Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The location roller coaster ride

It's been a very tumultuous time for us lately. For the first time in 10 months we have been seriously looking at locations other than the one we have our heart on. It's not because we don't think we'll get the one in inner SE. We just want to keep our options open. The owner of the building has changed his tune somewhat and given us an "all or nothing" scenario to rent or buy out the space that is entirely too large for just our little Hall of Records.

We met with Wayne last night about potentially partnering with him to create a whole Hall of Records/Music Venue with a recording studio in the back in the SE location. Of course, the current owner of the building is a hurdle we have yet to really attempt to cross with this idea. We just wanted to let Wayne know about the situation. And even if it's not him, it might be someone else that may be interested in doing a large complex. The location is just that good.

The location we looked at on Sunday was on NE Sandy and 28th, next to Katie O'Brien's Irish Bar. It was a nice size, hard wood floors, historic storefront; just like we wanted. It's just not in the 'hood we really want to be in. There are also potential issues with the city over 'assembly occupancy' and there being just one bathroom.

I just found another one in the Hollywood District. It's still not "our neighborhood" but at least it's a super cute neighborhood with foot traffic. We may go look at it again today.

We're waiting to hear back from Wayne about his impressions of our dream location. He went to look at it in person for the first time after we met last night. He may have some potential other locations, too. We'll just have to wait and see...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Blast from the past may be key to the future

We've been walking a fine line with how to proceed with our intended location. There are a lot of different scenarios that could take place. We could rent from, partner with or buy out the current owner. We don't really know which form it's going to take because there are a lot of factors and a lot of people involved. But we're lining up all our ducks so that no matter which way it goes, we will be ready. The truth is that no one (besides us) really knows what they want. But we know what we want, and we want it bad.

Anyways, we're not in a position to be able to buy out the current owner by ourselves. We'd need help. And that's where our blast from the past comes in. A long time ago we met with a guy named Wayne. I wrote about him in my very first blog posting. So Wayne wanted to buy a building with enough room for a recording studio, music venue and our coffeehouse. The idea was to team up with him and run the coffeehouse as Hall of Records and have an adjoining live music space and studio. We looked at multiple buildings with him but none were quite right.

So flash forward many, many months. A few days ago I found an ad on Craigslist for a venue space that had a studio built out. It sounded like it might be promising for Wayne, so I forwarded it to him. We hadn't heard from him in months and he was super excited to hear from us. He's still looking for a location for his hybrid business. We ended up meeting him last night at the venue down near the Albina/Mississippi Max Stop in the industrial district. Turned out that the venue wasn't right, but it seems like the stars were aligning because I needed an excuse to let him know about the possibility of buying our intended location. He was super interested, but I couldn't tell him exactly where it is yet.

The next few weeks and months should be very interesting. We're getting to the point where we've been patiently waiting for this location for so long that if something doesn't happen by this winter, we need to let the owner know that we need to move on. Ah, it's such a tricky situation!! But we're positive that it's all going to work out, one way or another. And we're using the time we have now to be ready for whatever comes down the pipe.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The art of the display

I find it kind of funny that I have never in my life worked in retail and yet I own a business that (at this point) is strictly retail. We are expanding our offering to now include album frames. It's something we want to do in our store and so we figured we might as well start now. We're going to the University of Oregon tomorrow morning to be vendors at the KWVA Music Fair. So I made a little display for our new album frames.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


We were watching some kind of extreme food show the Food Network the other night and they just happened to be profiling Voodoo Donuts here in Portland. Voodoo is known for their outlandish donuts like ones covered in bacon or Captain Crunch. But what we learned from the show was that it took the guys two years of trying before they finally opened. They somehow managed to scrape by while still pursuing their dream. And then one day it finally happened, because they didn't give up.

I'm taking this as some kind of a sign. In January we hit our two year mark. It's also the month we'll know for sure if we have the location we have been working on the last year. All signs point to January, but no matter what, we'll keep going.