"Sammy G."

I Turn to My People

Hi Everybody,

I was assigned to understand my target customers, and fully recognize their needs.  And well, you are my target customers, so I need to know your needs!  Can you kindly take a few moments to give me your responses on these 10 questions below.  Don’t worry about being precise in answering them, it’s not a test, it’s only a blog!  -And for those of you shy birds, feel free to make your name anonymous if you need to.  But just give me a code so that I know it’s you… say for example, the name of your dog, how we met, or how much money I owe you.

Okay, you ready??

1.  What do you admire more, drawings or photography?

2.  What music is more relaxing to you, coffeehouse music, jazz, or contemporary instrumentals?

3.  One a scale from 1-5, how would your rate your need/want to have a place like the Brass Lamp, where you can go to late at night to work, read, or meet up with a friend(s) over coffee or a glass of wine?  (5 -being, I needed this yesterday!!!  1-being, I’m never up past 9pm, and if I were I’d rather go to Denny’s!).

4.  If you were to go to the Brass Lamp at 11:45 pm, what would you be doing there?  (ie, reading, writing, drawing, using the free internet, meeting up with friends while discussing how cool the Brass Lamp is, etc.)

5.  How many times in 1 month could you see yourself going there?  (several times a week, a couple of times a month, or I am that Denny’s person)

6.  When the Brass Lamp is open for business, what time of day or night do you mostly see yourself going there?

7.  When you go there by yourself, are you most likely to order coffee, tea, wine, beer, or other refreshments?

8.  When you go there with a friend, are you most likely to order coffee, tea, wine, beer, or other refreshments?

9.  What event are you most likely to go to?  Open Mic night, Wine Tasting Night, Game Night, or Single’s Night?  (Again, feel free to be anonymous!)

10. People our age would rather go to a relaxing, eclectic book bar on a weeknight than to a loud, smelly dive bar.  True or False?

I bet if I were at the Brass Lamp now, my questions would be much more creative!  I need a book bar so I can go there late an night to blog about creating my book bar!!!

 I really need your help answering these questions, so now is not the time to be shy!  Thank you in advance for your feedback!!!

 Your friend,

Penny B. Mac (anonymous name for the day!)


Excitement and Anticipation that Tickles your Tummy

Hi Everyone,

I received a very important email today… it was from the Small Business Development Center, which said, “We believe that you have already taken the necessary steps needed and we recommend that you speak to an advisor to continue developing your business…”  (SQEEEEEEEAL!!!)  Reading that email literally made me feel like I just got accepted to my first choice university!!!  -Actually, I don’t know what that’s like… because I was accepted by my last choice university, but that’s okay, you get the drift!!!  (No dis on CSULB, I owe many things to those four incredible years!)

So, now it’s about to get crazy up in here!!!!  Like most situations in life, I will compare this journey to a rollercoaster.  These past 2.5 weeks of brainstorming and researching has felt like eagerly standing in a long line preparing myself to get on the ride, meanwhile considering backing out due to fear!  But now, I’m at the front of the line and I’m next!!  I was always one of those kids that wanted to sit in the last car to get the strongest whip!  You know that feeling of excitement and anticipation that tickles your tummy right when you’re about to take off!!!  Then when the ride finally starts and you’re slowly climbing that track and you feel the clicking of the ride under your seat, and the nerves and the butterflies are stirring the pit of your stomach (aaaahhhh)… that is what I feel like right now!!!  “Excited” would be a serious understatement!

I suppose I should first tell you what having an advisor means.  It means that a business professional whose expertise is in opening up bars will be working with me one-on-one to create my overall scope of work, my timeline, understand all legalities, logistics, industry knowledge, market strategies, finding commercial space, and financing options… all the sexy terms that a hungry young entrepreneur needs to know!!!  (mmm, delicious!)  I can’t wait to get started!

As promised in taking you through my journey:  Last week I did some “field work” and checked out a few bars and coffee shops.  Drinking on the job is just sooo hard, but someone’s gotta do it!  So, I video taped a few of my visits.  I wish I could have done a better job using my video camera, but I didn’t… so if you want to see a poor display of videography, check out a couple of my visits:



P.S.  I will learn how to put videos on the site… getting there!

I’ll blog again soon…Thanks for staying tuned to my blog!!

Here’s my rollercoaster!!!

 Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. –Henry David Thoreau

Or maybe if movie quotes speak to you better:  I feel the need-the need for speed.  -Maverick and Goose, Top Gun

Creating the Logo!! Finalizing a Name!!

Today I met with a Graphic Designer to go over logo designs!  This woman is one of the most creative and talented women I know!  She also happens to be one of my best friends, Jess Nordquist!  I can’t wait to see what she comes up with!!!   Thank you Jess for doing this pro bono!!!  Drinks will be on the house for the rest of our lives!!!

Everybody, thank you for your wonderful and creative suggestions on names for my book bar…!  With so many good suggestions, I was finally able to pin down the perfect name.  There are so many reasons why I love this name, but to spare you the details here its………(drum roll please….).  The name of my book bar will be Brass Lamp.  It’s fun, warm, intriguing, and not too obvious!!! I hope you agree…!

I feel like I just decided on the name of my first child!  Brass Lamp!  -He’s got my eyes!!

Me and my Graphic Designer!  Meeting for Logo & Signage!

Me and my Graphic Designer! Meeting for Logo & Signage!

To see Jess’ phenomenal work, visit her at: www.jessnordquist.com

This is the girl you want to hire for your graphic visions!!!


Let it Go, it’s Just a Name… (Changing the Outside Doesn’t Mean Changing the Inside)!!!

I knew that creating my book bar was going to be challenging… but it didn’t dawn on me that my first challenge would lie in the name.

Disappointingly, I discovered that “Book Bar” / “The Book Bar” is already taken!  Actually, it’s “Bar & Book” that is trademarked, and since the name is similar and the goods and services are similar, it is protected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.  Darn!  With that discovery, I now know my book bar-concept isn’t as unique as I thought!  There are a few book bars in the U.S…. BUT, none that stay open until 2:00am!  So there is where my concept is a little bit different!  At my book bar, which is now nameless for the moment, is a place where you can go to late at night and still maintain a feeling a privacy -but you already knew that because you already read the ABOUT section!  The other book bars try to cultivate the environment of your typical loud bar but with a “library” theme.

The bad news is obvious!  The good news however, is that having existing book bars confirms the notion that there is a need for a place like this!  Not to mention, I now know where I can pick some ideas!  HA- who’s laughing now!?  -Way to see the lemonade!!!  You’re not bringing me down, Lemons!!!

So, I’m back to the drawing board with names.  I will be changing the name, but the concept stays the same!!  I NEED your help on this… Survey Says…

So, what do you think… of…

Brilliant Bar

Burnt Pages

Writer’s Block


Creative Juices

Book Closet (haha, reminds me of Water Closet -which means restroom in other countries!)

Silent Bar (now I’m just saying words….)

Burgundy Bar (I just saw a Maroon 5 image, and thought of Burgundy… silly me.)

Libri e Bevande (No, that’s not tagalog!)

Rocco’s Crib (LOL!)

Sam’s Club (Sounds familiar…)

-New suggestions that just came down the pike- (thank you for your suggestions!!!)

Midnight Pass

Midnight Oil (I get it, cuz you might need to go to the Book Bar and burn the midnight oil.)

Toss & Turn (Very clever!  Cuz when you can’t sleep at night, you go to the Book Bar!  -I mean the something-something!)

The Torch

The Book Den

Writing Den

The Drink & Think

Library & Libations

The Sip Cover

Books and Brews

The Brass Lamp

Piacasso Noir


Actually, out of these, I do have a favorite, but I’ll tell you which one after you give me your thoughts!!!!  If you were opening a Book Bar… what would you call it…???


First Week…

Hi Everybody, thanks so much for taking the time to read what’s on my blog so far… and thanks for your encouragement and feedback!!

This week I’ve done all sorts of reading on how to start a business, tips on marketing your business, defining your target audience, statistics on successful restaurants… you know all the usual information gathering one needs when opening up your run of the mill book bar!  I’ve also filed a “Name Reserve Request” with the Secretary of State to reserve the name of the LLC for 60 days.  If they already cashed my check that means none of you can duplicate my idea!  Well, actually you can, you just can’t duplicate the name!  So, in case you’re wondering, you can’t have any of the following:  Book Bar, The Book Bar, and Bookbar.  Got it…!?

I’ve also registered for several classes funded by the Small Business Association in Long Beach, which assists new Business Owners with info and tools they need to start their own business.  FYI- for any business owners out there -just in case you’d like to know- they also help existing Business Owners with a nudge in the right direction!  -I’m not saying you need help, I’m just saying!-  Anyway, yeah for SBA…!!!  Whatever agency is forcing them to do this, I’d like to give them a personal VIP invitation with a free bottle of wine to The Book Bar!

So, now I’m in the midst of working on my business plan!  My goal is to have this done by next Tuesday!  If I can do that and submit it during my Small Business Development Training, they’ll assign me an advisor to hold my hand through it all!  I’m not too proud to ask for help!!!

So, that’s it for now… oh, one more thing!!!  I bought myself a little flip cam to record my trips “out in the field to do my R&D,” and here’s me using it for the very first time!  I promise to actually make an effort to use it properly in the future!  And I promise that all future videos I post will be much more worthwhile!  http://youtu.be/IYk69mPyRr0

Talk to you again next week!!




Welcome to the Book Bar blog!!!

Hi Friends and Fams!!  Yeah, you came!!!

I am going to take you through my journey in creating this book bar… by blogging it!
You’ll see the progress of The Book Bar as it grows in my head, and then as it grows by my hands…

I am SO excited to get this going!!!  Thank you so much for being part of my journey…whether a failure or a success, we shall see…
Through this journey, I will be picking your brain… and I hope to get some really stellar ideas from you!!

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” –Chinese Proverb
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