Thursday, February 25, 2010

And We Are?

We are, in the simplest sense, your aspiring hosts.
The introductory post here gave you the basic rundown: three friends in Illinois with unrewarding jobs move to Seattle with aspirations of opening Their Own Thing. I don't feel I need to explain why we picked Seattle, needless to say it is an exponentially cooler place to live then anywhere in Illinois. However, why we think we can open and run a successful drinking establishment is a fair question. After all, every other person that's ever sat in a bar has had the thought to open up one of their own. What makes us any different from the rest of the barstool entrepreneurs out there?
That's a hard question to answer without coming off arrogant, so I'm not even going to try to avoid it. WE are the difference. The three of us have experience in several different areas of customer service, from retail sales to customer collections to yes, bartending. We know how to treat the people that do business with us, and we have the personalities and charisma necessary to keep them coming back. While that is arguably the easiest part of running a bar/tavern/what have you, all three of us also have the management experience on our resumes that has taught us how to actually RUN a business. The ability to each wear both hats simultaneously is probably our greatest strength.
At least that's what we're telling the investors. The very basic answer to that question is that we know how to have a good time, and we know how to guide others into a good time of their own. Chris and I both tended bar at the same place for a few months, and we more then doubled the business there without driving out any of the regulars. We have good tastes, and it helps in this business to be as genuinely likable as the three of us are. We understand that we're selling ourselves more then we're selling beer or wine, and we are extremely confident in our ability to do that.
When the doors finally open up, come on in and see for yourself. We'll be happy to have you.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Vision

So what's the plan? What's the bottom-line vision of the Bar That Will Be?

I'm glad you asked.

Think old-world meets modern amenities. Think wrought iron and dark wood punctuated by the occasional modern fixture. Dim blue wash lights on ten-foot burgundy walls. An environment that's intimate and secure, but not claustrophobic. Enough room to stretch out and meet new people, but enough privacy to create an evening dedicated to your friends, your date, or your happy hour set.

The pub will have a balancing act on its hands; on one side of the scale, it will be the quintessential neighborhood pub, where the bartenders remember you (and what you usually drink), where you develop a favorite seat, and where you remember exactly which corner you were sitting in when that thing happened that time.

At the same time, the quality of the experience - from the beverages and food items on offer to the atmosphere and attention to environmental detail - will be something just a little above the standard. No obnoxious logo glasses. No plastic cups - ever. Every pour a ritual - even if we don't beat you over the head with it. Every uncorking done with appropriate grace and technique. You show up and enjoy yourself, we'll do our job to excellence while never interrupting to remind you we're the experts. And when you bring your friends, we'll impress them when we welcome you by name and ask if you want the usual. Infectious Seattle grassroots populism meets decadent-but-accessible Chicago showmanship.

Their neon halo-crowned offspring? The Ankerhaus Pub.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

An Introduction

A while back, we (Chris, Jayk and Emily) had the idea to open a bar. This is clearly not a new idea; in fact, it's the kind of idea MANY people have had over the years, usually while sitting and drinking in somebody else's bar (as was the case for us). We were living in Illinois at the time, and life was not the sun-shiny dream that we were promised it would be after college. Chris was managing a movie theater, Jayk was working as a repo-man, and Emily was jockeying phones for a local hospital billing department.

But we wanted more. We had grown exhausted with the status quo and yearned for a change of scenery and a fresh start. We dreamed of pine trees, mountains, and water. We dreamed of Seattle. Chris and Emily made the Great Journey in the summer of 2007 (leaving a Plymouth Neon with a suddenly-faulty transmission in a junkyard in Billings, Montana in the process), and Jayk made the trip (in 36 hours, with Chris as his driving partner) the following year. We had arrived, and we were in love with this city immediately.

The story does not end there, however. As Masters of our own Destiny, we were deeply driven by the desire to Do it For Ourselves. We wanted to try to build a business of our own, based on our own thoughts and ideals. We wanted to build a business that values its employees as family, placing the their well-being above the financial bottom line, and never stooping to hurt them (the people it counts on) to snag a few extra dollars. A business that provides a fun, relaxed environment and a unique, personal experience for the customer - if they're choosing to spend their hard-earned money and their limited free time with us at our place, it's the least we can do.

Our vision is to provide patrons with an array of beers and wines, as well as a comfortable, classy place to congregate, whether that be with a partner, a group of friends, or even for a solo outing. A place where the staff takes an active interest in everyone who walks through the door, and makes it their priority to make each customer's experience memorable.

"Cheers" did it; why can't we?