Media Hysteria Even Extends to Weather Reports

Of course, MONSTER STORM JUNO turned out to be much less disastrous than the media hyped it up to be. The commercial media and Internet hyping of every problem into a cataclysm continues its downward spiral, making media stories often useless in determining practical courses of action to deal with problems.
Of course it’s good to be prepared for challenges, but from terrorism to partisan politics to snow storms the media sows hype and inaccuracies to gain ratings. Viewers must learn to sort through the panic peddling to find the wise path to take to deal with risks and dangers.  Just like in our businesses, making the right choices requires critical thinking and leaving our comfort zones.
There was a time when the major media held itself back with basic journalistic integrity out of fear of being ridiculed as sensationalistic by the educated public. Once they saw most of the people less concerned with truth than seeking comfort and titillation, it was full speed ahead to hyping everything beyond all reason in news, politics and even the weather.  The good news is that we citizens created the problem, and we can solve it by demanding better from our media.  Start turning on our BS detectors, acknowledging the risks and uncertainties in life, and questioning the fear and hysteria being marketed to us daily.
Stay warm and comfy everyone, but don’t be afraid to stray outside now and then.
Cheers – TimTheBarGuy


One Hundred Years of The Voice.

Frank Sinatra was the first ever teen idol, in the 1940s, known as “The Voice.” Then he repeatedly reinvented himself over many decades to become one of the select few artists to define American culture. This year Sinatra would have turned 100 years old. Here is an brief and excellent article on his career from Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune:

“Before Sinatra, pop singers such as Crosby, Columbo and the like spun silken phrases more notable for beauty of sound than for burrowing down into the deepest, darkest meanings of a song. Despite their elegance of line and smoothness of delivery, these crooners may as well have been singing their grocery lists for all the interpretive insight they brought to the subtext of a lyric.  Sinatra changed that, practically from the start of his career.”

There are many lessons we can learn from Sinatra’s story that go beyond music.

Consumers’ Cautious Optimism Underpins Restaurant Industry Expansion in 2015

“Technomic is forecasting nominal restaurant sales growth of 4% this year, and much of that increase will come from the opening of new locations among the largest chains, with some inflation in menu prices also factoring in.

Brands, especially high-end ones, are putting more restaurants in the pipeline because they are banking on consumers’ optimism and a sense that things are generally getting better. Technomic’s survey of consumers and their expectations for 2015 found that 44% of people agreed with the statement, “My personal finances will improve,” and 27% agreed with the statement, “Our household will be able to spend more when we dine out”—both of which were up 7 percentage points from a year earlier.”


Thanks to Darren Tristano for the nice summary in Forbes of trends going into 2015.

The Six Life Stages of an Urban Entertainment District

#TBT to the origins of Chicago’s Wicker Park, Fulton Market District, Weed Street District and many in other cities… the Circle of (Night) Life.

Tim Borden

In the beginning there were empty warehouses.  And it was good.

(Stage 1) A desolate area with low rents, many vacant commercial buildings and plenty of free parking attracts a few edgy nightclub start-ups.  The City is happy to have any businesses willing to make the risky investment to help bring a blighted area to life, and generate new tax revenue.  This short honeymoon of appreciation and tolerance by the powers that be will be the last thank you the nightclub industry receives for powering the revival of a neglected neighborhood.

(Stage 2) Trendy clubbers discover the area and more clubs open.  Parking rapidly becomes a challenge.  Rising drink prices and VIP door policies start pushing out the less affluent or attractive members of the original edgy crowd.  Media coverage champions the area and clubs as trendsetting and cool.  Police presence increases.

(Stage 3) The Entertainment District coalesces, with hip…

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Perfect Example of the X Factor in the Nightlife Biz

Nightclub history on my mind lately. It’s worth repeating this story of a groundbreaking venue.

Tim Borden

An illuminating story about a touchstone in Chicago nightlife and cultural history.   Illustrates why the nightclub business can never be reduced to a formula.


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Chicago’s OSU bar just a few steps away from Oregon bar: Which is better?

The OSU bar across the street from the Oregon bar in Chicago. Not the only ones in town but will be a very interesting block for the “Ducks V Bucks” College Football Championship Game tonight!
As a Big 10 Alumnus from Wisconsin who has that ingrown Ohio State hatred along with the Ducks beating the Badgers in their last Rose Bowl (which I attended), I really can’t have a preference…


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Ohio State and Oregon match up in the College Football National Championship game Monday night.

It’s hard to decide out who to root for — WGN’s Nancy Loo went to Oregon while WGN Morning News meteorologist Demetrius Ivory went to Ohio State.

Well, it turns out here in Chicago that each team’s official bars are just a few feet away from each other.

Marcus Leshock went to ask the people there for some help with making a prediction.

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