Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Great Heat Wave of 2009

I wonder if people in Portland will look back on this week and remember what they did during the great heat wave. We've been alternating between beers and wash cloths, just trying to stay sane. And today is going to be worse; 108 degrees. All this in a city that doesn't believe in air conditioners. Despite the heat, we've managed to still have a lot of fun.

This past weekend when my parents were in town we went to the Oregon Brewer's Festival at Waterfront Park. My Dad had been looking forward to it for months and it was even in the 1000 Places to See Before You Die book. There were thousands of people there and it got a bit nuts at times. But it gave us a perfect opportunity to look for beers for our beer menu.

We want to have a menu that is diverse, local and seasonal with a flair of organic. We also really like interesting fruit beers. Some of our favorites were:

Stumptown Tart (Bridgeport Ale House - Portland, OR) Marionberry Beer!
Organic Chocolate Stout (Bison Brewing - Berkeley, CA)
Cream Ale (Fearless Brewing - Estacada, OR)
Raspberry Wheat (Vertigo Brewing - Hillsboro, OR)
The Great White (Lost Cost Brewery - Eureka, CA)
Organic Acai Berry (Eel River Brewery - Fortuna, CA)

We'll also have some Ambers, Lagers, Pale Ales and Hefeweizen.

MMMMMMMM.... Can't wait for some of these beers to be flowing from our taps!!

Friday, July 24, 2009


In an attempt to work on the things that we can, we've been doing a lot of menu planning lately.

Way back when we first started doing research I stumbled upon a great site called BNET. Some of the articles you have to pay for but at the time there were all these amazing free articles about the state of the restaurant business. I started to notice a specific magazines called Cheers that was especially insightful. I subscribed to the magazine and now get it sent to our house.

I have steadily grown more and more impressed with this publication. This particular issue has amazing insights in to how to craft your beer menu, how small plates are ruling the industry and how to give the "millenials" what they want.

As I was reading it I kept thinking of all the people I've been helping lately and how each one could benefit from this magazine. I would strongly recommend it to anyone in the restaurant business, whether you're already open or just doing research.

And on a somewhat related note, I have now had a hand in starting three separate bar/restaurants here in Portland. Woo Hoo!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Clarence Duffy

Justin's DJing Thursday night at the Jade Lounge on SE Ankeny & 24th. 7PM. It's a good time; half price apps, drink specials (I think) and some funky tunes. Plus we'll be there :) I haven't seen some of our friends in a while, so I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, July 17, 2009

It's Friday!

It's Friday!! and we're gearing up for a BIG weekend. My parents are coming in to town this weekend for their first ever trip to the Pacific NorthWest. It also happens to be the 24 Hour Fundraiser for Relay for Life.

Sarah, Lisa and I (among many, many others) have been working our butts off preparing all the events and entertainment for the event. It's 80's Themed and I can't wait to see the Best 80's Hair Contest, 80's Exercise Lap and the 80's Prom that we have been planning!

I'm also planning a trip to the Japanese Garden, Mt. Tabor Park and Kennedy School with the rents. Busy, busy weekend!

The logos have started coming in and they look great! Our friend Edgar is getting really in to it, buying books on 60's and 70's funk records and logos. I can't WAIT to see what he comes up with.

I also got a new business plan client. It's for another restaurant here in Portland. With every new client the whole process gets easier and easier. I think it may actually be time to start charging more :)

And on a related note, we took a MUCH NEEDED break from reality on Wednesday and headed to the Coast. God, we live in a beautiful place.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Thank you to everyone who came out on Saturday!!

It always takes me a few days to recover. This past Saturday was a success (!) and a whole new experience because we did it on the patio. It gave it a much more laid back vibe which was great, yet not much of a "riot." Despite that, we had people who said they liked it better outside.

We had a great mix of old friends and new faces. Khalil from Hammond Beat Records brought some of his labels' records to sell. The 45's we got from him have been filling our house with funky goodness ever since. In addition to friends, we've started to get repeat customers, which is really exciting!

Right now we're prepping for the Beat Off, Rock the Runways and our next party. We love a lot of things about doing our parties at the pizza place but we may need to branch off in to more of a bar setting.

We've been discussing maybe approaching the GoodFoot about doing a party there. The club is really cool, in our neighborhood and they do a lot of funk nights. Dameian even spun there on the 4th of July. Only thing is that we'll probably have to do it on a week night, where at the pizza place we can do it whenever we want. Decisions, decisions!

There's a lot more going on behind the scenes, too. We have four different friends working on logos for us and it's pretty exciting. We're so grateful because with every new logo we see we can figure out what we like and what we don't like. We want to have a banner with both our logo and the Wax Broker Riot logo for the Belmont Street Fair, which is September 12th.

At the same time, we've been doing a lot of work on our menu. Betty, a good friend of the Portland family, has offered to teach us about sauces and dressings. We're going to start experimenting and there's even been talk of expanding it into it's own business on the side. I like to kill about four birds with one stone :)

I have a client who I am helping put a business plan together for a new bar. We're in research mode, so we're going around and scoping out other bars for pros, cons and ideas. I am almost completely re-tracing the steps I did when I was putting our business plan together, only this time it's a different style bar so it's a completely new experience. It's reinforcing everything we've been doing for the past year and a half.

Ah life is good when you seize opportunities.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Newsletter & Portables

The days counting down to our parties are always so exciting! I ordered a new portable record player so people could listen to records at our parties and we didn't expect it to come until next week, but it came today!!

Sometimes guys will bring their own but I figure if we get in the habit of always having one then they won't have to worry about it. Plus it's going to be a major feature once our store is open, so it's never too early to start!

We've also been hitting the pavement to come up with a logo, website and email newsletter. Thanks to my new friend, Nedra, I woke up this morning, checked my morning blog roll and discovered she had written a blog about a product that was exactly what I needed; a newsletter template.

So guess what?!? Now we have a NEWSLETTER SIGNUP PAGE!!

Until we get an actual website up, we'll just use our MYSPACE. But at least we have something!

Monday, July 6, 2009


The greatest things always seem to happen to us in July.

Two years ago Justin and I met on the 4th of July, at a party in California. One year ago we moved from California to Portland. This year we have multiple businesses ramping up and couldn't be happier.

Thinking about it in these terms makes me really excited to see what this month will bring!

We're growing our business and now have almost 80 people on the email list since I started keeping track. I've been inspired to start learning about things like marketing and branding. We're coming up with ways for people to be involved and grow with us. We're also thinking about logos and websites and all this stuff that wasn't part of the initial business planning.

The business planning business is going really well, too. I have a client who wants me to do the plan with her, so I have this whole new opportunity to learn through teaching. We're meeting people every day that are enhancing our lives in some way. It's a very exciting time.

And with all this energy that's been building up, I'm excited to see what else July will bring!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Email List!

My last posting received a comment that brought up a very valid point. Usually we have people sign up for the email list at our parties, but since we now have blog followers you can sign up via email. Send an email to:

Even better, come to our next party, meet us and sign up!! :)

On a side note, it's becoming more and more apparent that we need an actual website. When we do have one, we'll have a place for people to sign up for the mailing list. I attempted to make a website through a few months ago but it didn't turn out too well.

We have a friend coming over on Sunday to talk about building a website, among other things. So we're working on it :)

Thank You PDXY!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sustaining Motivation

I'll start this post off by saying that I LOVE the Multnomah County Library! Every time I go there (which is at least twice a week) I walk out with the most random yet totally insightful books.

My latest check out was called Dreamcrafting: The Art of Dreaming Big, the Science of Making It Happen. It inspired my latest scheme which is to set up a system that sets goals and celebrates milestones. The idea is that big dreams can take a l-o-n-g time; so successful dreamcrafters know that they need to do things to sustain motivation and keep up the momentum.

They suggest quantifying, measuring and celebrating events along the road. They key is to set up the system in the first place. I decided that the best thing we could quantify is people who sign up on our email list. They represent the new people we have met and is the best way to measure our growth so far.

So far we have 54 people signed up on our email list! Our first milestone is 200 and then it'll probably be 500. The book says to make a big deal about hitting milestones and celebrate BIG! We haven't quite figured out how we're going to celebrate but we hope to share it with all those who have helped us grow so far (well at least the ones that are in our immediate city).

So keep a look out and we'll let you know when we hit our first big milestone!!