Oh dear, what have I done?

General chat and talk about whisky.
Di Blasi
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Postby Di Blasi » Wed Sep 05, 2007 11:48 am

Yes, great post Keith! Funny how many think the bar and restaurant business is all fun and games and socializing and hanging around talking to people, an easy job. After doing it for years I understand your hardships and fun and excitement, but it isn't easy to keep everything balanced! Good to hear about the photo adventure too, I'm sure you've given us all a great idea about having a slideshow play throughout, nice!
Keep it up!!

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les taylor
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Postby les taylor » Wed Sep 05, 2007 5:01 pm

Thanks for the post MT as always very interesting, and well written. Our cat is a bit like yours sometimes when I'm on the keyboard she will sit on the desk and has on occassion hit the mouse buttons which can be pain especially if you lose your work.



:)

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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Sep 05, 2007 5:21 pm

:lol:
Nice one Malty. We have three cats and it wouldn't be the first time I've sat down on a little furry present - and I don't mean a fur ball!! :yuk:

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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:24 am

Criefty,
little furry presents are the norm at the moment, with an average of three per day!

Jan
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Postby Jan » Thu Sep 06, 2007 7:29 pm

Great post MT

Thank you for sharing the continued tales of The Arc with us...

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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Sep 08, 2007 1:00 am

I have just retruned home after a great evening of rugby in The Arc!

I wasn't working tonight but decided to go along as a guest and enjoy the opening RWC game of France - Argentina.

A brilliant game with a surprising result, but I have to say that the best team on the evening won!
Sorry France, well done Argentina!

As for the pub, it was packed. The game was screened on three TVs and a large pull down screen with projector.

Roll on the rest of the weekend:
Saturday - all RWc games, 4x Euro2008 Qual. games, Collingwood AFL game
Sunday - all RWC games, 3x NFL games

As for our sweepstake for the RWC, I was drawn to have England so I may have a chance of some prize money (hopefully!).
Keith

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Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Sep 08, 2007 1:05 am

As for my whisky shelf at The Arc, you may be interested to hear that the first bottle to be emptied (some time ago) was the surprisingly superb Milford 10 from new Zealand.

The second is just about to be Laphroaig 10, with an Arbeg 10 currently the favourite to be third.


On the Irish shelf, ever popular are Tullamore Dew (yes really, but it is cheap!), Jamesons and Redbreast 15.

Keith

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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:54 am

Someone recently suggested that I install a web cam at The Arc and maybe even run an online tasting.



Now that is a good idea and one which is currently running around in my imagination in an appealing kind of way.
I am seriously considering this.
MT

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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:10 am

Meanwhile back at RWC in The Arc:

Friday did indeed turn out to be a great evening!
I wasn't working, just watching the game and as I mentioned I left at around 23:30 as the game had ended and our Karaoke was getting under way.
The staff who were working tell me that everything went well and at about 2am all the staff and some friends from another Munich bar called in after their own closed.
The partying apparently finished at something like 6am.

With the three rugby games and four football matches, yesterday was another busy day, although as holder of England in our RWC sweepstake, I was not encouraged by their performance!
Keith

Jan
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Postby Jan » Sun Sep 09, 2007 9:13 am

A webcam is a great idea - but would'nt you have to ask permisson of your guests or something? (Don't know the german laws on this.)

It is surprising that Milford is outselling every other malt on the shelf - perhaps I should have a go at this. (Jan mentally adding bottle number 973 the buy very soon list. Sigh)

MGillespie
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Postby MGillespie » Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:35 pm

Keith, I think I'm sensing an episode of WhiskyCast in your future...

Mark

Wendy
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Postby Wendy » Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:09 pm

MGillespie wrote:Keith, I think I'm sensing an episode of WhiskyCast in your future...

Mark


Splendid idea, Mark! The progression of a Beer/Sports bar to the introduction of whisky and Tastings because of the influence of the owners whisky passion is a great story.

Thanks for the updates, Keith.

Cheers,
Wendy

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Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Sep 09, 2007 4:50 pm

Anytime you like Mark, it would be my great pleasure, but would I be able to offer an interesting enough story?

Keith

MGillespie
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Postby MGillespie » Sun Sep 09, 2007 8:40 pm

Ummm...let's see...how many people on this forum have ever dreamed of having their own bar? (almost all of us)

How many have actually done it?

Yeah, I think there's a story here...

Mark

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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:37 am

Wow!
I have just returned home after yet another crazy evening!

Today saw the start of the NFL and yes, there is a huge following in Munich. In fact, a group of fans run their own Fantasy Football league (based in The Arc) and many were in tonight for the first games.

In total we screened three games and although the bar was very full, I have been warned that this is nothing to a 'usual' Sunday NFL evening!

I chose to do all the cooking again today for the second day running and once again I was extremely busy for about 3 hours solid.

In fact, over the three evenings since Friday, we have sold more food and drink that in any other 7-10 days since I took over.

Our house speciality is the "Arc Burger" and half way through the evening we ran out of them.
We ran out of chips (fries) yesterday and I had to ge off to the local wholesale market to get more, along with burger buns and various other things we were also rapidly running out of.

As for todays problem:
We ran out of gas to pump the beer!!!
At about 23:00 we really ran out of gas which is used to pump the cider, Newcastle Brown Ale and Augustiner, so we had to revert to bottled Augustiner and Bulmers bottled cider!
Guinness is pumped with a separate gas (Nitrogen) and that's still OK.

This weekend has been a real eye-opener for me in my ongoing education in running a bar. I am finally seeing what tha bar can be like when it thrives and comes to life.

Yes Mark,
maybe my experiences and education could be cobbled together into an informative and fun episode of Whisky Cast.

See you all later,
Keith

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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Sep 11, 2007 3:32 am

It's now well after 4am and I have just returned home from The Arc.
It wasn't a busy night, but I did enjoy a prolonged chat and pontification with a few of the regulars.

...... And a game or two of 5's & 3's too!

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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Sep 11, 2007 11:16 pm

Early home tonight, excellent!
But then again I am back again at midday tomorrow to open for a rugger game.

Meanwhile, the highlight of this evening was someone falling in as the door opened saying "I have the taste of whiskey on my lips andit needs fulfilling"

The "e" signifies that the said person wanted bourbon but would allow me to choose for him.

After an Augustiner, a Blanton's Gold and a GT Stagg he left rather happy and satisfied!

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Muskrat Portage
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The Arc's covenant :D

Postby Muskrat Portage » Wed Sep 12, 2007 1:45 am

MT:
Well, you're on the map as a whisky /whiskey establishment if they are falling in the door looking for it. Well done! I had noticed in one of the Irish pubs that has a webcam, the resolutions is so low you can't really tell who the individuals are. I suspect that there is a sign that says something to the effect of "Smile you're on webcam!" ...let me go and take a gander ... check favorites; check webcams; Johny Foxes: here we go...
http://www.johnnyfoxes.co.uk/
oh, come back later.

Anyways this is one where the interior of the pub in the UK is on streaming webcam. There are probably more out there as well.

Muskrat

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Postby Deactivated Member » Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:54 am

I was thinking more that the webcam would be pointed at the bar and staff as opposed to the customers.
This would allow a view of the whisky and also for me to perhaps run an online tasting!

Anyway, I'm now in the middle of two well-earned days off and enjoying some hard but sunny work in the garden.
MT

Deactivated Member

Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Sep 19, 2007 7:55 am

Oh for the joys of a real day off.
My last post stated that I was having two days of for catching up in the garden and pottering.

If only that were possible!
:?

One of my staff called me on Friday afternoon and said that it looked like it would get very busy for the England - South Africa rugby game and could I organise a third member of staff to work.
I do have a couple of students who help me out occasionally, so I called them.
One was in the middle of a dinner party, the other was sitting in a pub in Edinburgh!!!
:shock:

So, off to The Arc for me and yes, it was extremely busy and finished up being the best day for business so far since I took over. Especially as the pub was mostly full of South Africans who were intent on partying and staying on afterwards for the Karaoke.
:D
Did they really begin the karaoke by singing "We are the champions" en masse?
Yes, they did!

Saturday was a bit quieter (thankfully) :)

Then came Sunday. Once again the NFL crowd descended upon The Arc and I chose to do the cooking that night.
About 60 meals later it quietened down and I was allowed out into the bar.

Have any of you ever tried to cook around 60 meals in 3-4 hours (burgers, chips, chicken steaks, meat pies, chicken wings ..... all with chips (that's pommes or fries for those outside the UK) ???
Not easy!!!

Anyway, I decided to compensate by taking off Monday and Tuesday ......
(Ha!)
:twisted:

On Monday evening I called in to The Arc to take part in the quiz with Sabine and a couple of friends. OK, so that wasn't exactly working.

As we had almost run out of beer and new supplies wouldn't be delivered until today, I had to go back again yesterday and get some supplies for the Champion's League evening yesterday from a local drinks market.

So, when you own / run a pub, can anyone tell me just what a day off really entails?

As for tonight: Back to the grindstone of working as we have Champion's League footy again and also the Italy - Portugal Rugby match.

See you later,
Keith

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Postby Deactivated Member » Wed Sep 19, 2007 8:02 am

I forgot to add; after having an early night yesterday, I awoke and have been on the PC catching up on my book-keeping since 06:30 this morning and am just about to make my first mug of Earl(y) Grey after two and a half hours of working.


Then, as well as the CL evening tonight, the problems for today will include organising a staff meeting for Thursday to discuss how we handle the weekend of Saturday 29th / Sunday 30th which will see the AFL Grand Final (live) at 06:30 Saturday and the NRL Grand Final on Sunday 30th.
Plus a load of rugby, including NZ & Oz.

It looks like The Arc could be open continuously from Friday afternoon until Sunday night.
Anyone know how to pull a pint or cook?
:coffee:

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Re: Oh dear, what have I done?

Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Sep 25, 2007 12:23 am

Oh dear, the AFL Grand Final gets closer and each day I get more evidence of just what next weekend will be like - busy, very, very busy.

In fact, totally crazy!

The organiser of the main Australian Oktoberfest campsite is arranging an expedition to The Arc for his campers, there are up to 600 of them and I sincerely hope they don't all want to get in at the same time as my capacity is around 150!!!

Today I received a telephone call from a woman in Nurnberg who has Australian visitors who wish to see the game.
They will be driving overnight to get to me for 05:00 in an attempt to claim a seat in the bar for the game.
The Munich Kangaroos Aussie rules footy team are coming en masse ....
etc ........


If any of you are experienced bar people who can handle pressure, crowds and stress and are in Munich at the weekend ...... I wanna hear from you!
:shock:

MGillespie
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Re: Oh dear, what have I done?

Postby MGillespie » Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:49 am

Keith, haven't forgotten about calling you for that interview...but looking at your posts, it seems like you probably don't have much free time on your hands these days.

Mark

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Re: Oh dear, what have I done?

Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Sep 25, 2007 12:27 pm

Hi Mark,
I'll speak to you soon, but in the meantime yes, I am busy for the next week or so and have sent you a quick PM.

The problems I have at the moment are quite different to some of my earlier ones. I know that next Saturday WILL be one of the two busiest days of the year in The Arc (equalled possibly by Superbowl night). I am having to find staff to work, at the moment I am planning on opening as usual on Friday evening, then staying open all Friday night, all day Saturday into Saturday night, then again on Sunday morning around 8am for the whole day as it's the NRL Grand Final on Sunday at 11am here.

I guess today is the lull before the storm as I have 2 days off (again).
But once again, I have already been to the bank this morning and into The Arc.
As for tomorrow - it's a darts match at home and I have been requested to play .....
there goes my quiet evening at home with Sabine :roll:

Friday will be another day off (ish), but as I will be pre-cooking the breakfasts (up to 100-150 of them) as from 04:00, I guess I'll be needing an early night.

Oh, the joys of The Arc - but yes, I do prefer it this way - VERY BUSY!!!

Until later,
Keith

martin grant
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Re: Oh dear, what have I done?

Postby martin grant » Tue Sep 25, 2007 12:59 pm

All sounds great Keith!

Really enjoy reading your posts about The Arc. Like many here I've dreamed on more than one occasion of owning my own pub, and fingers crossed maybe one day. However right now, I'm lucky enough to be blessed with a young son who takes up a huge amount of my time. Perhaps when he's a bit older we can look at it again.

You really seem to work a huge amount of hours, but you also really seem to be enjoying it. And that's what its all about. Look forward to hearing your interview on Mark's site

Cheers

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les taylor
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Re: Oh dear, what have I done?

Postby les taylor » Tue Sep 25, 2007 1:35 pm

Nice one MT. If I lived closer I'd give you a hand. I have helped my brother with doing the catering at weddings. Which is good fun in the kitchen at service. It's like a steam train that you can't get off. I hope you cope. Let us know how it goes.


:)

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les taylor
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Re: Oh dear, what have I done?

Postby les taylor » Tue Sep 25, 2007 1:36 pm

les taylor wrote:Nice one MT. If I lived closer I'd give you a hand. I have helped my brother with doing the catering at weddings. Which is good fun in the kitchen at service. It's like a steam train that you can't get off. I hope you cope. Let us know how it goes.


:)



Just quoting myself. Matt thanks very mucg the counter is back but the edit function has gone. :(

Mr Fjeld
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Re: Oh dear, what have I done?

Postby Mr Fjeld » Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:11 pm

Good to see your busy with your bar MT !
I used to work in a bar myself many years ago and know how hard and stressful it can be. Being an employer I guess it doubles up too. The funny thing is when people seem to think working in a bar is like those tv series where the barkeeper tries to look cool and hanging loose - and working in between....... 8)

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A day in the life of AFL & The Arc

Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Sep 30, 2007 11:30 am

I think it's Sunday today?
Which means a day off, thank goodness.

Yesterday, I set my alarm and awoke at 3am, I was on the road half an hour later (breakfastless!) to collect a friend who had volunteered (or was it press-ganged?) to help for the day.
I also called in at a bank with a money-roll machine to collect some much needed change, then arrived at The Arc for 4.30am.

Quite a few were already there and more had just stayed from Friday evening on one of their "all-nighters".
I was immediately informed that a coach of AFL fans from the Australian Oktoberfest campsite were due at 5.30 so we had to begin to move quickly.

A quick decision to round-off prices was taken (which we were later very thankful for!), this meant beer at €3 instead of €3.10, cider at €4 instead of €4.10 .. etc to save time and change.
In fact, we also decided to sell bottled beers only, again to save time!

So, straight into the kitchen and out with the pans.

Oh boy, am I thnakful for industrial pans which hold around 70 sausages or two pounds of bacon!

I took all my food-warmers from home and set them up ready for the breakfasts.
At this point two of us were cooking and just one in the bar - but I was lucky enough to have who I consider to be one of Munich's best barmen there.

He was in his element!
When the masses arrived he was never phazed, handled everything perfectly and nobody had to wait for more than a minute for their drink.

Equally, the kitchen kept up with demand and people were astonished when their breakfasts were always served within 3 minutes of ordering.

The friend who I took in to help kind of worked where he was most needed - sometimes in the kitchen, at other times carrying more beer from the cold store to the bar.

So, a very successful day was had at The Arc, but as I reflect, it was VERY HARD WORK and for those of you reading this who still fancy running their own bar ............
At this point, I also think back to around 5am when the Manager of one of Munich's most successful Irish bars arrived with his staff for a post-work drink, after closing their own bar and congratulated me on what I had achieved so far in The Arc.
But then said "today you face your first REAL TEST"
Yes Greg, it was a test, in fact a bloomin' marathon, but I think we came through admirably.

Most of my normal staff had 'other arrangements' for that weekend so I had to run the bar on one of the busiest days of the year, literally with a wing and a prayer and three of us who each worked 20 hour shifts!

My barman started on Friday evening at 7pm and finished on Saturday afternoon at 3pm.
I (and my faithful friendly helper) arrived at the bar at 4.30am and finished around midnight.
One of my permanent employees started at 3pm and was running until close, which could have been 3 or 4am today, maybe even later, I don't know until I call in tomorrow and look at her hours!

Why was it so late when yesterday was AFL in the ealry morning?
Well, the day looked like this:
AFL until around 9am, people staying until around 10am
The AFL replay at 11am with people (albeit not very many) staying until around 2pm.
The first Rugby World Cup game at 3pm, then 5pm ...etc.
The Scotland - Italy RWC Game again brought plenty of people and this kept them rejoicing, partying and generally being extremely boisterous (but not dangerous or troublesome!) until around 11pm, then it was a manic hour of cleaning-up until we left at midnight .... very, very tired!

Now, where's my Earl Grey tea?

Mr Fjeld
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Re: Oh dear, what have I done?

Postby Mr Fjeld » Sun Sep 30, 2007 11:44 am

:coffee: Looks as you've earned your tea break then :)
Well done Malt-Teaser!

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Re: Oh dear, what have I done?

Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Sep 30, 2007 4:32 pm

I see it's already just after 5pm here in Munich - where did today go?

Getting up at almost lunchtime, lazing around on the PC for a while, then a long, hot bath which dissolved all the pains from yesterday's hard work.

Nice
:)

Now, where's breakfast?


As for this evening, I am looking forward to the very pleasant task of introducing the wedding photographs to the happy couple whose wedding I photographed earlier in the month, as they have returned from honeymoon.

:D

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Re: Oh dear, what have I done?

Postby Deactivated Member » Sun Oct 07, 2007 9:18 pm

What a Day!!!

All my tables were fully reserved for the afternoon game (England - Australia) and then again, by different people for the evening game (NZ - France).

Basically, for each game we were so full that people were queueing down the steps into the bar and couldn't even get in.

Record takings and over 700 bottles of Augustiner sold in the one day.

Now I need rest!
:sleep:



Oh, well done to England & France and I'm already dreading and trying to plan for their meeting next weekend.

K-Mile
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Re: Oh dear, what have I done?

Postby K-Mile » Sun Oct 07, 2007 10:53 pm

Enjoy your well deserved sleep!

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Re: Oh dear, what have I done?

Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:45 am

It's Monday, I think I'm almost recovered after a day-off yesterday when I only had to visit The Arc once, to take some much-needed loose change for the till.

Once again and maybe another part of this business that customers probably don't even think about is the challenge of keeping up with loose change, especially out of normal banking hours.
I do keep an amount at the pub, but on extremely busy days this can soon disappear and it isn't practical to keep too much around.
There is a local bank with an ATM-style machine which gives new rolls of coins in exchange for notes, plus a small fee. But this was not working on Saturday night when I went for some change for Sunday.
Hmmm, now what to do?
I found that a bank at the airport was open Sundays so I drove across and changed a few hundred Euros.
Then, just imagine the sight; Me walking back through the airport concourse carrying a large amount of coinage in little envelopes (from the bank) with Euro note pictures all over them!
:shock:
Yes, I had plenty of stares and even a few funny comments and reactions, but my return looks were of the "Don't even think of it!" kind.

Todays problem also involves money; To get to a bank in time to deposit the weekend takings and pay some bills for everything drunk in the last couple of days.

Oh well, it's all part of the fun.
Keith

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Re: Oh dear, what have I done?

Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:52 am

I did mention that whilst in the pub yesterday, a couple of people were sampling some drams:
The drams I saw being sampled were:

Caol Ila - a CS version from (I think) Whisky Galore.
Bunnahabhain 12y OB
Macallan 12y Sherry Cask

As I left, I had been discussing the merits of my Benrinnes F&F with a self-confessed Dalwhinnie lover.
OK, so I'll add Dalwhinnie to my range before your next visit!


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