Monday, January 31, 2011

Day 1 (really day 2,555)

Today we finally began what I can only assume will be, the long and arduous (but hopefully tons of fun and full of learning experiences) process of opening a boutique beer and wine bar, retail store and entertainment venue in San Diego. So I guess you could say it's day 1, but by any other calculation, it's at least day 2, 555 because it was in 2004 or 2005 that this process really began. For 15 years we ran The Theatre in Old Town, a for-profit theatre producing long running commercial hits.  We were the home of many great musicals and comedies including "I Love You, You're Perfect Now Change," "The Male Intellect," "Shear Madness," "BEEHIVE," and our amazing five year run of "Forever Plaid."  It was a great time, we produced lots of fun shows, our audiences had a blast and we were really quite successful.  But in 2006 when California State Parks decided to put the theatre out to bid requiring a lot of capitalization, a lot more rent and historically accurate interpretive programming, we decided to pass.  It was time to move on.  For a couple of years we worked on developing a new theatre in North County but several locations fell through (THANK GOD) because when the crash of 2009 rolled around we were kissing the ground and thanking our lucky stars that we were no longer in the theatre business.  So over the past two years or so we have refined our plan and began looking for a space to run a boutique craft beer and wine bar with light food service and intimate entertainment.  Since we live in Encinitas, we were still convinced we wanted to be in North County.  And when I tell you we looked, I mean there are dozens of businesses open now in the locations we considered.  But, none were the right fit.  Finally our realtor told us about a space in Northern Little Italy on Kettner Blvd.  It was love at first sight.  So last Thursday we signed a lease and today we signed an agreement with our general contractor, and away we go!  We have done our homework and researched (ad naseum) all of the permits, fees, application processes and other hoops we will have to jump through, and still we have decided to move forward.  You would be amazed, if not shocked, at how hard it is to open a small business, particularly when there is beer and wine involved.  But, my partners and I (my husband Steve and good friend Chris) feel like we are up to the challenge.  So here we go, we've made the commitment, we're taking the chance and making the leap...keep your fingers crossed.  We will keep you posted.