Monday, 19 November 2007

My first season - Time to reflect

I'm now back home and time to reflect on a wonderful first season but it wasn't all chill out and stress free.

From day one when i first posted on a certain website that i had bought my own bar i recieved quite nasty e-mails trying to put me off opening the bar as things would happen to me or the bar, these came from fake e-mail addresses so couldn't tell who was sending them but nothing was going to stop me. i'd been looking for years to open a bar and the property i found was perfect.

From march i started with the paperwork which to be honest was a nightmare, if paper A can't be done you can't get on with paper F it has to all be in sequence A,B,C so as soon as someone in a office isn't there to sign or stamp a paper thats it, thats the end of the day. I nust have visited in all about 30 offices, miles and miles driving and lots of stress. If your paying someone money for a service they're happy to see you but if its a free service like tax office they are so unwilling to help you and often overlook you until they're ready to serve you. Also add at least another £3000 for hidden charges and paperwork.

At the same time as doing all this i worked 12 hours a day on the bar as the previous owner had let it go to a complete mess, the floor tiles were filthy, the kitchen was full of grease which i had to mop the walls with bleach and de-greaser, i've never seen such a filthy kitchen so god help anyone who ate in here when it was the previous business but after all my hard scrubbing and DIY the "Oceanic" was born.

The season for me didn't start till june due to recieving my licence late, it started quiet but then again new business, no repeat customer, quiet start to season all over island so i sat and waited reading Michael Palin's Python years diaries, which actually gave me great insperation after reading how pyhton struggled hard at the beginning to be accepted.

Within 2 weeks my trade started to pick up, and within 3 weeks i had a full bar. I could never of imagined that this was going to happen and from then on in i was full almost every night. The nights would be different from week to week some weeks it would be full from opening till 8.30 then empty till maybe 10.30-11 or the next week empty till 9.30 then full by 10 but either way every night was a joy to work and every customer was great, didn't have one bad one. The most popular drinks were the cocktails as i don't have any cheap products in my bar all the spirits are genuine and time and care is taken in making the drinks, i pride myself on making true cocktails and if you don't like them then i'll exchange it but i haven't had to yet.

Now i hear you say "come on you must have had some problem" Well yes i did but not from a actual customer it was from 2 people on a certain website who decided to get together and try to wreck my business by stopping people talking about my bar. But i'd like to say thank you to those 2 people as you also spurred me on to make it a success to prove you wrong.

The bar would not have been a success though without your custom and input so this post is a tribute to you all. i can only serve the drinks but you are the people who make the bar what it is, it was a amazing season and i took double the target i had set myself. I loved talking to all the customers, so many different lifestyles and experiences the people have had, it kept me going through a very busy season and i hope with some of the customers i could help them as there were a few customers who were on holiday to escape troubles or upset in their life but seemed to then enjoy themselves which is great to see. The best thing for me is to know that people want the bar i provide and enjoy it, so a huge thank you folks you were all great and hope to see you all again.

Here's to a bright future and hope you will all join me next season, yammas folks your all brilliant.