Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Already making changes!

It's happened twice now, where I update the menu, print new copies and then within a day want to make more changes! This "soft opening" has been great for us because we're really working out the kinks and learning so much! Here are a few things we're doing:

Grilling the Caprese Sandwich - because it's amazing that way!!
Expanding the appetizer and salad menu by adding Bruschetta and a Caprese Salad.
We've added Homemade Cookies and Iced Coffee to the menu
and we're soon going to be open 7 Days a Week!

Also, next week we're starting our Happy Hour and Super Fun Nights:

Tuesday is Pint Nite! $3 Local Drafts 6PM - Close
Wednesday is 1/2 Price Sandwich Night 6PM - Close
Monday, Thursday and Friday we have $1 off Beer & Wine from 5PM - 7PM
and last but not least is Sunday Funday! $1 off B&W and $4 Gerry's (Polish on Rye with mustard and pickle) All Day Long!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Getting Ready!!

We have two big events coming up in the next few weeks; the Belmont St. Fair and our Grand Opening!!

The Belmont St. Fair is set for Sunday, September 12th from 10AM to 5PM. The organizer of the fair came by the other day and said they were going to leave the vendor space directly in front of our door open so people can see us from the street!

We're going to open at 10AM that day to take full advantage! Also, Sunday the 12th marks the start of our "Sunday Funday" all day happy hour. From open to close all beer and wine is $1 off and we have $4 Gerry's (delicious Polish on Rye with pickles and mustard).

Then our Grand Opening is scheduled on Saturday, September 18th! We have so much more to plan, but we're thinking it's going to consist of DJs all day, raffles for vinyl and gift certificates, discounts on beer and wine, free food samples and lots of fun give aways.

Can't wait!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

New in the Kitchen

Yesterday morning we made chocolate chip cookies and they made the store smell amazing!! We're going to try baking different items almost every day (or maybe every other day). I have officially found a new home in our kitchen. When we first made our store, I represented the bar, Justin represented the records and our two awesome employees (Reid and Nate) represented the kitchen. But now I'm starting to love being in the kitchen, too! I couldn't imagine a better way to spend the day than listening to records, baking cookies, making sandwiches and hanging with all our new friends :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friday Open Tables

Every Friday we have "Open Tables" where people can bring their own vinyl and play DJ for 30 minute sets. Last night was our first Open Table night and it was so much fun!! I played records for a live audience for the first time in my life!! It was so fun!

Justin did a great job of showing newbies around the turntables. We had a great mix of music - everything from soul to rock and roll to random kids music! It's such a great way to learn about vinyl!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Signage Attempt

We got a sign made from FastSigns for our window about 5 months ago - when we thought we were actually going to open in like May. We tried to put it on the window last weekend but the paper stuck to it and it got ruined!! :(

So we put up the sign we use at all the Record Shows to show who we are. I got a quote for a new sign to be made (this time including installation) so hopefully that will come through soon. But in the mean time, we're liking our little homemade sign. :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

DJ Schedule this week!

Wow!! How quickly we moved from phase 1 of build out into full blown phase 2 of now owning and running a business. Today was our "day off" yet I was still running around all day doing stuff for the store. The beer cooler went down AGAIN so we had to get someone to come out to fix it. We did prep with Aunt Bettie and Tracey and then went all over creation for more "leasehold improvement" type stuff like building more shelves and an A frame sandwich board for out front. Turns out those things are really expensive, so I'm just going to build one myself :)

This week should be fun! We have DJs (one could even be YOU! on Friday) all week long:

TUESDAY AUGUST 24: DJ Nealie Neal and Tah Rei begin their biweekly residency at Hall of Records, bringing his killer arsenal of 45's and LP's.

WEDNESDAY AUGUST 25: DJ Sect (from Portland's Universal DJ Sect) stops by for a DJ set of some killer funk, soul, and hip-hop.

THURSDAY AUGUST 26: Lord Smithingham (resident DJ on 2nd and 4th Thursdays) will be in the house, spinning his delectable selection of jazz and soul, and making us antsy for his upcoming radio show on KMHD!

FRIDAY AUGUST 27: Friday will be our first night with Open Tables for fellow DJ's, customers or anyone that just wants to come spin some tunes! Signups begin at 7PM, with 30 minute sets alloted per DJ. Just bring some of your favorite records (regardless of genre) and we'll see you Friday!

SATURDAY AUGUST 28: DJ Sesqui, host of KBOO's Astral Traveling, will be spinning his awesome collection of world music and rare groove.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Yesterday's Oregonian

We had our picture in the paper yesterday! And it was HUGE! Front page of the Community Section. AND we got top billing in the article! Woo hoo!!

With opening of 13 new places, business booming in Southeast Portland's Belmont neighborhood
Saturday, August 21st
Molly Hottle, The Oregonian

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Opening Day Pics

Edgar working on some chalkboard art for us!

First five minutes of being open

Room Shots

Working hard! (I don't have many night time shots)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Great Opening Night!

What a night!!! We were crowded from the minute we opened and I loved every second of it. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all those who came out. You are amazing and we love you!!

We had friends, friends of friends, vinyl lovers, family, neighbors and even those that just happened to stumble up on us. The stand out moment for me was the minute we opened the line of record guys that poured in and went straight to the records.

We'll have pictures up soon!! I just wanted to do a brief update for now. I have to head back to the store and get everything ready to do it all over again!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Holy Moly

We're opening tomorrow!!

I don't even know where to begin with everything that's happened this week. It's been very tumultuous. There are an insane amount of last minute things to do and last minute things that can go wrong.

I scheduled the health department pre opening inspection for yesterday and then less than 24 hours beforehand there were some major last minute electrical things to do on some of our equipment. I called to postpone the Health Dept inspection but didn't hear back from the guy, which caused a lot of stress. It turned out that he left a message on a phone number we never check.

Then today, two hours before our health inspection, our beer cooler stopped cooling. Luckily, I had a 3 month warranty on the machine and they called a guy to come out immediately to fix it. Talk about last minute. At the same time he was there, there was another guy trying to work two feet away from him getting our keg cooler all set up. In the end the health inspector was super cool and he said we can open!!!

I apologize for the brief update. It's been a week. And we're starting it all over again tomorrow. But you know deep down we love it :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

One more inspection!

We got temporary occupancy from the City today! It's temporary because we won't get final occupancy until the other half of our building is done. But at least we can open!!

Lately, a lot has been going on next door. Our landlord was originally going to open his own music venue/restaurant in the space but has now decided to lease out the space to someone else. Our new neighbors are the current owners of North 45 and Paddy's downtown. I've been hesitant about writing about them until now, but today they officially got the keys, so I think it's time. So far, they've been really cool. It's just a little weird because we've spent the past 6 months remodeling, thinking that we were going to be sharing bathrooms and space with our landlord. But our general attitude towards this process has definitely been "go with the flow."

It's getting really, really close!!!!! We have the health department inspection on Tuesday and if all goes well we're hoping to open on Wednesday, Thursday at the latest. We'll keep you posted!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Turning up the heat

It's getting intense as we scramble to get everything ready to open! We've been pulling L-O-N-G days at the store. Our kitchen is almost 100% put together! We have a few more tidbits to do before the city comes back to check for our occupancy tomorrow. Massive cleaning, training employees and then the Health Department. So much to do!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

More Records!

We get our records from a variety of sources but this past week we've added a few more! In addition to our own records, we'll be consigning some records from reputable dealers and collectors we've met in Portland these past few years.

Our friend Kit came by the other day to drop off some consignment records and check out the shop. We met Kit on the record show "circuit." He sells records at the Night Owl Record Show and the Eugene Record Convention, among others. Justin and Kit have similar taste in music and, if left to their own devices, could talk records for hours.

Khalil from Hammondbeat Records also brought some of his label's collection by the store. The label carries a lot of great soul, funk and jazz bands from all over the world.

We also have one more consigner coming in to the fold here shortly, we just haven't had a chance to meet up with him yet. But he's a big player in Portland's record scene so we're excited to see what he brings us :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


We've spent the past few weeks getting the bathrooms updated and ready for their grand debut! The counters, walls and lighting fixtures have all been redone - almost all from recycled materials from the Habitat Restore. They turned out fabulously!!



Meyer's Soap (so fitting!)

And hopefully a sight we won't be seeing much longer:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Soooooooo close!

We've gotten through most of our inspections! We have one more inspection then we bring in all the kitchen equipment (after some mudding, taping and painting). THEN the health department comes out to give us our final go ahead.

I'm hesitant to give an actual opening date because we all know that things can and do go wrong and things get pushed. But our plan is to have a soft opening (maybe opening on a Friday or Saturday). The first week we're open we'll probably just be open from 4PM on. We want to slowly ramp up, seeing as this is our first business and we want to iron out all the kinks.

A few weeks later, we'll have a larger Grand Opening. There are a lot of factors to considering when picking the weekend. The 28th would be good, but it may be too soon. The 4th is Labor Day weekend so that's probably out. And Sept 11th is the day before the Belmont St. Fair (Yay!!) but we may or may not want to have a big party the night before that. And then Sept 18th seems so far away. So we have some hard decisions to make!