thoughts on a new coffee bar and venue in downtown roseburg, oregon

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Restaurants increasingly preferred over retail in town centers

The signs are there:
- In a CoolTown retail study, 44% of the downtown businesses in five of the most progressive college towns are restaurants.
- According to the article,
Restaurants popular as a draw for shopping centers, 20 years ago restaurants made up 10 to 15% of the tenancy in Dallas commercial centers, but today that number is closer to 25 to 50%, with restaurants now often serving as the anchor.
- The first two of four phases for neighborhood revitalization today starts with restaurants, as stated by retail expert Steven Gartner. The four phases are outlined here.
- The National Restaurant Association has projected U.S. restaurant sales to increase 4.4% this year from 2007, even as much of the retail sector contracts. The association also reports on the following two areas:

Hot trends:
- Small is in. Bite-size desserts and small plates/tapas/mezze;
- ‘Alternative-source ingredients’. Locally grown produce, organics, sustainable seafood, grass-fed and free-range items, and alternative red meats (ie buffalo);
- Ethnic cuisines and flavors;
- Specialty alcohol;
- Unique experiences + food rather than just food.

Noteworthy stats:
- Americans currently buy a meal or a snack from a restaurant 5.8 times/week;
- Annual spending on food away from home is $1078/person;
- Consumers now spending 48 percent of their food budget in restaurants.

In other words, if your downtown is struggling, there probably aren’t too many successful restaurants in existence, if any at all.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

This is a great restaurant!

San Diego's triple-bottom-line third place redefines 'restaurant'

If you're looking for a benchmark restaurant that represents most everything that a restaurant should be (as far as omnivores go), The Linkery in San Diego is a necessary destination. It starts with a founder like Jay Porter, "It would be a place that would, as a business, provide a community space that would bring people together. And it would celebrate really good quality food and drink and beer in a simple way... hopefully it could be a place that could become a center for something that adds meaning and richness to life in this area."

From its description to its blog to its primer for newbies, you'll soon realize the craftsmanship and soul that's poured into this place day in and day out. Some principles:

- All meat served comes from independent farmers and co-ops with integrity.
- Farm-to-table locally-based produce.
- No factory-made ingredients (outside of condiments like mustard).
- Hand-crafted beer and sausages.
- Daily-changing menu based on what's fresh and seasonal, half of which is vegetarian despite the restaurant name.
- Affordability is a key goal.
- No tipping. They have an entire section on it here.

Like Jamie Wallace of Abay Ethiopian Restaurant, Jay started his restaurant with only a tech background. All of Jay's quotes in this entry are excerpted from an excellent interview with Jed Sundwall.

Did you have any restaurant experience before?
No. I was totally making shit up.

Really! Did you have a partner with experience?
No. They say don't do things that you don't have experience in because you'll do every stupid thing possible, which I did. But by the time we opened, we'd attracted people who wanted to be a part of it. There are people with skills and knowledge who came in and said "Oh, you're building a restaurant! What's your plans for this?" and I'd say "I don't know!" And they'd say "Well I need to come in here and help!" "Great!" You know?

As regulars to this website know, the impact of this third place isn't limited to inside the walls, "Over the course of 6 months this little corner went from being basically totally unused at night to rocking."

Thanks to Chris Radcliff for the reference.

Image source: Bonzo McGrue.

Now playing: 'Skinny Love' here:
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

from Cool Town Studios - importance of local businesses

Entrepreneurs, newer companies leading economic growth

What's leading economic growth in our cities?

Robert Litan, VP of Research and Policy at the Kaufmann Foundation* and director of Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution**, concludes that more of our growth today is generated by entrepreneurial or newer companies. He answers the following question in this interview from Smart City Radio:

Smart City Radio: "If you were advising a local urban leader on how he or she could encourage the start up of businesses that would have a good chance of expansion, what would you tell them to do."

Robert: "I'm going to give them advice that a lot of them may not want to hear, but through a lot of research here at Kaufmann, we think the most effective use of local dollars to encourage the growth of local business, is to do the basics right. If you can get crime down, if you can solve your local infrastructure problems, if you can have decent schools, nice parks and amenities, what that'll do is either attract or retain the 24-34 year old age group that are college-educated. That is the cohort that is most likely to lead to your future success. That's the cohort that's most likely to lead your future businesses. If you can attract and retain those people, that is the best indicator of whether or not you'll be entrepreneurially successful."

*The vision of the Kauffman Foundation is to foster a society of economically independent individuals who are engaged citizens, contributing to the improvement of their communities, thus focusing on two areas: advancing entrepreneurship and improving the education of children and youth. **Brookings is a leading research institution influencing urban policy.

Image source: Rob Millenaar.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The 'creative treehouse'

If you're looking for an affordable, creative place to work or hang out, you're in luck if you live in Pittsburgh, or more precisely, Bellevue, Pennsylvania, 4.5 miles from downtown Pittsburgh. That's where you'll find the Creative Treehouse; a 7500 s.f. arts-oriented coworking space. The key ingredients? An inexpensive lease in a developing neighborhood.

The membership-structured (starting at a mere $25/month) space features:
- A creative service center that will allow businesses to network with member artists (the coffeehouse/coworking scene, as pictured);
- Multi-purpose facility for public art displays, gatherings and even live music (essentially a large open room);
- Photography studio with darkroom;

Also, members are allowed to:
- Organize events;
- Host and attend workshops and classes;
- Be included in group showings,
- Update their online profile accessible to businesses and other members.

Events include 24-Hour Creative Marathons (e.g. publish a comic book), NY-style dance parties, and collaborative world happenings like the May 10, 2008 Pangea Day where 24 user-created films are shown simultaneously around the globe.

Open since June 30, 2007, the Creative TreeHouse has plans to expand to other cities (undetermined) in the future, which is expected since it fits the MySpace-oriented viral loop model of customer-motivated replication. As owner Jesse Hambley puts it, who founded the Treehouse as a 23 year-old independent photographer, designer and video editor, "It's like MySpace in a building."

Thanks to Christian MacAuley of Fab Apps for the reference!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Crowd-sourcing a music festival

This is another one of those 'it was just a matter of time' things...

We've gone over how to crowdsource places and scenes, but not events. Well, here's a real world example in Scotland...

The Tennent's Mutual is a music festival with a quarter of a million $ budget (this can obviously be scaled smaller or larger depending on your market)... that its founders will allow music lovers to "shape, create and dictate gig provision - from selecting artists and debating locations to calling the shots on ticket prices."
Sponsored by Tennent's Lager, the 'crowdmanaging' opportunity is free, and its advisors include the likes of the Rolling Stones' Andrew Loog Oldham, so there goes the myth that this is only for college students.

Another one of the advisors, Stewart Henderson from Chemikal Underground, comments on the rengen-like impact, "This is a total watershed time that we're living in at the moment. It will change things completely--irreversibly. What Tennent's has done is they've effectively set themselves up as patrons. It's a positive thing as it allows things to happen that may not have otherwise."

Profits from this event will fund the next one. One can just see a viral loop network forming soon...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Attract more creatives with 'anchored coworking'

Creatives, free agents, entrepreneurs and mobile knowledge workers may be driving the economy, but they aren't going to be driving to work. They prefer avoiding isolation at home, but there are only so many coffeehouses, and even fewer coworking sites.

One growing source of spontaneous workplaces are anchored coworking sites - coworking sites provided by established companies who not only have extra space, but enjoy reserving it for untethered creatives. PSFK: Trends and Inspiration profiles several such examples in their recent article, A Deeper Look at Coworking.

What're the benefits of anchored coworking sites?
- For once, it doesn't take much additional investment or planning because the anchoring firm has already done so for itself (ie general lease, network printer, internet, phones, etc.)
- Second, the anchor company is often open to collaborating with its itinerant tenants, and thus will choose those with like-minded interests - a win-win proposition.
- Third, it's a heckuva lot faster, easier and much less risky with a more ubiquitous supply when you're talking about companies with extra desks vs starting completely from scratch.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

coffee house as office

Third place coffeehouses as economic development

I first profiled Tryst back in 2003 as a popular coffeehouse third place in Adams Morgan, Washington DC. But five years later, ten years after it first opened, it's not only become a neighborhood institution, but it really should be seen as a contemporary model for job creation.

Here's the big picture:

1. A majority of big businesses come from small businesses, and small businesses are started by entrepreneurs... from their homes.
2. Many (not all) entrepreneurs who tried working exclusively from home will tell you one thing - it sucks. No human interaction, no place for meetings, no escape from spending most of your life stuck at home.
3. Coworking sites are ideal, but are often too pricey for the budding entrepreneur.
4. Thus, enter coffeehouses with free wifi and staff trained not to bug you too often if you've decided to park there for most of the workday. The good news is they're packed with entrepreneurs all day. The bad news is that they're not very profitable until they leave.

In the meantime cities are investing tons of capital in contrived business incubators that often fail. Why not redirect that capital into economic development tax breaks for coffeehouses that provide evidence of effectively acting as free workplaces for entrepreneurs?

On the one hand, Tryst makes no money before 6 pm. On the other hand one can't get a seat during the day. It seems to be an economic travesty not to have enough workplaces for the neighborhood entrepreneurs. Proactive cities will overcome this, but it obviously hasn't happened in Adams Morgan yet.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Simultaneous development of district

Crowdsource a tool to support local indie retail districts

What makes 'organically-grown' retail and entertainment districts (natural cultural districts) so cool? A lot of it has to do with the presence of local, independent businesses, you know, the shabby chic coffeehouses, restaurants with live music and neighborhood events, unique shops with cafes...

Many of you are also now familiar with crowdsourced placemaking, especially one specific business, one building, and one district at a time. But what if you wanted to make a difference to invigorate all of the local indie businesses in the natural cultural district within your own neighborhood, and you wanted to do it now?

Let's crowdsource a tool and system to do just that, shall we?

Let's start with a sponsor and an existing prototype a few triple-bottom-line businesses co-developed, such as a 'TV guide' and directory web portal and crowdsourcing tool for all the events, experiences, scenes and third places in your retail district that exist... and don't exist.

The effort to date is resulting in a vision to make it vastly affordable for all main streets, mass customizable, highly googleable, with Amazon-like user reviews/ratings of all the businesses and events, the ability to suggest missing events on the 'TV Guide', and the opportunity to crowdsource the missing venues that the local creative patrons collectively feel are sorely needed... In Adams Morgan, Washington DC, a willing candidate for this program, it's a bakery; another great coffeehouse because the present one's too crowded; a larger performance theatre; more legitimate places to buy clothes...

The incentive to join this crowdsourcing effort, in line with the Think Local First campaign (which I guess fittingly doesn't have a national website) and perhaps the National Main Street Center, is not only the chance to customize a program to help revitalize your neighborhood commercial center, but every contributor gets a tenth off the eventual cost, the top ones win a third to half of the eventual cost, some even free.

Email to participate via the email link in the right column.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

User Interaction and Buy-in

Our customers need to feel like they are interacting with a toy like legos that they can build as they like and reconstruct at will. As much as possible the environment needs to be responsive to their needs and interest. Promoting user feedback, and quick response to that information is imperative. Recipe contests, public suggestion boards, rewards for customer suggested improvements, customer advisory boards, playlist feedback, custom merchandise, movable partitions and furniture, along with pianos, game systems, sections of the store that can be painted by the patrons, and a host of other innovations need to be in place to truly make our venue a unique and vibrant location.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The gowing economic impact of the creative class

The growing economic impact of the creative class

Richard Florida's Who's Your City?, profiled in the previous entry and available starting today, focuses on why place matters dearly in attracting the creative class. However, the book provides an effective visual (above) and an entire section among four on why the creative class matters in the first place.

Notice the rise in the creative class workforce along with services, and the decline in manufacturing and agriculture, especially to overseas. However, what's especially striking is the bar graphs in the lower part of the graphic, showing that while the creative class has 31% of the workforce compared to 45.7% for services, it produces 49.8% of wages paid compared to 30.6% for services. Even more compelling is that the creative class represents 70% of all discretionary income compared to 13% for services.

The good news for the local economy is that creative class jobs are not nearly as outsourceable as services and manufacturing, and they also add to the local arts, culture and entertainment scenes much more effectively as well.

Graphic used with permission from the Creative Class Group, and viewable on the Who's Your City? website.

Friday, March 07, 2008

CoolTown Studios: "The CoolTown visual guide to crowdsourced placemaking

What is crowdsourced placemaking? A beta community? Creatives, VIBEs, third places, scenes, natural cultural districts...? All of that is explained in one definitive 13-page document, the CoolTown visual guide to crowdsourced placemaking and economic development, Crowdsourcing Cool Places for Creatives.

The table of contents:
The conflict: Cities are hitting a wall
Where creatives are attracted to
Third places, events and scenes
Identifying the problem and solution via 'clocks' and 'clouds'
What is crowdsourcing?
Crowdsourcing in action
How indies can compete with chains
Systems for profound change
Placemaking crowdsourcing systems in action
Appendix: CoolTown strategic map

Check out the progress of three ongoing crowdsourced beta community developments here."

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business

Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business

Profile of a future VIBE

To refresh your memory, a VIBE is a variegated independent business entrepreneur, the creative, evolved version of the franchise operator, that opens multiple unique, authentic businesses under different names and concepts, but with a common system of delivering high quality product and service.

Smart City Radio recently interviewed a young budding VIBE and former attorney in Pittsburgh's East End, Jamie Wallace who opened his first restaurant ever, Abay Ethiopian Cuisine. It soon became known as one of Pittsburgh Magazine's Top 25 Best Restaurants of 2005 soon after its opening in 2004. One of his primary motivations to switch careers is that he wanted his city to have a more multi-cultural heritage, which is a big deal to a creative city.

What's to say Jamie will be a VIBE? First of all, his first restaurant, with no restaurant experience, is a commercial success. Second, you can hear it in his interview, "My mindset wasn't that this has to run like every other restaurant I've read about or been in. My perspective was whether this was a technology company or a robotics company, there are certain principles that I want to apply to my business. So if you come in and you work here, the philosophy that we have, the approach we take, it's the same. It's essentially a customer service business, we're promoting culture as much as anything, we want people to have a great time, but there's a component of what I'm trying to do that would be the same regardless. So I feel like from a customer standpoint, they get that what we're there to do isn't just to turn a profit, it's for them to learn, for them to absorb this culture, have an enjoyable time, have it be educational, and touch them in a way that's different. Hopefully they get that."

Apparently they are.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Gazelles + Economic Gardening = Prosperity

Homegrown talent

Gazelles: There are two kinds of entrepreneurs - the ones that do business (Mom & Pops) and the ones that grow businesses (gazelles*). While it's the Mom & Pops that offer the one-of-a-kind restaurants, brewpubs and shops that create happening places which attract entrepreneurs in the first place, it's the gazelles that account for 75% of all job growth, plus half of all innovations, two-thirds of inventions and 95% of all radical innovations created since World War II.

Economic Gardening: As opposed to 'economic hunting' (the industrial age method of trying to steal companies from other cities), economic gardening seeks to create jobs by supporting companies that are already in place**. Pioneered by Chris Gibbons at the City of Littleton, CO (pop. 45,000), the program has added 12,000 jobs since the program started in 1987 - with no incentives. Check out the program's three basic elements here.

Gazelles + Economic Gardening: Why this combination? You can't garden something that won't grow. With the presence of major universities, this magic equation helps explain the rise of Austin, Silicon Valley and Cambridge, each of whose economies exceeds most countries.

*Gazelles (in between Mom & Pop 'mice' and Fortune 500 'elephants') by definition have to grow at least 20% a year for four years, from a base of at least $100,000 in revenues - in effect, at least doubling in size over that four-year period. Only about 352,000 companies qualify, one out of every 16 companies with employees. Source:

**In pro sports, a majority of talent comes from developing college players that teams draft. 'Free agent' veterans recruited from other teams are typically overpaid and temporary. Why is free agency still popular with some teams? Because they don't know how to develop their 'inexpensive' young talent. Understand this, and you'll also understand why the financially-disadvantaged Marlins, Angels and Diamondbacks won the last three World Series.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Entertainment Website

In order to promote activities at our venue, we a source of information that people look to for entertainment information. It could be populated by user generated content about activities in the community alongside the promotion of our events. We could allow a Digg style rating system that brings items up based on user support. We could also allow user ratings of events that they have been to (ours and others) and allow editorials. A website would also be an ideal place to put up video clips of local events like our stuff, plays, concerts in the park to give broader exposure to what is going on in Roseburg.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Modus Table

Modus HD6161 - Hudson Dining Round X-Base Dining Table

Linon Table

IKEA Billista Table

Deneb Teak Table

Pecha Kucha Night - 'Speed art & chit chat' for creatives

In 2003, two employees of Klein-Dytham Architecture (KDa) in Tokyo felt there was a profound need for a place that young creatives could socialize, network and present their work publicly. Thus was born Pecha Kucha Night, which has since spread to 103 cities around the world.

Each month a group of designers, creatives, artists meet in, well, a creative space to view peer presentations of their work. Ah, but what makes it all so compelling is that ego is factored out of the equation - each presenter is allowed only 20 images, each shown automatically for 20 seconds, for a total of 6 minutes and 40 seconds before the next presenter is up.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008

Notes on Perugino

2 grinders
1 bunn grinder (drip coffee) w/ big drip machine
Lit pastry case (no refri)
Panini grill
2 Upright fridge
2 lowers (fridges)
Hand wash sink
Dishwasher unit with large tub sink to left
Ice cream case? Empty at the moment
Wood tables & chairs, stools
Wine racks - tall shelving behind bar, but also as a room divider
Seating for 40
Bar is 20'
Room is 26 x 70

I like the lights and bar top, not too enamored with the bar facing (hard to tell in pic). Many bars, look a little cobbled together on the back with mix match of cabinets, refris and dishwasher. It would be nice to tie it together better or obscure it. I liked the particle board floors and the simple seating was elegant.

Perugino - Eugene, Oregon

Perugino is a favorite espresso bar of mine in downtown Eugene. It stands out not only because of it's elegant atmosphere, but also because of the excellence of their products. I usually just get straight espresso there, because I just don't generally get good espresso unless I make it myself. Yesterday I had a decaf latte on the way out. This is usually something that doesn't go too well either. Decaf is just not usually up to par with regular. This latte was excellent!

Excellence and our vision will be a driving force for our success. We will be able to find employees who will want to give 110% because they believe in what we are doing. I see that Chris at Anthony's has little turnover despite the fact that he is big on perfection. I think that his employees can see why he has high standards, and work to enforce them independently.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Preliminary Vision Statement

It is our intention to create a venue in Roseburg that will act as a locus for entertainment, gathering place, and hotbed for creative community. We will offer people the best espresso coffees, fine wine and beer, deli style food, and fine desserts. Our decor will provide a modern, elegant ambiance that is inviting and comfortable. With our espresso bar in place, we will foster the natural desire of creative people to meet, collaborate, and express themselves. We will encourage creative groups to meet informally, host events hi-lighting their talents, and host larger events such as concerts, plays, art displays, parties, and interactive lectures and workshops.

Through this activity we will help Roseburg discover it's artistic and creative identity, paving the way for new businesses, events, and expressions.

It is our belief that the need for such a location in Roseburg is large. We also believe that people will be drawn to our location because of the ambiance, the quality of the food and drink, and will be excited by the vision. We will create people who are more than customers; people who have bought in to what we are doing who will take ownership, bringing their passion and energy in to make the venue successful, lively, and constantly changing.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Library? Cool - from Cool Town Studios

Library 2008

Alternate titles: Library 2.0, Not your father's library, Redefining the library...

Based on Project for Public Spaces' How to Make Your Library Great: 14 lessons from local libraries all over the continent, here are the unique ones that will attract creatives:

1. The contemporary library is no longer a repository for books, nor even just a community center, but also an edutainment center as well. In other words, it doesn't always have to be so quiet.

2. They act as a town square, hosting concerts, festivals, public markets and other community events.

3. They have a cafe (pictured), ideally fronting the street with outdoor seating. Even better, design a coffeehouse setting with homey couches so patrons feel comfortable staying longer.

3. They provide a small business center helping entrepreneurs start and grow their companies.

Not from the list...

4. Host classes that appeal to the internet generation and/or creatives, such as how to build a blog, edit Wikipedia, produce and post YouTube videos...

5. Allow creatives to crowdsource new spaces or programming. By default, this will foster a virtual community that will share resources. They'll tell you what a contemporary library should be, and for free.

Image source: Library cafe in Clearwater, FL by wanderingone.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Walkable Communities

Walkable Communities
This has a lot of information about how to facilitate a walking district and re-engineering a town or segment to be walking friendly.


Game play should not only be available but encouraged. Game nights could be setup with a tournament and prizes available.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Involving Technology

Because technology is more and more becoming a part of our lives, and because the current trends seem to pull us apart with our busy lives, the integration of technology for the purpose of community is key. Many businesses are trying to have a web presence to garner interest in their brick and mortar. While this is important, there has to be a stronger tie between the business and people in the community. Constant interaction is important. For that to be practical it has to be simple, consumable, and fun.

Video is obvious, but has to be done well. I like the idea of the video being done at the bar and broadcast out. It would be short snippets of what's going on, concerts (if possible), and other events, but just as important patrons and employees need to be "interviewed" or give a broadcast

Twittering is another persistent and addictive technology that can help tie people together. The bar itself could twitter about the goings on from day to day and of course that would include information on upcoming events. Also, others who are regulars to the bar could be encouraged to twitter and a feed could be setup so that people visiting the bar could keep tabs on what people are doing in their daily lives outside the bar.

I think a system where music was democratically chosen might have appeal as well...

GPS Enable Photo Map of Douglas County

One activity that would be fun, interactive, and educational would be a photo map (ala Google Maps/Pictures) of Douglas County. Using GPS enabled cameras, contributors could take photos of their favorite spots and events and record them geographically. This would allow a variable talent range to show of their pictures, while helping everyone to explore Douglas County. It would be another way for professionals to showcase their talents, while everyone would be free to contribute as well as allow for new talent to be discovered. The map would be accessible from the web and at a terminal available on location, possibly on a big screen.

Third Places - from Cool Town Studios

If you're looking to establish a beta community to crowdsource a natural cultural district (kudos to those of you who don't have to click on the words to know what's being talked about here), it starts with third places, events and scenes.

Third places. Most of you know what third places are - where you feel comfortable hanging out when you're not at home or at work. A community starts with a third place so people can meet face to face, whether it's a coffeehouse, a cafe/bookstore, or a pedestrian-only square.

Events. Third places can't always survive on great food or charm alone, they need events that bring people together on a regular, predictable basis to share common conversations, whether it's on a certain genre of music, a fundraiser for an environmental cause, to learn salsa, or simply to catch up with friends at happy hour. Events begin at third places, then branch out to other venues, and ultimately neighborhood-, even city-wide.

Scenes. This is when you know you have a thriving natural cultural district, because a thriving scene (music, green, arts, entrepreneurial, ethnic, etc.) means enough events have sparked at third places to manifest a tacit sense of community and reputation of being a cultural destination - like live music in Austin; environmental progressiveness in Burlington, VT; and international dining in Adams Morgan, DC.

Image: Green Parrot Bar, Key West, FL

Friday, February 01, 2008

Downtown, Renovated Mill Pine

Building on the success of the bbg space along with possibly a combination of the Douglas inn and mobile tune (renovated shop/factory shopping area), an ambitious renovation of the mill-pine district (this is stretching - relocate residents into low income housing), tear down half the houses. Keep the rest for b&b, offices, retail, restaurants, close the streets to car traffic, add parks and build new buildings to compliment the area for commercial and upper end apartment living.

Retaining Vitality and Creative People

One of Roseburg's glaring problems is it's inability to retain talented and creative young people. Most are just looking to get out of town and never even think of coming back because of the lack of opportunity. Starting with the bbg space and working downtown could bring in more creative businesses, inspiring young people and giving them an anchor to return to and reinvest in the community.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Local Expert Forum

One way to link people of different experiences, view points, and education levels could come together, in an environment where an "expert" ie college professor, retired business person, poet, war veteran leads a discussion or gives a talk about their favorite topic or area of expertise.

Finding a Local Identity

I feel like Roseburg has an identity crisis. Many people see this as a conservative retirement community. While this maybe true, there is an element that is much more alive and looking for something to grab onto.

When forming a new "thing" we have to be careful to try to tap into this community and find the life that is there and cultivate it, without superimposing too much prefab starbucks culture.

There are directors who need a place to stage their play. Their are plays that the high school and uact and jacoby wouldn't touch because of the budget or the director's lack of experience or the subject matter.

Could we do live painting along side a gallery of the artists works?

Oregon Car Free Places

Oregon Portland RiverPlace, pedestrian promenade about 1/2 mile (800 m) long (the only large car free area); pedestrian alleys connect other buildings to the promenade; the site is 73 acres (300,000 m²) 1,200 Mixed-use development along the riverfront including apartments, retail, restaurants, a small market, and a waterfront pedestrian promenade
Oregon Portland Portland Center, two pedestrian streets run parallel through the development, which includes two parks (car free streets total about 1 mile (1.6 km) length) 1200 Mixed-use development with apartments, retail, and offices

Jupiter Hotel/Doug Fir Lounge

Cheryl and I went and saw a Buck 65 concert just before Christmas up at the Doug Fir Lounge. I was immediately impressed by the uniqueness of the hotel. There were people standing out in the courtyard/parking lot area. Many of them made me feel pretty vanilla. There were creatives to goths to normals to ravers. Most were there to see Buck do his thing. The entire hotel had a 50's retro feel (especially the spartan rooms) and the exterior. The lobby was a dark mirrored finish almost everywhere with pendant lights. All attendants were wearing black, most of them in their twenties. When we were in the lounge for the concert I was surprised by the diversity of people coming to see an obscure underground rapper. Their were people in their late fifties wearing sweaters and wives with glasses and bob cuts who were rapping right along with buck!

With the right vibe, the right mix of talent, and some good promotion, an eclectic mix of people is brought together on a weekly basis to experience dependably good, and diverse entertainment.


McMenamins is synonymous with a good time. It has transitioned from a pub chain and brewer to an entertainment empire. Their hotels include movie theaters, spas, multiple restaurants, arts, community rooms, and atmosphere. They reach out to the offbeat and artistic with public readings, poetry which facilitates a more local feel. They also host concerts for indies and some big names.

Interesting Renovated Architecture - tying history and current pop culture
Alternative Company Culture
Good Food & Beer
Constant Communication with Customers via web, newsletters
Events - movie fests, concerts, wine festivals, hosted dinners

More Ideas

Revitalize downtown OR push to get Mill-Pine redeveloped as a water front/oldtown
remodel motel

What is lacking in Roseburg?

Good Food
Good Hotels/B&B
Diverse Entertainment

What is needed?

What kind of hotel would be of benefit in Roseburg. Would something like the Jupiter work here?
What does it take to promote concerts?
Artist Relations - Agents
What is a reasonable fee?
Become a spot on concert tours
Sound Equipment

A Destination

A lot of what i see at cooltownspaces is a mix of indoor and outdoor. this is of course partly because many of these ideas are much greater than an individual store and encompass the community. but, even in the example of keywest, patios were a key element. In Oregon's climate, is there a viable way to incorporate the outdoors with patios, street markets, terraces on a year round or regular basis?


I like Cooltown a lot. There are some great pictures. I've only had a small chance to peruse some articles. I liked the one about sense of community linked below. I think we're on the same track. I'm glad you said less of "mall." I also see something outside the walls. I would like to think that most of what is needed in Roseburg is a unifying vision of what can be.

Less of a "mall" than a comfortable destination that will attract a vibrant crowd. I want to create
an energy with just the space. My vision expands beyond these walls and with bit of focus and
direction will move downtown Roseburg into the forefront of our community.
What do you think of the cooltown site?

Tons of ideas.

Questions for Dick and Ray

What is the base that you want? Does this look like a restaurant/coffee with room for "entertainment" ie art, short films, bands... or more a cool "mall" of artisans...?
Where do you want to go with this? How big does this get? Does it move beyond the four walls, and through what vehicle?

Community Building

How to build a sense of community

Utilizing the Fifth Discipline principles of systems thinking, we bring to you a representation of why cities, especially their economic development departments that manage the largest of budgets, choose to invest in the outdated practice of landing 'the big one' rather than cultivating its own creative economy that is known to create jobs more effectively.

Some Useful People

Jack Ball - restaurant
Lynette Wikstrom - restaurant
Roland Theiss - finance
Mark @ Caffeine Machines
Roadrunner - Equipment
Mark Buechley - Finance
Clint Newell - Half Shell
Denny Miller - Sound & Stage feasability


Bring in half shell for small cover, intimate setting - extend and compliment what is already going on, and build a basis for bringing in other outside talent. -

Brett Dennen's website - social change + music

Promote local bands with web radio on our page, promote to high schools, go for talent that hits crystal ball and doug fir and eugene venues

What is better than wifi? - what is web 2.0/useful cool, not gimmicky - Apple TV/music, vlog/pic blog, twitter - posted on a big screen, public discussion broadcast

Local Wines
Hawk's Brewery (other local breweries?)
Local Home brew Fest
Wine Fest
Lighthouse Bakery
Fog Mountain Chocolates
Farmer's Market
Local Bands
Evening Desserts
Food? How much, prep area
Soups tortilla, BLT, french onion, black bean chicken chili
Sandwiches - muffuletta, meatball, panini
Salad - Raspberry/Lime Vinaigrette
Cheesecake, Chocolate, Williams Sonoma Cup Cakes, Truffles
Showcase for local caterers
Monthly Cover Charge/Ticket Purchase - Bands, Food, Host/Drama
Art Gallery
Short Films
First Friday/Integration with Downtown events - bring them together - The Roseburg Summer Festival Season...

Raise capital through local stock sale

Library/book club

Considerations for New Space


Security of BBG offices
Rolling Grille or Sliding Gate
Jeffrey's commitments to Overhead Door
Hire & Train Replacement
Start-up costs
Bar - can Vern build?
modern or ornate?

Espresso Machine - $6000.00 - la marzocco - the best of course!

Roaster - $10,000.00-$15k
Refrigeration - Under the bar fridges -(2-3)
Dish Washer
Plumbing & Electrical
Boring Companies?
Tables & Chairs
Services Items (ie. cups, plates, spoons) - only use paper cups to go
Wine Glasses
Cold Case
Chairs & Tables - SOCO in M.C.
Cash register - Computer or just write on cups like starbucks? - Jackets/Cup Design

Liquidate Espresso Concession?
Liquor License
Roasting Facility
Kitchen Area - any room in back?
NAME! - Roseburg Social Club, The Antigua
Health Requirements
Further Espresso Training
Latte Art - Best coffee school - eugene
Is current climate control adequate?
What about noise?
How to partition space - visual/physical - square tube half walls, plants...