Tag Archives: Tim Borden

Prince not so reclusive after all.

He was always known as “reclusive rock star, Prince.” But with other stars’ passing I don’t recall seeing anywhere near this many video posts, TV appearances, and most strikingly the stories of personal meetings and small club gigs I’ve seen on my feeds and heard personally from friends. Plenty of people in and out of our industry got up close and (almost) personal with the Man.  I have a few stories myself.

At the 1992 Winter Music Conference in Miami our group stopped by an up stairs club called Le Loft. We were drinking in the almost deserted front bar room when someone said Prince was going to play a pickup gig in the back live room. We headed back there and sure enough Prince was jamming with a small band. There were maybe 50 people in the room. We grabbed a booth and hung out for a couple of hours. On breaks Prince mixed with the crowd. Not real talkative but friendly to all. It was one of those magic late nights you can’t plan for. Little did I know we’d interact again in Chicago when Prince played a surprise show and then came to be a regular visitor to our club Excalibur. All in all I saw him in more personal situations than any other public figure I’ve worked with in my life.

Thank you for the Magic PRN and Rest in Peace!



Even the G Thing Wishes Me Happy Birthday

~~ Thanks to everyone including my all-knowing computer, HAL, for the birthday wishes.

~~ Every day above ground is a good day!

~~ And thank you to all for following this Blog, my TimTheBarGuy Facebook page and Tumblr and especially @tchicago1 on Twitter! >>>

~~ and so, live from the Triumph Brewery in New Hope PA is Cracker, live, singing HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

cracker happy birthday to me



Top 10 Reasons for Bar / Restaurant Failure and 5 Solutions

UPDATED :: In over 10 years as a key player in more than 40 successful openings and long term success of bars, restaurants and nightclubs, I have seen a lot of competitors fail.  As much as I’d like to claim we “killed the competition,” often they actually kill themselves, sometimes before they even open.

Following are the Top 10 key reasons bars, restaurants and nightclubs fail. We are currently offering a free consultation to help in any areas needed!


(1) The restaurateur/owner does not understand what business they are actually in. Their fantasy does not match the reality of running a successful operation. No one thinks they can hang a sign and have a dental practice with no training because they brush their teeth every day, but many people think they can launch and run a restaurant or bar because they like to go out for dinner and drinks, or maybe they worked in a bar for a while.  There’s much more needed to succeed.

(2) Typically when developing the restaurant too much is spent on construction, equipment and decor and not enough on staffing, training and marketing. Many new owners love to spend on “things” and are reluctant to spend on people which are the #1 key to a good guest experience.

(3) Careful research is not done prior to opening on politics in the community, and vital relationships are not forged with people in local power positions (over your liquor license and inspections for example!) Particularly, beverage driven venues can set themselves up for constant trouble from authorities once they are open. “Connected” experts are needed on the team, as no single person or owner knows enough about the various players and issues. This is survival stuff that all too few pay enough attention to!

(4) Concept Development is not led by someone with a successful track record of launching multiple bars and restaurants, so the right concept is not chosen to fit the demands of the market and the team fails to maximize the best opportunities to make money at the particular site and in the various desired target markets.

(5) Four walls marketing (inside the venue) and generating repeat business are given minimal attention when they should be the most important two parts of the marketing mix after opening.

(6) Lights, music, atmosphere (temperature/comfort) are not consistent and appealing. These are simple basics yet hard to maintain. Circling back to point (1), many who open restaurants don’t realize it’s the details that make or break you.

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