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Absinthe Bar

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I just realized that you are from Sillycon Valley. I lived there for many years and saw all kinds of good businesses fold. Remember Mongo's downtown? Remember Zanato's grocery store? San Jose Live? I mean when a very nice grocery store goes out of business or a fantastic Mongolian stir fry restaurant in an area that would seem to be upscale, you know something is wrong.

 

If you can get a place in Los Gatos or Saratoga, some place like that, you will have a chance. You will have to go where the money is.

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This is very true. I'm getting together with a few of the owners of local wineries and wine bars and having tasting parties and telling them my idea. They all really enjoy the ritual and they were surprised that we are all Absinthe Snobs they way they are Wine Snobs. They are all giving me great tips and being really great supporters! I feel pretty confident with the help and suggestions from everyone here on the forums and the members of the community that I am speaking to that I can make this succeed! That and I'm stubborn and don't give up easily :cheers:

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Please everyone keep the input coming it only helps me more :cheers:

 

I'm not sure if this has been discussed in the thread as of yet, but I'm going to toss in a few random things I [a random consumer preparing for a night on the town] would love to experience if I ever went to an absinthe themed bar:

 

1. Outside seating (on a patio).

Even better if that patio is on the 2nd story of the building. Even better if it overlooks something interesting (like a crowded street, body of water, city skyline, etc).

 

2. Fancy finger-foods.

I imagine going to the absinthe bar to meet friends. We would inevitably do lots of chatting, and nibbling at whatever foods we were served. I would stock the kitchen with stuff that doesn't require an army of cooking staff or dishwashers--- perhaps sausages, cheeses, crackers, breads, fruits, nuts, etc. The kind of stuff one employee could cut with a knife, and arrange on a plate.

 

3. muted lighting and candles

I can imagine myself taking sips of absinthe, and that 110+ proof buzz starts setting in - I'd feel compelled to lean back in my chair and relax my eyes. Well.......I do this at home anyway hehe. Low lighting and candles are the perfect things for cultivating the right mindset.

 

4. Social games within hands reach (I'm not sure if this is the best term for it).

I mean the kind of stuff like chess, checkers, cards, etc.

 

 

Those are just random ideas. I don't know if they would conflict with the authentic Bella Epoque theme you were going for, but those are the kinds of things that would get me into your bar.

Edited by smug simian

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I agree with everything the self-satisfied monkey-man said, except maybe the checkers thing. To me, absinthe allows one to walk the fine line between buzz and conviviality, and the things he lays out in that post fit the bill perfectly.

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Please everyone keep the input coming it only helps me more :cheers:

 

I'm not sure if this has been discussed in the thread as of yet, but I'm going to toss in a few random things I [a random consumer preparing for a night on the town] would love to experience if I ever went to an absinthe themed bar:

 

1. Outside seating (on a patio).

Even better if that patio is on the 2nd story of the building. Even better if it overlooks something interesting (like a crowded street, body of water, city skyline, etc).

 

2. Fancy finger-foods.

I imagine going to the absinthe bar to meet friends. We would inevitably do lots of chatting, and nibbling at whatever foods we were served. I would stock the kitchen with stuff that doesn't require an army of cooking staff or dishwashers--- perhaps sausages, cheeses, crackers, breads, fruits, nuts, etc. The kind of stuff one employee could cut with a knife, and arrange on a plate.

 

3. muted lighting and candles

I can imagine myself taking sips of absinthe, and that 110+ proof buzz starts setting in - I'd feel compelled to lean back in my chair and relax my eyes. Well.......I do this at home anyway hehe. Low lighting and candles are the perfect things for cultivating the right mindset.

 

4. Social games within hands reach (I'm not sure if this is the best term for it).

I mean the kind of stuff like chess, checkers, cards, etc.

 

 

Those are just random ideas. I don't know if they would conflict with the authentic Bella Epoque theme you were going for, but those are the kinds of things that would get me into your bar.

 

Finger foods will be there defiantly will be creating a menu with the list of absinthe's and finger foods. I'll probably keep a few decks of cards around but no checkers maybe keep a chess set too. Outside setting is already being looked into as well. Since the bar will be Bella Epoque muted lighting will be key! :cheers:

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Please everyone keep the input coming it only helps me more :cheers:

 

I'm not sure if this has been discussed in the thread as of yet, but I'm going to toss in a few random things I [a random consumer preparing for a night on the town] would love to experience if I ever went to an absinthe themed bar:

 

1. Outside seating (on a patio).

Even better if that patio is on the 2nd story of the building. Even better if it overlooks something interesting (like a crowded street, body of water, city skyline, etc).

 

2. Fancy finger-foods.

I imagine going to the absinthe bar to meet friends. We would inevitably do lots of chatting, and nibbling at whatever foods we were served. I would stock the kitchen with stuff that doesn't require an army of cooking staff or dishwashers--- perhaps sausages, cheeses, crackers, breads, fruits, nuts, etc. The kind of stuff one employee could cut with a knife, and arrange on a plate.

 

3. muted lighting and candles

I can imagine myself taking sips of absinthe, and that 110+ proof buzz starts setting in - I'd feel compelled to lean back in my chair and relax my eyes. Well.......I do this at home anyway hehe. Low lighting and candles are the perfect things for cultivating the right mindset.

 

4. Social games within hands reach (I'm not sure if this is the best term for it).

I mean the kind of stuff like chess, checkers, cards, etc.

 

 

Those are just random ideas. I don't know if they would conflict with the authentic Bella Epoque theme you were going for, but those are the kinds of things that would get me into your bar.

 

Finger foods will be there defiantly will be creating a menu with the list of absinthe's and finger foods. I'll probably keep a few decks of cards around but no checkers maybe keep a chess set too. Outside setting is already being looked into as well. Since the bar will be Bella Epoque muted lighting will be key! :cheers:

 

 

 

good suggestions on the finger foods, much better than usual bar foods

 

I couldnt really see messy stuff like chicken wings and french fries going well with absinthe or in that bella epoque themed bar although theres nothing wrong with that stuff, but it sounds like you are going for a place with class and I dig that :thumbup:

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Snack foods that go well with absinthe? --- Good thought.

 

more suggestions? This is a complex taste to try to compliment.

 

 

.

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I'm thinking smoked oysters on crackers, raw oysters and cocktail sauce, shrimp and cocktail sauce, a large variety of cheeses and smoked meats for crackers. I am also tempted to add sliced fruit with either caramel or chocolate dipping sauce but I'm not too sure how that would carry over. Thoughts?

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I guess some of that sounds good. But I would think that some amazing fresh breads and artisanal cheeses would be out of this world, and wouldn't be an assault on the beverages (in the same way that I fear cocktail sauce might). Some fruits and nuts would be perfect too. Also, there are plenty of brilliantly simple and fresh finger foods, like julienned carrots splashed with a bit of lemon juice and a dash of salt.

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Mezethes.

 

Look to Greece. Ouzo is traditionally served with mezethes ("meh-zee-thees", singular meze) which are basically tapas, but Greek and designed to go with ouzo. Mostly savory, salty, spicy, richly flavored to stand up to the robust anise.

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So many ideas could be put into the place itself. Live entertainment area (and the choice of entertainment to be featured), high top tables, bar(s), open areas for mingling. Is the kitchen (or baking facility if there is one) going to be open for patrons to watch the cooks or closed out behind a door and out of sight.

 

Maybe themed gatherings and parties. Tastings of the latest released Absinthe to the market, private or public. Whether to charge cover or not.

 

Memberships and newsletter campaign with e-mail. Having copies of the pamphlet being created here for education on Absinthe. Start a web-site.

 

I know, most of these ideas are things you may have already concidered but I thought I'd list them.

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There are always things that I don't think of so please keep them coming! I don't mind if they might be something you think I have already thought of, because I am keeping a list of both new and old ideas! Thank you everyone for your input :cheers:

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Had to take a break from it to help the family. My parents both just had surgery and both just foreclosed on their home so I had to do all the moving for them. Santa Clara County is making things as hard as possible as well since we will need two different types of liquor licenses, and then a license to sell food, then one to have live music, and then another to have cd's or mp3's playing over a speaker setup, and then another for outdoor seating! Not to mention other other fees such as a one time "hook up" fee where we pay to have the location hooked into the town sewer system even if its already connected, along with a congestion fee for the added traffic we will be causing. I'm not too sure how they calculate all these things but it's pricey!

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Sorry to hear about the setbacks. And I thought New York was the capital of over-regulation. Best of luck with everything.

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And our politicians in Sacramento wonder why our small businesses are moving to other states :angry2:

 

Good luck with all the red tape, aside from all the garbage, it sounds like a fun endeavor!

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It is fun getting to know the ins and outs of how businesses operate in our state. It is not fun however coming up with the funding, but I have found some pretty good grants and loan systems out there so I just have to get the paperwork together and submit it.

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An update, for those interested, the city council decided against granting me the proper permits to open in Morgan Hill, because "This is not the type of establishment that we feel would be beneficial to our community." After a few phone calls I found out that I am more than welcome to open a wine bar or a a typical "dive" bar. The town already has three "dive" bars and a couple wine bars. I guess I am back to square one. A friend of mine who lives in San Francisco suggested I look up there for openings and talk to some people from the city. I am headed up on the 19th of this month to scout out the city and hopefully will be able to make some progress. I am pretty frustrated at this point. After months of work trying to get all the proper paper work and legal crap together I get shot down! :blowup:

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I wish you the best, man. The business you're trying to create is exactly the kind I'd like to frequent, and hopefully we (the people who would enjoy an absinthe bar) aren't too few and far apart to make such a venture profitable once the red tape is out of the way.

Edited by Ryan Winn (ubu)

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the city council decided against granting me the proper permits to open in Morgan Hill, because "This is not the type of establishment that we feel would be beneficial to our community."

 

It brings to mind P.J. O'Rourke's thoughts on government (and local government in particular), expressed in the final chapter of Parliament of Whores. Oh, well, it's not as though California needs any additional economic activity.

 

Seriously, though, good luck with your project.

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I would be curious if they could give you a logical reason why the community doesn't need that type of establishment when it does need "dive" bars. An absinthe bar would (in my opinion) be akin to a martini bar in that it would potentially bring in more upscale patrons - going on the assumtion of course that pricng would be higher than $3 happy hour pricing at the local hole in the wall.

 

Best of luck in your venture, and I hope to visit someday when you get past the BS of opening you doors! :cheers:

Edited by PTAaron

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The reason, quite clearly, is that they are misinformed. And it highlights that the mission of absinthe education is utterly important and still an uphill struggle. It's hard to pitch the idea of an absinthe bar to people who associate it with disreputable sorts.

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I believe Ron hit the nail on the head. Morgan Hill has a rather large Republican base (not saying Republicans are bad or trying to start some political talk) and typically they are not privy to change. I know it took almost a year for the local tattoo parlor to get city approval to open. I will keep searching and fighting the good fight. I too hope that one day all of us can get together for the grand opening and enjoy a nice l'heure verte on an outside patio.

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An update, for those interested, the city council decided against granting me the proper permits to open in Morgan Hill, because "This is not the type of establishment that we feel would be beneficial to our community." After a few phone calls I found out that I am more than welcome to open a wine bar or a a typical "dive" bar. The town already has three "dive" bars and a couple wine bars. I guess I am back to square one. A friend of mine who lives in San Francisco suggested I look up there for openings and talk to some people from the city. I am headed up on the 19th of this month to scout out the city and hopefully will be able to make some progress. I am pretty frustrated at this point. After months of work trying to get all the proper paper work and legal crap together I get shot down! :blowup:

 

 

I wonder if it's possible to move forward with your plans with the only compromise being the central theme for your bar. Instead of an "absinthe bar", you could propose an "upscale bar". The fact that the bar happens to have a Belle Époque theme and serve a massive variety of absinthe (bars can legally stock/sell absinthe right?) would be more of a side note to the upscale-experience being offered. That way, there would be very little change to your initial plans - besides maybe having to keep a shelf full of "normal" liquors along with your extensive absinthe section + glassware.

 

Also - if "dive" is simply an issue of nomenclature (meaning - dive just defines "non specific bar"), then it seems reasonable that you could propose creation of a dive, and build it upscale anyway to the specifications that you want.

Edited by smug simian

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Good idea smug! I never really thought about it that way. I'm still heading up to San Francisco on the 19th to see if I can spot anything suitable and if I do I'll probably go about calling it an "upscale bar" If nothing shows itself there I will try again in the original local with the "upscale bar" term used instead. Thanks for the tip!

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