So yes, that crossroads that I spoke of earlier.
There’s every chance that I may disclose too much on this blog, but hopefully I won’t get myself into too much trouble. (Probably difficult with a handful of subscribers, but I suppose I could be surprised)… I recently did some work with a bar and night club called Shortts and Crystal. The venue is run by a superb woman called Valerie – a straight down the line lady who judges everyone on their own merits. From the start I advised them to not open during the day (they don’t do food, would be a waste of time), don’t do live music (6 venues within spitting distance of them do live music, and most of them would do as much business, if not more without it), and finally to rename the bar “Shortts, cocktail and retro bar”.
In fairness to them, they listened, and as well as implementing some good quality service, and a nice cosmetic job on the venue itself, Waterford had a new night spot where the over 21s could go for an enjoyable night. We played 70s, 80s and 90s music and it went down very well. We launched a facebook and twitter and promos like “If you hear this song later, come up to the DJ and he’ll buy ya a drink” and “mention us on twitter and we’ll get ya a drink”. The DJ had a computer and smartphone (very often myself) and all the promotions were live and worked very well. The crowd were excellent and plentiful. But something changed. There were 2 main owners of the bar and 2 smaller players…after a quick walk about town they decided that they could be doing better, and playing chart music would do that. They then decided that they wanted to go, aggressively, after the students. I urged them not to…many bars and clubs before had tried and had their hearts broken by students. They’re not loyal, and even if you fill your venue with them, most have no money and you don’t see them til about 1am. They then proceed, some of them, to treat your venue with utter contempt and disrespect. It will soon cost you money opening the doors to students. Shortts and Crystal hired to PR people to help them with their student campaign, and I moved on.
I have a fundamental rule when it comes to running a bar in waterford. Continuity and Consistency. If your customers don’t know what’s going on in your premises day to day and week to week..then you can’t expect them to stay loyal to you. Look at the bars in waterford that can be called success stories (past and present) Geoffs, Kazbar, Ruby Lounge, Muldoons, Front Lounge, and the bars in ballybricken. What do these venues have in common? They set out their stall from the beginning, made moderate changes and additions along the way, but kept their soul and target audience intact. And they do(did) very well as a result.
Anyway, I’m moving off track a little. I moved on from Shortts and Crystal out of principle but there was no ill will and no bridges burnt. As i said, they are some great people, and I wish them every success in the future.
I have started work on a new premises in the city, but I’m not quite ready to talk about that yet. There is no deal in place and it go either way really.
The reason I’m at a cross roads is because there’s no regular wage coming in. I can design, I can promote and I can market…but I haven’t found my home yet. In the meantime though i am doing some volunteer work for The Imagine Arts Festival and radio station Zenith. More info about this in future blogs.