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

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.