March 21, 2017

Location, Location, Location (#8)

Sitting down to write this entry, what popped into my head was "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" and "Where's Waldo?"  And then I thought, "What the f*** does that have to do with anything?"  And then I thought, well, finding the right location takes a little bit of a) intellect (i.e., Ms. Sandiego) and b) time (i.e., Mr., errr, Waldo).  (And then  I thought, a) why I am talking about children's games, b) this is a bar blog! and c) this blog post is going to suuuuck...)

Shaking off that last thought and applying my intellect... my search for the "right" location seemed pretty straightforward to me (I do feel I have a handle on some things!). Desiring to be a neighborhood bar, find a location that is close to where people live or work. And being around other bars or in a place where there is some regular "foot traffic" is not a bad thing - a "destination" bar seems more challenging to me. And since (per Blog Post #3), the concept of the place is to "promote lively discussion and intelligent debate," what better location exists in the WORLD than being in close proximity to Nerd Central - Harvard and MIT.  Cambridge, here I come!



And then that striped, skinny, cane-carrying, bespectacled fellow, Waldo, reared his head. Or rather, did NOT rear his head. Finding a place has been more elusive than I would have thought. (Also, I tend to get distracted... did anyone else start thinking about where the phrase "reared his head" originated? Well, apparently no one knows - and by "no one" I mean no one in the first three Google listings I read... where was I...?).

I reached out to my real estate team - yes, now I have a team - and told them precisely what I wanted. And the listings poured in... Newton, downtown Boston, Brookline, Beacon Hill, Faneuil Hall, Needham... uhhh... guys?  Maybe I need to brush up on my brokerese... where's Cambridge? Or even Somerville?

Given the situation, I considered -  strongly - other locales. I checked out listings of existing bars/restaurants that are interested in "selling" their assets such as their lease, their kitchen and bar equipment, their furniture, and the most coveted thing of all... their liquor license! (As an aside, it is much, much easier and cheaper to find an existing place and "convert" it, rather than build out a place from scratch... called a "vanilla box" in the industry - good thing I'm a chocolate fan.) And - shocker! - nothing "felt" right... this one's too small; this one's too gross; this one's too touristy; this one's too expensive; this one doesn't want me because I have no experience (ouch!) - I felt like Goldilocks, only without the hair (or the girl parts).

Maybe I have developed a bias.  But I have seen 2-3 places in Cambridge and they spoke to me. They "fit" my vision. I even...wait for it... made an offer on one place!  It might not come to fruition (offering 60% of the asking price might not be the most winning strategy), but hey, I broke through that psychological barrier. Wahoo!

And there you have it. Cambridge or Somerville, here I come. Unless, of course, I find Waldo and Ms. Sandiego doing shots together in a bar in Brookline...

Sei gesund,
-Pete

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