It’s kind of bizarre when your opinions seem to cross over into the public sphere.
I’ve been privately airing my fears that San Francisco is turning into some sort of Theme Park for rich foodies and overseas investors for some time now.
Today the paper of record weighed in with similar concerns.
“A kind of derogatory term for the city would be Disneyland for yuppies,” said Hans Johnson, demographer with the Public Policy Institute of California. “There is a legitimate public policy concern when a city that many people have lived in for many years and regard as their homes becomes so expensive they can’t afford to live there anymore.”
Which is all very serious and kind of outside of the subject sphere for this not very serious blog.
But to bring it back to the sphere of drinks and drinking, I do wonder what is the tipping point.
Lately, the trend has been to open very upscale bars.
Charge lots of money for drinks made with premium spirits.
I love a good drink and the service that these bars provide.
But I wonder how many of these bars even a seemingly “recession proof” city like San Francisco can support.
That’s one point.
The other point…
What seems to trickle down from upscale bars, it seems to me, is the wrong lesson.
What the average bars seem to take home from upscale bars is that if they serve drinks with premium spirits, they can charge more for their drinks.
You don’t see average bars controlling portions. You don’t see average bars with professional service. You don’t see well trained staff at average bars. You don’t see average bars realizing that the premium of fresh squeezed juice easily justifies the expense.
Here’s my question, not understanding much about costs for bars and where the price of the spirits fits in.
OK, you go to a place like say Slanted Door or Beretta. Drinks are, on average $10-15. At retail, most of the rail spirits are in the $20-30 range.
If you chopped $10 off the price of your rail brands, choosing carefully, could you run a similarly high quality drink program, with cheaper average prices and still turn a profit?
Or is it the premium spirit names, and not the quality of drinks or service which sells?