Vinyl Bars/Audiophile Bars/Japanese Jazz Cafe's

Rensselaer

VIP/Donor
Mar 23, 2021
121
62
170
66
Have any of you built and/or run a Vinyl Bar?

I have read about Japanese Jazz Bar's/Cafe's in the past and been quite interested in knowing more about them. In my own country (England) there are few examples:

1. Brilliant Corners, London: DJ plays Vinyl and Valves through Klipschorns, new stuff mostly but Sundays are for CSN&Y or similar, with sushi restaurant and organic wine too.
2. Spiritland, London: high class music-led cafe', restaurant and bar, great sound system, also radio station.
3. 33 Oldham Street, Manchester: Don't know much, small place influenced by the Japanese Jazz Cafe.
4. Nam, Manchester: apparently built by guys who built Brilliant Corners, Klipschorns again but this time Vietnamese restaurant.
5. Behind this Wall, London: Basement bar with plywood seating and local photographers' photos on the walls.

I was thinking a self-service wine bar where glass is put under wine you would like in the dispenser, choose 1/3, 1/2 or full measure, swipe your card and get your wine. Snacks by sub-contract (they clear tables and wash glasses too), somewhere in Norwich England. I would be willing to donate all or part of my system and analogue records to be a junior partner with certain benefits, but would need someone else with the money and experience to make it happen.
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
13,321
3,913
763
E. England
It's a nice idea. I'm a (post?) Covid world, some new ideas on traditional experiences would be welcome.
 

Solypsa

Well-Known Member
Jun 7, 2017
877
544
190
Seattle
www.solypsa.com
a few things I noticed when I visited my friend in Osaka last:

Cool audio gear can be seen in coffee shops, record stores, restaurants and stacked up in the thrift shops - people are into it on a level I have not seen anywhere else ( iow not just for audiophiles) Just something I noted.

Not sure making money is much of a consideration for most of these bars- at least in Japan.

They have been using vending machines to order food and drink for long. still people involved but money is separated.

I hope you do it and have fun too. Not sure about UK but I know from experience that bars and restaurants can be financially difficult endeavors here in the US. Not to be a downer but efficiency means busy...kinda not the jazz bar vibe.

All that said I love it!
 

Rensselaer

VIP/Donor
Mar 23, 2021
121
62
170
66
Have any of you built and/or run a Vinyl Bar?

I have read about Japanese Jazz Bar's/Cafe's in the past and been quite interested in knowing more about them. In my own country (England) there are few examples:

1. Brilliant Corners, London: DJ plays Vinyl and Valves through Klipschorns, new stuff mostly but Sundays are for CSN&Y or similar, with sushi restaurant and organic wine too.
2. Spiritland, London: high class music-led cafe', restaurant and bar, great sound system, also radio station.
3. 33 Oldham Street, Manchester: Don't know much, small place influenced by the Japanese Jazz Cafe.
4. Nam, Manchester: apparently built by guys who built Brilliant Corners, Klipschorns again but this time Vietnamese restaurant.
5. Behind this Wall, London: Basement bar with plywood seating and local photographers' photos on the walls.

I was thinking a self-service wine bar where glass is put under wine you would like in the dispenser, choose 1/3, 1/2 or full measure, swipe your card and get your wine. Snacks by sub-contract (they clear tables and wash glasses too), somewhere in Norwich England. I would be willing to donate all or part of my system and analogue records to be a junior partner with certain benefits, but would need someone else with the money and experience to make it happen.
My hope was to get a specific wine vendor here in the UK, who sells wine on line and from warehouses where customers can taste different wines and get information from the salesperson, to sponsor this endeavour. They have not responded to my two enquiries yet, outlook dim.

I had hoped that the wine vendor would see value if they provided the venue, a manager to hand out charge cards (they are used to get different sized measures of wine from self-serve dispensers on the wall, and could also have charges for food provided by sub-contracted group who provide the food, clear dishes and glasses and clean the place at the end of the day). The customer submits their card for tally up and payment as they leave.

The manager would select/rotate the wines to be placed in the dispensers, make out sheets with all the wines listed so customers could keep wine tasting notes. At the bottom would be the addresses where the customer could later buy the wines (at one of their warehouse retail shops or on-line).

I would volunteer my own Hi Fi equipment and records, help with the set up and would play music over it afternoons and evenings at first (they would have to finance moving and set up expenses, and a pair of Altec speakers (or similar) as mine are not full frequency and do not have that vintage sound, nor could they play realistic levels in a large venue. This would be for a fee at first, then, if it works out, I could sell them my stuff and let them put their own audiophile in to choose and play records.

In addition to those set up in the UK (see above), I have also read (on line in LA Times, and The New York Times) about "In Sheep's Clothing" and the "Gold Line" in Los Angeles, and about others (Bar Shiru, Oakland; Public Records, Brooklyn; and Studio Eksotika, Bali) from assorted articles on-line (the vinyl factory, Vox Media, Bloomberg, The Independent) and found that those that play pure analogue records (one side, or both all the way through) using top quality valve-amplification and vintage speakers, get a more appreciative (read more quiet) clientele, while those who run DJs playing their own digital stuff get background noisy musak in their restaurants, bars. The first provides the youth of today with something they probably have never heard before, holographic presence with like live tone of great musicians who are no longer with us. The second provides what they already hear on their iPhones through earbuds, but just louder.
 

wbass

Member
Jul 12, 2020
84
35
23
42
I've not been to Japan, but I'm quite interested in the Kissa scene and hope to check it out some time. That would be a really fun way to see Tokyo.

I've been to Gold Line in LA and Public Records in Brooklyn. Both are really fun and have impressive walls of LPs. The vibe is DJ-centric--and both usually have DJs spinning--but not dance-oriented that I saw (not enough space). You'll hear interesting stuff there--obscure disco, tropicalia, soul, etc--but I don't think they're spinning jazz all that often. They're night-life oriented. Also, both are long narrow rooms with the speakers set up on the long side, so despite good vinyl and big speakers, it's not really a hi-fi experience. Definitely better than most bars, but I didn't perceive that many (or anyone) was there for serious listening.

That said, both are fun, and I enjoyed hanging out at both a lot. The DJs spun some awesome stuff.

Sheep's Clothing is gone now and has turned into more of a listening night. I can say more about that if you like.

There's a new mid/high-end restaurant in the Chicago Loop, the Exchange, that has Harbeths in a space explicitly called the Listening Room. https://www.thexchangechicago.com/location/the-exchange-listening-room/

I've not been able to get there yet, but my guess, based on photos and the set up of the speakers, is that the listening aspect is more just a way to differentiate the space from a hundred others like it. I don't think I've ever been to a bar in the US or the UK where people will sit in silence and just listen. Hell, that's supposed to be the policy at the Green Mill (well-known Chicago jazz club) and hardly anyone does, though it depends on the night.

Anyway, my takeaway from this is that the draw in the places mentioned above is really vinyl and not so much hi-fi. Records are cool and vibe-y, and they help give your space a bit of hipster cache. But I could be wrong about that.

I wonder if the Tokyo kissa scene is driven by the small size of most apartments there and the fact that few people can enjoy larger speakers at home.

Anyway, I'm all for the idea of good cafes that have great systems and lots of records. I don't know if I, personally, want to sit in silence and just listen in such a space. I'd rather talk and hang out.

Having known a few folks in the bar business, I do know that it's incredibly difficult, especially in a city of any size, and that the cost of entry can be huge--hundreds of thousands in USD--and fiendishly competitive. To my mind, the cost of getting a hi-fi system installed would be dwarfed by the set-up cost of everything else.

Finally, just a bit of feedback about the automatic dispensing wine machines...

I've seen a bunch of beer places like this around, and I... really don't like them. They are the opposite of vibe-y, to my mind. I find these spaces unwelcoming and weirdly unfriendly, and they always seem attached to soulless condo developments filled with people who just graduated university and didn't want to leave the dorms and don't seem to want to interact with anyone other than friends. That's my experience, anyway, in Chicago and LA. Maybe in the UK, it'd be different. And perhaps other people like these automatic drinks systems a lot. But, to me, they make you feel like you're in a food court or something.

I actually think that a listening cafe would work best in a place like Berlin, where (I think) you can still set up an impromptu bar/dance space in a semi-legal space and have people come (or not) and the authorities (I think) not care too much about health and safety and also not spend a half million just to get started. That's what it was like in Berlin ten years ago anyway.

All of this said, I'd love to get to the two clubs/spaces mentioned in London and likely will soon.

Good luck with everything!


P.S. Weirdly, I had a lot of thoughts on this! Hope it doesn't come across as negative. More listening cafes generally would be cool.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Solypsa

Solypsa

Well-Known Member
Jun 7, 2017
877
544
190
Seattle
www.solypsa.com
btw even if people don't 'sit in silence' this can still be cool. i think one would have to drop 'AAA vinyl only' pretensions imho.
 

advanced101

VIP/Donor
May 3, 2017
235
158
213
 

wbass

Member
Jul 12, 2020
84
35
23
42
That's true, Erik, and perhaps I shouldn't have hit that idea so hard.

The In Sheep's Clothing listening nights have the youths sitting quietly in a room and listening to a full side of an LP, and there's a separate area (rooftop) for drinks and chatter. They're fun, but probably only something you'd do now and then.

I guess what I'm saying is that most places like this that I've seen have records and a decent hi-fi as part of the overall vibe, but I didn't feel that anyone was doing "active listening," save digging what the DJ was spinning. Active/deep listening seems to work best as events and less so, of course, when people just want to hang out.
 

Solypsa

Well-Known Member
Jun 7, 2017
877
544
190
Seattle
www.solypsa.com
in any case bringing decent undistorted music ( vinyl even better ) to a fun bar is a huge public service :) I was just trying to point out issues that can relate to financial longevity!

There also can be hybrids where a bar functions a bit more normaly most days and hosts ' Album Sundays' etc
( is Dj Cosmo still doing these?)
 

Solypsa

Well-Known Member
Jun 7, 2017
877
544
190
Seattle
www.solypsa.com
I built out a soundsystem for a bar here in Seattle- granted they play mostly hip-hop...

It sounds leagues better than any other bar I know of around here, the owner is stoked, yet the patrons rarely comment on it. go figure...
 

wbass

Member
Jul 12, 2020
84
35
23
42
My upstairs neighbor when I lived in San Francisco designed the interiors of bars. Though I can't recall the number off the top of my head, I recall being pretty shocked at what she charged for just her design fee. I think it was upward of $50k. (It might well have been more than that.) And then there was all of the furniture, materials, wall art, fixtures, etc. on top of that.

I recall her saying once that a bar cost $300k. It turned out that she meant just the bar, as in the physical piece of wood. This was, it must be said, a particularly stunning, custom-made piece.

I know I'm talking about one of the most expensive cities in the US/the world here, but I guess it impressed upon me that the bar/restaurant game has some really serious barriers to entry. I guess it would be easier in a less-expensive city, but whatever the alchemy of making a cool place that draws people in is... well, people get paid, a lot, just to figure that out.

But, really, what the hell do I know? The above is half-remembered, but, my main takeaway, was... damn all of that goes into making a bar?

FWIW, Devon Turnbull seems to be building and installing a fair number of his Altec/Japanese-Kissa inspired speakers into bars and restaurants. So, clearly, there is an avenue for this sort of stuff.
 

Rensselaer

VIP/Donor
Mar 23, 2021
121
62
170
66
I've not been to Japan, but I'm quite interested in the Kissa scene and hope to check it out some time. That would be a really fun way to see Tokyo.

I've been to Gold Line in LA and Public Records in Brooklyn. Both are really fun and have impressive walls of LPs. The vibe is DJ-centric--and both usually have DJs spinning--but not dance-oriented that I saw (not enough space). You'll hear interesting stuff there--obscure disco, tropicalia, soul, etc--but I don't think they're spinning jazz all that often. They're night-life oriented. Also, both are long narrow rooms with the speakers set up on the long side, so despite good vinyl and big speakers, it's not really a hi-fi experience. Definitely better than most bars, but I didn't perceive that many (or anyone) was there for serious listening.

That said, both are fun, and I enjoyed hanging out at both a lot. The DJs spun some awesome stuff.

Sheep's Clothing is gone now and has turned into more of a listening night. I can say more about that if you like.

There's a new mid/high-end restaurant in the Chicago Loop, the Exchange, that has Harbeths in a space explicitly called the Listening Room. https://www.thexchangechicago.com/location/the-exchange-listening-room/

I've not been able to get there yet, but my guess, based on photos and the set up of the speakers, is that the listening aspect is more just a way to differentiate the space from a hundred others like it. I don't think I've ever been to a bar in the US or the UK where people will sit in silence and just listen. Hell, that's supposed to be the policy at the Green Mill (well-known Chicago jazz club) and hardly anyone does, though it depends on the night.

Anyway, my takeaway from this is that the draw in the places mentioned above is really vinyl and not so much hi-fi. Records are cool and vibe-y, and they help give your space a bit of hipster cache. But I could be wrong about that.

I wonder if the Tokyo kissa scene is driven by the small size of most apartments there and the fact that few people can enjoy larger speakers at home.

Anyway, I'm all for the idea of good cafes that have great systems and lots of records. I don't know if I, personally, want to sit in silence and just listen in such a space. I'd rather talk and hang out.

Having known a few folks in the bar business, I do know that it's incredibly difficult, especially in a city of any size, and that the cost of entry can be huge--hundreds of thousands in USD--and fiendishly competitive. To my mind, the cost of getting a hi-fi system installed would be dwarfed by the set-up cost of everything else.

Finally, just a bit of feedback about the automatic dispensing wine machines...

I've seen a bunch of beer places like this around, and I... really don't like them. They are the opposite of vibe-y, to my mind. I find these spaces unwelcoming and weirdly unfriendly, and they always seem attached to soulless condo developments filled with people who just graduated university and didn't want to leave the dorms and don't seem to want to interact with anyone other than friends. That's my experience, anyway, in Chicago and LA. Maybe in the UK, it'd be different. And perhaps other people like these automatic drinks systems a lot. But, to me, they make you feel like you're in a food court or something.

I actually think that a listening cafe would work best in a place like Berlin, where (I think) you can still set up an impromptu bar/dance space in a semi-legal space and have people come (or not) and the authorities (I think) not care too much about health and safety and also not spend a half million just to get started. That's what it was like in Berlin ten years ago anyway.

All of this said, I'd love to get to the two clubs/spaces mentioned in London and likely will soon.

Good luck with everything!


P.S. Weirdly, I had a lot of thoughts on this! Hope it doesn't come across as negative. More listening cafes generally would be cool.
I've not been to Japan, but I'm quite interested in the Kissa scene and hope to check it out some time. That would be a really fun way to see Tokyo.

I've been to Gold Line in LA and Public Records in Brooklyn. Both are really fun and have impressive walls of LPs. The vibe is DJ-centric--and both usually have DJs spinning--but not dance-oriented that I saw (not enough space). You'll hear interesting stuff there--obscure disco, tropicalia, soul, etc--but I don't think they're spinning jazz all that often. They're night-life oriented. Also, both are long narrow rooms with the speakers set up on the long side, so despite good vinyl and big speakers, it's not really a hi-fi experience. Definitely better than most bars, but I didn't perceive that many (or anyone) was there for serious listening.

That said, both are fun, and I enjoyed hanging out at both a lot. The DJs spun some awesome stuff.

Sheep's Clothing is gone now and has turned into more of a listening night. I can say more about that if you like.

There's a new mid/high-end restaurant in the Chicago Loop, the Exchange, that has Harbeths in a space explicitly called the Listening Room. https://www.thexchangechicago.com/location/the-exchange-listening-room/

I've not been able to get there yet, but my guess, based on photos and the set up of the speakers, is that the listening aspect is more just a way to differentiate the space from a hundred others like it. I don't think I've ever been to a bar in the US or the UK where people will sit in silence and just listen. Hell, that's supposed to be the policy at the Green Mill (well-known Chicago jazz club) and hardly anyone does, though it depends on the night.

Anyway, my takeaway from this is that the draw in the places mentioned above is really vinyl and not so much hi-fi. Records are cool and vibe-y, and they help give your space a bit of hipster cache. But I could be wrong about that.

I wonder if the Tokyo kissa scene is driven by the small size of most apartments there and the fact that few people can enjoy larger speakers at home.

Anyway, I'm all for the idea of good cafes that have great systems and lots of records. I don't know if I, personally, want to sit in silence and just listen in such a space. I'd rather talk and hang out.

Having known a few folks in the bar business, I do know that it's incredibly difficult, especially in a city of any size, and that the cost of entry can be huge--hundreds of thousands in USD--and fiendishly competitive. To my mind, the cost of getting a hi-fi system installed would be dwarfed by the set-up cost of everything else.

Finally, just a bit of feedback about the automatic dispensing wine machines...

I've seen a bunch of beer places like this around, and I... really don't like them. They are the opposite of vibe-y, to my mind. I find these spaces unwelcoming and weirdly unfriendly, and they always seem attached to soulless condo developments filled with people who just graduated university and didn't want to leave the dorms and don't seem to want to interact with anyone other than friends. That's my experience, anyway, in Chicago and LA. Maybe in the UK, it'd be different. And perhaps other people like these automatic drinks systems a lot. But, to me, they make you feel like you're in a food court or something.

I actually think that a listening cafe would work best in a place like Berlin, where (I think) you can still set up an impromptu bar/dance space in a semi-legal space and have people come (or not) and the authorities (I think) not care too much about health and safety and also not spend a half million just to get started. That's what it was like in Berlin ten years ago anyway.

All of this said, I'd love to get to the two clubs/spaces mentioned in London and likely will soon.

Good luck with everything!


P.S. Weirdly, I had a lot of thoughts on this! Hope it doesn't come across as negative. More listening cafes generally would be cool.
No, you haven't come across as negative, in fact you present a clear concise and erudite appraisal of how most today would see Kissaten. This is because most Kissaten have turned to the "dark side", they have given in to the easier and more profitable by having D-DJ's (digital-disc jockeys) come in and play their collections over an otherwise nice music playback system, giving the customers what they already get with the iPhones and earbuds, but at louder volume ... so, nothing special to hear, the conversations get louder and we are left with just another loud bar competing with all the rest.

Kissaten began in Tokyo in 1926. Called the Lion, it is a two story wooden building with a large foyer holding huge horn speakers. All the chairs point to the speakers. Conversation is permitted but the customers keep fairly quiet as the music plays. It burnt down during the fire bombing of WWII, but has been re-built and is still running today, but, like so many, it has added CD players to it's system (for more on Kissaten in Tokyo see: https://en.goodcoffee.me/column/guest-columnist/tokyos-music-kissatens-a-beginners-guid/ ). In fact, many of the busier Kissaten in Tokyo have gone the way of digital music, leaving only the smaller owner-operated bars (like Shelter) still playing lovely warm analogue records while regulars come in for a drink and to find shelter from a hectic world.

In Sheep's Clothing closed, I read, because of the pandemic but planed to re-open in other areas (it was apparently in or near skid row?) as soon as things improve. Most of the other listening bars in the US (except Bar Shiru in Oakland) have also lost their way and gone the way of convenience and hopefully greater profit, but I don't personally hold out much hope for them. The same has happened here in the UK with Beautiful Corners and Spiritland I fear.
 

Rensselaer

VIP/Donor
Mar 23, 2021
121
62
170
66
part two:

Where the concept has remained pure, I read, is a place called "Gearbox Records" situated in an industrial estate in North London, called Tileyard. From what I read (see: https://sprudge.com/a-coffee-service-like-no-other-at-londons-jazz-kissaten-77582.html ), they are "primarily an all-analog, vinyl mastering and recording studio, specialising in previously unreleased jazz records. ... they've gained attention as proprietors of rare jazz on beautifully mastered vinyl, eschewing the streamlined new digital ways of the many studios surrounding them. Their commitment to analog ensures that each record is suffused with the rich, warm sounds of live music, something that many vinyl audiophiles can feel is lost in today's digital, super clean recording processes." "Sheinman (owner?) ... entertains 10 lucky people at a time, who for £10 can enjoy the rarest of Jazz records, a measure of fine Japanese whisky, and cups of Notes coffee ... You are surrounded by hulking relics of 20th-century analog mastering and recording equipment; Val Wilmer's pictures of jazz and blues legends like Ronnie Scott, Jack Owens, and Sonny Rollins; a 500-strong collection of the world's rarest jazz records, from the Blue Note label, some of which fetch up to £5,000 at auction; and at the centre of all the attention is Gearbox's £75,000 Audio Note hi fi setup, encased in gorgeous, vibrant rosewood...Whether you're lured in by the promise of fine music, fine whisky, or fine coffee, it's certain that Gearbox Records' jazz kissaten nights will intrigue you and linger in your mind long after the final smoky saxophone notes drift away...Gearbox Records run jazz kissaten nights every once in a while. Keep an eye on their Twitter@GearboxRecords for details."

So it appears that the concept works best where the business is not reliant only upon the Kissa , and where smaller numbers can be tolerated.

So, back to my idea:

At a business conference in Manchester a few years ago I chanced upon a corner shop that sold wine by the case, but provided tasting and information about the wines by 3 dispensers mounted in the wall (see: https://www.wineemotion.com/eight-bottle-wine-dispenser/ ) . Upon entering, customers met someone at a kiosk, paid for a pre-paid charge card (used to get wine from machines). Floor to ceiling windows were on exterior walls looking out on the street. Wooden tables and chairs, a couple of sofas on the floor, inside wall had three wine dispenser machines with 24 different bottles of wine to choose from. Clean wine glasses were under the dispensers on shelves built into the wall. You walk along the wall reading the description card at the base of each bottle till you find one you like, place a glass under the spout, select which bottle and what sized measure you want on the keyboard, swipe your pre-paid card and that measure pours into your glass. Someone comes around your table, sofa periodically and clears glasses, and asks if there is any food you might want to have with your wine tasting.

The wine merchant I approached currently sells wine on-line and from retail outlets located in (I think) about 200 cities around the UK. In regards the retail outlets; customers come in and are met by the sales team who opens wine and pours out tasting samples for customers to try. The sales team also give descriptions and attributes of each wine as they are tasted. The costs of the retail outlet, the sales team, the tasted wines etc is reimbursed when someone buys wine there (or later on-line). What I proposed was a relaxing Kissa, where they could try wines without a salesperson hovering over them, seated in a comfortable chair or sofa, having some cheese and grapes, tea or coffee, or tapa's as provided by a sub-contracted party, and listening to great jazz or classical music AAA vinyl records, each side fully, on a world class valve LP playback system.
 

Solypsa

Well-Known Member
Jun 7, 2017
877
544
190
Seattle
www.solypsa.com
part two:

Where the concept has remained pure, I read, is a place called "Gearbox Records" situated in an industrial estate in North London, called Tileyard. From what I read (see: https://sprudge.com/a-coffee-service-like-no-other-at-londons-jazz-kissaten-77582.html ), they are "primarily an all-analog, vinyl mastering and recording studio, specialising in previously unreleased jazz records. ... they've gained attention as proprietors of rare jazz on beautifully mastered vinyl, eschewing the streamlined new digital ways of the many studios surrounding them. Their commitment to analog ensures that each record is suffused with the rich, warm sounds of live music, something that many vinyl audiophiles can feel is lost in today's digital, super clean recording processes." "Sheinman (owner?) ... entertains 10 lucky people at a time, who for £10 can enjoy the rarest of Jazz records, a measure of fine Japanese whisky, and cups of Notes coffee ...
Appears to be a lovely experience.

£10 for whiskey and coffee and the experience, in a ten seat environment, proves to me that income is not expected from this :)
So it appears that the concept works best where the business is not reliant only upon the Kissa , and where smaller numbers can be tolerated.
Bingo. this is largely true of any high-concept restaurant or bar where they often are under the wing of a hotel or other 'benefactor'.
The wine merchant I approached currently sells wine on-line and from retail outlets located in (I think) about 200 cities around the UK. In regards the retail outlets; customers come in and are met by the sales team who opens wine and pours out tasting samples for customers to try. The sales team also give descriptions and attributes of each wine as they are tasted. The costs of the retail outlet, the sales team, the tasted wines etc is reimbursed when someone buys wine there (or later on-line). What I proposed was a relaxing Kissa, where they could try wines without a salesperson hovering over them, seated in a comfortable chair or sofa, having some cheese and grapes, tea or coffee, or tapa's as provided by a sub-contracted party, and listening to great jazz or classical music AAA vinyl records, each side fully, on a world class valve LP playback system.
Have they considered your idea? I would imagine they might want at least one sales staff onsite to field questions and assist with sales of cases...even if they are tasked with staying out of the way.

i went on a sail boat tour of the Seattle puget sound area and they offered various pre packed charcuterie etc. prepared by a local restuarant...in case the space in question does not support a kitchen prep area this sort of partnership can work
 

Rensselaer

VIP/Donor
Mar 23, 2021
121
62
170
66
Appears to be a lovely experience.

£10 for whiskey and coffee and the experience, in a ten seat environment, proves to me that income is not expected from this :)

Bingo. this is largely true of any high-concept restaurant or bar where they often are under the wing of a hotel or other 'benefactor'.

Have they considered your idea? I would imagine they might want at least one sales staff onsite to field questions and assist with sales of cases...even if they are tasked with staying out of the way.

i went on a sail boat tour of the Seattle puget sound area and they offered various pre packed charcuterie etc. prepared by a local restuarant...in case the space in question does not support a kitchen prep area this sort of partnership can work
Three emails, volunteered the use of myself, my records and my £75,000 system, but no response.
 

Blue58

Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2013
711
404
310
London, UK
Three emails, volunteered the use of myself, my records and my £75,000 system, but no response.
I walk past Brilliant Corners almost daily and never once have I been tempted in to eat or drink or even listen to their system. Spiritland I’ve visited twice whilst exploring Coal Drops Yard and on both occasions suffered average food and mediocre sound. The service was pleasant enough though. Why anyone would spend money for a ticket to an Album Sunday event is beyond me.

For no fee I can supply a tea/coffee or beer and maybe a biscuit or cake and some decent tunes on a decent system. Many have partaken, some have become regulars and I have to call time. It’s not really a business idea for Dragons’ Den.

Cheers
Blue58
 

astrotoy

VIP/Donor
May 25, 2010
1,288
614
495
SF Bay Area
My upstairs neighbor when I lived in San Francisco designed the interiors of bars. Though I can't recall the number off the top of my head, I recall being pretty shocked at what she charged for just her design fee. I think it was upward of $50k. (It might well have been more than that.) And then there was all of the furniture, materials, wall art, fixtures, etc. on top of that.

I recall her saying once that a bar cost $300k. It turned out that she meant just the bar, as in the physical piece of wood. This was, it must be said, a particularly stunning, custom-made piece.

I know I'm talking about one of the most expensive cities in the US/the world here, but I guess it impressed upon me that the bar/restaurant game has some really serious barriers to entry. I guess it would be easier in a less-expensive city, but whatever the alchemy of making a cool place that draws people in is... well, people get paid, a lot, just to figure that out.

But, really, what the hell do I know? The above is half-remembered, but, my main takeaway, was... damn all of that goes into making a bar?

FWIW, Devon Turnbull seems to be building and installing a fair number of his Altec/Japanese-Kissa inspired speakers into bars and restaurants. So, clearly, there is an avenue for this sort of stuff.
The designer fee depends on the reputation of the designer and what is the scope. If the person is just helping the owner shop for ready made pieces to fit into the bar and simple paint choices, that is one thing. If the bar is a unique place, where the furnishings are designed to be custom built, that is a completely different situation. $50K might be a bargain in the latter case. For comparison, an architect's fee for a custom home is about 10-15% of the construction cost. That includes some on site overview of the actual construction, but not day to day management of the construction.

Larry
 

spiritofmusic

Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2013
13,321
3,913
763
E. England
I walk past Brilliant Corners almost daily and never once have I been tempted in to eat or drink or even listen to their system. Spiritland I’ve visited twice whilst exploring Coal Drops Yard and on both occasions suffered average food and mediocre sound. The service was pleasant enough though. Why anyone would spend money for a ticket to an Album Sunday event is beyond me.

For no fee I can supply a tea/coffee or beer and maybe a biscuit or cake and some decent tunes on a decent system. Many have partaken, some have become regulars and I have to call time. It’s not really a business idea for Dragons’ Den.

Cheers
Blue58
Pour me a drop of the hard stuff next time I swing on by, Barry.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Solypsa

About us

  • What’s Best Forum is THE forum for high end audio, product reviews, advice and sharing experiences on the best of everything else. This is THE place where audiophiles and audio companies discuss vintage, contemporary and new audio products, music servers, music streamers, computer audio, digital-to-analog converters, turntables, phono stages, cartridges, reel-to-reel tape machines, speakers, headphones and tube and solid-state amplification. Founded in 2010 What’s Best Forum invites intelligent and courteous people of all interests and backgrounds to describe and discuss the best of everything. From beginners to life-long hobbyists to industry professionals, we enjoy learning about new things and meeting new people, and participating in spirited debates.

Quick Navigation

User Menu

Steve Williams
Site Founder | Site Owner | Administrator
Ron Resnick
Site Co-Owner | Administrator
Julian (The Fixer)
Website Build | Marketing Managersing