gone to a lot of organic vodkas, small-batch bourbons, and wherever we can get local stuff, whether it be upstate New York or Brooklyn. We’re carrying a lot of that small-batch stuff. We’re also taking those cold-press juices and those are the juices we’re using in cocktails. We always use fresh juice in all of our bars, but this is a little bit more refined in the way they process it with a cold press as opposed to putting it through a machine that grinds it like a typical juice. And we’re using some really great infused spirits and a lot of organic fresh ingredients, whether it be mint or basil or ginger or things like that. BB: Is there a health-conscious approach to The LCL? GerBer: Westin has a healthy slant to it as a brand, and their room service menu offers what they call ‘Super Foods.’ They also have a program that if you want to go and work out they can give you New Balance equipment. So they do have a healthy slant. And we wanted to make sure that the way we live and the way I travel, I like to have a healthy alternative. That


Bar Business Magazine March 2013

doesn’t mean I always want to eat healthy and not have a drink, because obviously I do. But there could be that day where I had a big night and the next morning I want to have a fresh pressed juice or a great cup of coffee. So we want to make sure we had the alternative. And it’s not that much more expensive to provide great product to hotel guests. So if our position was that you’re coming to the Westin in New York, why not have a better experience. And we’re not adjusting our prices upward because you don’t really have to. That’s a big differentiating factor. We do not run The LCL as a ‘hotel restaurant.’ Our coffee is $2.50 for a cup, which is the same thing you’re paying at Starbucks. We don’t have all those ridiculous fees like when you going into a hotel and there’s an 18% service charge and 10% delivery charge and all that. You’re coming in and it has New York pricing because the whole concept is that we want to be able to attract locals, especially for lunch and dinner and the bar business. Because if you’re coming from New York and you want to attract a hotel guest who wants that New York experience, the only way they’re going to get that is if you can attract locals. And if you price yourself out of the market and you become a hotel bar, you’re not going to get the locals. BB: How does this concept help the host hotel? GerBer: It’s a great offering because hotel restaurants often lose a ton of money, so we’re providing something for the hotel where we’re going to make money. But it’s also the kind of thing where the last thing you want to do is leave a bar at 2 a.m. and come back at 6 or 7 a.m. and you’re in the same place. So we’re able to kind of transform it where we’ve got screens that come down and hide all the liquor and it’s a very clean look and a modern space. So I think it changes very well from that night time bar to that morning and afternoon spot. And what’s really been great about it is that you don’t have the hotel restaurant that’s sitting there with nobody in it; or that hotel restaurant that’s only busy for breakfast and nobody goes for lunch or dinner. BB: Is The LCL concept part of the Gerber Group’s future? GerBer: I think it’s going to be another portion of our business. We’re still doing a lot of bars, but I think that what our hotel partners have asked of us is that they’re really pleased with the job we’ve been doing with the bars and the way we run our places and our standards. So they’ve basically said that if we can be a solution to them, they’re very excited about. So this is the first one we did in the Westin, this is the prototype, and so far it’s working out great. Their goal would be to roll this out. Our partners in the Westin host hotels owns a hotel and Starwood manages the hotel. So we’re looking at a lot of deals to roll this out with Westin and Starwood, but we’re also looking at many deals with hosts that own a bunch of hotels that can be managed by Hyatts or Marriotts, so we’re doing a lot of stuff with them as well under different hotel brands.

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Mar 2013 Bar Business Magazine  

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