Lo Go! Lo Go! Final Preparations are Underway!
A few years back, I found myself in a 500 mile walk across Northern Spain which started in St. Jean Pied-de Port, France and ended at Finisterra which translates to “the end of the earth”. I had befriended a few Polish guys (Marek and Mariusz) and Polish girl (Paula) along the way and we walked in stride the final 60 K or thereabouts. Sleeping the night under the canopy of a bar we were drinking at and a few times on the beach grilling fish, drinking wine (It was cheaper than beer in Spain) and looking at the ocean. Marek and Mariusz had walked from Poland for the last 6 months and were in a celebratory mood. I being the consummate bartender found this to be a situation for which I was designed some would say I was born for it. I also found it very refreshing to know that when you get to the end of the earth, there is a bar there that serves beer and some very nice Spanish wines. So I state, adopting Marek’s words, “Hey, I’ve been to the end of the world and it’s not so bad.”
As I was walking the last 50 K of my 894 K journey to the ocean, I could almost feel the ocean pulling me to it and at the same time I could feel the earth pushing me towards it. (Isn’t that poetic?) And simply, that is where I am today. Caught between the fast approaching end of construction and the beginning of the first arrival of so many people who will grace our doors and become part of the Civil Life community. It’s exhilarating and man I hope I remember how to swim.
So a while back we (Dylan, Mike and I) sat down with my good buddy Joe Alhoff who calls me “Smilin’ Jake” to talk about our logo. Joe is a talented tattoo artist at Trader Bob’s and through the course of several years serving him over the bar at 33, we became quite good friends. Joe like me, has spent years of his life pondering many labels and logos associated with the beverage industry. Joe like me, does this specifically in the name of research and development. Joe and I are constantly working throughout the day, throughout the night, on weekends and even on holidays as we have found research to be so important in our quest to make the Civil Life part of your life. I think my favorite Hungarian Biochemist, Albert Szent-Gyorgyi sums it up best, “Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.”
So we began to discuss the Civil Life. What were we going to be about? What kind of message did we want our logo to display. Who are we? Why can’t Dylan figure out which cell phone is his and which is Joline’s? How could we capture those things our company would be about in a logo? This is a difficult and sometimes monumental challenge, in fact it is without a doubt crucial to our first meeting with many customers. Our logo is our smile, our extended hand and when done well has the ability to put people into our minds, our goals and our hopes for our company. A bad logo has the ability to fail miserably, cause people to projectile vomit, cause massive unconscionable hysteria and epic plagues. Duly noted the bubonic plague was actually all started from a really bad logo of a rat. Many, many people will see our logo on a bottle, a t-shirt, a poster or plastered on the side of the next space shuttle and will form an opinion about us without ever stepping in the door. Just as many of you have mostly because right now all you have is this errant blog. Quite frankly, I hope at least some of you crack open a beer while you read this twaddle but chances are you’re reading this at work and I personally hope it is getting charged to a large multi-national corporation.
So we threw some ideas to Joe and we touched on the meaning behind the Civil Life and the notion that as my friend, the great Author Patrick Hurley stated, “Some would say drinking fine ales is a sign of a Civil Life.” We talked about very traditional bars and attire from the 1930’s. Looked through old photographs of post prohibition events. Joe took all of our input and came up with several great drawings. This gentleman, who is yet unnamed, is the centerpiece of a larger label we are working on. But to me he captures many of those initial discussions. He shows the celebratory warmth of an old chap raising mugs of beer. Offering a fellow man and woman a beer is the most civilized of drinking rituals. And we couldn’t have done it without the great Joe Alhoff who delivered to us our logo. My sister then spent countless hours tracing it from Joe’s hand-drawn sketches into the computer to what you see on this page. She is a silent part of this as she wouldn’t want any attention drawn away from the countless hours Joe put into making this happen. But she is nonetheless vital and the care at which she “computerized” (as I call it) Joe’s drawing is evident in the fact that you can’t realize it is now a digital scalable file. She also knocked out an excellent coaster for us and is busy getting us up to speed with some of those fancy little cards most businesses hand out to people that list your name, title etc. and phone number. Actually, we are debating the whole idea of a phone number. Still not even sure about a sign.
So go ahead, raise your mug high in anticipation of our opening. Know that we are working everyday to bring to this city a unique community space. A place to preserve and practice the art of conversation amid the craft of consumption.
Soon.... soon... I say. If you are interested in attending the soft opening which will last for a week or two or three...please shoot me an email (located beneath my name) or just go outside and yell in the direction of 3714 Holt between the hours of 8 am until about 8 p.m. I have exceptional hearing.
Also, just in case you haven’t been paying attention, I am not very good at predicting when we will be open.
Thanks and Cheers!
Mama Search delivers. Bob, Donna, Alan, Joe, my aunt Diane and my aunt Mary, My Dad, Some lady I didn’t even get a chance to meet, Jim, Joannie... Hopefully I didn’t miss anyone.
Hello earthlings. I have been sent here to open a brewery. I hope you have time over the next year to check in from time to time and see our progress (or lack there of at times).
Morning beer delivery at Tynan’s Bridge House Bar in Kilkenny, Ireland.