Don't buy a boat...er uh, I mean a venue.

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
A venue in Louisville, KY is for sale: http://prginvestments.catylist.com/listing/30620881/1386-Lexington-Rd-Louisville-KY-40206

I think we've all dreamt of having our own venue as a place to be our own house band, and I'm sure we all know someone who's done it. But seriously, owning a venue isn't as glamorous as it sounds.

There are two more venues in my region that the ownership groups are looking for investors or are willing to sell outright. With the current economic climate, there are going to be more venues for sale, looking for investors/partners, or shutting down. The idea to buy and run your own sports bar does have a certain romanticism about it, if you're thinking of making the jump, be sure to perform due diligence and have someone on your acquisition team be the person to find every single reason why you shouldn't make the investment. If you're a "buy low, sell high" type thinker on venues, then obviously this may be an opportune time for you, just be ready for a turbulent couple of years. There's about to be a wave of commercial, retail, and restaurant space available. I'll stop the financial talk here because it can go way off-topic fast.

So if you're up to multi-year challenge and don't mind having negative cash-flows for a few years, buy a boat venue.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
The little town I live outside of has no bars. There are 2 liquor stores, one at either end of town. If anyone here wants to drink at a bar, they must drive 3 towns over. My wife and I have pondered the idea of a bar here, and think it would go over pretty well. But again, there are zero right now. We do have a phone booth and the biggest car wash I have ever seen though.

Boats, that's a different story. My house is one of the few without a boat (or truck).
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
A venue in Louisville, KY is for sale: http://prginvestments.catylist.com/listing/30620881/1386-Lexington-Rd-Louisville-KY-40206

I think we've all dreamt of having our own venue as a place to be our own house band, and I'm sure we all know someone who's done it. But seriously, owning a venue isn't as glamorous as it sounds.

There are two more venues in my region that the ownership groups are looking for investors or are willing to sell outright. With the current economic climate, there are going to be more venues for sale, looking for investors/partners, or shutting down. The idea to buy and run your own sports bar does have a certain romanticism about it, if you're thinking of making the jump, be sure to perform due diligence and have someone on your acquisition team be the person to find every single reason why you shouldn't make the investment. If you're a "buy low, sell high" type thinker on venues, then obviously this may be an opportune time for you, just be ready for a turbulent couple of years. There's about to be a wave of commercial, retail, and restaurant space available. I'll stop the financial talk here because it can go way off-topic fast.

So if you're up to multi-year challenge and don't mind having negative cash-flows for a few years, buy a boat venue.

Here's the trick (and what I did):

Our non-profit organization owns an outdoor venue/art gallery.

It allows us to hold concerts and jazz jams and whatever else we choose to and we also rent it out as outdoor event space.

Best of both words - I can still support the arts and artists in the Southwest and throw concerts (We are currently shooting an online series of concerts / interviews) - and we can still operate it as an event space. Plus we have the art gallery portion run by an amazing local artist and photographer couple.

Right off the main street down area of our town.


....as for owning one privately - I wouldn't likely take that on. There's a really nice security in not having debt and the PA/Chairs/Table, etc. etc. all paid for through grants.



(As for boats - there's no WAY we'd own one. We do two things: 1. We rent Bon Jovi's (yes...that Bon Jovi) Catamaran when we go on vacation in San Diego which do like every other year and 2. There's a local marina at the lake like 40 minutes from my house with beautiful boats we can rent daily. No maintenance - no messing around with a truck on the dock, etc. - love it haha.)
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
There's no risk that I'll ever invest in a service-oriented business, especially not one centered on entertainment. Most services represent recreations and luxuries, not needs. When the economy stumbles, people realize what they do and don't need. Very few consumers would conclude that live music is essential for survival. I'd invest in soap long before I'd drop money on a venue.

I don't own boats, planes, or horses either. As the adage goes, if it floats, flies, or f#*@$, rent it, don't buy it.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Been there, done that... A half dozen times.

Don't do it. Under no circumstances should you buy a bar/venue. It's a loser.

If you seriously want a music venue, open a music store and build a venue into it. Buy a GC franchise if must, and run the venue out of a storefront partition. Serve coffee or bottled softdrinks to supplement revenue and avoid alcohol. Maybe add a food-permit and a fryer and serve fries.
 

Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
Been there, done that... A half dozen times.

Don't do it. Under no circumstances should you buy a bar/venue. It's a loser.

If you seriously want a music venue, open a music store and build a venue into it. Buy a GC franchise if must, and run the venue out of a storefront partition. Serve coffee or bottled softdrinks to supplement revenue and avoid alcohol. Maybe add a food-permit and a fryer and serve fries.
I've heard horrible "going broke" stories. Much like the restaurant business. It HAS TO BE, top notch or it's a failure.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I've heard horrible "going broke" stories. Much like the restaurant business. It HAS TO BE, top notch or it's a failure.
Oh no, it's much worse........

Kid comes in with fake ID.
Bartender catches it.
Escort the kid to the office and call the police.
Wait 20 mins for the police.
Grab the kid some water while he waits.
Police arrive. Arrest me.
It was a sting. I served a (undercover cop) minor (water).
They were in the parking lot the entire time.

Going broke is nothing.
DO NOT BUY A BAR.
 
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Old Dog new Cans

Senior Member
Oh no, it's much worse........

Kid comes in with fake ID.
Bartender catches it.
Escort the kid to the office and call the police.
Wait 20 mins for the police.
Grab the kid some water while he waits.
Police arrive. Arrest me.
It was a sting. I served a (undercover cop) minor (water).
They were in the parking lot the entire time.

Going broke is nothing.
DO NOT BUY A BAR.
Yes, I DJ'd in a club for nearly 20 yrs. Luckily, it was a topless bar. Yeah, setups suck balls. WATER???? For crap's sake that's a horrible way to get frickin arrested!
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Yes, I DJ'd in a club for nearly 20 yrs. Luckily, it was a topless bar. Yeah, setups suck balls. WATER???? For crap's sake that's a horrible way to get frickin arrested!
Arrested and $35k in attorney fees to get it cleaned, and $12k revenue loss due to the two-day closure... And this is one of many ordeals that an owner will have to deal with, as you'll have a new ordeal each and every week. HVAC breakages, H&S inspections, zoning changes, etc. I once had to go to court and pay a fine because the general store next door installed an ATM.

Even if you do everything right, you will lose. Even if you make money, you will lose money. Even if you are genuinely friendly and virtuous, you will make viscous enemies.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
WTF? How does that work?
In some jurisdictions, you need to acquire a permit to have an ATM on-premises in a bar. Apparently, this includes the entirety of a shared premises like strip malls. If another business installs an ATM, you need to apply for a permit, and are operating in violation until the permit is obtained. They (city/town zoning/council) can take as long as they want to approve, so that the fines stack up. They can also deny you with ridiculous reasons, like "there's already an ATM next door, why do you need an ATM?", forcing you to re-apply and attend numerous 3-hour council meetings when you only need to be present for 5-10 relevant minutes.
 
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ottog1979

Senior Member
Even if you do everything right, you will lose. Even if you make money, you will lose money. Even if you are genuinely friendly and virtuous, you will make viscous enemies.
Given this awareness on DW, you'd think there'd be a softer, more cooperative stance towards venues by musicians/bands.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
In some jurisdictions, you need to acquire a permit to have an ATM on-premises in a bar. Apparently, this includes the entirety of a shared premises like strip malls. If another business installs an ATM, you need to apply for a permit, and are operating in violation until the permit is obtained. They (city/town zoning/council) can take as long as they want to approve, so that the fines stack up. They can also deny you with ridiculous reasons, like "there's already an ATM next door, why do you need an ATM?", forcing you to re-apply and attend numerous 3-hour council meetings when you only need to be present for 5-10 relevant minutes.
Just...wow. Talk about manipulating the system. That's ridiculous.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
They hate bars, which tend to be sources of a LOT of 911 calls, fights, murders, etc.. I don’t care HOW much tax revenue they bring in, they’re cesspools for some of the worst human behavior.
I dont disagree one bit. I'm not a fan at all. But they should still be able to have the same rights as other businesses as long as they are still legal and pay taxes. Its discriminatory.
 

Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
I dont disagree one bit. I'm not a fan at all. But they should still be able to have the same rights as other businesses as long as they are still legal and pay taxes. Its discriminatory.
If you had 1 kid who misbehaved WAY more than the others, would he be allowed the same privileges as the rest?
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
They hate bars, which tend to be sources of a LOT of 911 calls, fights, murders, etc.. I don’t care HOW much tax revenue they bring in, they’re cesspools for some of the worst human behavior.
Your indictment is right on the mark. Though I've performed at countless bars and thus can't renounce them in that regard, I suffered, quite some time ago, the grave indignity of residing half a block from one. Though the establishment was deemed "respectable" by many locals, the antics associated with it were horrifying. Most bars are irredeemable dens of low repute. Alcohol and virtue are mostly incompatible. Decency and civic duty disintegrate when bathed in booze.
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I apologize for inadvertently derailing this thread, but hopes that this serves as a cautionary tale to everyone. I remain steadfast to my first suggestion.... Open a music store, record store, skate/surf shop instead, and use a partition as a music venue. Do not sell alcohol under any circumstances. Do not sell non-packaged food/drink until you consult a food-services authority.
 
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