March 1, 2018

I'm alive! More on that soon... (#19)

Hello all!
It has been a few months.
It has been hectic.
It has been exhilarating.
It has been fun.
It still is being challenging.... and entertaining.

And I will regale you with stories.

But for now....

Sunday is Oscar day, if you have not heard...
(Best Picture Nominee: Lady Bird).

6PM is trivia! You can gain some fame...
(Best Picture Nominee: Call Me By Your Name).

8:30PM we watch to hear what Jimmy Kimmel said...
(Best Picture Nominee: Phantom Thread).

With any luck, he won't be a jerk...
(Best Picture Nominee: Dunkirk).

But he will poke fun of those in the Ivory Tower...
(Best Picture Nominee: Darkest Hour).

Then the fun begins. Winners win prizes and losers pout...
(Best Picture Nominee: Get Out).

At Wit's End, the competition for predictions will grow hotter and hotter...
(Best Picture Nominee: The Shape of Water).

And with the Best Picture Winner, we will have a Prosecco Toast...
(Best Picture Nominee: The Post).

Reserve your space now, to avoid the hoards...
(Best Picture Nominee: Three Billboards).

Email: jayson@witsendbar.com or me at pete@witsendbar.com for reservations!

За здоровье!
-Pete


December 9, 2017

It's snowing!

I know I've been quiet these days. And the website is up at the old www.witsendbar.com address. But I have not forgotten you! And I hope you don't forget me! I'll post a Grand Opening update soon. But until then, come on by! I'm here. I'm always here! ;-)

And things are going well!



November 27, 2017

Game On! (#18)

We are open! And yes, I am tired!  But excited.  Things continue to get smoother each day. The drinks are awesome. The food is getting great feedback. And eeveryone seems to be really taking to the place. The move symbol wall is challenging everyone. The riddles on the chalkboards are perplexing.  People are wondering whether "Send Nudes" in the Scrabble Bar was just a coincidence! Saturday night, surprisingly had about 8 tables playing all sorts of games, as well.

Next up... marketing and word of mouth.  We need to go viral-ish. So, please check out the article below and share it with your social media networks! Not sure what more to say. Except, come on over tonight! (Yes, I will be there when you arrive. We open at 4:30PM every day!)

Check this article out from today!

And here are some photos.  First one is Wit's End Customer #1!







October 17, 2017

Clearly, I was unclear. (#17)

All:

So much to do, so little time. The place is shaping up nicely. Still looking for a bartender or two! I am delaying my opening until mid-November. But please read this, and if you are so inclined, act now. I would think most of you would - well those of you who like great deals, anyway. It's an email I will be sending out shortly.
-----------------------
Hi everyone,

If you are receiving this, I either know you or know someone that knows you.  I have spent the last 10 months planning to open a bar/restaurant in Cambridge, MA. And the time is very near. Everything is fully funded and ready to go. I would be honored if you would come by for a visit. It's called Wit's End and it's in Inman Square.

I wanted to find a way to give my network a special benefit by giving you a gift card for an amount at least 30% more than the value of your contribution. That's it. There are no gimmicks. If you plan to visit anytime in the future, this should be a no brainer.

You will also get other trinkets, like T-shirts and coasters and - for a larger investment - the opportunity to leave your mark on the bar itself!

I chose kickstarter as a way to facilitate this offer. It is a means to get this out to you in an easy and accessible way. I have heard from people that doing it on kickstarter is confusing and strange - and that my keen business mind is up to something (obviously they don't know me that well - my mind is far from keen). But I think it just might be an atypical kickstarter campaign. There is not much typical in my life these days! 

This is an all or nothing proposition. About 15 people have contributed and will be receiving bigger gift cards than they paid for - some will have left their mark on the bar forever! But we need to reach the $5,000 mark for anyone to get anything (we are 35% of the way there).

So, here it is... Click here now. Contribute. Get more in return. 

Click this ==> KickStart Wit's End

Thanks,
-Pete
----------------------------

October 4, 2017

Getting Social and Kick Starting with the Ghost-to-Ghost (#16)

I can honestly say I may never have been busier with so many tasks than I have been over the past few weeks! But everything seems to be coming together... I think. From cleaning, to construction, to certifications, to hiring, to technology integration, to signing up vendors, to health inspections, to equipment maintenance, to operational processes, to furniture procurement (and selling) to the ever important table and coaster making, there is more to do than there are hours in the day (plus a bit of time reserved for anxiety, anticipation and excitement).

BUT....

For this to be a success, there is one major component that ultimately, I cannot control. And that is you, my... ummm... Wit's Enders.  Without any of you, all of this effort will be for naught. Now, that doesn't mean I can't TRY to control you! So, I am going to ask each of you for a favor. It's very simple. Together, perhaps we can all work to make this a huge success through a tiny, little selfless act. But first, a very short story...(you can skip to FAVOR below, if you must...)

When I was young, I loved to read books from a series called The Three Investigators. The books were mysteries (like the Hardy Boys books) chronicling the tales of three young boys - Jupiter Jones, Bob Andrews and Pete Crenshaw - as they solved one mystery after another. (I never thought, until now, how convenient it was that they continually had mysterious things happen all around them - enough to fill about 42 books... but I digress.) One "tool" they invented was called the "Ghost-to-Ghost" hookup. You can read about it here, I think - I don't have time. :-)

As I remember, however, the essence is this. Each of those sleuthy dudes called 5 additional friends and asked them to either spread the word about something or be on the lookout for something. BUT, they also asked their friends - because they had influence (which I am certain you have) - to also call 5 more friends and relay the same message. And asked them to call 5 more... and you can see how this, plus a little 7th grade math, makes this the greatest ponzi scheme, errr, I mean communication scheme in the world.

FAVOR
I have started a kickstarter campaign. You can read about it through the link below, but if you are ever going to go to Wit's End, this will be worth it. Wit's End also has an Instagram, Twitter and Facebook account. I am asking for your support and for you to join the kickstarter campaign (again, will be worth your while) as well as like/follow these accounts. Here's the favor, can you do that PLUS, send an email or SHARE the kickstarter campaign with your network, but more specifically, ask them to do the same (between you and me, I think a personal email to 5 trusted friends might go just as far as a "Share," but ultimately, it's your call)?!

That's it.  Please, do it now? I know you are super busy. But if you don't, you'll never come back to it, you know that. I'll owe you one. And, well, you'll know where I'll be for you to collect! Click below for each!

KICKSTARTER
INSTAGRAM
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
(and my new personal Facebook Profile)

In the end, this is  all is being done to serve you, my current and future friends. So I thank you genuinely for helping me to make this venture a success!

Humbly,
Pete

September 16, 2017

Be Careful What You Wish For! (#15)


As of Friday, September 8, 2017, my LinkedIn profile became a lie. I am no longer a future bar owner. I am a CURRENT bar owner! (Or just "bar owner," as we, ahem, like to say in the industry.)

Papers are passed.
Deal is closed.
The countdown has begun...

The last 8 months were a seeming walk in the park. It's sprint time...
  • A real schedule needs to be solidified
  • Construction needs to start (demolition begins MONDAY!)
  • Vendors (lots and lots of them) need to be lined up
  • Servers and cooks and bartenders need to be hired
  • Kitchens and bars (well, one kitchen and one bar) need to be thoroughly cleaned
  • Furniture needs to be ordered (I have too many stool samples! Ummm, bar stool samples, that is)
  • Plateware and glassware need to be ordered
  • Last minute design decisions still need to be made
  • Technology needs to be defined and implemented
  • Back of the house systems (security, music, internet, phone, TV, etc.) need to be turned on
  • Menus need final creation and definition
  • Concept needs a better "elevator speech," and...
  • Marketing needs to begin!
Wait - marketing already began! Unbeknownst to me, a little story was cobbled together from a Craig's List job posting and this very blog! Click Here to see Wit's End's very first press! (As an aside, check out the double possessive punctuation in the last sentence! Which leads to a very Witsendian topic (yes, that's an attempt to coin a new word, Witsendian... give it time, I feel it will catch on): Is the punctuation on "Wit's End" actually correct? Should it be Wits' End? (and... are nested parentheses even legitimate?)).

Despite not being interviewed for that story, my proactive marketing efforts must begin soon! These days, I am told, that means social media. Yes, while I may be a generation (or two) outside of the prime social media using demographic, I do have an expert consultant on staff (and for the right price, too - my 15 year old daughter, Annie)! So, in about a week, I will post my social media sites and I want all of you to get that Instagram account and figure out finally what Twitter actually is used for and friend, like, follow, join or whatever else needs to be done to stay apprised of all things Wit's End! (Don't worry, for you old fogies, I'll walk you through it!)

If time allows, I intend to also literally kick start this effort with an actual kickstarter.com campaign that should enable the mutual backscratching thing (I scratch yours, you  scratch mine). I hope to afford all of you special Wit's End benefits, deals and discounts (consider it a reward for enduring my blog!). And you won't have to do all that much to get them (just a tiiiiny little bit)!

Now, I have to go and finish making these friggin' tables....

Skål!
-Pete


August 23, 2017

Pssst... Want to Know a Secret? (#14)

The time is here. BUT before just blabbing where the bar is going to be and when we are opening, I feel compelled to make you suffer through what I have been doing the past few weeks. So sorry - my blog, not yours. Feel free to jump to the bottom. But you will be missing out on some super great updates!
Fancy Fancy!

I received my Cambridge Business Certificate (and ordered business cards).
("Page 73, Johnson, Navin, R.! I’m somebody now!")

I hired a manager who actually knows what he is doing!
(Dah-da-dah! Welcome, Joshua Dunton!)

I got Cambridge License Commission Approval for the transfer of my liquor license.
(So it is confirmed that I will have alcoholic beverages! Yippee!)

I began working shifts at a real, operating bar - more on this in a minute.
Hiding in the Basement
(So THAT's how it works! It's actually not rocket science.)

I decided to go with "Debate" instead of "Discourse" or "Discussion" in the logo.
(This has proven to be a volatile discussion topic itself... ummm, I mean debate topic.)

I finalized the "American Tapas" menu with dueling small plates.
(Bolstering the "debate" concept - there are two sides to every story and two sides to my menu).
Best. Crushed Ice. Ever.

I went to my first restaurant auction.
(It took me about 4 hours to get a $60 ice crusher - which might not be worth more than $60).

If you have read this far, let's play trick on those who skipped to the end! I'll include a photo that was sent to me of a random bar called Wit's End (I think in New Jersey). That's not my bar... but they won't know that!!! Hah! Classic!

I kicked off a technology project tying in digital signage, an app and a loyalty program.
(Come on, you know me.... there had to be some technology going on here).

I managed to secure oodles of parking in Inman Square all around the bar.
(Now there are NO excuses for not driving in for the night!)

That's a lotta wood.
I decided to build the tables in the restaurant area all by myself.
(And when 900 pounds of wood showed up, I decided I might have over committed!)

I introduced myself at an Inman Square Neighborhood Association meeting.
(However, nobody cared. I was overshadowed by the incoming Medical Marijuana Dispensary). 

I determined that my "Yin/Yang" plates idea is unlikely to come to fruition.
(Ordering plates from China - 4,000 minimum quantity; 2,000 if I pick them up - seems somewhat overkill).

____________________________

So, if you skipped down to here without reading the updates, well, I hope this feels a little like watching Game of Thrones... starting on Season 3. However (sigh), it most likely won't. In any case, here she is in all of her glory!

Inviting, right?

While I don't have an exact opening date, it appears that early November is a strong Grand Opening candidate. I will be taking over the existing space at 1248 Cambridge Street in Inman Square. It is currently Hops Test Kitchen. This restaurant will be closing (obviously), but their sister restaurant in Coolidge Corner in Brookline, Hops N Scotch, is alive and thriving. How do I know? Because that is where I have been staging (new word for me.. rhymes with "Raj-ing"... those silly French). It has also afforded me the opportunity to try their food a few times and it is gooo-oood. For real! Check them out! (I'm partial to the pastas and burgers)!

There it is... Tell all your friends. Seriously. Tell them ALL. Please. Getting people in the door is soon to be my next concern!

Seiradewa!
-Pete

P.S. If you are confused because Google Street View does not show the Wit's End Tavern in the above picture... joke's on you. You'll have to read the entire post now!