Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Last week, I met with a girl who wants to open her own bar (I work as a business planning consultant in addition to planning my own). She had experience, the concept and plenty of ambition but hadn't really thought through the details of what she really wanted in her business. It got me thinking about visualizing and how important it is to "think from the end."

When you figure out what you want it makes it so much easier to come up with everything from equipment lists to payroll. It also ensures that in the end you get exactly what you want.

I really enjoy drawing and it helps to figure out where things would fit in our business. I have been drawing our dream floor plan for over a year now and for the most part it has remained unchanged. Amazingly, one of the businesses we came close to buying fit the floor plan like a glove, only in reverse. That was another reason why it was so hard to walk away from it.

But anyways, I thought I'd share our vision for the store. It doesn't show the bathrooms or kitchen and isn't necessarily a work of art, but it will give you a pretty good idea of what we're creating.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Routine

To say that I monitor the market here in Portland pretty closely would be an understatement. Being the perfectionist that I am, I like to know exactly what is going on at all times. This has translated into a daily routine as well as a sort of game. One of my favorite websites is Portland Food & Drink. This guy is the go-to guy for finding out what is happening in the restaurant world in Portland.

Between craigslist, loopnet and knowing multiple restaurant real estate agents in town, I've known about the majority of restaurant closures before the general public finds out. It has become a game to see if I can find out before the Portland Food Blog does a story on them. And up until today I was 6 for 6! But alas, there were some surprises today and now I'm 7 for 9. As for the two I missed, I had never even heard of them.

But here's a list of essential websites if you want to start a bar/restaurant or cafe in Portland:

1) Yelp - Amazing insight into market research and competition analysis
2) PortlandMaps
3) Craigslist (business and office/commercial)
4) Loopnet
7) Portland Food & Drink Blog
8) Google Maps
9) Bizcenter.org (Portland SBDC - our business counselors)

And on a completely unrelated note, I am becoming more and more obsessed with the Stock Market. This site is my new obsession.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Our second party was a hit! It was significantly larger than our first and more and more people are showing their love and support. We feel so much closer to our goal of owning our own store than we were the day before. We are also recognizing the importance of building a strong base before opening a place. They say that the universe works in mysterious ways but we're beginning to believe that it's not so mysterious. These parties are absolutely necessary to our survival as a long-term business and if we had gotten a space earlier last year (like we wanted) then we could have easily added our name to the list of closing businesses.

So thank you, Universe! and thank you to all our friends (both new and old) that support us!