Phase III- Legalities

In the Beginning…

As the book bar is progressing while in its planning phases, I’m making decisions on the types of (private) rooms that I will have.  This building was built for office space in the 1950’s and has been used as such since then.  But in 2014, this mid-century brick office building will be transformed into the very first “book bar and lounge” in Southern California.  -True story!!!


The private rooms around the perimeter of the floor plan were once offices of Executives and Managers, but will soon be uniquely and carefully crafted purpose driven rooms, which I have yet to determine.  But in deciding the use for those rooms, I keep in mind the heart of The Brass Lamp, which is to build a community.   The primary vision of my business may have taken a backseat to the glam of this oh-so-cool-forward-thinking concept, but truly is the cornerstone of The Brass Lamp.

HemingwayBehind the obvious coolness and uniqueness of having a… uh, “coffee shop for adults,” if you will, the vision of this bar/coffee shop/bookstore was not only to provide a place for people to go to on their own to “read, write, and drink,” but it was also a place that would cultivate intriguing conversations, imaginative ideas and eventually geniusly creative results!  -Did you know that the iconic writer, Earnest Hemingway was notoriously fond of drinking?  Much like his counterparts like Scott Fitzgerald and William Styron, most creative artists get their best ideas when balancing drinking and working.  I know I do!  And I know you do too!

At The Brass Lamp, I will be featuring the work of local, upcoming Artists, which will cultivate more creativity, which will in turn develop compounding ideas of brilliance.  Giving my customers, not just something to look at, but something to talk about!!!  And that’s ultimately what I want… I want to give them something to talk about!  Thank you, Bonnie Raitt!

So as I head hunt for these creative artist’s work on my walls, performances on my stage, and books on my shelves, I ask that you envision The Brass Lamp as being a place where you can let down your hair, take off your tie, and relax your tension-filled shoulders and enjoy being inspired!!!

And they say you can’t never meet a decent person at a bar!  I beg to differ!  Cheers!

Oh, and if you have any ideas for some of those rooms, don’t be shy to share!

“Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the romance of the unusual.”  -Ernest Hemingway

It’s Gettin Hot in Herre

Nelly said it best!  “It’s gettin hot in herre!”  -Oh Nelly, you’re so poetic!

Things are starting to get real up in herre!

To my Brass Lamp-believers: after monnnnths of waiting to hear back on the SBA loan, and monnnnths of looking for the right space, it is with great joy that I report that I have the loan!  I have the space!  I have the General Contractor, and I have a professional team behind me producing my Kickstarter campaign (Thank you Localism)!!!

But wait… before I break open the champagne, I still have piles of paperwork to sign to make it all official.  But I look back at where I was in this process exactly one year ago today, and I was just formulating the concept of the bar.  I posted a blog with survey questions that some of you were so kind to take the time to answer.  I remember where I was sitting in my home when I posted the blog.  If you walk down memory lane with me  you might remember where you were when you read this blog or replied to my survey questions.

Rereading that, feels like it was just yesterday!  What they say is true… the older you get, the faster time flies!

Moving forward, there is now another hill I have to climb to build The Brass Lamp.  The first order of business is raising funds.  With the bank loan, I only have 75% of the funds needed to do the build-out of this incredible 4,000 sq.ft. space, which I forgot to mention IS ON THE PROMENADE in downtown Long Beach -saywhaaaat!?.  So for these next 90 days, I will be getting crazy creative with raising the rest of the money.  In case you’re wondering, no it’s not selling narcotics or prostitution!  ANYWAYYYY- the money will go to the permit and license fees, equipment and furniture, and of course all the sweet finishing touches that will make this place so special!

So, save your pennies and nickles… I will need them soon!!!

Stay tuned, because I will be reporting all of my progress in these upcoming months aggressively!  I know what you’re next question is:  When will you open?!  Answer:  realistically February 2015.  Hey, no one said big dreams happen quickly!

BookBar_Ts8Check out the new t-shirts coming out soon!  Limited edition!

P.S. I love my dive bars… I love my sports bars… so take this image with light-hearted humor!

P.P.S.  The votes are in… We’re going with black!  Which is great, because summer’s coming to an end and black is slimming!

To all ma’single ladies, due to popular demand, these will come in tank tops!

In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure. –Bill Cosby 

To Embrace Risk or Not to Embrace Risk

How do you measure risk???  Is it measured by how much you can afford to lose???  Or is it measured by the number of sweat beads dripping off your side burns at the Blackjack table?  Is your tolerance -$500 or -$5,000?   If anyone cares to know the technical calculation for risk, it’s measured by likelihood vs. impact. If the likelihood of a negative event occurs is low, and the negative impact of that event is low, then it is low risk.  Conversely, high likelihood combined with high impact, equals extremely high risk.   (Auditors know these things!)  So, when does risk become too much to lose???

My tolerance level was recently tested at -$6,322.50!!  I threw up a little in my mouth.  Here’s the update with The Brass Lamp.  For the location I’d like to have my book bar, I will have to apply for both a Conditional Use Permit and a Coastal Development Permit for an offensive amount of $6,322.50.  Here’s the process… Applying for this not only requires a fat check, but it requires floor plans, public notification requirements, a written narrative of surrounded uses to the north, south, east, west, and a bunch of other preposterous barricades.  The approval process takes 2-4 months, and if approved, it allows me to purchase my Type 41-beer and wine license for approximately $10,000.  If both applications are denied, I’m out $6,322.50 (I shutter to the thought).  So this is where I stand.  Do I move forward, or quit now………..?????

-Pshaa!  A big fat, PSHAA!!  The only option for me is to MOVE FORWARD.  I did not come this far to quit now.  I will take that risk, and embrace it because I am confident that the impact will be incredibly rewarding!!!  At this point, the Great Wall of China doesn’t intimidate me!

My Grandma use to always say, “If there’s a will, there’s a way,” which at the time made no sense to me at the age of 7 because I didn’t know what “will” meant.  But Grandma’s are always right, even when you think they are losing their mind!!  Those aren’t just wrinkles, those are wisdom-wrinkles!!!

By now, you know I love me some inspirational quotes.  So these seem so apropos!

“The difference between a successful person and others is not lack of strength not a lack of knowledge but rather a lack of will.” –Vince Lombardi 

“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” –George Addair

Friday Night: Wine tasting at my place with my besties~  Thank you for your feedback!  Beer- tasting is next on the agenda!  Ugh, I know… right!?

neopolitan forever

Enjoy your week!


The Internal Auditor who just said she’d embrace risk.  No wonder I’m not longer an Auditor!!!