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Interview With A Bar Owner, Pt. 1

April 5, 2014

Interview With A Bar Owner

As the Feedback Lounge nears its five year anniversary [April 25, 2014], we decided rather than look back on what we’ve learned about owning a bar (we did that three years running), we thought we’d give you an insight by answering a pile of reoccurring questions customers ask us all time. In no particular order…

“I thought you were a heavy metal bar…”
That’s not a question. But we hear this uncomfortably too often. Answer: No and no; We are NOT a heavy metal bar. We’ve had hard rock bands occasionally play here, but 99.9% of the time we do blues, funk, soul, classic rock, rockabilly, acoustic, singer/songwriter, folk, pop, alt-rock, jazz, country, disco… Everything but rap. Our customers made it very clear they do not want to hear rap music, recorded or live, at the Feedback Lounge. Disclaimer: We’re planning something really fun with West Seattle’s iconic rap star, Kirk Dubb (he raps about booze).

What have been some of your best promotions over the years?
Answer: Almost too many favs to mention. But our annual Elvis and Frank Sinatra events (“El-Fest: E Meets West” and “Frank Fest”) immediately come to mind. On these nights people dress up, we get tribute performers to play and we pay homage to two of the greatest singers in the world – and pack the house at the same time. We’ve also hosted several Rat City Rollergirls parties and continue to do so. Those gals are crazy fun.

“How come you don’t put sports on your big screens?”
When we opened in 2009 we wanted to establish ourselves as a music bar and leave the sports to the experts. At the time, West Seattle’s RockSport ruled the sports bar scene. They’re gone and now our good friends at The Bridge have stepped up and provide you with as much sports as you could ever want. And the Beveridge Place Pub – our great neighbors next to us – always has the World Cup games and lots more on the tube.

We did, however, listen to our customers, and had the entire Hawks season on our two 10-foot screens with breakfast specials for the early games and, of course, that insanely exciting Super Bowl thing. Kinda big news for a minute or so around here. You may have heard about it.  Ahem.

So are we gonna do more sports? We’ll do the Hawks start to finish. Baseball, basketball, and soccer probably not. Like we said, leave the sports to the pros. We’re not opposed, however, to showing a championship game, but by and large our regulars have stated they’d prefer we not have sports blaring all the time.

“How often do you do charity events?”
As often as we can. We’ve hosted a wide variety of charitable fundraising events from the day we opened, and continue to do so. Our ongoing charity event is Booze, Balls & Bingo, a riotous live drag bingo game with singing, a deejay and Tru St. James, one of the most entertaining and talented performers in the city. And the prizes are insanely cool. We’ve been doing this monthly for over a year and they have raise thousands of dollars for a variety of charities.

“Can you take drinks outside to the back deck?”
During the warmer months, yes. Why anyone would want to stand out there drinking in the cold and rain is beyond us. So we don’t open it to that when the weather’s acting up. You can go out there and smoke, though. P.S. Smoking is bad for you.

“I don’t see your ads in The Weekly or Stranger; Where can I find out about your live music shows and other events?”
Both of those papers are great, but cost-prohibitive for a neighborhood bar. We tend to focus on Facebook, Twitter and our website, which we update almost daily. (We have one of the most active bar/restaurant websites in town.) And where would we be without the indispensable West Seattle Blog, who cover everything that happens in West Seattle? (Do they even sleep?)

“How come you don’t charge cover for your live music nights or any other event?”
Answer: The Feedback Lounge is a neighborhood bar. We never charge someone to come in to sit down to a drink and dinner, whether live music’s playing or not.

“I hear you have a lot of rock stars come in here…”
Yes, we do. Sure, we could name drop guys from ZZ Top, Heart, Yes, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Guns ‘N Roses, Quiet Riot, Queensryche, The Wailers and lots more, but that’d be just plain bragging. Ahem.

So ends part one of An Interview With A Bar Owner. Next up: The nuts and bolts of owning a bar from a bill paying perspective. (You’re gonna wanna hear some of this stuff – we’ve got your reality show right here, pal.)

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One comment

  1. NICE!@

    I like this a lot!

    FAQ for sure!



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