Bar holiday

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Stand Out with Weird Holidays: Oct. 2022

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: October 2022

by David Klemt

Stay Weird neon sign with purple background

Want to stand out from from other restaurants and bars in your area? Then commit to keeping it weird.

Several “holidays” are set against every date on the calendar, and October is no exception. These holidays range from mainstream (Halloween, anyone?) to “weird.”

Pay attention to the latter to raise eyebrows, carve out a niche for your restaurant or bar, and attract more guests. Why do what everyone else is already doing?

Of course, you shouldn’t try to celebrate every holiday, weird or otherwise. And this month’s list in no way includes every odd holiday.

Focus on the days that are authentic to your brand; resonate with your guests; and help you grab attention on social media.

For September’s list, click here.

October 5: Chic Spy Day

Of course, there’s one holiday this month that simply will not allow anyone to ignore it: Halloween. So, why not lean into it early? Encourage guests to show up looking like a chic spy, perfect your Vesper Martini, and show spy movies. In other words, task your guests with really getting into the spy theme, and create a menu that shows off your creativity as well.

October 6: National Orange Wine Day

No, there aren’t any oranges used in the production of orange wine. Rather, it’s white wine with which the grape skins and seeds remain in contact. The result is an orange hue. And as we all know, orange is one of the key colors of October and Halloween. To celebrate National Orange Wine Day, put some orange wines on your menu.

October 7: National LED Light Day

They say there’s a holiday for just about everything. The existence of this holiday points to that sentiment being accurate.

To wow your guests and get them in the mood for your ultimate October promotion, a Halloween bash, drop food-safe, waterproof LEDs into cocktails for a “spooky,” otherworldly effect.

October 13: National Train Your Brain Day

You know what’s an excellent way to train your brain and stay sharp? Trivia! And do you know what a lot of guests like to do at bars? Trivia! Guest what you should plan for National Train Your Brain Day…

October 17: Wear Something Gaudy Day

I mean, it’s Halloween month and people want to dress up. Guide their costume ambitions by encouraging them to get gaudy and tacky on Wear Something Gaudy Day.

October 18: National Chocolate Cupcake Day

Okay, so this isn’t a weird holiday. There’s nothing strange about chocolate cupcakes. What they are is delicious, and your kitchen staff can always decorate chocolate cupcakes with fall and Halloween themes.

October 20: International Sloth Day

Ah, the sloth. It really has the right idea most days: slow down. On this day, encourage your guests to slow down and relax at your restaurant or bar. Comfort food, delicious beer, and classic brunch cocktails are the order of the day.

October 21: National Count Your Buttons Day

There are several ways to celebrate this day. However, I think a good, old-fashioned “Guess How Many Buttons are in This Jar” contest is the way to go. Give away a bottle, a meal, a bar tab, etc. The sky’s the limit.

October 22: National Make a Dog’s Day

Is your business dog-friendly? Can your kitchen come up with dog-safe menu items? Then encourage your guests to come in and pamper their pooches.

October 25: National Greasy Food Day

There’s no point in competing or programming against Halloween. Not for most operators, anyway. So, celebrate this debaucherous, indulgent day with greasy bar and comfort food ahead of your Halloween promotion.

Image: Dan Parlante on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Get to Know Grenache and Garnacha

Get to Know Grenache and Garnacha

by David Klemt

Red wine on table at a restaurant

There aren’t as many wine holidays in September as there are in August but this month we celebrate International Grenache Day.

This year, International Grenacha Day falls on September 16, a Friday. That’s excellent for operators: You can lure guests in with a wine promotion to kick off their weekend.

Of course, it will help you and your front-of-house team to know about Grenache ahead of this holiday. After all, the best way to remove wine-timidation and upsell guests is by sharing interesting information.

To that end you’ll find pertinent information about Grenache that will help you and your team succeed with this red wine.

Grenache 101

Reiterating a crucial detail from above, Grenache is a red wine varietal. Additionally, it’s one of the most widely grown grapes in the world.

You’ll find vineyards growing Grenache in:

  • Spain
  • France
  • Italy
  • Australia
  • USA
  • Rumors indicate a presence in China as well.

Now, you may be more familiar with another name for this varietal: Garnacha. Interestingly, it’s also known as Garnatxa in Spain. As an aside, many experts believe that’s Grenache’s country of origin.

For the most part, Grenache is a still red. However, you can find rosé and sparkling bottles as well. Grenache (or Garnacha) also has a tendency to find its way into red wine blends. Most often this is to add body and sweeten a blend’s flavor profile. There’s also Grenache Blanc, and there are fortified wines that use Grenache for sweetness.

In short, Grenache’s defining characteristics are:

  • Medium body and acidity.
  • Medium to high ABV.
  • Lighter in color than some other reds.
  • Smoke, tobacco and herbal notes in Old World versions.
  • Candied fruit, strawberry, raspberry, and black cherry in New World versions.
  • Some people detect a note of blood orange.

Succeeding with Grenache

Now, you and I both know that it won’t be enough to just throw some Grenache or Garnacha on your menu. You’ll have to make more of an effort than than.

However, it is wise to add or otherwise bottles to your menu. Equally as smart is creating a specialty LTO menu with three to four Grenache wines by the glass. Of course, bottle purchase prices should be listed as well.

With your by-the-glass and bottle LTO done, you can move to food. As you know, guests love a pairing, particularly with wine.

Below are some of the best Grenache and Garnacha food pairings:

  • Grilled meats
  • Roasted potatoes
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Garlic and herb French fries
  • Spicy dishes
  • Goat, Emmental, Camembert, Gruyère, and Colby Jack cheeses
  • Pastas in a red sauce with cheese

So, this is an excellent holiday to wow with barbecue foods or hearty Italian dishes. Oh, and never forget the cheese on a wine holiday.

Happy International Grenache Day!

Image: Helena Lopes on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

6 Bar Hacks Bourbon Episodes

6 Bar Hacks Bourbon Episodes

by David Klemt

Gold microphone and laptop

We have the honor of speaking with some of the best and most engaging people in the hospitality, foodservice, and drinks industries on the Bar Hacks podcast.

Several of our amazing guests have come on to talk about one of our favorite spirits: bourbon. To celebrate National Bourbon Heritage Month we’ve rounded up most bourbon-focused Bar Hacks episodes.

Cheers!

Episode 25

One of our favorite people in the industry—and in life in general—popped by to speak with Bar Hacks. Megan Breier is one of the most engaging, entertaining and knowledgeable educators in the hospitality and spirits industries.

In this episode, Megan explains what sets Maker’s Mark apart from other bourbons, some of the amazing activations she’s executed, Private Selection, Maker’s 101, Margie Samuels’ contributions to the brand and industry, and more. Listen now!

Episode 28

Lyre’s Spirits crafts alcohol-free spirits that masterfully mimic their full-proof counterparts. Bar Hacks co-host David Klemt sits down with Lyre’s brand ambassador, bartender and buddy Tim Rita to chat about the brand.

On episode 28 you’ll learn about one of the fastest-growing brands in one of the fastest-growing beverage categories. How is an alcohol-free brand relevant on World Whisky Day? Lyre’s makes American Malt, a zero-proof take on bourbon.

Episode 32

One of the most iconic bourbon producers is undoubtedly Woodford Reserve. So, when we were given the opportunity to speak with Woodford Reserve brand ambassador Michael Toscano we leapt at the chance.

Michael stops by to talk about the Kentucky Derby, crafting the perfect Mint Julep, maximizing the operator-brand-rep relationship, and more. Check it out now!

Episode 39

Anthony “Terry” Bohlinger, national brand ambassador for new William Grant & Sons whiskey brand Fistful of Bourbon, drops by Bar Hacks. Terry talks about launching a brand during a pandemic, representing an irreverent brand that doesn’t take itself too seriously, the hilarious videos Fistful of Bourbon created to introduce the brand, lessons learned during his journey in hospitality, and more. Listen here!

Episode 52

Lynn House, national spirits specialist and portfolio mixologist for Heaven Hill, drops by Bar Hacks to speak with host David Klemt about the second annual Old Fashioned Week.

Lynn and David also discuss bourbon, rye, hospitality, building balanced cocktails, and how trust plays a role in educating guests so you and your team can introduce them to new drinks and experiences. Listen now!

Episode 59

Whiskey expert, spirits judge, and sommelier Theo Rutherford stops by the Bar Hacks podcast to talk about Bib & Tucker Small Batch Bourbon, a prominent addition to the Deutsch Family of wine and spirits. Rutherford shares the Bib & Tucker brand story, what sets the brand apart from other bourbons, and why the 6 Year expression appeals to all categories of whiskey drinkers. He also shares tips for tasting bourbon, including how easily Bib & Tucker wins over non-whiskey drinkers.

Listen now to learn why Theo wants you to smell everything and stop swirling your whiskey at tastings.

Image: Seej Nguyen on Pexels

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

KRG Hospitality’s Top Bourbon Articles

KRG Hospitality’s Top Bourbon Articles

by David Klemt

Glass of bourbon whiskey next to fire

To inspire and help you program for National Bourbon Heritage Month, enjoy this roundup of our top bourbon articles.

For bourbon lovers specifically and those who appreciate whiskey in general, this is an exciting month. You can leverage that excitement throughout the month of September.

From limited time offers to pour specials and offering guests to try new bottles, National Bourbon Heritage Month is perfect for becoming a person’s go-to bourbon bar. Our resources below will help you achieve that status.

Cheers!

9 Bottles for Bourbon Heritage Month

Nine awesome bottles in three separate pricing categories. Here you’ll find bottles that retail for less than $25, several under $100, and a few that cost up to $150. Click here to read.

The 30 Days of Bourbon Challenge

In 2011, bourbon devotee and advocate Patrick Garrett founded Bourbon & Banter “to spread the Bourbon Gospel.” One way they accomplish this mission is through 30 Days of Bourbon. This challenge is simple but intriguing: Try a different bourbon every day in September. Click here to learn more.

National Bourbon Day: 2022 Trends

The history and heritage of bourbon is important. As America’s native spirit, bourbon’s history is particularly important to the nation. However, innovation and trends are crucial to the future of bourbon. In this article we examine four important 2022 bourbon trends. Click here to read.

7 Whiskeys for National Bourbon Day

Before we celebrate National Bourbon Heritage Month each year we celebrate National Bourbon Day. It’s always fun to see what new and exciting bottles are available, like these seven bottles from 2021. Click here.

8 Bottles for Bourbon Day

Of course, we’re celebrating National Bourbon Heritage Month 2022 this year. So, here are eight bottles worth checking out and adding to your inventory. Click here to review these bottles.

8 Bourbon Cocktails You Need to Know

Contrary to what some purists will tell you (whether you ask them or not), bourbon is great in a cocktail. From the ubiqutious Old Fashioned to the modern classic Billionaire, this article dives into eight bourbon cocktails you and your bar team need to know. And, of course, they’re perfect for National Bourbon Heritage Month limited time only menu. Click here to learn more.

7 Great Books About Bourbon

Sure, it’s awesome to enjoy a bourbon with friends. But what about pouring a dram of your favorite bourbon while reading about bourbon? Grab one or more of these books, pair them with a beautiful bourbon, and start expanding your whiskey knowledge today. Click here for our book recommendations.

Rabbit Hole Resources: Bourbon 101

When it comes to learning about a particular spirit, those producing them tend to know the most. So, seeking education straight from the source is a smart move. Rabbit Hole is creating, curating, and growing free bourbon resources. Have a question? They’ve got the answers, and then some. Click here.

Image: Thomas Park on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: Sept. 2022

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: September 2022

by David Klemt

Stay Weird neon sign with purple background

Want to stand out from from other restaurants and bars in your area? Then commit to keeping it weird.

Several “holidays” are set against every date on the calendar, and September is no exception. These holidays range from mainstream to “weird.”

Pay attention to the latter to raise eyebrows, carve out a niche for your restaurant or bar, and attract more guests. Why do what everyone else is already doing?

Of course, you shouldn’t try to celebrate every holiday, weird or otherwise. And this month’s list in no way includes every odd holiday.

Focus on the days that are authentic to your brand; resonate with your guests; and help you grab attention on social media.

For August’s list, click here.

September 5: Be Late for Something Day

You know what’s a great reason to be late from something? Enjoying an awesome meal or some great drinks with friends. Your bar or restaurant can provide that awesome meal and great drinks.

September 6: National Read a Book Day

As you know if you’ve been visiting KRG Hospitality throughout the week or subscribe to our newsletter, we love recommending good books. Cookbooks, cocktail books, hospitality industry history books, leadership books… We’re all about learning.

This is an excellent day to promote swapping books, recommending books, sharing books, etc.

September 8: National Ampersand Day

If there was ever a day that demands food/and or drink combos, it’s National Ampersand Day. For example, this is the perfect bar holiday to create a beer and shot limited-time offer menu.

September 13: National Positive Thinking Day

Restaurants and bars are the cornerstsones of their communities. One way operators and their teams can support their community is by ensuring they provide a positive experience.

On this day, encourage your community to stop in for a bite, a drink, a chat, and an overall happy, healthy time.

September 14: National Eat a Hoagie Day

No, hoagies aren’t weird…in Philadelphia. Everywhere else, it can sometimes be a “weird” thing to call a submarine sandwich. At any rate, guess what food you should create an LTO around on this holiday.

September 17: National Monte Cristo Day

You don’t have to agree with me, but this weird sandwich is my favorite. Sure, burgers are cool. But have you ever dipped a ham’n’cheese or turkey’n’cheese in egg, fried it, then dusted it with powdered sugar? Even weirder, have you used corn flakes as breading and then fried it? Put a few Monte Cristos on your menu to celebrate this glorious sandwich holiday.

September 22: Car Free Day

This one’s pretty simple: Encourage and incentivize your guests to use any mode of travel that isn’t a car/truck/SUV to come to your restaurant or bar. I, for one, will be opting for my motorcycle, which I don’t need to mention here but I’m going to anyway because I love it.

September 24: Innergize Day

First, a disclaimer: This isn’t a day celebrating a “performance” drink brand. Rather, Innergize Day is about relaxing and recouping. I’m sure you can see where your restaurant, bar or hotel fits in with this holiday.

September 25: National One-hit Wonder Day

This one’s simple: Commit to playing only one-hit wonders. People love nostalgia, particularly when it comes to music. Either create a playlist or hire a DJ, and if you’re feeling creative, put some themed drinks on your menu.

September 27: National Crush a Can Day

You don’t have to encourage your guests to literally crush cans to celebrate this day. Really, this is a great way to make people aware of your craft beers, RTDs, canned wines, and other canned beverages on your menu.

Image: Dan Parlante on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Celebrate Two August Bar Holidays with Rum

Celebrate Two August Bar Holidays with Rum

by David Klemt

Rum and Coke cocktail

If you and your team have a commitment to programming and promotions, you have to love all the bar holidays available to you in August.

Not only are there six wine holidays in August, there are two holidays that call for rum. In fact, August is National Rum Month.

On August 16 you have the opportunity to program for National Rum Day. Obviously, rum is a legendary spirit with loads of history. So, you’ll want to honor it correctly—get creative and pull out all the stops.

Of course, one excellent way to celebrate rum is with famous perfect builds of classic rum cocktails. One of these classics is the iconic Mai Tai. Oh, yeah—that’s the other rum holiday in August!

After you program for Tuesday, August 16, prepare for Mai Tai Day on Tuesday, August 30.

June 30 is NOT Mai Tai Day

Now, if you Google “National Mai Tai Day” or “Mai Tai Day,” you’ll get an interesting result. You’ll see that some say National Mai Tai Day is June 30.

Well, Trader Vic’s says that’s absolutely not the case. In fact, a proclamation from the City of Oakland declares August 30 is Mai Tai Day.

On August 30, 2009, at-large councilmember Rebecca Kaplan made it official.

But why, I hear you asking (maybe, possibly), should we take Kaplan’s word for it? For me, it’s because Trader Vic’s themselves confirm that August 30 is “the real” Mai Tai Day.

Okay, but why should we take Trader Vic’s word for it? Because Trader Vic himself is the inventor of the Mai Tai.

Fact not Fiction

As I often point out when diving into cocktail history, much of what we “know” about certain drinks is lore. Either we simply can’t be 100-percent certain about a cocktail’s origins or multiple people are given the credit.

I mean, in some cases multiple people take the credit (and the glory) for themselves.

However, that’s not the case with the legendary Mai Tai. We know that Victor J. “Trader Vic” Bergeron is the classic cocktail’s creator.

Getting inspiration from traveling and operator peer Donn “Don the Beachcomber” Beach, Bergeron transformed his bar Hinky Dink into Trader Vic’s.

So, what do many (most, if we’re honest) operators like to do when they open or rebrand their business? Come up with a signature drink or dish.

In the case of Trader Vic’s, the Mai Tai was born.

The Real Mai Tai

Interestingly—perhaps sadly—the Mai Tai is often the subject of “mistreatment.” In part, we can blame Trader Vic for this.

Now, before you break out your pitchfork, I’m not vilifying Trader Vic. However, he did refuse to share his Mai Tai recipe with others. Author Wayne Curtis explains that this secrecy is “why we have so many bad Mai Tais with pineapple juice and other hideous additions.”

Those hideous additions? Juices, an array of rum styles, floats, garnishes beyond a lime shell and mint sprig… It’s likely you’ve never seen consistency in Mai Tai builds.

As Trader Vic himself tells it: “I took down a bottle of 17-year old rum. It was J. Wray & Nephew rum from Jamaica—surprisingly golden in color, medium bodied but with the rich pungent flavor particular to the Jamaican blends.”

So, that dispels the notion that you use a light rum and a dark rum to build a Mai Tai. He also only added orgeat, orange curaçao, rock candy syrup (the recipe calls for demerara simple), and fresh lime juice.

To be fair, it’s said that the popularity of the Mai Tai forced the J. Wray & Nephew rum (almost) to “extinction.” Rumor has it that original bottles can command auction prices of $50,000 or more.

Trader Vic’s Original Mai Tai Recipe

A lot of us like to put our spin on things. However, there’s an official recipe from the official creator of the Mai Tai.

So, let’s honor Trader Vic and his iconic creation. Below is the recipe that most closely follows the Trader Vic’s spec. Obviously, nobody expects you to track down a $50,000 bottle of rum to follow the original with ruthless precision.

  • 1 oz. Light rum
  • 1 oz. Dark rum
  • Fresh lime juice (keep half of the squeezed lime’s shell)
  • 0.5 oz. Orange curaçao
  • 0.25 oz. Orgeat
  • 0.25 oz. Simple syrup
  • Fresh Mint Sprig
  • 1 cup Crushed ice

Add crushed ice to a shaker. Some bartenders also add some ice cubes. Next, add the liquid ingredients, and shake. Pour—without straining—into a double Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with the lime shell and mint spring. That’s right—the original recipe doesn’t call for a pineapple wedge or cherry.

Image: Blake Wisz on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: August 2022

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: August 2022

by David Klemt

Stay Weird neon sign with purple background

Want to stand out from from other restaurants and bars in your area? Then commit to keeping it weird.

Several “holidays” are set against every date on the calendar, and August is no exception. These holidays range from mainstream to “weird.”

Pay attention to the latter to raise eyebrows, carve out a niche for your restaurant or bar, and attract more guests. Why do what everyone else is already doing?

Of course, you shouldn’t try to celebrate every holiday, weird or otherwise. And this month’s list in no way includes every odd holiday.

Focus on the days that are authentic to your brand; resonate with your guests; and help you grab attention on social media.

For July’s list, click here.

August 5: National Work Like A Dog Day

It probably sounds like this day is all about being as productive as possible at work. However, National Work Like a Dog Day is a celebration of service animals (mainly dogs). So, this is the day to invite your guests with service animals to grab a bite and drink and make new friends—four-legged and otherwise—at your bar or restaurant.

August 8: National Happiness Happens Day

This is a day that focuses on finding happiness wherever we can. And as we know, there’s plenty of happiness to be found in local restaurants and bars. National Happiness Happens Day is a blank canvas on which to create a fun, engaging promotion.

August 8: National Dollar Day

For the history nerds out there—and I say that with reverence, not ridicule—the first US dollar was minted in 1794. Leveraging this holiday is as simple as offering a food or drink item for $1. Of course, that’s if such a discount is legal where you’re operating. And I recommend requiring the purchase of a full-price item to receive the discount.

August 11: National Rasberry Bombe Day

If you’re not familiar with the raspberry bombe, you’re probably not alone. This tasty treat isn’t a commonly known dessert item. A raspberry bombe is a pastry that consists of heavy cream, sugar, candied fruit (raspberries, in this case), and nuts placed in a spherical design. The bombe is then frozen before being served. Bonus points for adding rum before freezing.

August 12: National Vinyl Record Day

There are a couple ways to celebrate this holiday. One, you can require your house DJ or hired gun to spin actual records. Two, you can team up with your local vinyl store to create a mutually beneficial promotion. Get a little creative and celebrate that warmest of sonic mediums, the vinyl record.

August 15: Discovery Day

This day likely isn’t very weird to Canadians. In particular, it’s well-known among those familiar with the Yukon. But for the rest of us, this is a celebration of the discovery of gold in this famed area. Celebrate with gold-flaked F&B items, caramel-drizzled desserts and cocktails, and whatever else you can think of where gold makes sense.

August 20: World Honey Bee Day

Where would we be without the honey bee? Not in a good place at all, that’s where. Perfect your Bee’s Knees and other cocktails that feature honey. And, of course, feature honey in some creative places on your food menu as well.

August 27: National Just Because Day

Obviously, this is another awesome blank-slate cocktail. You can essentially create any promotion you want to celebrate this day. Why? Because whatever you choose to do, it’s just because.

August 29: According to Hoyle Day

Here’s an odd one for you. On According to Hoyle Day, you live life according to one of the 300 (!) games for which Edmond Hoyle wrote the rules. This day certainly requires getting creative but card games and cocktails do go hand in hand.

August 31: National Eat Outside Day

Hey, guess how this day is celebrated…

Image: Dan Parlante on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

One White Wine, Two Wine Holidays

One White Wine, Two Wine Holidays

by David Klemt

World of Wine Porto grape wall relief

In August, operators and their front- and back-of house teams can celebrate two restaurant and bar holidays with one white wine.

Obviously, that means two bites at the apple—or grape (my apologies, I’ll see myself out)—in the same week. In turn, that generates revenue and move wine inventory.

Okay, so what wine does double duty in August? Albariño, a popular white wine with origins in Portugal. In fact, there are two countries that dominate Albariño production, Portugal and Spain.

On Monday, August 1, your guests have the opportunity to celebrate International Albariño Day. Just three days later, August 4, we have National White Wine Day. How convenient!

As we know, while many of today’s guests have their favorites and stick to them, they like to try new things. This August, add Albariño to your Chardonnay, Moscato, Pinot Grigio, and Sauvignon Blanc lineup.

So, what do you need to know about Albariño? Let’s take a look at this refreshing white wine below.

The Wine Nerd Stuff

As I say above, Albariño traces its origins to Portugal. In its home country, this varietal’s name is Alvarinho.

Most people who are familiar with Albariño are familiar with bottles from Spain. So, Albariño is the same grape as Alvarinho.

Call it by either name, this white wine is an Old World wine. In fact, some of these vines are a few hundred years old. For those wondering, Old World wines come from Europe, speaking generally. And New World wines? Well, they come from anywhere not in Europe.

However, there is indeed New World Albariño. Also, if you happen to operate a restaurant or bar in North America, these New World versions can be easy to acquire.

Unsurprisingly yet conveniently, there are wineries producing Albariño in California. Of course, these California Albariños are different than their Portuguese and Spanish counterparts. California’s Central Coast wine region is warmer than Spain’s cool Galicia region.

The Flavors and Aromas

Alright, so what’s Albariño like on the nose and palate, and how does it finish? To answer these questions, let’s look at the Old World wine first.

Again, I’m speaking about this white wine in broad strokes. You and your staff will need to taste a few bottles to understand their nuances.

So, Portuguese and Spanish Albariño tends to be light-bodied and dry, with high acidity. On the nose, expect peach and citrus like grapefruit, lemon, and lime. You may also detect a hint of wet stone, owing to its minerality.

On the palate, there’s usually a touch of salinity, plenty of acid, and notes of grapefruit, honeysuckle, nectarine, honeydew, and granite. Expect a long, dry finish.

Now, since Old World versions tend to be grown in cool climates, they tend to be light-bodied. Since Californian Albariño grows in a warmer climate, its characteristics are different.

Generally speaking, California Albariño is medium-bodied in comparison to its Old World counterparts. The Californian wines tend to have both floral and tropical notes on the nose. Along with the notes one would expect from Spanish and Portuguese wines, California Albariño can also feature orange and elderberry flavors.

Don’t Forget the Food

Obviously, wine pairs well with food—that should go without saying. And it would have too, but I said it.

Anyway, maximize guest spend by including your back-of-house team for your International Albariño Day and National White Wine Day promotions.

For this varietal, think lighter foods. Seafood, freshwater fishes, chicken, tofu, salads, grilled vegetables, and fruits pair well with Albariño.

Of course, you’ll also want to consider cheese pairings. So, try your Albariños with Chèvre, Manchego, Burrata, Feta, Gruyère, and Brie.

You have time to add some crisp, delicious Albariños from multiple regions to your menu. Create two promotions that showcase these wines and lure in your guests with irresistible pairings.

Cheers!

Image: World of Wine Porto, Portugal (Hayffield L on Unsplash)

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: July 2022

Stand Out with Weird Holidays: July 2022

by David Klemt

Stay Weird neon sign with purple background

Want to stand out from from other restaurants and bars in your area? Then commit to keeping it weird.

Several “holidays” are set against every date on the calendar, and July is no exception. These holidays range from mainstream to “weird.”

Pay attention to the latter to raise eyebrows, carve out a niche for your restaurant or bar, and attract more guests. Why do what everyone else is already doing?

Of course, you shouldn’t try to celebrate every holiday, weird or otherwise. And this month’s list in no way includes every odd holiday.

Focus on the days that are authentic to your brand; resonate with your guests; and help you grab attention on social media.

For June’s list, click here.

July 5: Workaholics Day

We may be in the midst of the Great Resignation but people are still working too hard. They’re too busy and experiencing too much stress.

So, this Workaholics Day, encourage your overworked, workaholic guests to unwind with your and your staff. They need to sign out, unplug, and escape.

July 7: National Dive Bar Day

Ah, the dive bar. Whether you consider this hospitality institution a dive, neighborhood bar, or local watering hole, it’s worthy of celebration.

If you’re a dive or neighborhood bar owner, this is your day to pull out all the stops. You run a cornerstone of your community—time to party with the neighborhood!

July 8: Video Games Day

Okay, video games in and of themselves aren’t weird. Well, the weird games are weird but you know what I mean.

Have TVs and consoles? Arcade games? Put them front and center with your marketing. Come up with a tournament and get your guests playing. And, of course, a limited-time, themed cocktail menu also works.

July 12: National Simplicity Day

We all know what KISS (not the band) stands for: Keep It Simple, Stupid. Quick note: I’m not calling you stupid.

Simple, of course, tends to be quicker, and people appreciate fast service when they’re thirsty. This is definitely the day to perfect highballs and two- or three-ingredient cocktails.

July 13: Embrace Your Geekness Day

Look, we’re all geeks about something. A geek doesn’t have to conjure stereotypical images of so-called nerds. Certainly, the term shouldn’t mean someone’s an outcast.

A geek is passionate and that should be admired. You should know what your guests are into and how to engage with them about their passions.

July 17: World Emoji Day

Hey, want to create a creative LTO that will be fun for guests to decipher? Come up with ways to name and, if you really want to get into it, describe your F&B with emoji.

July 20: National Moon Day

You and your team can celebrate this day a couple of ways. Of course, the obvious way is to craft a moon, space-, sci-fi, and/or astronaut-themed LTO.

Or, for a more outside-the-box promotion, you can always look up moon-based conspiracy theories and make that your theme.

July 23: National Hot Dog Day

It’s obvious that hot dogs aren’t inherently weird. However, you can encourage your kitchen team to put their heads together and come up with truly “weird” or unusual (but enticing) LTO hot dogs.

July 29: National Get Gnarly Day

Eager to engage your bar team? Looking to push them to come up with some unique cocktails and beer-and-shot combos? This is the holiday to get them to get gnarly and creative.

July 31: National Mutt Day

If your bar or restaurant is dog friendly, this holiday is your time to shine! Encourage your guests to bring their adorable mutts. Bonus points for offering an LTO menu featuring dog-safe F&B.

Image: Dan Parlante on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Raise a 7&7 to National Dive Bar Day

Raise a 7&7 to National Dive Bar Day

by David Klemt

Dive bar or neighborhood bar

We celebrate one of the most hallowed of drinking establishments on July 7, also known as National Dive Bar Day.

Look, we love a visit to a high-end, luxurious cocktail bar. But there’s nothing quite like discovering a casual, comfortable, unpretentious bar that feels like home.

Often times, the local watering hole is a cornerstone of a given community. So, we’re looking forward to the fifth annual National Dive Bar Day in just over two weeks.

You should have plenty of time if you’re a dive or neighborhood bar owner to create your National Dive Bar Day promotion.

A Little History

It’s hard to believe that National Dive Bar Day is a mere five years old. In fact, Seagram’s 7 Crown launched the first annual celebration in 2018.

Not only does this holiday honor a true institution, Seagram’s donated $25,000 to the National Trust for Historic Preservation on its inception. (This year, Seagram’s 7 Crown is supporting Main Street Alliance.)

This makes a lot sense when you think about it. After all, dive bars are often located in a historic building or are landmarks themselves.

Some people may not like it, but drinking culture is an integral part of many a community across not just America, not just North America, but the world.

Not so long ago a bartender could set beers and shots in front of two people with opposing views and they’d find common ground to bond over. The optimist in me hopes we can return to those days, visiting our local neighborhood bars and focusing on what we all have in common rather than letting ourselves grow further divided.

Where some people see a “just” a dive bar, those of us in the know see social and cultural centers that support neighborhoods and communities.

Given their commitment to unpretentious and welcoming service, we need to support and protect our local dives.

What Makes a Dive Bar?

There are some key elements that set dive bars apart from other drinking establishments.

Characters on both sides of the bar, inexpensive drinks, familiar bar food, and an approachable feel are, I would say, the hallmarks.

Now, there are those who think a dive bar also includes an “earthy” smell, to be generous. They may also feel that they call dirty buildings with questionable structural integrity home.

However, “dive” doesn’t have to mean filthy. First and foremost, a dive bar needs to be comfortable and welcoming. Filth tends to give off an unwelcoming, dangerous vibe. That’s not exactly the spirit of hospitality.

Just as a great dive bar should be clean, it should also have a solid F&B program. Inexpensive doesn’t have to mean cheap. Oh, and no, the staff doesn’t have to be surly and untrained.

Dives are Neighborhood Bars

When I first learned about Nickel City, as an example, I saw what a dive bar should be. Both locations, Austin and Fort Worth, are described by co-owner Travis Tober as “anytime bars.”

Nickel City commits to serving the community, and they’re open when people need them. In fact, as you’ll learn during episode 50 of the Bar Hacks podcast, Tober made sure they were open to serve people during the infamous winter storm of 2021 that shut down much of Texas.

In speaking with Tober and reading other interviews with him, I learned that he prefers the term “neighborhood” to “dive.” Due in part to the negative perception some have of dive bars, I can understand his preference.

In my opinion, the difference lies in subtle but important nuances. However, I’ll probably still refer to neighborhood bars as dive bars.

Either way, Nickel City is a dive bar done right and a concept that other operators should certainly study. Nickel City is exemplary, a standard that dive/neighborhood bars should aspire to reach.

The 7&7

As far as Seagram’s is concerned, the 7&7 is “the quintessential Dive Bar drink.” It’s difficult to argue: it’s a highball, it’s fast and simple to make, it’s refreshing, and it shouldn’t be pricey.

But, hey, if you’ve never made or ordered one, here’s the recipe:

Simply prepare a highball glass with ice, add Seagram’s 7 Crown and 7UP, and stir. Then just stir, garnish, and serve.

Cheers!

Image: Florencia Viadana on Unsplash

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