Sunday, 25 July 2010

You scream, i scream, we all scream for ice cream!

Well its absolutely SCORCHIO! What can you do to keep cool, go for a swim? sit under air con all day? sit in a bath full of ice? NO, get yourself as much ice cream as you can and gobble the whole lot up before it melts, mmmm! Had a nice plate full at "7" ice cream parlour in town but take a pillow with you for when you faint at the price €9, then i had some at the bakery in Kalamaki that was nice and a good price €5.20 but flavours were a bit to stronge, then we hit the jackpot with Izzy's Ice Creams at Busters Bar in Alikanas, a great big bowl full of Vanilla, Banana and peanut butter ice cream and all homemade €5, WOW! Brain freeze heaven.
Helen decided to try the Ouzo flavoured ice cream being as i don't like Ouzo, i was curious so i had to taste a bit and do you know what, it really does work and i enjoyed it as the flavour was there but not to stronge. Good work guys, keep it up!

As my dedicated readers know i don't like to churn out the same old cocktails as the other bars so this week i have created 2 new cocktails, the Banana Blender Bender and a Turkish Delight Cocktail (boy did that one take a long time testing, HIC!) My first Guinea Pigs, sorry i mean customers all survived the taste test and enjoyed every drop so its all systems go with both for the rest of the season.

Well this week has been very quiet. Within 2 weeks i've gone from my best night in 4 years to worst night of this season, still hit target though so can't complain really and back to normal last night with a full bar, very weird. I looked back over past years takings for the week before schools break up and it seemed to be the same fact for the past 3 years that that week was really quiet. When my customers arrive now after 10.30pm being as its to hot early evening they tell me that even some of the more popular bars and restaurants on the main road who are usually busy are empty or just half full. I've even been to see friends who have bars in Kalamaki, Argassi and Tsilivi and their feeling it even more as they all have at least 5 staff, more overheads and takings for a night are as much as mine on a good night. One of the bars is lucky to take €50 after being open 18 hours, poor guy feel so sorry for him. We need more businesses to survive and hopefully even more open, some business owners may be happy when competion closes but in all honesty thats a bad way to think, if a resort has less businesses open then there is no reason for tourists to visit it, tourists want a resort with lots of open businesses not a ghost town with empty properties. Also the landlords of these properties need to help the business owners by lowering the rent in this time of economic crisis, isn't it better for them to have some rent instead of no rent? My landlord dropped my rent without me even asking and now its less than when i first opened the bar, now thats good business sense. One business in Kalamaki has closed already with only 2 1/2 months of the season gone.

The old road was so quiet of people one night i saw a cat and dog walking paw in paw down the road as no one was around but as soon as they saw me they pretended to fight again LOL.

I took a ride over to Argassi this week to have a look around and i have to say it looks a sorry sight and a bit run down with empty businesses just left to over grow with weeds and rubbish collect in the front of them. I went to my old bar "The Tropicana" which in its time was the busiest bar in Argassi but now empty and just left to rot, i felt quite sad as i stood there in its grounds remembering how much fun was had there with my good friends Andrea, Mia and Dez and all the lovely customers that visited me, quite a few even come over from Kalamaki. I still have great memories of some brilliant nights but i don't think i'll ever see it open again.

The once great Tropicana. My writing is still on the blackboard from 2006.

As you all know from previous posts i'm on the look out for a boat and may have just found it, now i'm really torn between the biscuit tin home made landing craft and this 4 mast ship, there is a bit of a gap when it comes to the price, a couple of million in fact but i think 4 million for the homemade landing craft is a bit steep haha!

So once again its time to sign off kiddy winkies till next week, before you go to bed
make sure to put the cat out, lock all the doors, check windows, turn off electrical appliances and unplug from the wall and never smoke in bed. Goodnight viewers and sleep tight.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Its oh so quiet, ssh! ssh!

Well its another week over and time for the latest news from Zakynthos.

What a difference a week makes. Last Saturday was my best night since i opened in 2007 and my best season to date but this week the old road has been like a ghost town so much so you would think its first week of May. I'm very honest when it comes to writing my blog so i don't just post the times when i'm busy but then again i haven't really had a quiet season so i haven't been able to post about a quiet week but now i can, hooraah! LOL Still hitting the nightly targets i've set for the bar this season but boy the nights are long and drawn out. As stated in previous posts over the seasons at this time July and August are quiet months for me but its the first time i've had time to sit down, which ain't a bad thing as my poor little legs ain't getting any younger.
I had a lovely couple come in to my bar on their first night last week and say "We've heard this is the best bar in Kalamaki" to which i replied "I wouldn't know about that, its just a bar". I don't think anyone can give themselve that honour and you can only be voted "the best" by someone who has visited every bar in Kalamaki and tried the drinks. I do feel very honoured by the reviews i get but everyone is different, i've just been lucky that all the people that have visited me have enjoyed Oceanic and yes the couple have been back every night. For me i'd say Cave Bar is the best just for its location and surroundings and i wouldn't even say i was anywhere near the busiest bar as there are a few bars busier than Oceanic but for the size of the bar i'm doing very well.

So whats occuring? Ok, well, the large influx of 18-30's are slowing down but the resort is looking more to cater for the 18-30's this season with crazy drinks prices along the main strip and now bars are also selling, wait for it, Laughing gas in ballons, can you believe it, not helium actual laughing gas, whats that all about? I'm sure that when i go in to a bar its for a drink not to have a tooth extracted (laughing gas reference). What will it be next, Intravenous Ouzo? haha. After i closed at 2.30am last night i took a ride around the resort and visited my friends bar. I've never seen so many groups of young girls and guys wandering around the resort at that time of morning in the 5 years i've lived in Kalamaki. When i got to my friends bar there was about 20 youngsters in there and out of that amount i counted only 6 had drinks but they stayed there for the whole hour i was there and were still there when i left with only seeing 2 more drinks bought. Thank god i aimed my bar at the 35+ age group, us old farts really know how to party haha. Nevermind its only for 2 months and i'm well away from it being on the old road, Phew!

Soon i will be a captain, no i haven't applied to play for the England Football Team but i've been on a window shopping spree for a boat, seen a few and waiting to hear back about a little 4 seater speed boat but also seen a boat that looks like a home made world war 2 landing craft, not sure how sea worthy it is but there was a for sale sign on it at the port in Zakynthos town. Can you imagine it, me setting off to sea with a yo ho ho and a bottle of rum, parrot on my shoulder and scuppering all the fancy yachts as they try to dock in the port, i shall call myself "Captain Short Ass Balding Patch" and my boat will be known as "Battle Axe Blodwyn". As you can see from this picture she already has a plank that i shall make them land lubbers walk, aah haaaa!

Some how the rumours have started already that i'm not going to be back next season, news to me. Well of course, how stupid of me, i'm having my best season ever (so far but things can change), its sunny and warm, i have all day to myself to go to the beach or pool or out on my bike, no stress, i'm my own boss and yes i really want to give all that up to stay in the UK with the wet grey summers, no job prospects, society going down the pan and 2 guys i don't even know or care about running the country very badly. I can see the appeal of the UK but i think i'll stick with Zakynthos and have to grin and bare it LOL. When or if i ever close Oceanic you'll read it here first.

So until next week folks, Hold your sparkler at arms length, let an adult light the end, when lit keep the sparkler at arms length at all times, never throw your sparkler, when sparkler is finished extinguish in a bucket of water.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

New e-mail address for Oceanic Margarita Studios enquiries

Ok the old e-mail address for uk bookings is now closed so you need to re-enquire using:-

The old e-mail address was hacked in to and all enquiries have been lost so please use the new address and re-enquire, thank you

Sunday, 11 July 2010

My quiet part of the season or is it?

Well we're now in to July and usually my season goes a bit quiet as my dedicated readers know from previous seasons posts July andf August are quiet months for me due to the fact its more families and 18-30's than couples and older families but in saying that this July has been a different kettle of fish all together (what the hells a kettle of fish?). The nights have seemed alot quieter but its been better than last season. In fact last night i smashed my all time record takings by 85 euro which may not seem much to you but for a bar that can only hold 40 people with only myself running the whole show that ain't bad going and out come the emergency chairs again (thanks Derek and Veronica at the The Lighthouse restaurant) so to keep a record of my best night since i opened in 2007 here are some pics at 1am this morning. Notice the new doorway lights, pretty!

Last Wednesday Myself and Helen took our good friends Leigh and Rachel to a truely beautiful restaurant in Aghios Sostis called "Aperitto". It has an amazing decor with stunning views out to sea of Cameo Island and Marathonisi Island. The menu has some great food on it that is served from 5pm, being as we were there at 1pm it was a limited menu but it was still lovely tasting food and hope to visit it at night some time but that may be difficult due to my bar being open. Here is a link to their website and a pic, forgot to take pics of the views out to sea, what an idiot LOL.
I'm seeing some worrying signs of this lovely peaceful resort getting the early symptoms of "Laganitis" (good word Lee & Emma). Usually about now we get a few groups of all females or males that lasts for 2 or 3 weeks but this season it has doubled in amount. Guys roaming around with tops off early hours of the morning shouting with a bottle of beer in hand, girls falling about with shoes in hand crying. Why are the UK tour companies sending them to a family resort? Many regular vsitors have already said it is putting them off coming back. I had a greek family in 4 nights ago for drinks who own a restaurant on the old road and they said that last week since the 18-30's landed it has been their worst week in years and before that they were doing very well. A friend who owns a bar on the main road said that every night he sees easily about 100 young people getting taxis to Laganas.
Don't get me wrong i've been on 18-30 holidays in my time but i think there is less respect with the "Yuff" of today (Not all are bad may i add). I've had girls walk in asking for free shots before they've even sat down and ordered a drink to which the answer is " Sorry i don't do free shots" then they turn and leave with a "TUT", also had girls in wearing bikini tops at night only to be told by myself they can't come in without a proper top on only to get an educated reply of "Thats crap, its hot", when i don't wear a top to work i'll then allow customers not to wear top in my bar, so thats never gonna happen, who would want to look at my skinny chicken ribs haha. Well lets hope this influx of party people dies off.
Get off your soap box now Kevlar LOL.

So i'm now in the stages of developing a turkish delight cocktail which i will have great joy in tasting as its one of my favourite chocolate bars, hopefully it will be perfected by tuesday.

Well thats it till next weeks update folks so until then, find a good space to cross the road, look right, look left, look right again, if its all clear walk straight across the road until you reach the other side looking left and right all the way.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

State of emergency on Zakynthos!

Please do not panic when you read this but i've run out of Crumpets, Black Pudding and Frosted Shreddies, AAaaaaagghhh! Don't panic Captain Mainwaring! Oh my god i'll have to eat healthy food now haha.

Sorry this update is a bit late but been rushed off my feet, very busy at night and then running around for stuff for the bar in the day so now its time to update my lovely family and friends on whats been going on.
On tuesday last week i went attended a wedding at the Crystal Beach Hotel which i was kindly invited to by the happy couple Kerry & Chris. It was a lovely day but i felt a bit sorry for them as it must have been the hottest day we had had so far this season and with them all dressed up they must have been boiling, poor things. Even so it was a great day and an even better night by the state of Brian (Kerry's Father) never seen you that merry Brian haha but it was a special day so your allowed the odd 1 or 4 carafes of village wine.

Every tuesday my self and Helen go out and about around town and try to find little tavernas on the back streets that locals use not one of the main ones in town or on the port road, we call it our "Traditional Taverna Tuesday" original i know LOL. I take pictures of each one we visit and at the end of the season i will post a topic with pictures of all the tavernas we have visited.

So, Talk me through it, En-ger-land, What happened? haha

Visited a few friends last night after i closed and had a good night talking about Greek Economy, Greek history and having a general good time and a laugh (my friends are greek) but i was amazed to here that bars are now giving away free shots without the customer having to buy one drink just to get people in to make them look busy, also if you do buy a drink you get 4 shots free, thats madness. You can't run a businesses giving away more than your selling just to make you look busy, find that idea very strange.

Since i launched the Snickers cocktail its been the best seller and i bought out all of Lidls Crunchy peanut butter stock and have run out i've made that many, Can't find crunchy peanut butter anywhere only smooth so now i even have to make my out crunchy peanut butter, why don't i ever make things simple for myself haha.

The V.A.T. has gone up again this week to 23% but i'll keep my prices the same being as the season is now officially the best i've had up till this point out of my 4 seasons so my accountant tells me as its now my quarterly payment, BOOOOooooooo! There was even talk that they may have put it up a third time to 25% but i think they decided against that as there is enough trouble on mainland as it is.

I've come up with an easy way for the island to make thousands, its very simple, put 2 police cars on the Kalamaki to Laganas road and book everyone without a helmet on scooters and quads. Now i have to admit within the resort i don't wear a helmet but as soon as i leave Kalamaki i always wear my crash helmet. Its not rocket science. I've seen so many idiots going around the resorts without helmets they could easily pull in €10,000 a day in fines. Already this season there has been more accidents and deaths on quads than scooters. Also how does having a car licence make you qualified to ride a quad, motorbike or scooter? Over here now you need a motorbike licence like the UK to ride a bike so shouldn't the rental shops now only be allowed to rent bikes out to people with CBT licence or full bike licence? Thursday i saw a quad bike crash happen, young guys on quads, speeding, messing about and the one crashed in to the front of The Lighthouse Restaurant, the young guy was very lucky that he crashed going to the right as he was thrown off to the left, if he had crashed straight on he would have hit the large thick electric post and been killed as he was going that fast, instead he was thrown off his bike and landed 2 buildings down from the Lighthouse, very lucky boy. But the worrying thing is he could have killed a holidaymaker walking along the resort or even a customer stepping out from the Lighthouse. Time to revise the rental laws maybe.

So as you can see its been a very eventful week in all, think i'll need a holiday the end of this season, Skegness here i come LOL.